Saturday, October 29, 2011

Louisiades Rally - Part 4 (11th October – 29th October)

11 October
Anchorage at Sabira

Welcome for the Water Tank Opening
Spent the day swimming and relaxing at Sabira before heading ashore for the launch of the new water tank.  The people of Sabira have to travel by Sailau to their Grass Island to get their fruit, vegetables and water so the installation of a water tank is certainly of great benefit to their community.  The rally in 2010 were kind enough to donate to the island a water tank and it has taken the best part of 12months to get the parts to the island and get it installed! 

Chief George and the Dancers

Official Opening - Guy Chester

Quite a spread!

The festivities were not part of the rally but were instigated by Chief George and his village as they were so appreciative of the assistance offered by the Dim Dims.  We were greeted by the villages with lots of dancing and the girls wore some amazing headdresses and outfits.  There was also some sing sing before the official opening which was then followed by some games with the kids and refreshments and an awesome sunset!
Sunset at Sabira

12 October
Banaba Boat or Sailau??
Many of the yachts decided to spend another night at Sabira but we figured our time in the Louisiades is quickly coming to an end so it would be good to check out a few more anchorages so we are off again – this time through the Maga Maga passage on our way to Hessessai Bay which is at the north end of Panatinani.   On the way we crossed tracks with a Banana boat that had been fitted out with a Sailau sail (guess they ran out of Zoom) and had Mum with babe in arms doing the driving, she even managed to give us a wave!

Trading at Hessessai Bay

Hessessai Bay was again another lovely anchorage with some more good snorkelling to be had.  We were the only dim dim yacht in the anchorage for the night and the word quickly got around the locals that we had some fabric on board for trade, which is much sought after in these parts, so we certainly did get plenty of locals dropping by for a visit – we were lucky enough to trade for some beautiful shells and paw paws so all parties were pretty happy.
Local Sailau - Hessessai Bay

Moon Rise at Hessessai Bay

13 October
Nimowa Ambulance
The rally fleet is meeting up again this afternoon at Nimowa.  As we had promised the cruising fleet out of Royal Prince Alfred YC that we would check out the Nimowa water ambulance, that had been donated, we thought we better take the opportunity as it was on its way to Misima with Father Tony.  Mark did the right thing and had a look and it seems to be in good running order although they were waiting on an alternator that was being delivered by the rally.  After the ambulance visit we continued on our way to the anchorage at Nimowa.  There were some festivities ashore in the arvo but as we were filling up the water tanks from 'Little One' we were all running a bit late and felt a swim off the back was more needed.  We could hear the singing from the boat and from all accounts it was some of the best sing sing and dancing that had been seen. 
Sunset at Nimowa
Junior Sailau Skipper - In Training

14 October
A scene from Apocolypse Now!
Today we are off in five banana boats across to Sudest (the big island) and up the Fieori River.  The scene as us dim dims headed across to Sudest looked a bit like a scene from apocalypse now except we had Doctor Livingston (aka Dennis) leading the way.  Upon reaching Sudest the long boats took us up the Fieori River and into the heart of the tropical rain forest which was pretty amazing and quite different to coastal fringes that we have been visiting.  Upon arriving at the waterfall we all went for a stroll to the local inland village which was a bit of an eye opener as it made the villages we had been to almost look opulent.  It really makes you realise just how little these people really have.  A lot of the children didn’t look well but they are expecting a visit from Sister Sarah from the Nimowa clinic so hopefully she may be able to offer some help.

Our Banana Boat Skipper

Jungle Di!

Waterfall on the Fieori River

Local Inland Village

Back to the banana boats and most of us had a bit of a dip in the waterfall before a spot of lunch and we were back on our way to Nimowa.  Our banana boat seemed to have a bit of a fuel issue on the way back but after a bit of attention from Alex (the resident diesel mechanic on Muscat) we were back on our way.  We all had an excellent day and the trip on the banana boats was heaps of fun.

