I seem to be getting progressively worse at this blogging thing. In other news – my family was here! My mom, stepdad (Dennis), brothers (Douglas and Kevin), and Emma (a beloved girlfriend of Douglas) have come and gone to Viti (Fiji). I hope they had a great time because certainly did! Highlights from the visit:
1) My first hug from Brother Doug and then of course all subsequent hugs.
2) Not all trips run flawlessly, but even a bag left behind at the airport 2.5 hours away filled with goodies does not taint the whole trip. But it still would have rather been avoided.
3) The pool really was dirty.
4) Kevin isn’t technically emo, apparently.
5) Dennis is surprisingly good at driving on the other side of the road, even with a side seat driver.
6) Mom has trouble adjusting to Fiji time.
7) Sweet and sour prawns from Raj’s Wine and Dine come with extra prawn eggs, still in shell. Emma is not a fan.
8) Douglas doesn’t need to live in Fiji to learn how to open a coconut with a machete.
9) Lots of good food including at least 3, maybe more, fish burgers with crispy fries.
10) A giant bed, warm showers, refrigerator access, swimming pools, and a toaster are all nice things to have.
11) Kevin attracts Fijian voodoo in the form of a broken laptop.
12) No one can handle the bugs.
13) The frogs are apparently more scary and entertaining than I’ve given them credit for over the past year.
14) The views really are beautiful and it’s good to be reminded of it every once in a while.
15) There is apparently some show called Jersey Shore (or something like that) that I am really missing out on.
16) Mom’s admittance that it is hot here and the food is definitely subpar.
17) The village visit mom and Dennis had was one of my favorite parts – I’m glad I got to show them my humble abode! I think mom quite enjoyed her cold shower and Dennis the spicy chili peppers at dinner.
18) Apparently now when my hair is curly I look like Douglas and when it’s straighter I look more like some new famous kid named Justin Beiber.
All in all, it was a wonderful visit and I am really glad that everyone took the time to come and see me. I really hope they enjoyed their trip, and I was able to be a decent hostess.
Meanwhile, back at the mansion … Before leaving for Rakiraki for my family visit, I was in the village getting some things accomplished!! Kind of. The kids were all on term break which meant they were in my house many many hours of the day. They played many games of go-fish and UNO. They also colored marine biology coloring pages (Thank You NOAA) and baked a lot. We also watched the show “Glee” on my computer, which I used as a sounding board to talk about sex – for the record a very uncomfortable thing for me to do with a group of 10-15 year old religious Methodists! One of them even asked about wet dreams. Yep, wet dreams. Think to yourself about explaining THAT to a group of foreign youngsters.
On the marine biology front, we built 3 fish houses!! YES! Finally, what I went to Sean’s village to learn back in NOVEMBER has finally paid off. I had to buy the bag of cement myself and figured that the time off from school would be the perfect moment to make them. We decorated them with shells and I am quite proud of the 3 kids that put them together. Perhaps they deserve a shout-out that they will never see: Paulu, Marika, and Bui – NICE WORK! Fun quiz: 2 of those names belong to girls and 1 to a boy – see if you can guess which is which. I have a 50kg bag of cement that is ¾ full still so I hope to make many more fish houses in the future.
The world map is not complete – but the drawing of it on the wall is! I know, this project is all about the kids –but I drew the map on the wall myself and am quite proud, so props to me. The grid method was a bit difficult and I wanted the map to be usable when completed, so I worked on that myself while doing lessons on different things with the kids. I’ll start those again next week with Israel – couscous, latkes, and a short Hebrew lesson will round out the hour nicely I think.
As far as what I have to look forward to in the future: a possible work exchange in my village with Kelly on money management, all volunteer conference, mid-service training, a work exchange on Vanua Levu in Scott’s village to talk about coral reefs, and a visit from Dad, Natalie, and brother Charlie!
Final fun facts for the road:
1) Giant clam shells can be used for many things: pooper scooper, decoration, soap dish, milk bowl for animals.
2) When trying to describe a man in the village to me, a cab driver proceeds to tell me he is black and that he plays rugby. Thanks – very helpful. I know EXACTLY who you mean.
3) Simba gets jealous of little kittens that are around the house.
4) I found a tiny puppy that wandered out of the bush. She is covered in fleas and ticks so I keep her outside, but I think I’m getting bitten nonetheless. But she is adorable and I named her Lily. Or shmookipoopsikins. I can’t decide. But I don’t want a dog here, so that’s a bit of a pickle. Mmmmm pickles.
5) It is HARD to find activities to entertain kids with all day every day for a week. I have more respect for camps.
6) I’ve thrown away several pairs of undies this week thanks to a new shipment from the family.
7) I bought a guitar and hope to be able to play at least 1 song by the time I leave. The guitar is red and sassy.
8) Canned asparagus in brine is very very gross. Its mush and unpleasant. Never buy it – don’t say you weren’t warned.
9) Top 5 things I want to eat when I get home: sushi, bagel with lox/cream cheese/red onion, roasted asparagus, strawberries, cheese enchilada meal with rice and refried beans.
10) The new group of volunteers has officially arrived in country. Welcome to the 35 FRE8’s who are just settling into their training villages. One of you will be just down the road from me. I’m sorry I’m not cooler.