Haiku, how about you?

I love to write, and do a lot of it.  Sometimes though, I’m too tired at the end of the day to write, or my thoughts are much too verbose.  I decided to write one haiku before bed every night, so that I can take a little time to think through the day, and also one day look back and remember my time here!  They’re no magnum opus, just brief, sometimes wistful, often silly, reflections from every day life here 🙂

They begin with the day that I left Suva for Koro Island…

November

10: Long ride to Koro
Roaches, fleas, cat pee, sweat, crumbs
At least I packed snacks

11: Tin house with a view
No electric, bed or stove
But I hear the sea!

12: I already ate…
and he’s not my tavale.
Next time: be cheeky.

13: Solo sunset plans
Funeral feast by the sea
“Come back with a knife!”

14: Vinegar cures fleas?
My cat smells like a salad.
Pickled fleas, clean fur.

15: Waitui, beyond that
wasawasa. Precious sea-
eternal, sacred.

16: Isa! Out of gas?
Your health is my health is ours
Mai kana my child

17: Peace corps morning run
Left with nothing, back with new
friends, full hands and heart

18: Village life begins
Gather, scrape, squeeze coconut
Much to learn to live

19: Tell time in mangos
Three past breakfast, 2 ’til lunch
Savor abundance

20: It takes a village
A labor of love to raise
Crops, children, spirit

21: Nature provides all
A straw hat for my garden
Enough rain to grow

22: Somewhere in between
How can I explain some things
Will never translate

23: There is a closeness
Connection that spans oceans
I carry your heart

24: Flu like symptoms, check.
Tropical illness descends…
Should I write my will?

25: Sick beyond belief
Waves of chills, tides of fever
Bright white and darkness

26: Exhausted and drained
Cool head cloth and tea from Na
Not to heal alone

27: Celebrate family
Thankful for all they give me
Even when they can’t
(Thanksgiving Day)

28: Your voice on the line
I’ve never left, I’ve returned
Love bends time and space

29: Snuck away to the beach
Hammock sways and sea sparkles
Solitude at last

30: How could I forget
The remedy to lonely?
Just say yes to tea!

December

1: Chickens are assholes
Sworn enemies of gardens
And of sleeping in

2: How funny it is
Lunch with a friend is plenty
To make a heart glad

3: Get used to this walk
Quiet afternoons chatting
Dreaming of two years

4: Not quite a law, but…
Keep your pigs out of gardens
That one’s good as dead

5: Can’t be Christmas yet
Holiday party outside
Feels like make believe

6: Rain rain come play
I could have you every day
Garden’s growing- yay!

7: Moonlight crab hunting
Feel connected to nature
This meal I deserve

8: No running water
Too much rain today, they say-
I just don’t get it!

9: Busy day at work
Took a nap, cooked crabs for staff
Barely time for tea!

10: Hard to get some rest
The village that never sleeps
Bats sing ’til daylight

11: Many chores to do:
Laundry, garden, fix the fence…
Where’s my stunt double?

12: Battery dying
Type quick! Send one more email!
“All is well, I’m…” dead.

13: Soapy basins full
Dead pig and fish bones
Laughing while I wash

14: Bats laugh through the night
They must think us sleeping fools
Cool breeze, moonlight bliss

15: My sanctuary
Candle light and yoga mat
Here, I’m anywhere

16: Tropical Christmas
The stars our decorations
Mango tree carols

17: Writing postcards home
Praying that they make it there
Pieces of my heart

18: Ride to town today!
Before lunch, now after lunch…
Maybe tomorrow?

19: Peace Corps adjustments
Pant size and expectations
Only count on change

20:  Sasamaki day
Christmas time preparations
Tin roof to mat floor

21: First day of Winter
Just starting to get hot here
Missing snow and scarves

22: Sometimes all I want
Is to know what’s so funny
i’m guessing it’s me?

23: Easy day at work
Banana bread bonding time
Full bellies and grins

24: Low key Christmas Eve
If Santa came to Fiji
I’d ask for a ride

25: Choir sings, pigs squeal
White dress for morning service
I guess it’s Christmas!

26: Post Christmas rest day
Me, my hammock and a book
Good try, here come kids!

27: Can’t fish in the rain
Always rains on fishing day
Poor, hungry kitty

28: Ready for a break
Off to the city I go
Bring on the ice cubes!

31: Ferris wheel turning
Rising above the city
Landing in New Year

January

1: Last year I began
I belong to Fiji now
Until next year comes

2: Soak up the city
Iced cubes, iced cream, iced coffee
Electricity!

3: Seaside beer and tarts
Happy hour treats half price
Double the happy!

…vacation 🙂

12: At the wharf on time
That will cost me six hours
Fiji time patience

13: Distance makes the heart
Gain perspective and reflect
Appreciation

14: Who’s eating tonight?
Plenty uto and moli
Cat can have the fish

15: Three am cat fight
Under my bed sharp shrieks
How did he get in?!

16: The village gathers
Tin roof raised, pots over fires
Beautiful motion

17: Our common culture
Confirms my identity
On days like today

18: Living room picnic
Kids, crumbs, books cover the floor
Questions and laughter

19: One day not enough
To recognize Dr. King
Learn from him and act

20: Let’s not play dumb here:
I know you know what that is…
And you can’t have it!

