Hi everybody on the Blind Copy line!
Today is Sunday morning, over in this part of the World - and here I am on the front porch of my family's home.
This morning my mother, my brother and his wife, hope in their little boat and head over the water to the little Island of Ifira to join the local Bahá'í community for their morning activities. Meanwhile I'll head off into the big city (Ha!) and meet up with my niece and her significant other and buy some food for my Mum's Birthday party this evening. Actually I just noticed that my mum is in this photo, standing way at the back by the living room door - but I'll send you a better photo after we've taken her to the beauty salon for her birthday treat. She is O.K. but my niece and I both notice a greater loss of the ability to articulate some things. However she listens to our conversations and laughs at the right places so she is still seems to be more there than not.
Some images from around the Homestead:
The "A"frame on the property where i stayed most of the time, and the view from the front yard
Hi sweetie. (no Bc on this one)
We are sitting here on the front porch playing with the computers, while Zina does Mum's nails and feet, then she'll be cutting her hair. Zina has such a lovely way of relating to Mum - who at the moment is practically falling asleep under Zina's ministrations - Tony is reading a book - the Zeplin one, Lieth is copying a power point presentation that Zina made of Penny's visit to Brisbane to the hard drive of Easury's computer so she can work on it some more.
I don't remember ever having such a lazy day here - usually its a mad scramble from one activity to another! Only Easuary has headed off to the office of the Car Rentals to catch up on a bit of office work.
The little laptop is working well. Since there is a phone here at the house, I can work off line, then plug the phone line in, click on send/receive and it immediately goes on line and uploads and downloads. ...
I just spend half an hour soaking in the water at the beach under the shade of a little tree. Now a fairly decent breeze has developed, so it's actually quite pleasant.
Infact the last two days has been a lot more pleasant in every respect than I imagined. Mum doesn't seem that much worse - She seems to just accept that I'm here - not that I can be really sure that she knows who I am.
So some pictures taken in the last hour between 1 and 1.30m pm this afternoon.
Zina Deamer - Mum's first Grandaughter doing a Manicure
Zina doing the Haircut
Tony Reading while Zina's "signigicant other", Leif hits the keyboard
So the Birthday went quite well. The up-side of memory loss is that Mum can keep opening her presents and getting a surprise.
In the two pictures under it is Zina - her first 23 yr old Granddaughter that Mum raised from a small child - who is helping Mum cut the cake. Zina ended up doing the entire beauty treatment - cutting the hair and the manicure/pedicure. Did a good job too - except that the hose she was using to wash her hair with escaped and they both got soaked and had to change clothes. We figure that if she can master "Control of Washing Hose 101" then she should have a good back up profession if the environmental engineering jobs run out! <grin>.
Penny, Mum's second, 15 yr old Granddaughter is away in the Solomon Island but comes back on Thursday. I'm interested to see see how she and Mum relate, because I understand that is pretty wonderful too. I used to worry that Mum's was Zina's "plaything" in that she would tease and make jokes with Mum in a way that my brother and I never did - but Mum responds and laughs and seems happy. - so I curious to see how the relationship is with the younger granddaughter.
Underneath is my brother, my mother and my brother's wife in the family water transport. They were heading out to the Island sitting low in the background behind the yellow boat. It doesn't look like an island in this photo, but the beach on the left comes to an end a spit of land, then there is a narrow channel, then Ifira Island. The are part of the Ifira Island community as the land they live on belongs customarily, and now legally to the islanders because it is where the islanders used to have many of their gardens etc.
Well enough for now - think I'll go and fire up the coconut oil powered small Volvo I've been given to drive and take mum into town for a cup of tea and a french pastry! Yum..
I'm just spending the first week or so observing the family relationships. Nothing worse than having "experts" drop in and give out orders and recommendations without finding out the reality on the ground - as many of us know all too well..
I'll just add some more pictures so you can see what we are doing..
That Was Zina's last Lunch at the Rossi last Monday! She treated herself to the Sea-food platter.
