Mr. & Mrs. MacGyver – Adventures with Avocados

When we bought this house more than 20 years ago, we did not realize it had an avocado tree. That’s because initially, it did not bear fruit – it takes quite a few years before avocados produce. Then one year, surprise – big, beautiful fruit. And we are talking really big – 1+ pounders (400+ grams).

A few years ago, the tree started looking poorly. The leaves were not fresh and green and the tree didn’t have as many avocados. We were concerned that perhaps the tree was dying. Last year, Martha took a branch from the tree to the Ministry of Agriculture to see if they might be able to help determine what was going on. The officer looked at the branch and offered to make a site visit. The next day, she came to the house and determined that the tree had an infestation of whitefly, and suggested fertilizer and possibly an insecticide spray. 

We dumped lots of leaf mulch around the tree, moved our compost pile under it, and waited. After a few weeks, we could see the tree was looking healthier and it was blooming. We were feeling hopeful!

The tree began to bear fruit, and we were surprised to have fruit ripen in December – over a month earlier than ever before. And the tree was loaded with many other avocados in various stages of development. 

The tree is quite tall – too tall to pick the fruit by hand.  And besides, we like to eat the fruit when it is naturally ripe. So now, several times a day, we hear this massive ‘bang’ on the roof, then sometimes a ‘bumpity-bump-bump’ down the corrugated iron and then a large ‘thud’ when another avocado hits the ground. Often there is a split in the fruit, but there is still plenty of good, healthy, yummy flesh to enjoy.

It’s a blessing to be able to share the fruit with friends. At the moment, we are getting lots of fruit but we are in lockdown, making it difficult to share the fruit. So, Mrs. MacGyver has been pulling out all the avocado recipes she has collected through the years. And Mr. MacGyver has been experimenting as well. Click below to see some of the MacGyver’s avocado treats:



It looks like someone hacked our account and sent out some spam emails. We have taken measures to put a stop to that and hope the issue has been fixed.

Have a safe last day of 2021 and a blessed 2022!

Martha and Tim


A Workshop for Kwaio Preschool Teachers

Buma Catholic Mission Station – Malaita Province – the rainbow and moon

In our last newsletter, we shared about a new opportunity – to help develop a curriculum for an ECE (Early Childhood Education) program in two schools. The first step was to hold a workshop for ECE in a Kwaio-speaking area on Malaita Island. The venue for the workshop was a beautiful Catholic station where we were welcomed warmly by the Sisters of Charity.

3 of the 4 of us in the photo are named, Martha!

This ECE project is under the direction of two local non-profit organisations, LASI (Literacy Association Solomon Islands) and COESI (Coalition for Education Solomon Islands). While we taught most of the workshop content, three trainers from LASI were observing, as they will be responsible for the ongoing training of teachers in the program.

The training included looking at principles of early childhood education and preparing a ‘cultural calendar’ for their community. This involves a process of thinking about weather patterns, seasons, growing seasons, etc. in the local community. The teachers then used that cultural calendar to choose weekly themes for the curriculum.

The list of themes
The teachers practiced writing stories in Kwaio.

One of the next tasks will be to develop storybooks for the various themes. We have enlisted the help of the Kwaio Bible translator, David Fonosimae, to help translate some books into Kwaio, using the Bloom Library, which was developed by SIL International. You can look at the books that David has translated here: Bloom Library – Kwaio books. We are looking forward to adding more books to the Bloom Library.

In early 2022, we plan on going back to Malaita for a writers’ workshop where the teachers will write original stories to coordinate with the curriculum.

The teachers left the workshop excited about the things they learned. Their village community will be working on building a classroom for the many small children who will benefit from this new program.

Workshop staff and participants
The kids along with the visiting Australian and New Zealand High Commioners, standing where their new ECE classroom will be built.

We enjoyed traveling to Malaita and working together.