ITG Donates to Mercy School 1

By Jackie Eager

The International Tea Group (ITG) has made a welcomed donation of school supplies to the Mercy School in Burns Creek. The supplies included educational posters, paper, crayons, toys for the early childhood room and over 70 reading books.

The Mercy School was independently created by a local Solomon Islander, Bev Komasi, to service the needs of largely Malaitan people who had settled in the Burns Creek settlement of Honiara. Approximately 700 children are educated at Mercy School, which consists of six classrooms.

ITG member Leigh, is pictured below handing over the resources to Salome, the school’s Deputy Head Teacher. Salome was most grateful for the donations and the interest of ITG in supporting education. The Head of School, Simon Rilaua, wrote that ‘The School expressed their gratitude for women who give their support and have concern to the wellbeing of the children of Mercy primary school’.




Art in the Park Reply


Art in the Park is an art and craft market held in the children’s park opposite Rove, on the last Sunday of each month. I recently visited the market and had a really enjoyable time walking around, looking at all the different things people were selling.

There was a variety of items on offer such as woven handbags and baskets, wooden bowls and ornaments, jewelry, and paintings. The items were all of a very high standard and also quite reasonably priced. I ended up buying a basket (pictured below) for $200 and a wooden carving of a squid with little shell eyes for $50. The carving will sit nicely on my desk, holding my papers down and stopping the fan from blowing them away.

The atmosphere of the market was relaxed and with both purchases, I had a lovely chat with the seller and they kindly let me take some photos. While not a huge market (I spent about 30 minutes there), Art in the Park is a nice place to see some of the creative talent on offer in Solomon Islands. If you’re a visitor, it’s also a great place to get some souvenirs of your trip.


Kids Craft Downloads Reply


It’s school holiday time in Solomon Islands at the moment which means it’s also a super time for kiddie crafternoons. Craft is a great way for kids to express their creative energy and it can keep them busy while parents have some well deserved time-out.

If you have access to a computer and a printer then check out First Palette. It’s an amazing resource filled with free craft, art activities, and printables designed to nurture creativity and the love for learning. There are lots of activities such as colouring pages, stick puppets, crowns, shoe box dioramas, and my favorite, mask making. The site has craft projects by theme, season, occasion and age group.


Swimming in Hotel Pools Reply


(Photo: Jenny Scott)

Some days in Honiara, a cool drink or shower just doesn’t do the trick – you need to get in a pool! For those who are not lucky enough to have a pool at home, the hotels in Honiara kindly offer a great alternative.  Two that I have recently sampled are:

Heritage Park Hotel (photo above): Mendana Avenue, P: 24007, $100 adult, $50 children, visit reception upon arrival.

Honiara Hotel: Entrance in China Town, P: 21737, $50 adult, $25 children, go straight to the pool upon arrival.

Prices are per day so you are free to lounge around as long as you want. Both have changing/toilet facilities available and there is also food service.


How to Cook Like a Local Reply


Bewildered by a breadfruit? Confounded by a cassava? Craving some cake? Then these are the books for you.

After only a few days of arriving in Honiara, it became pretty clear to me that my cookbooks from Canberra were just not going to cut it. The ingredients needed for most of my regular dishes read as a list of things that I couldn’t seem to find no matter how many shops I visited. More importantly, I kept looking around at all the great fruit and vegetables (and fish) that Solomon Islands had to offer and felt quite frustrated that I didn’t really know how to cook them properly. Just down the road I had a lovely stall, brimming every day with healthy goods just waiting for me to skill-up and enjoy them.

Luckily for me, I learnt about two great cookbooks that are for sale in Honiara and that use locally found ingredients. Both are available from the Lime Lounge. More…

Market Visits Reply


(Photo: Rob Maccoll)

The markets in Honiara are a great place to get fresh fruit, vegetables and much, much more. They’re also great places to experience the buzz of town and I look forward to my trip each week to see what I can find. I generally just visit the Central Market and the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Market. but I’m sure there are many smaller ones around too.

Here are my top 5 market tips (so far!):

  1. Take small ‘market’ money (coins, $5, $10, $20 notes) as you may not be able to get change for large notes. There is no bartering in the markets, items will have a set price often displayed on a piece of cardboard.


Nughu Day Cruise Reply

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Boat Cruise to Nughu Resort: Saturday 19th April 2014

Spend a day out with family and friends and explore the beautiful Buena Vista Island and Nugu Beach Resort. Cruise to the island on the MV Daystar. Swim, snorkel or just relax on the beach with a picnic brought along from home or buy a hotdog or soft drink available for sale. Whatever you decide to do this cruise will make your Easter one to unwind and enjoy

Adults: $400 SD, Children: $200 SD (Note food and drinks not included)

Dengue Fever on the Rise Reply

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(Photo: James Gathany)

The message is being spread around Honiara that Dengue Fever is on the rise and we all need to be careful and take precautions.

When you’re out and about, make sure you wear appropriate clothing. Use insect repellant and perhaps keep it in your bag or car to make sure it’s always on hand: include it into your daily routine. At your home, clear your property of any pools of untreated water, empty tins, overgrown grass and the like. These environements will encourage mosquitoes to breed.

More information is available from the World Health Organization, including that ‘Dengue is not transmitted directly from person-to-person and symptoms range from mild fever, to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. There is no vaccine’.

Honiara Hole-In-One! Reply


It’s not often that the stars align to create an event of both pure amazement and intense joy but last Saturday, a blessing was bestowed upon the Honiara Golf Club when Mitch Pirie scored a hole-in-one.

Mitch was having just a normal round of golf when he decided to trust in his natural, enthusiastic swing. Giving the ball a major whack, he looked off into the distance to see where his efforts had landed. As it was a sunny day, he squinted as he tried to determine where his ball was now located. And then, from behind him, his fellow golfers began to speculate, with a little hesitation, that it may have gone into hole number 7 on the first hit.