Should've Called This One "Parties"--Week 46
Ka oha nui from the Marquesas - the land where the month of July is beginning, and thus begins the fall of missionary stats.
This week was a decided improvement over last week, and certainly went by lots faster.
On Tuesday we did a bit of home teaching, and saw the Gendrons again finally. Tehani (their daughter) was back in town for summer vacation and was able to dance with us that weekend (her parents had to head to Tahiti, so they couldn't be in our group).
On Wednesday we had one lesson of the four we got this week (eesh).
On Thusday is when the party really got started. For you see, a traditional Marquesian oven does not DIG itself. We spent like the entire day cutting the grass (we don't have lawnmowers here, so you cut the grass with oversized and rather dangerous weedwackers and then rake up the clippings), cleaning up the chapel, digging this crazy pit, grabbing our wood for the fire (miraculously dry even in all of the rain), and grabbing our volcanic rocks that we'd heat up to cook stuff (if they're not volcanic, they don't have holes in them and they don't breathe, thusly they'll explode).
On Friday we had to finish making our costumes, and Frere Maraiti showed us how to make po'e. And we raked up a bunch of leaves and burned them at Soeur Richard's house. We danced this night too, and were, in my opinion, the best group with the coolest costumes. AND WE HAD INVESTIGATORS THERE! Finally, after inviting Catherine and Suzanne and her family to so many activities and firesides and to church, it took Elder Davis and I doing a bird dance to get them there. But at least it finally worked! I was overjoyed, and I hope we can get them to come to church next.
On Saturday, we were supposed to start doing the oven at 3:00 am, that way it could be ready at 12. Elder Davis and I were planning on getting there at 5:30 after they'd heated up the rocks so that we could see how to cook the food. Unfortunately we didn't even get started until like after 6, but we did it all in record time, and we fortunately had food at 1:00 in the afternoon. And when I say food, I mean FOOD. Pork, goat, poisson cru, octopus, fafa (spinach), po'e, me'i, of course fafaru, and lots of other stuff I'm probably forgetting. There was way too much food. Especially for the number of people we had. Then that night we went to the first party of the month for the town (they seriously built new building just for this month of parties). We saw this really big group dance in all the traditional garb with all the weapons and, frankly, we saw how one should probably do the bird dance.
And then on Sunday we had a really nice fast and testimony meeting. It was really pleasant. Although the fast just about killed me this month. Not sure why, but it did.
So that was my week. Hope everybody enjoys all these pictures.
Tumu Hakako Harrah
-our dance group. The Maraitis (Romea, his wife Angelique, and their boy Mataoteia (I don't even think I spelled that right)) and Tehani Gendron. Mataoteia was the real deal man. We were just posing.
-broing it pretty hard
-the after party
How to Make a Marquisian Oven
So you want to make a traditional Marquisian oven? Well today you're going to learn how in just... well okay in a lot of steps. Over the course of like three days.
1. Dig a giant bloody hole (pick-axe required). It helps if some people watches the Portugal/Poland match while you're doing it.
2. Days later, and with your wood and volcanic rocks ready, begin heating them up.
3. This is going to take hours, so prep your food in the meantime.
4. Use banana-leaf baskets to cook your bananas and your squash, and don't be afraid to use a cooler as a bowl/pot.
5. At this point your fire should be getting really hot. Too hot, in fact. Take the flaming wood out and get it to the point where it's just the hot rocks.
6. But it's still too hot! Take the trunks of banana trees (as they're like 80% water) and get them into strips so you can set them on the rocks to cool them down7. Now get your food that you've prepared and put it on your metal grate-thing.