Mum and Zina on the beach chairs at La Meridian Hotel beach, after Robin had taken us all out on a little Hobby cat..
Best wishes for Pickleweed tonight..
Thought you might be interested to read Robin's report on last Sunday's flight from Santo to Vila! (which he was piloting.)
------ Forwarded Message
From: Bryn Deamer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 11 Feb 2004 10:10:08 +1100
To: Robin Deamer <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Diversion of Flight 009 to Norsup 07/02/04
To: Captain Andrew Smith,
Director of Operations,
RE: Diversion of Flight 009 to Norsup 07/02/04
It was my T/O from Santo RWY 12 at 1740 local in initially light rain, which then became quite heavy after Capt. Toara Karie called VR, positive rate of climb, 10 deg on the AH, through 600ft I called flaps up then shortly after set climb power. By this time we were in cloud, very heavy rain with lightening all around us, and the igniters were selected on by Cat. Toara Karie just as we entered heavy rain.
All station departure call was made on 118.1 and as Capt. Toara Karie was about to make a departure call on 6553 we suddenly lost power on what seemed like both engines as there was no Yaw effect experienced. The aircraft was being so bounced around by weather that my concentration was more focused on keeping the aircraft straight and level an maintaining 1,300ft from when power loss happened. No. 2 torque was reading 0, no.2 fuel flow fluctuating up to around 60 pph and the right hand no.1 and no.2 caution lights flickering on and off.
Before proceeding with the phase ones of right hand engine, torque 0, T5 and NG were all within parameters. All of a sudden the right hand engine surged, followed by the left hand engine surging, then they resumed normal operation. During all of this time we decided that Santo was not an option due to closing weather and chose Norsup as a diversion as it was all in the clear as we flew past on the way to Santo earlier.
With both engines back to normal, I set aircraft climbing on 150deg in the direction of Norsup. All radio calls were made of our intention and during the climb engine all gauges except torque and fuel flow on no.2 were showing normal indications. We then decided after 10 or so of normal flying to continue to Vila so again radio calls were made of our revised intention. I set 143deg in the cruise maintaining 10,000 ft. All seemed normal apart from the torque gauge reading 0 and the fuel flow fluctuating on no.2.
Then at 44 DME Santo, no.1 engine lost power so we sent through the phase 1 to shut it down, no.1 power lever to idle, no.1 prop lever as it was being brought back to feather the no.1 engine surged to a little over 50 psi.
Then we had right hand caution lights flicking on and off with fuel flow fluctuating 60 pph. We decided with all the abnormal indications on no.2 engine that Norsup was our firm destination. So with both power levers to idle a normal rate of decent was established. We slowly lost height to land straight in runway 31, Norsup.
As we approached the runway power on both engines came back back to normal and the flaps 20deg landing was made.
So I believe our decision to land at Norsup was the correct thing to do, faced with our the haphazard power loss on both engine. Even though the beta-back-up CB was pulled on our decent, we still had the partial power loss on the right hand engine caused by the fuel flow fluctuation. It should be noted that Capt. Toara Karie had written up this defect in the tech log a couple of days earlier and also noted the torque gauge fluctuation on the right hand engine.
All 21 passengers were accommodated at Lakatoro Trading Centre guest house. We sorted out food bags for each room. There we no complaints from the passengers as they were all happy to be back on the ground.
Again I believe that Norsup was the safest option.
Thought you might like to see some photos of the local community. This was a one day conference of the Efate Island Area Bahá'ís getting together to discuss their plans for the next 3 months. some 70 to 80 people attended.
This is the majority of the 70 or 80 people who attended, and that is my Mum in the bottom right hand corner. It's intriguing to me that she seems to quite happily sit through talks, workshops, etc, even though she cannot tell us if she has a clue of what is going on. ...
This is a "break-out group" posing and answering questions on a document issued from the Bahá'í World Centre in Haifa (where I used to work) that reflects on the world-wide Bahá'í community and how it is developing and serving the wider community
This is my brother, his wife Easuary and his daughter, Penny, consulting with their community of Ifira Island as part of the afternoon session of establishing goals regarding the holding of children's classes, study courses and public devotional meetings and informational meetings for the next 3 months.