15 Occtober
Welcome for the Nimowa School
Today is pretty much the climax of the rally.  The program today includes a visit to the Nimowa School and then onto visit to Clinic.  The Clinic at Nimowa is the major charity for the rally and from all accounts the money raised by the rally fleet over the years has greatly improved the services offered.  The Nimowa clinic looks after around 7000 people in the eastern part of the Louisiades archipelago and offers a very valuable service to all the people living in this area.  Through the generosity of the current rally (including bribes, fines, auctions and other donations) and crews from previous rally fleets we were able to collect in total around 42,000Kina (~AUD$21,000) of which a fair share was being donated to the Nimowa clinic.  Sister Sarah and Father Simon (standing in for Father Tony) struggled to find ways to show their gratitude and put it quite simply when they advised that this was substantially more funding than that provided by their own people in the PNG government.  To give you some idea of the commitment from these people Father Tony  (an ex Victorian) who is now in his 70's has been working in the Louisiades since before he could grow a beard and Sister Sarah has been awarded a Queens Medal for her service to her community!

The Nimowa Clinic

Sister Sarah

The local soccer team from the Elementary School

After a really yummy lunch (including pizza, donuts and banana chips) we had to take on the kids from the local primary school in a game of soccer.  Our captain, Janis, the backpacker, (we figured a German should at least have some idea of how to play the game) tried to install some order but found it all a bit challenging to provide some structure to our team although most of the time was spent defending goals and not a lot of time in attack.  From the outset we figured there was no way that we were going to beat these little dynamos but we did put up a good show and at least scored a goal which is better than most.  In the end we were clearly beaten 2 goals to 1.    We certainly provided plenty of entertainment and laughs for the local village that were gathering for the main event which was the semi-final game between Nimowa and Sudest (I think).  The locals are all pretty good at soccer and put on a great game but unfortunately the team from Nimowa were just beaten. 
The Main Event - Nimowa Vs Sudest
Today was certainly a real highlight of the whole trip and put a lot of stuff into prospective – it is also very gratifying to think that perhaps a little of what we have given is doing some good and providing a little bit of assistance to these wonderful people. 

The official last day of the rally and effectively the day when we turn the corner and start heading back towards Melbourne (quite a daunting thought)!  The last day of the rally is at Wanim (or Grass Island to the locals for obvious reasons).  The anchorage on the western side of Wanim is a lovely spot and has a great outlook and again some really good snorkelling and we found the water here to be really clear so the visibility was excellent. 
Tonight we had the official closing BBQ for the rally which was a great opportunity for us to catch up with everyone before we all start to head off our own way.
Anchorage at Wanim
17 October
Most of the fleet decided to spend the day in Wanim although a few of the boats did head off to other anchorages.  Based on the weather it doesn’t look like any of the remaining boats (Reliance and Attitude are already on their way home) will be leaving till late in the week.  Sanctuary were kind enough to have us all on board this evening for some pre-dinner nibbles and to rid them of their cheese problem as we are not able to bring cheese back into Australia.

Mark & Lisa - Little One

Most of the fleet are wandering off although we decided to spend another day at Wanim.  The feeling is a bit flat today as everyone is heading off and it really feels now like the rally is over and we are all now looking to the trip home.  After all the preparations I am definitely feeling a bit out of sorts and quite sad that the big adventure is quickly coming to an end.
Walk along the ridge at Wanim

We went for a bit of a walk in the afternoon along the ridge towards the village at the north of the island and was good to get the chance to give the legs a bit of a work out.  During the days the clouds had been building and in the evening we had an amazing light show and plenty of wind and rain but were happy as clams aboard watching it all go by.  The only other boat with us still at Wanim in Love of Gaia who, due to some anchor issues, will be at Wanim until it is time to head back to Australia
19 October
The Very Famous Chief Gulo
Off to Bagaman again!  As we are going to have some strong winds for the next few days, and the forecast it is now looking very much like we won’t be heading home till Saturday we decided that Bagaman would not only be a good spot for a few nights but is also a good spot for a final departure out of the Louisiades.  At this stage Moonraker is already at Bagaman and it is looking like most of the fleet will be spending their last night in the Louisiades in Bagaman so should be a bit of fun plus we may get to spend a bit more time with the famous Chief Gulo!
Team Moonraker invited us and Leyla aboard for a BBQ this evening and was really nice to catch up with them all again.

