...Memories...

I am experiencing writers block, or maybe blog block - whatever you want to call it. I haven't had any inspiration in the past week to write ANYTHING on my blog! I don't have tons of crazy stuff going on to write about and I don't have my own little kids that I can put pictures up of and tell stories of every day like some of my dear blogging friends. I do have nanny kids, but I am only with them two and a half days a week, and I don't want to put pictures of them up because they aren't my kids. I could talk more about my past, but sometimes I just want to talk about my future or the day rather than my past.. so I have just had NO idea about what to do! So, despite my thoughts about writing about my past, I thought I might as well write about my past since that's probably the most interesting stuff to write about right now. :)

1. The Bucket Shower. 
Oh my goodness - let me tell you it is wonderful to be able to take LONG HOT showers for as long as you want and have it be hot the whole time! Now, i realize that you can run your house out of hot water, but really, you could take as long of a hot shower that you wanted and you would be sick of the water before you ran out of hot water.
In Yemli Village, we had a bucket shower. This was literally a metal bucket with a rope attached to the handle that went up to the ceiling and around some pulley system and then back down to where someone like me could grab it. Whenever I wanted to take a shower, I would heat up some water (from our rainwater filled water tank) on our little gas stove until it was boiling hot. Then, I'd pour all that water into the bucket shower and fill it up with cold water until it was the right temperature. Usually, I made it a little bit hotter because it would cool as I was bathing. After the temperature was just right, I'd yank it up to where I knew I could stand under it comfortably, but also still reach it to be able to make the water come out. Then, I'd wrap the rope around a couple perfectly place nails that we trusted with our lives and stepped into the shower.
The bucket had some holes in the bottom of it and a little screw thing underneath it. Basically, when you unscrewed that lower bit, it allowed the water to come through the holes, and when you screwed it back up again, the water would stop. I have NO idea how it really worked or the technical names, all I know is that's how I took my shower. If you want to see a picture, google image "bucket showers" and that will give you an idea. I don't want to put pictures in my blog that don't belong to me because I know I could get into BIG trouble!
So, after I got into the shower, I would unscrew the bucket and beautiful water would pour. I only let it flow until I was wet enough to get some lather in my hair and suds up my body. Then, I'd quickly turn it off, soap up and scrub my hair. After that, I'd turn the water back on, rinse my hair as best I could, then turn off the water again. Then, I'd put in my conditioner (at the time, I had hair down to my butt making conditioner something I NEEDED to use) and turn the water on again. This was always my favorite time. I would just let the water flow and flow until it was all gone. I had to make sure I was getting all the soap off, but usually I was fine. Sometimes, I'd have to finish rinsing my hair off in the sink in COLD water, but that was ok. Once the water was out, my shower was done.

2. Bug Friends
In Yemli, we were always running into bugs. I remember so many times when my mom would be folding clothes and then we'd hear a scream, run into her room and there would be a huge cricket jumping around. Apparently it had jumped out at her as she went to fold the clothes.  
Then there was the time I was sleeping soundly, and woke up to an itchy leg. I went down to scratch it, but as I was brushing my leg, I felt an object jump away. I got up right away and flipped on my light (Something we ONLY used if we NEEDED to, otherwise we always used candles or burning lamps.) Sitting at the bottom of my bed was the HUGE seethrough grasshopper with DISGUSTING mouth pinchers and hairy legs. I chased that thing around my room until it flew to the top of my bookshelf. At that point, I got my dad and he caught the little man. Finally, I was able to fall back asleep.
Then, there was the time I was putting my shirt on... I had just gotten it on, and all of a sudden I felt this movement underneath my shirt. Looking down my shirt, I saw this ugly brown cricket sitting on the inside. Let me tell you, I have never taken of a shirt quite as fast.
Because we had so many bugs, we decided to make a bug board. We collected all kinds of bugs, killed them by suffocation and then pinned them onto our board.
 One of my favorite bugs of all time. I loved these little beetles because they came in all different colors and no two were ever alike. I think we had a couple of these on our bug board, but it always made me sad when I would find one of these guys dead.
 
One day, we found this huge killer wasp and decided we wanted to put it on our board. By the way, my brother had captured this nest of live killer wasps himself because that's what you do in the village when you're bored out of your mind. Anyways, we suffocated the poor little guy and then needled him to our bug board. The next morning, I was hanging up laundry under the house and went in to marvel at our bug board. Low and behold, that killer wasp was walking around the board with a huge needle sticking out of its back!
Last story... centipedes. I have seen so many centipedes. There's the story of when my brother and I found a big black centipede that supposedly had stinging skin (as in it would sting me if I touched it) and we wanted to know if other animals could feel that sting too. So we picked it up with a leaf and threw it in a Anu Sining's web and sat down to watch the show.
 Here is an Anu Sining. He's a pretty good size, but they would definitely come bigger. On a side note, these guys were delicious cooked! Somehow, once you cooked him, he isn't poisonous anymore, or something... and we could eat him! Yum!
 
These spiders are always aggressive and pretty much eat anything you throw in there, real bugs or pieces of grass. They are probably about an inch and a half or even two inches long and about half an inch think, maybe even an inch at their largest. Anyways, we knew if anything would eat the stinging centipede, it would be the Anu Sining. As soon as the centipede hit the nest, Mr. Anu ran up and got ready to eat him, but as soon as his long legs touched the centipede, he reared back and ran back to the other corner of his nest. Well - I guess he could feel the sting too!
There are so many other stories of centipedes, but I should keep going...

3. Christmas Tree
So we always had a Christmas tree. You probably look at our tree and think that its no Christmas tree, but to us, it definitely was. We always would try to get something that looked like a real Christmas tree, but in Yemli, where pine trees don't grow, we usually didn't succeed. One year, we cut down a Kapia tree and stuck it in our bucket of dirt. It had died by the fourth day or so. So much for using that kind of tree. Through out the years, we tried all kinds of trees, and I think we finally found a tree that worked pretty well. I don't remember the name of it, but I know that our friends had to hike way back into the jungle to find it because it was rare and only grew in the deep bush.
We also decorated our trees with many different ornaments. Often, we just made our own decorations because Christmas is not something that the natives really celebrate there. And if they do, it is not at all like we grew up celebrating it. Anyways, we would make ornaments out of whatever we could find... tuna fish can labels, sticks, spam can labels, leafs, milk tin labels..  you get the point. Great memories :)

Well - I think that's enough memories for today. :) Hopefully this can keep you entertained for the next while until I come up with something else to write about. I would love to hear what you guys want to hear about - that would help me a lot!
Also - sorry for not more pictures... I just don't have a lot to choose from. My parents have most of our photos, but maybe I can get them some day and have a better group of pictures to use. Until then, a few here and there will have to do!

Avi Mu
 
Anu Sining - This is a Male word meaning "Poison Man."
Kapia - I don't really know if this is in Male or Tok Pisin or what it means, but its the name of the tree!