Mud and Candy (by Elizabeth)

Mud and Candy
By: Elizabeth

You are probably wondering what's going on and what we are doing down here in Fiji, so I will tell you everything!  A few days ago Mom, Dad, Michael, and I got dressed in our skirt like Sulus and our short sleeved Chumbas for the Sevu-Sevu ceremony of welcome.  We had to do this on Halloween night because Dad wanted to get it over with.  As we dinghy closer to shore I see the women fishing with nets in knee deep water and the 16-20 foot Long Boats tied up to the cement dock.  Everything seems fine.  Except the fact that it is low tide and there are yards and yards of one foot deep black mud but it looks like it is a centimeter deep from the top!  The dinghy engine touches the bottom so Dad lifts it up out of the muddy water.  He then hops out and starts pulling us closer.  He says, " This mud is up to my shins!".  But we think that he is just joking until Michael gets in.  Mom and I crack up laughing when Michael sinks in almost up to his knees in mud!  But we didn't think it was that funny when we tried.  My feet were hardly movable at my first step!  It took us all about 30 minutes to get to shore.

Thankfully there was a nice little faucet, so we didn't have to walk into the village with mud up our legs!  Finally we slipped on our flip-flops.  We met a Japanese man who led us down the sliver of cement used as a side walk to the kava drinking house.  When we did the Sevu-Sevu in other villages, we would go to the Chief's hut give him the kava (dried roots that will be pounded into powder and soaked in water for special occasions )and then he would bless it and then say we are welcome.  This was ceremony was different.  

Instead of going to the Chief's hut we went to the community hut.  Most of the local men from this village had been in the hut drinking kava early in the morning.  If you drink too much of it you get tired and your skin dries out.  We had gotten there a couple hours after lunch so everyone was pretty tired!  They could hardly keep their eyes open or even talk.  Mom had to lean forward to hear them!  They served low tide, high tide, and tsunami.  After Mom and Dad both had two or three low tides we went to explore the village.  We went and hiked up the steep hill that led us to some houses and to the church.

On the way up I saw a small bee, and then more, and more, and then I saw it ...the hive!  It was buzzing with hundreds of bees on a house!  I thought, " I would definitely not want to live in that house.  There is no way!".  Mom told us to walk calmly, because (I think) the bees can sense emotions and will get their stingers ready when they sense fear.  After Mom talked to two or three local people we walked back to the dingy through the deep, slimy, black mud.  Unluckily it was higher tide so we had to wade through the murky water with out seeing where we put our feet.

Eventually, we motored back to Field Trip and started planning what to do for Halloween.  Since we had been outside of civilization for months now, Mom couldn't get candy, so we used the candy Mom bought for the kids we would meet at the islands.  Mom was deciding whether or not to use our only pumpkin for a jack-o-lantern, but finally decided, yes, she would sacrifice it.  Mom told us the plan,”1. we will make  caramel sauce for dipping our last apples, 2. we will carve the pumpkin, 3. we will get dressed up in what ever we can find, 4. we will go trick-or-treating, and then 5. watch Frankenweenie in my bed.”  We were sooooooooo excited! This was going to be the best Halloween EVER!

After Mom made simple pesto pasta, Michael and I helped her find the caramel sauce recipe in the cook book.  When we found it, we gathered all of the ingredients and put them into the pot.  When it boiled in the pot we needed to leave it for five or ten minutes.  While Mom finished up the caramel we moved on to carving the first pumpkin on board Field Trip with Dad.  We drew faces on paper so we can choose what to carve.  We all agreed on triangle eyes, a triangle nose, and a five-toothed smile.  We first drew the eyes, nose, and mouth with a red ink pen.  Dad then got a sharp knife and started cutting out the top of the pumpkin.  I ran down stairs and got the spoons so we could ‘gut’ the soon-to-be jack-o-lantern.  By the time we had gotten all the seeds out and Dad finished the eyes and nose and a quarter of the mouth, Mom came to help.  She was cutting away at the unfinished mouth when I asked her if I could try.  Since the pumpkin had so much meat in it, I had a difficult time pushing the knife in and out so I let Mom finish it off.  Dad got a headlamp in a plastic bag and put it in the jack-o-lantern.  It looked like the best carved pumpkin we had ever done!  After Mom took some photos, we ate the pesto pasta and the caramel dipping sauce for the apples.

As Michael pulled on his spider-man costume, I got dressed in my white jean shorts and Mom’s white long sleeved shirt.  I then ran into the bathroom with a roll of toilet paper.  When the door was closed I stood up on the toilet so could see myself clearly, and started wrapping up my head.  I secured all of the lose ends with clips.  After I was satisfied with my head, I covered my shins.  The plan was to look like a mummy.  Mom called, “ Is everyone ready?” Michael and I answered ‘yes’, then ran to Mom and Dad’s cabin door( I tried to run but my costume kept falling off, so in the end I walked ).  When I finally got to were Michael was waiting, we both knocked on the cabin door.  Dad’s voice called, “Who is there?”  He opened the door and was dressed up to look l-l-like … a hula girl!  He had on a coconut bra, a sarong, a flower in his hair, a necklace around his neck, but most surprising of all - he had on red lipstick!  

“Trick-or-treat!” Michael said.  Dad handed him a few pieces of candy.  We then went to the bathroom door and knocked.  Mom opened the door, dressed up as a fortune teller with a lot of necklaces hanging from her neck.  She had a sarong wrapped around her head and big hoop earrings.

She asked, “What do you say?!” 

Michael replied, “Trick-or-treat!” again.  And I mumbled something that was supposed to be ‘trick-or-treat’ muffled in the toilet paper that covered my mouth.  She gave us some candy and then wanted to take some photos.  Dad went to get it, and in a few minutes was snapping pictures for Mom to put on the blog or Facebook.  After we all had one or two peaces of candy and got ready and dressed in our P.J.’s, Mom popped the popcorn.  

“Pop, pop, pop!  I love the sound of the popcorn ‘popping’ in the sizzling oil!” said Michael

When we had two big  bowls of popcorn, we all hopped in Mom and Dad’s bed to watch the movie.  It was  black and white with big-eyed people.  After an hour or so we- Mom, Michael, and I- were interrupted when Dad let out a huge snore!!!  I smiled.  This was definitely a interesting day with lots of mud and lots of candy!


  1. What a great story. I am sure you will remember this Halloween for many years to come. The photos fill in some more detail.
    What will you do with all your new friends for Christmas in the land of the long white cloud?


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