21:  Taking the census
Much patience and mental math
Porch chats and guessing

22: Failed radish attempt
Won’t let the greens go to waste
Prickly delicious!

23: Celebration time
Pots of food, tanoa full
Save room for kava!

24: First fishing attempt
Head wrap on, bait on my neck
Waist deep in the sea

25: Church service struggles
Please, not one more minister!!
Quick nap while we pray…

26: Dead man on the floor
Casually wrapped in mats
Death is that simple

27: Grogging and eating
Await the final goodbye
The living gather

28: The golden rule is
If they can’t see me today
Then I can’t see them

29: Dog in my compost
Hermit crabs in my shower
Ants everywhere else

30: Moonlight star gazing
Pacific melodies play
My kind of party

31: Dua na kemu
What’s mine is what’s yours my friend
It comes back around

February

1: Mold on my walnuts
Vinegar and sun it is
I WILL salvage them!

2: Growing more at home
Vudi tree and I take root
Grow strong together

3: Morning foraging
Closer to nature, aware
Thank you for sharing

—- Training Break in Suva —-

25: Plane engine troubles
Can a plane be fixed that fast?
I’m happy to wait!

26: This time feels different
“I’m home” comes out, unscripted.
Familiar faces

27: Introduce myself
Meeting a formality
Accepted through grog

28: Little world expands
Explore new heights, paths and sights
More liberated

March

1: Nearly blind to ants
On every surface like paint
I raise my white flag

2: We caka voivoi
In the vunibaka’s shade
Past juice and a stack!

3: I MUST clean today
Evict the ants, frogs, spiders
Let’s do this sasa!

4: You want a song NOW?
You know that one already?
Portuguese it is!

5: Line? Check. Goggles? Check.
Hours feel like minutes here.
You WILL be mine, fish!

6: Day trip to Nasau
Watch and cheer with my village
Proud of our students

7: Unavoidable
Heat lingers, even in shade
Too much work to move

8: Searching for my cat
Village to village we go
Found him looking plump!

9: Won’t do your homework
Stop copying, start thinking
Let’s learn together

10: Presenting today
Small fears quickly fade away
Surprising myself

11: Woke feeling refreshed
Cool breeze, what a lovely day
Wait…it’s my birthday!

12: Tea time indulging
Still my birthday back at home
Pass the sweets my way!

13: Community health
Wellness is a team effort
Guide and empower

14: Rain please come to stay
You do not come enough days
Peace in the village

15: Week’s end, start anew
Day of rest has grown on me
Time to pause and be

16: Is it still clean if
ants are in it and on it?
Yupp, still eating it.

17: Have what’s left of mine
Why cook when we can just share
As you have shown me

18: Belated birthday
Students homemade gifts and songs
I think they like me!

19: I’m a bit chilly…
I must be dreaming of home
Come on cold season!

20: Choose your adventure
Be inflexible or free
But you can’t be both

21: Saturday house work
means no rest and lunch at four
Where’d this mess come from?!

22: Bag fills as I walk
Stop at each fruit tree and vine
Sweet satisfaction

23: Got pumpkin to use
Oatmeal, bread, chili, cookies
Cook a ton, share more!

24: So full I can’t breath…
Must tea be RIGHT after lunch?
Oi lei and now grog?!

25: Always moving times
Have patience, be flexible
Happens when it should

26: Went looking for mail
But found good conversation
Just what I needed

27: Days getting busy
Part villager, teacher, nurse
And more roles to come!

28: Laundry done early
Day as free as the blowing breeze
Stroll ’til fun finds me

29: Is this wholemeal bread?
Healthy tea options exist!
Now let’s do this more

30: Tsunami warning?
Strong currents and choppy seas
…great day for fishing!

31: Growing peace of mind
Cultivate serenity
Found in my garden

April

1: Share culture, share laughs
April fools pranks count as work
That’s work I can do!

2: Sprawled across the floor
Women’s chatter my music
Glad just to listen

3: It’s a good Friday
Reasons not quite biblical
Like pancakes and rain

4: Little visitors
Tumble in and out the door
Bring fruit and stories

5: Seems to be the trend
Holidays don’t feel the same
Then again, should they?

6: Family Easter calls
Save minutes for holidays
Voices take me home

7: House work is hard work
Started when the sun came up
Is it setting now?!

— Training Break on Viti Levu —

May

13: Home comes in to view
Layers of hills, sea glowing
Back to the good life

14: “You’ve been gone too long!
Each week we watched for your boat.
This village is your home.”

15: You just don’t get it…
You want to say what? to who?
You’re no savior, friend.

16: Kids run the village
Mom’s fishing and dad’s farming
Such freedom to live

17: Sunday lolo buns
Fresh picked bananas on top
Best day of the week!

18: Tropical fruit fest
A new “moli” each day
Citrus connoisseur

19: This is how it works:
I’ll trade you this chocolate for
that avocado

20: A kind of mirror
Watch yourself- you’ve learned much, yes
Yet much more to come

21: Work with what I’ve got
Poster tape-laminated
Framed with broken sticks

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