Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ants in Every Corner

Conn has decided that this will be the title of his memoirs. We have to inspect our clothes before we dress, towels before we dry off, dishes before we use it, food before we eat it (Tanielu stopped eating when he saw ants in his rice!), bed before we sleep. Parker even had ants in his diaper without us realizing it, even after inspection.
Mosquitoes are equally bad. There is so much erosion when it rains, there are huge puddles that make wonderful breeding grounds. There are also too many things laying around everywhere to collect water. The lid on the rain tank is also not secure against these little blood suckers. They don't bother me or Tanielu too much, but Conn, James, and especially Parker get it really bad. We've been keeping the Skin-so-Soft Bug Guard on them and mosquito coils burning.
Flies have been ok. We keep the food put away, and there isn't much trash in the house. We're not bothered by them too much.
Haven't seen any other insect pests. Knocking on wood.
The welcome diarrhea has come to the boys. When they have to go, they have to go NOW! Only a couple of accidents so far. Parker had a little vomiting last night and much runny diapers today. Hopefully he'll do better tonight. We've gone through all our diaper covers just today! Gladly we're using cloth, knowing we're not leaving our disposables on this poor, littered island. I'm thankful that Conn doesn't mind washing them out every time. I'm also glad that we don't have to keep pants on Parker over the diaper. We don't go through as many clothes.
We've gone to the library again since James finished his book before we even got home from the library Monday. He found a Winnie the Pooh book. We also went to Betio today and bought some food, and a box to keep our school supplies in.
Starting Tuesday, I've been teaching the younger class of the English school here in the house. Conn's mom (Mama) runs the school and there is a class here in our house, and another at the other end of the island in Betio. Conn's sister, Laae teaches the class in Betio. I will be helping here for this week while the other teacher is out. These are the kids in grades 1-4, about 2 or 3 kids in each grade and they are more beginner than the older kids. We're playing some games and reviewing while I get to know them and find out their levels. It's hardest to get them to understand what I want them to do, and to coordinate my teaching style with the way they are used to being taught. If I keep working with this group, I hope to make some materials to use and individualize a bit more because as a group there are a few who are just copying the others and a few who always jump ahead and don't give the others a chance. James and Tanielu have joined in my group as they are the same age, and can practice these skills as well. They enjoy getting to know the other kids. They each have already found friends, but only get to see them at school time. The kids call me Mrs. Jennifer Apisai because they also call Mama Mrs. Apisai. So, when they arrive they say Good Afternoon Mrs. Apisai and Mrs. Jennifer Apisai. It's kind of cute. Conn plays with Parker during this time, and yesterday also took his neice Melesiata to play with them too. She's loving the new toys we brought. She's a bit under the weather today and slept during class. After class, we have dinner, get the boys' baths and get them ready and into bed. If they are ready early, they can read or watch a video until bedtime or they fall asleep. That doesn't happen often here because we are definitely on "Kiribati time."
I guess we're doing better, although the kids are still looking for food and drink they like. Conn made lemonade, orangeade, and cocolade (with coconut) which they liked. They don't like toddy (the sap from coconut tree) too much, so we're trying to disguise it as cocolade. Parker likes to eat the baby food prepared for Melesiata so we're not too worried about him.


  1. Wow. I love the name of Conn's book- I hope he finds time to start writing it while in Kiribati. David and Andrew say hey to their cousins (and their aunt and uncle) :)

  2. Toni and I were in the nursery at Bethany this morning. Guess which young man we missed! Kelly's daughter, Tatyana, came down after the time with children.

    Thanks for the updates from Kiribati.

    Toni and Belton