We've been here three weeks now and are settling into a rhythm in our new setting. Sunday afternoon finds us at Coffee's of Hawaii - a small coffee plantation with a coffee shop and a big covered deck area where a Sunday afternoon family concert is held each week. A lovely group of local folks play their beautiful Hawaiian instruments, some of them dance hula, and lots of people in the audience play along on their own ukulele's. It's good, clean fun and always entertaining. In just three weeks we already know many of the regulars and many of them know us by name. It feels like we're part of the family already.
The audience... you can see many folks playing their ukes.
DJ and Aunty Julia dancing the hula. I've just started learning to hula dance with DJ and a group of amazing women!
All the ukulele players in the crowd go up and play a song with the band. Soon I'll be up there with them...this past week I started taking ukulele lessons twice a week.
The kids drawing with a new friend who was visiting for the week. It's a great place to meet people and lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
Zara and Bella were really excited about Halloween this year and weren't going to let it go by without celebrating somehow! Thor was excited before hand, but when it came right down to it, he wasn't so keen, so we left him home with John while the girls and I went into town for a costume party on the lawn in front of the library.
Ready to go... Bella was a purple fairy and Zara was a Spanish Dancer. This photo doesn't show her HIGH heels that she tromped around in all week practicing for the day, or the big red flower in her hair.
Bella with our new friends at the library. YAY! We have new friends! A lovely young family from Portland, Oregon who have been here for almost 1 1/2 years. This is Melodie with her 3 sweet kids. They live just 2 miles down the road from us and are homeschooling their oldest too. We look forward to lots of time and adventures together!
Bella and Eyeris (dressed up here as a Rainbow Goddess) are becoming fast friends! The kids all enjoyed watching the costume contest and taking in the festivities. There were some very creative costumes! The people here love to celebrate Halloween. Well, I think they are always happy for a reason to get together and celebrate, but Halloween is BIG here! After the costume festivities we headed up into one of the neighborhoods above the town and did some trick-or-treating. The houses were decorated and everyone was out celebrating. They set up little candy stations in their driveway and lots of potlucks and barbeques were going on. It was a big, neighborhood party! We just went up and down one street then called it good and headed for home. On the way home we saw 5 deer, an owl and lots of toads on the road!
There are all sorts of critters here that we're trying to get used to and just accept as part of living in a tropical climate. Some are creepier than others! Thankfully, none are poisonous or lethal.
This gorgeous praying mantis was hanging out in one of our lime trees on the front patio. John found it while pruning the tree. Otherwise we probably would never have known it was there. Look how it blends in!
This scorpion was in our kitchen sink on the bottom of a sponge. I picked up the sponge to wipe something off and felt it move! Luckily I dropped it before it could sting me. Apparently they have a fairly mild sting.
And this big centipede is the one that scares us the most! It has a very strong sting... like a wasp but it leaves 2 little bite marks were it gets you. We have to watch for these when walking outside at night as that's when they come out. On Sunday night we had our new friends over for a pizza party and we didn't shut our big sliding doors until after dark. The next morning we found 3 of these centipedes in the house. They must have wondered in while the doors were open. We will definitely be more aware of closing the doors before dark from now on!
I've been thinking, as we've been settling in, that there is a trade off or a cost to everything we do or every choice we make. We have chosen to live on this tropical island for the winter where the air is warm, we have amazing fresh tropical fruit at our fingertips, lovely beaches to explore, windows open year round, a garden year round.... lots of lovely things about it. The trade off is a wind that never stops blowing red dust around, more isolation than we're used to, gecko poo all over the house, other creepy crawlies that skulk around in the night, limited provisions available on the island.... there are always trade offs. I guess it's a matter of accepting that and focusing on the positive. There are so many amazing things about living here that the negative things about it are not such a big deal. It takes time to get used to a new culture and just a different way of life, but we're getting there!