20 October
Spent the day at Bagaman and as the weather is pretty stormy and wet outside spent a day hanging out on board which was kind of a nice change as we haven't had too many chances to hang out and not do too much

21 October
As predicted the forecast is still standing up and looks like we will be leaving the Louisiades tomorrow (Saturday 22nd October) so we spent the morning doing chores to get the boat ready for the ocean passage and prepared a few meals to make the cooks job easier on the way.  Headed ashore in the afternoon and wandered up again for one last look from the Worship Hill.  We also took the opportunity this afternoon to distribute the last of our trade and donation items.  The rest of the fleet is all meeting here this afternoon (apart from Sanctuary. Love of Gaia, Rex and Honeywind) as it is a good spot to leave from when departing from the Calvados Group.   It was great to have most of the fleet back together again (Leyla, Moonraker, Desire, Finesse, Tinker, Little One and Sally) although everyone was getting ready for the voyage so there wasn't a lot of socialising going on but Moses was been kept very busy finishing off the last of the carvings before the cut off tomorrow morning. 
We have also made arrangements with Chief Gulo for a visit in 2 years time when we hopefully pass by through the Louisiades  again on the way home from our inner pacific trip - we have been put on orders to bring back Milo which is apparently one of his favorites!
Our last visit ashore at Bagaman :(

22 - 26 October
Leyla is off early in the morning but the rest of the fleet are hanging out to do a last weather check before we depart.  Forecast hasn't changed and everyone is off and it is nice to be heading home as a group.  The fleet is splitting up as some will be heading back to Cairns but a number of the boats (especially the ones that are heading south) are planning to head to Townsville (Little One, Moonraker, Desire and Sally).  The first couple of days on the trip home are a bit windy and the sea state is a bit uncomfortable but progress is good - Sally even managed 180NM on the second day out which is an average of 7.5knts - not bad for a cruiser. 
The wind started to back on day 3 and conditions became very pleasant - this is a good thing as it is Bruce's birthday today and we would hate to have a grumpy birthday boy on board.  We served up one of this favorites, Tuna Bake, for dinner so a birthday at sea isn't all that shabby.
We were lucky enough to sail most of the way home but did start motor sailing around lunchtime on Tuesday as we were keen to get into Townsville as planned on Wednesday morning to meet Customs and Quarantine. 
All went to plan and we were tied up at the fuel dock in the Breakwater Marina around 6:00am on Wednesday and were cleared and in our pen by 10:30am.  First stop as you can imagine was a shower and then the laundry.
What a treat - our first dinner off the boat for a while and would you believe it we ended up at the yacht club!
27 October
The rest of the Townsville fleet went through there clearance formalities in the morning.  We must admit we were pretty impressed with both customs and quantine people and they really made clearing back in pretty easy and certainly not an issue at all. 
The rally still  hasn't quite finished yet as we had dinner tonight with the Townsville team (including Dennis and Annette) at the Seaview Hotel for a good catch up.

28 October
We say goodbye to Bruce this morning as he is heading back to Melbourne.  I am off to get a much needed haircut and Gina is out getting a pedicure as she is flying out to Brisbane tonight to spend the weekend with a good friend before she also heads back to Elwood.  They have a busy time in front of them as they are now getting ready to head over to the Caribbean to go cruising on their new yacht Wyuna which is a 47' Leopard Cat - how exciting is that

29 October
OK this has to be the end of it! 
One last BBQ for those of us that are left - the numbers are now quickly depleting as crews are returning back to a more normal way of life  This time Team Tinker (Dan & Belinda) join in as they are driving back down the Mackay so that they can get back to work on Monday - which is already 1 week late due to the delay in our departure from the Louisiades.
We are now waiting for Leapy Lynda to join us so that we can start making our way down south. 
Qantas is causing her a few issues but at this stage the weather is indicating that we wont be leaving until Thursday or Friday so all good at the moment.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Louisiades Rally – Part 3 (5th October – 10th October)

I have been a bit negligent and not provided a whole bunch of information about the Louisiades so before I go further with our trip here is a bit of background info.

The Louisiades is a chain of islands lying 100 nautical miles east of 'mainland' PNG with the Solomon Islands lying to the east.  The Louisiades comprise sand cays, lagoon reefs, limestone outcrops (uplifted coral reefs) and continental islands.  With abundant coral reefs there is snorkelling, diving and fishing galore.  There are skull caves. hills to climb, coral cays to explore, mangrove lined creeks, coconut shaded trees to sit under.

