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And then there are days that you just have to post about...
So today, we got up early (after not much sleep, admittedly) and headed back out to Rawai, where I caught up with my 'other mother', Mening, and we set out, on one of those little boats, to a near-by island (Koh Lon, if you're wondering).


Boat at island

It's kind of hard to explain, but the movement of these long-tailed boats, and the closeness to the waves, is a totally different experience from any boat I've been on in cooler climes. It helps that there is no danger of hypothermia if you fall over board. The trip was arranged by Kiang and Miao, and we had Kiang's mum, Mening, and three kids along - one Kiang and Miao's, and I have no clue where the other two come into the picture. Miao explained at one point that they were along to do various things, but apart from the boys imitating Kiang with the engine, they were mostly along for an excuse to spend the WHOLE day in the water.


Protection from the sun was needed

When we got to the island, Kiang started getting the fish ready, with a fire over coconut husks, which give the best taste, apparently. The kids went to the water, and the rest of us lazed on the beach (in the shade) for a while. Then it was lunch time.


Fish cooking


Fish cooked, and served on bread-fruit leaves

I'm not a great fan of fish, but this is the right stuff! Fresh, juicy, and falling off the bone. Eaten with rice and a bit of spiced fish-sauce - the food of the gods! After a bit of swimming - the tide was rather low, so there wasn't much room between the coral and me - and a bit of sitting in the shade, eyes shut listening to the waves, or open and watching the sea eagles hovering over the hill, and various butterflies doing their thing, we headed back home round the other side of the island.

The three kids were soon asleep in various posses around the boat, draped over corners of things, rather like cats. And we enjoyed the breeze, and got a bit too much sun, for such is the nature of these things. On returning to Phuket, various people went off for baths, before dropping us off in town.

This sort of experience is fun, but it does make it hard to know how to repay these dear people, who give so much when they have so little. If any of them made it to NZ, we would do the same for them in a heart-beat*, but the cost of the flight, and the ridiculousness of the exchange rate means that that won't happen. The only thing we can do is promise to pass it on, for visitors who do come to NZ. Trying to slip them money for petrol is next to impossible. We're going to try and take them out for lunch after church tomorrow...

I leave you with a picture of three sand-crabs.



*My fish-catching skills are rather rusty, though. I think I last caught a fish when Kiang's father took my brother and me out with the fish-traps when we were about 6 and 8 respectively. And boy, did we get burnt that day!

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