Friday, May 28, 2010

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.

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