2009-11-01: Carpet

Yesterday was Halloween. After third grade Halloween wasn’t much an
event for me. The islander’s apparently feel the same as you wouldn’t
have even noticed it came and went.

We spent the day being very productive. We have started a tradition
of working on separate projects on Saturday’s with mine mostly being
outside and Kelly’s inside. It is great as we can reflect on the
week’s event while doing thoughtless labor and hit restart on our
brains. Alone time is critical as even though we are isolated on an
island, we are in a large fishbowl where every step we take and word
we say, even in our own house, are under the microscope.

I spent the day transplanting papaya trees around our gray water pit,
which has decided to stop draining. I should have done this a while
back but just now found a cash of seedlings and my several attempts to
grow them from seeds have failed miserably. I also weeded our bele
garden and transplanted some of the larger bele plants that could no
longer be harvested.

Last Sunday we broke protocol and secretly did ‘work’ within the
confines of our fale. A constant barrage of gnats had been pestering
us all week and we couldn’t figure out what prompted their recent
arrival. I thought it was the slow leak on the water tank near our
fale so I fixed it as best I could without draining the clean water
supply for four houses. They still appeared. Then I searched under
our house for half shell coconuts holding water but found nothing.
Lastly I checked our ‘carpet’ and finally found their abode.

“Carpet” in Fiji is really a thin piece of vinyl with a knock off
1970’s pattern in different shades of brown. The great thing about
Fijian carpet is not only is it horrible for the environment and will
never go away, it also rips and tears within minutes of installation.
This produces nice tripping hazards for toddlers, wonderful homes for
critters, and a mold factory like no other. All in all, it is about
the most inappropriate household furnishing that anyone could imagine
for the climate, building type, and occupant habits of Fiji. So of
course, it is everywhere. Any flat surface that has a roof, and some
that don’t, typically have Fijian carpet.

Wanting to get rid of it the first day I laid my eyes on it I jumped
on the opportunity, even thought it was Sunday and technically all
were allowed to do is eat or nap. Since it isn’t attached in any form
or fashion to the floor it is rather easy to roll up and thus didn’t
make a lot of commotion from within our breezy walls. After about 10
minutes we had five neatly stacked rolls of the stuff in the corner.
Within a couple of days the gnats were gone and we now have a much
better flooring surface, the natural dark tan tongue and groove wood
sanded to smooth finish. I think it has a major improvement to both
our health and mood!

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