The people of  Louisiades are Melanesian and are very warm and friendly.  They are exceptionally welcoming to yachts and will paddle out to say a welcoming hello and of course to trade their local produce and crafts for other items not readily available in the Louisiades.
The locals look similar to the folk of the rest of PNG (and for that matter the Solomons, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and to some extent Fiji!).  There are three main languages spoken by people in different areas in the Louisiades, Misima-Paneati, Nimoa and Sudest.  Whilst Pidgin is often spoken throughout PNG in the Louisiades the majority of people speak their local language and English.

Life in the Louisiades is simple and unburdened by the ownership of many material possessions.  Many place are completely self sufficient and have little need for money.  The economy of many islands is not based on cash and the only use for such would be a long trip on a sailing canoe to a trade store
Many folk live in villages, which are home to any number of families from a few to a few hundred.  The villages have no formal or traditional chiefly system, but every island has a Councilor, who forms part of the local government.  Most villages have a church where the locals practice Christianity.

The sailing canoe (Sailau) is the main form of transport for locals to get around the Louisiades.  These are hand crafted from trees growing on Paneati.
5 & 6 October
Since we had such a nice stay in Bagaman last time we decided that it would be a good place to spend a few more nights before moving on to Misima.  After some discussions with the other rally yachts anchored in Bagaman we headed off on a walk firstly up to hill to the north east of the anchorage which s the place of worship for the local villages.  It was a pretty windy morning and even more so once we got to the top of the hill but the views up there made it all worthwhile.  We then made our way across to the other side of the island which has another village (sorry cannot remember the name of this one) and we went for a long stroll along the beach before heading back to the yacht for an afternoon of some serious R&R.  Team Leyla joined us for sundowners at five on the aft deck and after some high power bartering we ended up with an excellent trade where we ended up with a very nice bottle of red in exchange for a 6 pack of Gordon's G&T
View of anchorage at Bagaman from Worship Hill


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Sailau Ride
Gina did some awesome work in the morning of the 6th and arranged for a Sailau ride for us Mustang Sally Dim Dims - especially those of us that were not brave enough to take on the elements for the trip across to Panniet!.  The crew seemed to enjoy the 3 hour cruise around the bay and unlike the SS Minnow they didn't get stranded on an uninhabited island.  As they had such an excellent adventure and also noted that the sail on the sailau was in pretty back nick decided that is would be a good thing to donate a few tarps and twine to the skipper of the boat.

After the sail we were all so full of beans we decided to go for one last snorkel at Bagaman and headed over to the east side of the bay and found some lovely coral and plenty of fish which kept us entertained for a good hour or more.  Amazing how much time one can spend with one’s head under the water looking at fish and coral especially when the water is a balmy 28oC

7 October
Misima Market
Today is when we head for the big smoke of Misima.  As it is a fair hike (~30NM) all the yachts had the same idea and got up early for the trip across.  As it was a good sailing breeze we all made good time and ended up having to slow down to give Guy on Sanctuary enough time to arrange things before the fleet arrived.  Misima is where we finally get to clear customs and quarantine.  As we can’t get off the boat until clearing we get to entertain ourselves on-board for a while until we get clearance at around 6pm but finally we get to put pull down the Quarantine Flag and officially put up the PNG flag (despite the fact that we have had both up for the duration of the rally to date). 

8 October
Elementary School Welcome
Today is the day of the Misima Festival.  After arriving ashore we were greeted by the elementary school and led down to the parade grounds where most of the festival activities occur.    The locals are very proud of their traditions and are keen to be able to put on these displays for us visitors.  This also gives them the opportunity to keep some of their culture and traditions alive. 

The Dim Dims on display
(local for white folk)
Local Dancers
Miss Misima Contest
After lunch the activities continue and we start the afternoon with the Miss Misima Contest which is a little different to your standard beauty contest.  This was followed by comedy hour and we concluded the day with the Pem Pewa which is a gift giving ceremony – apparently the women in Misima and surrounding islands / villages undertake a special selection process to be involved so they were all pretty chuffed to be there.  We had spent many weeks collecting items for the Pem Pewa so we hope they appreciate the items we had put together.  In return the ladies prepared some amazingly presented baskets and bags full of fruits, vegetables, carvings, shells etc and were very keen to introduce themselves and learn a bit about us as well.  Unfortunately there ended up being more of their Pem Pewa’s than what we had planned for so we ended up giving a small gift of Kina in exchange – despite the minor muck up they all they were all OK and were just happy to be able to give us their gifts.  Despite not having a lot of material possessions the people of the Louisiades are in general very generous people and more than happy to share what little they have – this is quite a refreshing concept for us Dim Dims and something that I am sure will stick in our minds once we are all back in civilisation.
The Pem Pewa - Local Style

