By Peyton Roberts
I am a very lucky girl. A dear friend of mine is coming to visit me this week all the way from Texas. I suppose the very fact that she is willing to travel that far to see me automatically classifies here as a dear friend. I mean, twenty hours on a plane… that’s love!
I am so excited to show my friend all of my favorite spots on this beautiful island. I know Guam will do plenty of showing off to make her long trek worth it, but I want to start off her island visit with a proper welcome (in addition to a hearty “Hafa Adai” of course!).
Not long ago a woman showed up at our church with some gorgeous and crisp white plumeria leis to hand out as part of a special celebration. I immediately blurted out “Where did you get those?!” I had looked for leis to welcome visitors here but had only found them made with imported flowers (and somewhat on the pricey side). Once again, I was surprised with the simplicity of the island’s answer. The leis were handmade from flowers off a plumeria tree near her home. Easy.
After a quick Google search, I found simple instructions for stringing together plumeria flowers into a fresh, beautiful lei. Here is a simplified version of the directions. It only took about 15 minutes to complete one lei from start to finish. Now I can head to the airport prepared with beautiful fresh flowers to welcome my travel-weary friend to her week of island paradise. My hunch is that, like me, she won’t want to leave.
Hafa Adai Plumeria Lei
Adapted from Plumeria 101
30-50 fresh plumeria flowers, any color combination
30”+ fishing line or strong thread
thin sewing needle at least 2” long
gallon-size Ziploc bag
Thread the needle with the fishing line. String each flower together by inserting the needle into the middle of the flower from its open side into its stem. Leave enough fishing line on either side to tie it off properly once you have reached the desired length of your lei. My completed lei is 23” in circumference and has 31 plumeria flowers. Store in a Ziploc bag, inflated, until ready to adorn its recipient.
Peyton Roberts is a military spouse who moved to Guam from the States in July 2010. She started her blog, Peyt’s Island, as a way to keep friends and family informed about what island life is like. Over time, that space transformed into a forum for writing about her experiences discovering Guam’s beauty, and more recently its flavors. Peyton loves all Guam adventures, whether land or sea, and has a passion for sharing ideas about incorporating local produce into regular family cooking. At the Fresh Factor, Peyton shares recipes, interviews, and information about all things fresh on Guam.