As I’ve been walking around lately, I’ve been making more lists in my head. So, I guess it is time to write them down – I give you, list number blah-dee-blah. I can’t remember.
1) Today as I was walking home with my best friend Radini (the preacher’s wife – a very unlikely pairing), we stopped and I waited by the side of a dirt road while she waded thru the sea to collect seaweed for her dinner. I was just thinking how sad it’s going to be in 1 year when that will seem unusual behavior, as opposed to completely normal.
2) Radini is Fijian for “the preacher’s wife” – I don’t know her real name!
3) The seaweed she made is called lulua and is mixed with shaved coconut that has been fermenting in a plastic bag under rocks in the intertidal zone by the sea. Yeah, it tastes weird.
4) I remember when showers used to be refreshed – I dread them now.
5) I got cold today – it was maybe 70F.
6) The children in my village LOVE my stepmother.
7) My little brother Charlie made friends in my village in 1 day much easier than I have, and I’ve been here a year.
8) Seasnakes can come up on land – who knew?!
9) I think I’m growing a mullet and I don’t know how to stop it!
10) A daily part of my social ritual is to sit on Radini’s porch and eat an “ice block” – a Fijian style Popsicle frozen in a cup made from sugar, water, milk, and “flavor.”
11) In Fijian you don’t “eat an ice block” – you “drink an ice block.” You also “drink” ice cream.
12) One more year really doesn’t seem so bad … right now.
13) Every so often, when I’m doing what’s normal for me now, I think how weird normal in America is going to be next year.
14) Simba is being snuggly again.
15) I have started to bop children on the head as a sign of affection – this could cause problems back home.
16) The mosquitoes REALLY like me right now.
17) Crazy Bandz seem WAY cooler to me … a 27 year old … than they should be.
18) I am reading book number 88 right now. The reading rate has slowed with the influx of movies and tv shows circulating among the volunteers right now.
19) I make sushi with materials I buy from Suva. It’s just cucumber and carrot. But the sushi got infinitely more exciting recently with the purchase of a teeny tiny bowl for my soy sauce. It feels just like I’m in a restaurant. Minus the good sushi.
20) It was awesome seeing my dad, stepmom, and Charlie. Unfortunately now I have no American or family visits to look forward to. Just a New Years trip to the Garden Isle, potential New Zealand trip in February … wait – that doesn’t sound too bad after all.
21) Things people have come to kerekere from me this week: sugar, matches, matches again, chilies, magazines, and something else I can’t remember because I lied about not having it.
22) I miss asparagus.
23) I never bought flour before moving to Fiji.
24) I miss mango season. Only 4 more months to go.
25) It makes me nervous to live in America again.
26) I hate the bank here – long story, but basically I went to get everything I needed to open an account for the village. They said here – these forms you need to fill out and bring photo ids for all signatories on account. I did. Now there are more forms that I should have gotten the first time AND I need birth certificates for everyone, which I was told were only needed if they didn’t have photo ID. AHHHHH!!! Shoot myself in the head.
27) I know I’m about 6 years late for this, but Million Dollar Baby is a great movie!!