The Pem Pewa - Dim Dim Style

The local kids were keen to help us get our load of Pem Pewa gifts back to the boat so we ended up with a what must have looked like a scene from the Pied Piper as we all wandered back down the main street to the dinghy wharf.  After much sorting and negotiations we eventually made it back to the boat for a clean up and also a sorting of the Pem Pewa gifts - you wont imagine how much fresh fruit and how many baskets we ended up with and were lucky enough to be able to give some of these goodies to some locals as we were never going to get through it all.  After a bit of a break we are on the move again and this time off to the Guest House for a yummy dinner and auction.  As with many of the activities on the program they are aimed at raising funds for the Nimowa clinic and other worthwhile causes (there are plenty of them!).  We ended up with the highest bid on  many items with some of the stand outs being a really lovely Bagi, Bundy Bear Wind Sock, and a bottle of marmalade which ended up costing 60Kina (~$30AUD) .

MV Reliance Crew

The Local Drop
9 October
After the fun of Misima we were still keen to move on and took the opportunity to depart from Misima once we had finished our morning tasks.  We decided to head for Robinson's anchorage for the night (~30NM) which proved to be a great spot for the night before we head over to Sabira in the morning.  We followed Little One over to the anchorage and we ended up being the only 2 yachts here for the night.  Mark and Lisa from 'Little One' were kind enough to donate some of their HUMUNGOUS Mackerel that they had caught on the trip over.  Mark was even kind enough to fillet them for us.  We decided the best thing to do was wrap the fillets in foil with some herbs and chuck them on the BBQ - this was all pretty YUMMY - especially as fish hasn't exactly been a staple food in our diet so far  On the fishing front Mustang Sally hasn't been doing all that flash and seem to have developed a reputation for losing lures and being fish lovers not killers!.  So far the score is fish = 4 and Mustang Sally Dim Dims = 0. 

10 October
Up early again as we have about 20NM to do today on our way to Sabira and are keen to get there as we have heard that it is a really beautiful spot surrounded with small limestone islets.  We arrived just before lunch and were not disappointed with the beauty of the place, crystal clear water and sandy bottom – YAY – no bommies to worry about here.  Chief George was pretty keen to come out on his dug out to greet the yachts as they arrive and in most cases hoped on board to lead you through to the best anchoring spot
Village at Sabira Island

After lots of swimming and snorkelling in the arvo we head to the shore to participate in the five o’clock drinkies with the five or so other yachts that have decided to come to Sabira.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Louisiades Rally – Part 2 (25th September – 4th October)

We left Panasia this morning for our new destination which is Panapompom in the Deboyne Group - the actual anchorage we stayed at was off Nivani which is right next to Panapompom.  We had good winds for the 21NM trip.  Again the anchorage is delightful and we are quickly in the water to check out our new surrounds.  We are at Panapompom for one of their major events of the year which is the Panapompom Regatta and Sports Festival and we have a busy couple of days ahead of us
Arriving for the
Panapompom Festival

We awoke to a rather grey morning which delayed the start of events but gave us all an opportunity to go for a snorkel on the Zero plane that did a forced landing on the island in the Second World War.  This was an awesome snorkel and we got to see a more types of tropical fish in this little area than what we had seen up the entire east coast and we finally we got to find Nemo and Marlin!
Great Paw Paw
After the snorkel we all headed for shore for the sing sing and start of the sporting festivities which involved some swimming and canoe races along with a craft and food market in the morning where we made some excellent purchases including bananas, passionfruit to die for, and the obligatory Paw Paw.  The big event for the day event was the Sailau race in the afternoon.  The competition is pretty fierce amongst the 3 divisions of Sailau’s and the prizes of sails, ropes, tarpaulins and cash are hotly sought after – we had many sailaus competing from the area including one that had come all the way from Sudest which is a 3 day sail away from Panapompom.

