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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Well it certainly has been a few days since the last post, or at least it feels that way. Yesterday and today were both a whirl wind. We've both been busy! Where did I leave off? The video of the tortoises finally loaded after a 100 tries. I talked about grocery shopping and put up a picture of my most recent "Sam".
I never got to post that dinner picture, but that's ok- we are moving forward.
Wednesday started off nicely, I slept in a little and met with some on campus VIPs to chat and get to know each other. I walked over to West Farm with our friend John to show him the neighboring available apartment. It sounds like we will all be living next to each other which will be great! I returned to check out the 7th semester sale, where all the upper class-men who will be leaving try to sell their things to lower class-men. I didn't find anything of use to us but lots of others seemed to find things they needed. Just below the large animal pavilion where the sale was located, was the area where the market vendors set up. I did a walk through and picked up a few tomatoes, 3 cucumbers, an avocado, a starfruit, a pineapple, a hand of bananas, a string of garlic, bag of onions, a dozen eggs, and steak, all for around $20 US. That's a great deal for here.
Do you remember those caterpillars I showed you? Well there has been quite a bit of activity there. In our daily rounds of campus we regularly check the 'giant milkweed' plants to see what they are up to. Kater discovered yesterday a butterfly emerging from the chrysalis!
Upon closer inspection to the plant, we found 7+ more empty chrysalises meaning lots of hatched butterflies. Here's a few shots:

I say 7+ because it was truly hard to count them, as they were all in different spots and the breeze kept the plants moving around. They look unbelievably similar to Monarchs, however the caterpillar is somewhat different colored. I wrote about this earlier, if anyone can shed light onto this please comment to the blog or send an email- I'm curious.
Kater called me around 5pm to let me know she would be back around 6. I started prepping dinner which included cutting garlic and onions, and boiling some potatoes to mash. I had also been marinating the steak since I bought it earlier in the day. We had a delicious dinner of steak and garlic-mashed potatoes with steamed green beans and caramelized onions spread over the steak. We complimented our meal with a few slices of that amazing bread I got at the supermarket earlier in the week.
After dinner Kater returned to her studies and I got back to work on Sam. Here's my latest illustration:
I like where this is going, and our friend John (also an artist) is letting me borrow some drawing pens. One specifically in which draws a very fine line, think 50% sharper than an ultra-fine Sharpie.
We played a little cards and everyone called it a night. That takes us to Thursday (today).
I got up and left with Kater to meet Chris for some snorkeling. We stayed on campus this time and went down to the 'stairway to the sea'. If you look back in the blog you will see photos from this area. Now, the water here is much choppier so it a little more effort and concentration to get in the water. Once we were in however, it was pretty nice. Neither of us were sure that it is worth all the effort though. Lot's of neat fish, a few new colorful ones but I think we can find better places, Rocky's Cove still remains at the top of my list. When we finally decided to call it quits, we headed over to a neighborhood called 'camps' to pick up Chris's friend Bianca, another VIP. We took her to the grocery store so she could get some things. I was able to get some milk, and a few other things we had been wanting. I am happy to say I have finally found 'crazy salt'!!
We returned Bianca to her house and headed towards Chris's house in Bird Rock. He has a beautiful place high on the hill in a nice neighborhood. We let his dog Mia out and took a look around his back yard. Turns out, he has a coconut tree, a mango tree, and a citrus tree. I just have to find out what kind of citrus fruit it is but its already bearing lots of fruit. I also need to find out when mangos peak, because I will be helping myself to those as well.
Knowing as I do, how much Kater enjoys fresh coconut, I took it upon myself to get some coconuts down. The tree happens to be about 20 feet tall so I wasn't about to climb it. My first idea was to pick up some old drops, and heave them like Tom Brady in hopes that it would knock more down. This didn't work, not any of the 20-30 times I tried! Next idea, a step ladder and a large 2x4 with a pointed end. But I still came up short. After watching us struggle for a little while, and most certainly having a laugh or two over it, Chris's neighbor offered us a ladder. We graciously accepted of course, and this allowed me to get close enough to continue to act silly while trying to get coconuts. Let me tell you, those suckers are on there pretty tight! Another 20 minutes and a down pour went by and I had knocked one down! We celebrated and cheered but one wasn't enough I said, "we need MORE!" So back I went and after some more efforts and sweat, I was able to knock two more down. I was happy with three, so was Chris. I think really he was probably just tired of holding the ladder for me.
We enjoyed a soda and played with the dog for a while before deciding it was time to head back to campus to check on our girls. We got to his car to find the passenger side door would not open. So we got back to work again, trying anything and everything to access the locking mechanism inside the door. The only problem was, that to get to this mechanism, one needs to unscrew and remove the inside door panel, and do to this, one needs to have the door open. We were in a jam! We could peek through the window slot down into the door and see what needed attention, but couldn't get to it.
Time was up.
We had to get to campus so what did we do, I climbed through the window and we took off. We will get back to it tomorrow with the help of a 7th semester VIP who works on cars to make money while here on the island. Wish us luck!
When we got back to the apartment, I took out the trusty old machete and hacked into two of the three coconuts. I'm getting much better now and did the first one in 10 minutes, and the second in 7. Chris took one home with him and I chopped one up for Kater. See here the open one with the un-opened one.
It gives you a good perspective of just how much husk you need to get through to access the milk and meat of the coconut. I have to say, this one isn't quite as good as the first one we had. I will enjoy it all the same!
I've certainly had a lot of activity today, swimming, climbing, sweating, mechanic-ing, chopping, sweeping, and blogging. I think I'm in need of a shower.
Dinner is next on the list, I'm thinking a tomato and cucumber salad, pasta with a side of steamed veggies with garlic butter.

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