Seeing the positive

I am currently sitting outside soaking in this beautiful view while the kids enjoy their kindle time.   It is really amazing out here... there is one little thing though.  This mosquito keeps buzzing around me.  I've tried to squash it a dozen times but it's pretty quick.  When I look at it, I keep thinking dengue...dengue...dengue fever.   Damn mosquito.  I covered myself in deet and so now it's just floating around me, teasing me...but not getting to close to my deet covered skin.  Now I can sit here and just write and listen to the birds chirping while looking up to see the mountains and the ocean.   I feel like this mosquito is similar to so many things here.   Fiji is all of these amazing things....pool time, family bonding, resorts,  phenomenal beauty.....with all these little not so amazing things... petty theft, shorts saga, crazy distance from family and friends...and mosquitoes.   I think it's up to me where I put my energy.  I can obsess about the not so great things, or I can relish in the good.   I can notice the flaws but not obsess over them.  I need to put  my energy towards the positive.   I went over to some new friend's house last night.  They had this Cherokee proverb posted on their wall.

Last  night I just read it and thought...hmmm, that's true.  But today, it's hitting me a bit more as a good guideline for my time here.  In general, I am going to do my best to focus on the positive.

To focus on the bug or the view?  I choose the view!

Two nights ago I got crazy and decided to make a salad.  Here are the steps to making a salad here...or more precisely just getting the lettuce or spinach ready for your salad.   Wow.  Don't know how often I'll do this!

But.....good news!  As I mentioned, I went to some new friends' house last night and they told me they never bleach their lettuce.  They laughed at the thought.  The reason you are supposed to do it is because the farmers use manure to fertilize their crop.  They do not wash them before picking and selling.  I definitely don't want to end up with food poisoning but, maybe I don't have to go as crazy washing.   The friends helped ease my nerves about a lot of things.   They said they were freaked out too after the embassy's security briefing...but in time, you get used to things and just stay aware.  They never even set their alarm.  Not sure I' ll get there, but they definitely put my mind at ease.  Also, I am running with two of them today after Warren gets home from work, so I know a good run will get my mind in the right place.   (Even if it is the most crazy hot, humid, running weather, I am going to do my best and focus on the positive and be thankful for the run!)

Also, tried to do some wash in our washing machine...which looks nothing like the washing machines that I am used to.  Not sure how, but all of our grey and blue shirts came out purple and the girls' bright blue dress and shirts came out faded.    Maybe it's the detergent....  Now I am afraid to wash anything.   Any readers out there have any suggestions?

Warren is so proud of his domestic goddess housewife who does a great job on his laundry!  I think the shirt becomes him.  Lol.

Apparently living here and living the life we live sets up the expectation that we will have a housekeeper.   It is seen as a way to give to the local economy.  It feels so weird to have someone come clean the house, but it's nice too.  We just hired someone yesterday for a trial period, Fannie.   She is from a northern village.  She is so sweet with the kids and has such a pleasant demeanor.  I can tell her presence in the house will be calming and kind.  She had never seen a washing machine, a dryer,  an ironing board, or dealt with a refrigerator.  I showed her how to use these appliances and basically gave her a run down of things to do.  Anyone who knows me well knows I am a total slob, so it's a little ironic that I am giving this very proper, clean, grandmother direction on cleaning the house.  She really wanted to hand wash our clothes, and I almost agreed given the washer situation...but that just seems like a crazy amount of work given the washing machine sitting right here!   We are still stuck at home all day, so we got to spend a lot of time together.   I asked her a lot of questions about her village life, kids, and grand-kids.  She told me she is a descendant of the chief, which I could tell was very important to her.    I hope to learn more from her throughout our stay.

Some pool time yesterday.

Happy Friday everyone!


  1. I know these early weeks are so hard, but you are doing an an AMAZING job integrating already! That purple is from the fabric bleeding.... hand wash those dresses (and all new local items) by themselves a few times (the water will eventually run clear!). :) I also never bleached a leaf of anything. I was sick all the time, but that was probably the kava. Keep posting photos and sharing your stories - we're loving living vicariously through you!!

  2. We miss you guys! Thanks for keeping us updated. Every time I eat salad, I'll think of you.


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