Getting ready for the Sailau Race

The Main Event - Sailau Race

Our Crew for the Fun Race
Some of the Dim Dims (white folk) partook in a fun sailau race in the morning and in the afternoon the Dim Dims got to take the locals for a sail in the fun race.  We ended up with around 25 on Sally and I think the record for the day was around 75 on both Reliance and Attitude.  The locals are excellent sailors and certainly took much interest in how we Dim Dims do things on yachts – of particular interest was the power winch!   They also seemed to enjoy tacking so we made sure we did plenty of these to keep them happy and we ended up with Captain Sammy steering for the last part of the race.  We met Captain Sammy when he came out to visit us in the morning for Coffee and Bikkies and with his credentials of 25years as a merchant seaman and a sailau sailor we figured we had it in the bag.   

We finished off the day with the presentation ceremony for all the races along with another Mumu (we are certainly getting our fair share of pork and yams on this trip)

Clinic at Panniet
The rain in Panapompom continued but this didn’t stop a group of Dim Dims (including Gina and I) from doing the trip over to Panniet on the sailaus.  I think we ended up with around 20 of us taking the trip over.  We ended up on a boat called Jelly Fish (which was the Sailau that had come all the way from Sudest for the regatta).  Panniet is a nice village and has a local clinic and primary school.  The clinic is not quite we would call a clinic but certainly plays a very important role in this community and is one of the key groups that the rally donates to.  We wandered around the village and were welcomed by the very friendly locals and ended up dropping in to the trading store where I managed to buy a new red bucket since one of our buckets went overboard a few days previous. 
Trading Store at Panniet

Waiting for the trip back to Nivani
New Red Bucket in hand!
We left Nivani and Panapompom on our way to Bagaman which is back in the Calvados Group of Islands (the biggest group in the Louisiades).  Not long after we dropped the anchor we had a visit from the famous Chief Gulo who made sure we signed his yachties book and we also gave him some Panadols for his aches and pains (from the discussion we figure he is now around about 85YO although this has also been disputed so who really knows).  The next visitors were Jerry the Muster organiser and Joseph.  We had a pretty relaxing arvo with a swim and snorkel off the back deck.  The people as always were delightful however, as this is one of the most popular anchorages for boats we did find their trading techniques a bit more sophisticated than what we had been used to.

We had a leisure day in Bagaman before the rest of the rally turned up in the arvo.  Many of the yachts had spent the 29th in at Kamataal with Jimmy at the yacht club.  We are hoping to get their at some stage during the rest of our time in the LouisiadesAUD$10)
Trading for a Lobster Dinner

Getting a Tow by Team Rex!
We all went ashore to the main village for the Bagaman Muster.  Unfortunately we had to get a tow in by the Rex team as our dinghy motor is still playing up after the dinghy was flipped over at little Panasia – hopefully we will get it fixed for good soon!!  The muster started with the usual welcome dances and sing sings and we got to wander around the elementary school and again check out the craft market.  Bagaman is re-known for carvers so everyone was keen to check out their wares.  We ended up with our fair share of carvings and also a couple of Bagi which are beautifully crafted shell necklaces which they used to use for currency.  We finished off the day with yet another Mumu and then all the dim dims had to get up for a bit of a dance which was lots of fun and certainly provided much amusement for the locals.   This was a really well organised event and the locals had gone to an amazing amount of effort to make the muster a huge success.  We were all quite amused as they even had a time keeper to make sure we kept on track for the day (we haven’t been wearing watches for months).
Craft Market

Ladies getting ready for
the Pem Pewa
We left Bagaman and did the 5NM trip to Blue Lagoon for the beach party.  Blue Lagoon like its name it beautiful and after some snorkelling we wandered ashore to get involved in the party which including cricket, sand castle building and volley ball tournaments.  Whilst it is nice to have the locals visit it was nice to have a day to ourselves. 

Before heading over to Hoba Bay (all of 2NM away) we managed to make a loaf of yummy bread and then wandered over to the reef at Blue Lagoon and had an awesome snorkel with some of the best coral we have seen to date and we got to find another Nemo family.

Dancing at Hoba Bay
We went ashore at Hoba Bay and got to meet Chief Bernard who was looking after us for the afternoon.  The locals at Hoba Bay put on a great afternoon for us which included some of the best dancing we have seen.  The rest of the afternoon was filled with cultural activities whereby they showed us Dim Dims how they make baskets, mats, bagi, light fires which was quite enlightening and was great to get involved.  We also got to do some more excellent trading for sweet potatoes and tomatoes.

The School Bell