It's one of the very sweet things about the Bahá'í Faith is that it works at a grass-roots level around the world under the general guidance of its elected administrative head in Haifa. There is no one absolute right way of enacting the principles of the Faith, each local community does its best to apply the teachings on personal and community life in the way that is most applicable to them. In our travels through the Pacific, South East Asia, East Africa, Outer Mongolia, Russia, the U.K., Germany, Canada, and the USA we have taken part in community activities all aimed at raising the conciousness of the world to the fact that we are indeed living on one planet - and need to develop a just and equitable way of living together - "Thinking Globally, Acting Locally".
I might have mentioned that the fish pond had been dried out, relined and then the rain refilled it. The sealant turns a lovely light blue and makes it look like a little swimming pool - so we all went in it today while the water is still clean!
Robin and his girlfriend Felicity came around at at noon, to visit before she returned to Noumea at 3pm. So I treated them all to Lunch. .
Monday - A young Bahá'í from Australia who has been here for 3 months returned from Tanna on Sunday and came to stay with us last night - so I let him use the computer for email, and didn't finish editing the photo and sending this message.
Tony wanted to get the Range Rover cleaned out by the cleaning team, so for a couple of hours it looked like I'd have no wheels, so I went into the office, got Kareb the rental manager to fill out a contract and I "rented" the Black Turbo-charged, two-door, air-conditioned Chrysler LeBaron which they just got back together with the head-gasket that I bought out with me from Santa Rosa for my last three days. (Actually, I won't have to pay because Easuary says she just wont submit the charge card.) This is a picture of the car - I took mum out for a drive to the otherside of the island in it.
Robin is hoping to get me a industry rate ticket to just to fly with him on Vanair when he goes to the Shepard islands and other points North on Wednesday so that might be one other little bit of fun to have....
Well enough for now! must get this sent off.
Well so much for the tropical paradise!
This is reminiscent of living in a Safe room in Israel during the first gulf war- except that the noise is constant! We've shut all the cyclone screen on the house which has been through a couple of very bad cyclones before, so it should be fine in this one...
This is outside the house a couple of minutes ago - with the little A frame off to the left. I had packed up yesterday, so I brought everything into the main house and slept on the couch last night.
Tony had tied the aircraft down yesterday, but we went out this morning to check on it - the wind has strengthened considerably since then, so he'll go out and check it again..
A few of the weaker trees are falling down - this was on the road near the Bahá'í Centre yesterday afternoon before the wind got as strong as it is right now.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers...
Some more pictures from the eye of the storm.
OOPS - I hope this customer likes Bananas! This Volvo is at the family workshop. We left the Banana tree on the car as protection against flying debri - well that was our excuse anyway!
Hmm - we thought we'd got out and check on the family farm - but guess we have to wait until the river goes down. The bridge is just next to the lampost in the centre of the photo. Normall the water is 3-4 meters BELOW the bridge...
The photo under shows the road that we had already passed through to get to the bridge above... This was on the way back - we were driving the Coco-diesel powered Ranger Rover, but even so the water started coming in under the doors....
It's now 7.10 pm on Thursday 26th and the eye of the cyclone appears to have just passed over us. We had a wonderfully calm hour or so for dinner, and now the wind is coming from the other way. However, this time, the mountain appears to be sheltering us somewhat so the wind is not as strong.
Two Taiwanese fishing vessels sunk at the wharf just up the track from us...
Good thing this is just a pretty mild cyclone... We wouldn't want a big one.
We have no power, but the phone lines are still working, so I hope this goes...
P.S. Happy Ayyám-i Ha to all the Bahá'ís reading this!
This House blew down during the night after I sent my last email. We had given the family permission to move into the A frame which they did at 10pm - their home exploded 10 minutes later.
And finally a before and after shot of the jungle behind our house showing how the leaves were stripped off by the cyclone.
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