This will most likely be the second to last posting. It has been a wonderful trip filled with many sights and sounds not the least was witnessing the “Progressive Dinner” program that my sister Jayne and her husband Danny participate in. I made reference to this program back in the second posting and said I would let you know what is was like. Just to recap the program… Tourists sign up from their hotel, etc, to spend an evening with 3 different island families to share local hospitality and have an entrée at one location then move on to dinner at another and finally, desert at yet another, then back to their accommodation.
The first stop is the entrée segment run by Jayne and Danny and consisting of a walking and talking tour of the property, followed by fresh fruit, juice, bubbly and the world famous “Ika Mata” (a la Jayne). The mini bus arrived at 5:30pm at the Kelly compound with about a dozen patrons plus two guides. Introductions are made and the first order of business is for Danny to take the group to see all the land and what grows on it. Jayne excuses herself as she has to go down to the beach and catch the “fresh” fish (wink, wink). Danny is animated as he entertains with stories, jokes and “hands on” education about the land and what abundantly grows on it. The guests are loving the personal touch and are particularly enchanted by both the Coffee growing in amongst the banana trees and the Vanilla plants. The Vanilla plant (orchid) is a true epiphyte or air plant vine. The guests get to pick their own Star fruit in this instant or any fruit that is ripe and eat it on the spot. The tours last about 20-30 minutes, just enough time for Jayne to catch the fish, prepare it and set the table, LOL.
The atmosphere is jovial as the guest dig into the tropical sensations spread before them. Jayne gives a little talk about the preparations as the sun sets behind her, pointing out the fish is really cooked by the lemon juice and because there is no heat involved in this unique cooking process the vitamins and minerals are not destroyed and therefore her Ika Mata is extra healthy.
Now I don’t eat fish so I’m no expert… but the dish was consumed faster than a Rarotongan Sunrise… these people were either very hungry or they found a winner! By the comments and licking of lips I think very much the latter. And what did I think of the program, well, if the entrée is any indication then…” Houston, we have NO problem!” I give this program a 5 out of 5 mango rating.