BULA, Yandra, Namaste, Welcome!
I really should be better about this whole blogging thing. I have realized yet again that I am a horrible long distance communicator or emailer. I get so involved with what is happening here. Let me just say it is BUSY! I love it though. Not to mention the internet closes at 5 pm and is pretty darn slow. ------ok ok I know i'm just justifying myself so that I feel better. Its funny how often we do that. This will probably be a long blog, and a little scattered due to the amount of experiences I have had since the last post. So... if you are up for the challenge I wish you luck:)
Lets begin with the books I have read. I finished reading 3 books thus far: Three Cups of Tea-by Greg Mortenson (one of my new heros and people I want to be like) Leadership and Self-Deception- by the Arbinger Institute(One of my best friends gave me this book before I left and I love it. I guess it could classify as a self-help book. It is AMAZING! I read it in 2 days because I was so intrigued with what I was learning about myself and about the human race through this book. I felt that most of it was fairly common, yet not at the same time. I won't go into details about it, because you will most likely become confused-- but PLEASE-- go read it. I have already determined I am reading it to my future children -- yes its that good:) )
The third book is teh Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I'm sure you know from hearing the name C.S. Lewis that this is a phenomenal book. It is yet another one of those books that cause you to look into yourself and reflect about your motivations and actions. I have enjoyed reading. This has been the first time in 3 years that I have time to read. I spend much time on buses, which to me means 1 of 2 things---read a book or stare out at the scenery and think. I won't lie, I pretty much love that time. I feel like everything back at college is so fast...probably because I tend to make it that way. But, it has been nice to be emersed in a culture that is more relaxed and likes to take many "rests." :) Usually when we go up to a project we must first take a "rest" during which we are usually given some amazing juice and cassava to eat. The word "rest" has a totally new meaning to me. Anything you do whether it be driving, working, eating, talking, etc. must be accompanied by a "rest." Not too bad huh?!
I'm going to attach a blog entry that I just wrote for our Fiji Blog---yes we have a Fiji blog and you are welcome to read it if you would like. The blog is help-fiji.blogspot.com
Here is what I wrote today.
(Hello to all you faithful followers of the progress of Fiji. We are having a great time serving, teaching, learning, and experiencing. I won't lie I feel that most of the time I am the student being served by them. The people are so giving and love their culture. What a great thing it is to be here.
As far as projects go, we have many up and running. In the last post you read about many of them. I have been so proud of our team as we have all worked our hardest to not just serve, but create sustainable projects. When first arriving in Fiji many of us wanted to serve the people so much that we would build a garden or stove for them while they stood by as idle observers. Yet, after these experiences we saw the lack of motivation to take care of their garden, stove, etc. As a team we discussed this problem and brainstormed ways to we can improve our presentation and teaching. We determined that we need to REALLY educate and teach the people instead of doing everything for them. I believe this to have been a big lesson for many. It is easier to do everything yourself. So, we have been setting goals about how to push oursleves aside and really focus on the development of the individuals with which we work. Now, instead of making an adobe stove or garden for the villages, we are allowing the people in the villages do the building and constructing with our guidance and supervision. Many of the villagers have participated and have found it to be an enjoyable new experience.As we have implemented this new way of serving we have seen great success. The people understand more and find a new sense of ownership with the project. With this sense of ownership and excitment about what THEY made, they are more dedicated to taking care of it and sharing their knowledge with others. We are starting to really encourage those that have learned a particulkar skill to teach a family member or friend. As they have done so we have seen the people become empowered. This is our purpose...to empower the people of Fiji through sustianable development.
From the beginning of the experience to now, my vision of how to empower others has changed. I now realize to a new extent that people are not empowered until they believe in their individual ability to change and improve. As we assist them to change themselves, they then will want to improve and change the world around them. I am so grateful to have learned this and hope to take this lesson and empower others in Fiji, the U.S., and the world.
From the land of smiles,
~Team Fiji~ )
Well, I have learned alot about myself and about what I will be like as mother and a wife. Not that i'm married right now, but i work very closley and on a daily basis with my partner James. While our relationship is striclty and will always be plantonic, I have learned much about communication with a spouse. I have also learned much about what it might feel like to be a mom---- running errands, taking care of everyone when they are sick, and making sure everyone's needs are being fulfilled. I'm not gonna lie, I love it! I love loving peopel and taking care of them. Being a mom will be awesome!
Well turns out I have to go, so i'll write more whenever I get back on:)