Busy goings on of the week

It’s been a very busy week!   It’s kind of nice to be busy for a minute.  I think it indicates we are getting a bit more situated here.  The girls started school today, so things will definitely slowdown from this point forward.  Now, I’ll be making my way on my own, trying to get involved here in different ways. 
sunset at our house

A number of things have kept us busy since I last wrote.   On Monday evening I went to an exercise class at the local YMCA.   It was in a huge recreation room with no fans and no air conditioning.   It was SO hot and thick.   I was the only non-local there with the exception of the two acquaintances that took me.  I loved it!   It was really good to get sweaty and work out any angst I have about being here.  I want to go all of the time!  The locals were all wearing long sleeves and pants!   They were so sweaty too, but I guess it’s just the norm to cover up. 

Here is a photo of the Y that I found online.  Hot place.

 Last Tuesday I decided there was no way I could stay inside anymore with the kids without their toys.   We were all going crazy!  I went ahead and bowed to fate and called a taxi to get us out of the house.   I don’t know why I waited for so long!   I took the girls to a friend’s house and I went and got a Thai massage!    It was amazing.  I am afraid to even write this down because I don’t want to jinx anything, but one of the benefits of our new health insurance is 40 massages a year!!!!  This is for each family member!   Whoa!   I am going to get massages all of the time!  If you have never had a Thai massage it is a lot different than the massages I've had in the past.   It is a lot more stretching than deep tissue work.   They put you in some pajamas, which is nice because your legs go in every direction imaginable.   It was so awesome for my tight running hips.  The cab picked me up, picked up the girls, and took us home.  Later that day, the cab picked us up again and took us over to Warren’s boss’s house for dinner.   This all only cost me $15 US for the cab.  Not too bad.   I got a good recommendation on the cab, so that helped.  He had seat belts and I felt completely safe with him.     Dinner at the boss man’s house was really nice too.   Awesome food, great iced tea, good company, and a pool filled with their grand-kids and our kids for hours of entertainment.    Overall, such a nice day.  

By Wednesday, I was on a roll with cabs.  We took another cab to see a movie.   This time, the recommended cab was not available, so I just waved down one from our road.   This was not as pleasant of an experience, but not altogether awful either.    There were no seat-belts in the back seat, so the girls LOVED it, and I sat nervously through every curve and corner.  I was trying to hold on to the girls and they were laughing hysterically sliding from one end of the seat to the next.   The movie theater was nice and cheap; a great deal to go see Big Hero 6.   I was able to enjoy the movie (again) and only slightly worry about the possible lice infestation in the seats there.   We walked to Warren’s office afterwards, had lunch with him and caught another cab home.   That evening we went to an informal farewell for the US Ambassador to Fiji.   I met A LOT of US diplomats and started feeling like we can have a real community here…even if they do not become best friends  -  they can provide a much needed kinship in a place so far from home. 

The girls after so many late nights of dinners and pool time!

On Thursday, I went to a local yoga class and met some more expats.  I left the girls with Fannie and it turned out fine.    I found a fellow runner!   I hope to meet her this week.   Yay!   Then in the afternoon we went on the US embassy school bus to check out the international school (International School Suva,www.international.school.fj).    It was fun for the girls to meet their teachers and check out their new school!  We got their uniforms and school hats.  They have to wear hats to play outside due to the sun.  Andie is so not happy about that.   They are the cutest uniforms though J   I spoke to the principal for quite some time about the possibility of me working at the school as the elementary school counselor.   They currently do not have a primary counselor there.  I would LOVE to work there, but the principal seemed pretty hesitant.  She did say she would keep me in mind for any other open positions and that she would connect me with the current high school counselor.  I feel so passionately about school counseling…I truly cannot imagine not doing it.  I am going to do my best to volunteer my services so the school can see how beneficial it can be to have a counselor in the building and just hope that one day I can work my way into the staff…somehow!   In the meantime, I think I will go bonkers if I don’t work at all.  I am going to volunteer to be room mom and keep my ears open for possible employment opportunities at the embassy.   When we got home, our airplane shipment had arrived!!!   It was like Christmas in our house.  The kids were SOOOO happy and I admittedly was psyched as well.   No more wearing the same exact purple skirt every day and TOYS for the kids!!   The little things can make a big difference!   After some needed toy time, we went to some new friend’s house and enjoyed more good food, company, and pool time.

Andie and her new Australian teacher, Ms. Lauren.  Zoe doing a photo bomb :)
Fashion show

Zoe very happy with her new toys!

On Friday, we went to the embassy to get immunizations for the girls and me, and then sort of got sucked into staying for the traditional farewell for the Ambassador.  I am glad it worked out, because it was very cool to be a part of the traditional ceremony.  It was all in Fijian but I got the grasp of it.  All of the men were in Sulus and the women mostly wore traditional sulu skirts and charkra dresses.  I had to borrow one last minute, but we made it work!  We all sat on the ground and grog was passed between the important people at the embassy.  When the official ceremony was through, we sang the traditional Fijian farewell.  It was truly beautiful.  I wanted to cry and I have absolutely no connection to the Ambassador.    The Ambassador said something that I have been thinking since we got here.  It’s pretty amazing that the Fijian’s have hung on so tightly to their traditional culture, particularly in this day and age.   Even all these Fijians who live here in the city away from their villages, they know the traditions.  They know the dances, the songs, the ceremonies.   They dress according to the tradition and understand who dresses as a warrior, a guard, etc.  They have a deep understanding of the culture and are raising their children to understand the traditions as well.   I have barely skimmed the surface of understanding all there is to this beautiful culture, but I respect how deep and rich it is. 

The weekend continued with a CD release party, some Fijian dancing, the tragedy of a lost blankie, an amazing resort stay, some non-stop vomiting, and the first day of school.   I promise to report on all of that after I get the girls settled in from their first day of school today.  More very soon!   (I wish I knew how to not be so long winded….maybe it will just take some practice!)

Warren looks better in a skirt/sulu than I do!


  1. Great report. Traumatic ending with lost blankies and vomiting (assume that was Warren). Exciting times! Can't wait to hear about school. The new building looks great. And no way, Warren looks like Janet Reno in that skirt! -Tom


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