The other night around 4am Lulu started to kick up. She wouldn’t settle and I kept thinking- dear God, no!!! I was exhausted, Jungledad still on the volcano (but he comes back tomorrow- woot!) and my body refusing to move. Then it happened. The earth moved- for real. There are earthquakes on this island all the time due to the constant volcanic eruptions and normally I don’t even notice them. Their something we all have to live with, like the cockroaches and lizards we must battle with cats and staplers. This one was a doozy though! The bed was shaking, the windows rattling, and Lulu? She STOPPED CRYING. Miracles of miracles. The volcano goddess rocked her back to sleep. She clearly remembered that I had passed her test and decided to reward me. So thank you God and thank you goddess, Junglemom needs her sleep!
Posts Tagged ‘volcanoes’
Posted in The Joy of Twins, tagged babies waking up in the night, exhausted parents, island life, volcanoes, when earthquakes are helpful, you never know what will calm a baby on February 26, 2009 | 3 Comments »
Posted in 1, tagged babies, baby food allergies, farmer's market, fruit syrup, guava syrup, guavas, island air, island honey, New England maple syrup, orchids, papayas, pregnancy food aversions, pulling orchids like weeds, rambutans, real maple syrup, tropical, twins, vog, volcano goddress, volcanoes, wild honey on September 15, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
The honey tastes like orchids. Its divine. I bought it at the farmers market on Saturday for 5 bucks. It was the most expensive thing I bought. There are some cutesy honey sellers at the market, and I don’t go for those. No little labels with kitschy names or terrible puns for me. I like my honey in an old jar that’s dirty on top, no label, no nothing. That’s the good stuff. I found it tucked away at one of the fruit seller’s booths, near the rambutans, with a piece of torn cardboard behind it that read $5 in scribbled black magic marker. We brought the twins to the market and made out like bandits. I don’t even know how we fit all those papayas in the car.
I had a real love/hate relationship with papayas when I was pregnant with the girls. Its to be expected with a pregnant lady and a fruit that tastes like perfume. Good perfume, tasty perfume. Some days it would make me gag to even think of them and other days I’d make S fire up the waffle maker and pile my Belgium waffle to the sky with yummy pink papaya.
Back to the honey. It really does taste like orchids. Its just delicious. I can taste everything, all the flowers and fruits and smells. Island honey, island bees. The problem with commercial honey is not that it tastes bad, it doesn’t. The problem is that it all tastes the same, its too…..controlled, like it was made by robot bees. There’s nothing to identify. Certainly no orchids.
I’ve been here over a year, but there are some things I will never get used to. One of them is orchids. Where I come from, people put orchids under glass half spheres like cakes. They display them like fine art in temperature controlled rooms, whispering when they walk by so as not to upset them. They leave them to relatives in their wills and aunts claw at each other over them like cats over tuna. Here, they pull them out of the ground like weeds. They are weeds. They grow everywhere. Everywhere. There’s nothing precious about them.
I’m precious about my maple syrup. We shipped gallons and gallons with our possessions when we moved to this island. We bought it at a farm stand in Maine. Once you start using the real stuff you just can’t stomach that Aunt Jemima crap. Now its all run out and we’re devastated and constantly plotting our next trip to New England and how much we can take back with us.
S took the girls for a walk the other day and brought back loads of strawberry guavas. He boiled them into a syrup and we had it with our pancakes. It was yummy but now its all gone and I’m pre-occupied with how we’ll get more maple syrup.
Poor Mumu has a terrible rash. Its strange, she did fine with rice cereal, oatmeal, papaya, banana, avocado, applesauce, etc, but organic apple juice really put her over the edge. It must have been more acidic than she could handle. I put it in her oatmeal last night, and she was broken out by morning. She’s uncomfortable and clingy. Poor little pineapple.
