Saturday, 26 October 2013

recipe for a good birthday

One of Rick's many talents:
Walking on water
While we try not to, Palangis sometimes get it all wrong. In case you are Palangi stands for foreigner in the Tongan. But sometimes getting it wrong means you get to try something even if you’re a girl. Kava ceremonies are traditionally held among men in Tonga, (this is apparently not the case in Fiji). On my birthday however, Brian (SV Osprey) procured some Kava and we shared it among a few boat around a bonfire (on a deserted beach) as part of the celebration. This was an equal opportunity Kava ceremony.

Kava is a root that is ground up and mixed with water. Someone serves, it in a coconut shell, and passes it around to those present. Depending on the Kava, your limbs might go a little numb or tingly. It is a drink that relaxes without clouding mental clarity and is used in a variety of ceremonial applications. It has a very earthy taste and looks like dirty laundry water. Some say it tastes like dirt. It's not that terrible, but it is certainly not particularly tasty. Kava is woven into the fabric of many South Pacific nations, if you'd like to know more about it, click here and here. The Kava we had was not very strong, but it made our lips tingly and the next day, we were… very relaxed. I thought the tequila birthday shots may have had something to do with that, but apparently not.

Chef Jacques delivers the chicken in style

I was told to make a wish, I seem to have
taken it very seriously

Jacques recites "The Cremation of Bobby McGee"
The nerds in us loved it

This is what it looks like when you order these guys to give their
best "manly man" pose

This gal is tough
Ben combines a little tobacco pipe and
Kava for good measure

When in doubt, gather a few friendly folks, share good food and have a reading of “The Cremation of Bobby McGee” (thanks Jacques!) around a bonfire on a tropical beach, all while drinking Kava (and maybe a touch of rum or tequila). It worked for us.


  1. DOH! I think your friend recited the Cremation of Sam McGee, not Bobby McGee.
    But let me try your version:
    "Well somewhere near Salinas Lord I let her slip away, searchin' for the home I hope she'll find. But I later got so angry at her leavin' me like that, so I killed her and had her cremated."
    This is clearly why they don't allow women to drink kava: because it makes their thoughts feel near as faded as their jeans!



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