Friday, May 28, 2010


But I've realized that these obstacles have helped the people find true happiness. You can see it in their smiles and their affection towards everyone they meet! I have been suprized that I feel very at home here. Well... for right now this is my home!
I gotta go help prepare for an Indian wedding, so I'll write more later!

Happy Anniversary!

Apologies to those who have checked my blog with no new news. I know you are all waiting on baited breath for my words of inspiration. hahaha-- Really i'm probably just writing to myself, but here we go.
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to ME! Today is my 1 month anniversary in Fiji. To celebrate I bought a really corny anniversary card to give to my co-partner James Brown. It has flowers, heart,... the works. I will also enjoy eating a cream bun. Cream buns have become a small obsession of mine. I have even had to limit the days that I eat them. They are homemade bread with a sugary honey cream inside. To say the least they are addicting and probably very fattening. Bring on the FAT!
Well let me just run through a typical day. ( mind that there are no such things as typical days here)
7:00- wake up to the sounds of birds, chickens, stray dogs, and loud roosters. It is hard to sleep in with all of those sounds combined. I then find some girls that go running with me through town. ( In fiji no one does physical exercise, so seeing a bunch of Americans running usually calls a lot of attention.)
7:45- eat, shower, get ready etc.
8-9- go to the first project.
- We have many projects such as square foot gardening, adobe stove making, nutrition classes, exercise classes, health classes, etc. Each project has a volunteer as a project lead. These project leads are in charge of organizing sustainable projects with our partners. James and I go about all day either doing logistical things such as shopping, meeting with government officials, making contacts, talking with the ministry of education and health, or accompanying the volunteers to their projects. If we go out to a village then they usually provide us with lunch.
5:45- it gets dark, so we all return home to eat, relax and have our beloved training meetings put on by James and I.
10:30-11:45- go to bed

I love being out here. The people are always smiling. Most do not have shoes on their feet and are dirty from head to foot, but they are happy. I think us Americans could learn a lot about the true meaning of life from these beautiful people.
Our team consists of 12 volunteers which in 2 weeks will be transforming into 27. We all share 1 bathroom and 1 shower. We wash our own clothes and spend alot of time playing card games, watching movies, talking about life, and reading books. On wthe weekend we can leave and do whatever we would like to.
Last week I went to the Robinson Cruesoe Island. It was beautiful. We went snorkeling, made coconut jewelry, had a bonfire, watched traditional dancing, went kayaking etc. While I did get sick, I was still able to have a great relaxing time.

I have found that this beautiful island inspires me. I look out the window and am penetrated by the beauty of the mountains, the flowers, the trees, the ocean. I sometimes catch myself staring out into the distance for a long time. There really is something healing about beauty. I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father made this earth for us. He is so kind. I have come to a new appreciation and need to be surrounded by beautiful things. ( Nature, paintings, music etc. ) It really does uplift our spirits and elevate our minds. It causes us to ponder on the meaning of life, of our daily actions, our thoughts, our relationships etc. I have found that when I look into the beautiful mountains I cannot control my mouth from forming a smile. It is a natural reaction. The only thing more beautiful than the scenery is the people. These people are so selfless. They love eachother and want to have fun. The other night we were making a garden and stove for a family. Afterwards they took us to a party that the village was having in honor of a man that returned from France. They were all sitting on their woven mats drinking Kava ( a very popular drink that tastes like dirt-- literally like water and dirt--- but they love it ) They were all listening to music and just enjoying being together. As I socialized with one woman she grabbed my hand, grabbed the hand of the man that returned from France and made us dance together in front of the whoel village. In return I grabbed one of the American volunteers and made her dance with him in front of the entire village. It was hilarious. We then formed a Kongo line during which many of the older women joined and caused the whole crowd to fall over laughing. These people are wonderful! I love them so much it hurts to see them have any sort of pain. I wish that I could take away not just poverty, but physical pain, inconveinence, misunderstandings, etc.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

First week in Fiji

Well I sit here at the computer feeling like a Fijian woman. I know I have only been here 1 week, but I feel like a part of the community. When I see foreigners I am tempted to stare ( only to realize that I am one). This past week has been a great one. James and I searched adn searched and finally found a green house on a hill for our volunteers. It is perfect. I feel like i'm on the mission again because I more easily see all my little prayers being answered. Perhaps it is because I have no school, jobs, or dating to distract me from the spirit. Or perhaps it is just because i'm paying attention and in great need of guidance. I pray all day long from waking up to getting on a mysterious bus to a new part of teh island to buying food. Everything has been so new but I love it. Just yesterday I was taught how to wash my clothing by hand. I feel a little guilty that many people do this everyday and I have always had the comforts of a machine. I have learned how to get around in a country where you have no one to help you. There is no mission president or senior companion to guide you. It is me, James, and the spirit. I'm grateful that neither James or I are shy. We talk to everyone and therefore learn quickly. Many people have been brought into our path to guide and help us. We have found a wonderful cook who is the same lady that will be helping us wash our clothes. Tommorrow we will be participating in a parade around Tavua. It is a parade promoting a Crime Free town.
Yesterday I had a great friend ( who refers to me as her sister) do the beautiful Henna designs on my arm adn hand. She is going to teach me how to do this along with how to cook Indian food.
In Fiji there are 2 groups of people. Fijians and Indo-Fijians. They are not on the best of terms, but they are both wonderful people. You can tell them apart by their hair usually. The Fijian people have more curly hair while Indians have more straight hair. They are beautiful people.
In the past couple days I have had times where it was only me. ME adn the people. I feel like I'm falling in love again. It's only been a week, but these people are eternally apart of my heart. They have already become family.
I have been grateful this week that the spirit has blessed me with peace. No matter if I lose my phone, get lost, can't find a house etc. I had a peace that surrounded me. I think alot of that is because of the beauty of this place. It is the prettiest place I've ever seen. Beauty really does heal the soul!
Well 2 volunteers came in today. We took them to the best bread store and walked around town. It's a great summer. I'm so grateful to be here!