I want to take them for a walk, but the vog has rolled in so thick and heavy I can’t see two feet in front of me. I hate the vog. Everyone does. It looks like fog but its not. Its surfurous fumes from the volcano. Normally its all blown away by the tradewinds, but if the tradewinds die down for any reason and can’t carry it off we’re stuck with it. Its a bit ironic. The air on this island and pretty much the cleanest in the world. Literally. No smog, no pollution, we are industry free and out in the middle of nowhere. Except. Except when the winds dies down and there’s vog. Then the air must be the worst in the world. The volcano goddess was merciful to me when I brought my preemie twins home. There wasn’t vog for months and months, thank God. Their little lungs. Now its back to inconvenience me.
I’m writing long entries these days. I guess its because I’m just bopping along, stream of consciousness style, not really reading what I’m putting down or trying to tie it together. Maybe its laziness, but it seems more fun this way.
Posted in 1, tagged babies, delicious smell elusive smell, green hills, jungle smells, jungle vegetation, ocean smell, subsistance farming, tropical smells, tropics, tropics landscape, twins, volcanoes on September 9, 2008 | Leave a Comment »
There was the most delicious smell in the air yesterday, and I don’t know what it was. I walked down my road past the goats, sheep, ducks, huge frogs in a little pond, avocado trees, banana trees, towering row of palms, and turned left after the eucalyptus grove on to a dirt path. I followed the path past the friendly cows, with horns and without (a lot a subsistence farming goes on in the jungle, if you haven’t already figured that out) that sometimes come over to say hello and check out the twins. They have shiny light brown or black coats and big soulful eyes and in the midday sun they rest in the shade near the scarecrow and look at me like I’ve crazy for being out. The dirt path is at an incline that Jungledad whines about sometimes but I don’t mind at all. For some reason that incline bothers him where the other, steeper hills do not. The hill I bitch about is a real 90 degree killer that comes much later in the walk.
Anyhoo, just past the heifers I took a left, starting up a steep but brief hill on a smooth path. After just a little way I could see tall hills all around, covered in bright green jungle vegetation. The view kind of reminds me of Macchu Picchu, minus the ruins. The hills, mountains, and volcanoes are such a weird curvy shape on top, kind of lumpy like dough that’s just fallen off a wooden spoon. The vegetation on those hills has quite a structure. Is so dense, so large there are no spaces anywhere, no bald spots. The green on the trees is billowy like clouds, like cotton balls. It makes the mountains look much more 3 dimensional, like they’re one big breathing creature. They’d be insanely hard to paint. I don’t know how I’d paint them without them looking crazy.
The exception is the smoking volcano. The view is excellent from that particular hill, boy that thing is smokin! It does have a bald head and I’m assuming all the sulfurous fumes have something to do with it. The other exception is the bloody great volcano that takes up most of the island. Its so tall that when I fly to other islands the planes fly below its summit. No trees up there! No lava either though- very dormant, or so we hope. That’s where Jungledad disappears to for a week or so each month. Despite its gargantuan size it usually stays hidden from view during our walks. There always see to be clouds thataway, and always clear the other way, toward the ocean. The hill comes to a point, then starts to go down very steeply. There are beautiful sweeping views of the ocean and town below from the slope of the hill, and that’s where I smelled the amazing smell, and I still don’t know what it was. It was like the most delicious food I’ve ever tasted, but I don’t think it was food, or anything like food. I don’t know what it was. It must have been some strange tropical jungle smell I hadn’t encountered before, and I’m having a really hard time describing it. It was one of those scents you can’t ignore, like how a strawberry field smells when the fruit starts bursting and you can’t stop tasting the air and wondering if the actual berry could taste anywhere near as good as it smells. It was that kind of smell, but it wasn’t strawberries, or thimbleberries, or rumbutans or any other kind of berry like thing that grows here. It was deeper, bolder, like it wasn’t on the air, it was the air. Like how the Atlantic smells in a harbor town on the right kind of morning, when the seaweed and fish and car exhaust aren’t confusing everything and all you can really smell the ocean and sand as they are, and the scent is clean and beautiful and timeless in a way that makes you think you could just slip back into the fog twenty years to when you played on the shore with your plastic pail and shovel digging holes the tide always filled right away and prying snails off the granite sides of tidal pools. Like that. That type of smell.