First of all, WOW!! I did not expect your feedback. Thank you for reading and coming along with me on this crazy adventure! It is so cool to know that people in my life are following along....
To catch up where I left off, we had a very relaxing New Years day. We played by the pool all day long. Warren is still in super daddy and husband mode (given my two months of single parenting), so basically he spoiled us all, the whole day long. We played pool games (Marco Polo is fun!), ate a picnic lunch, and sipped on cold beers throughout the day. Once again, being together as a family felt good and I feel hopeful that we will have many more days like this at the house, our house. In the states, we always had plans - play dates, yard work, birthday parties, social gatherings, etc. As a social person who really cannot stay around the house all day without going crazy, plans have always been good. But, the constant plans didn't allow for much family down time. Hopefully here, I will learn to enjoy down time and simply being together as a family. If down time is always as sweet as New Years Day was for the Passin household, I don't see any problems.
As I mentioned, Warren booked us a resort stay as a "Welcome to Fiji" gift. Luckily he got an amazing local rate at an awesome resort. (http://www.shangri-la.com/yanucaisland/fijianresort/). We left Friday morning for a two hour drive. Everything still felt dream like as we drove. I was (and still am) in disbelief that this is our home now. It feels so different. The landscape is brilliant green and lush. It is so green, I almost feel like I need to squint my eyes. We rode along a windy, coastal road the whole time, passing through many coastal villages. The girls were fascinated by the random cows, horses, and goats walking along the road...while I was intrigued with the very basic housing, mostly just shacks that people live in. I wonder if when people visit Fiji and stay on resorts, do they really know the living condition of the average villager there?
The resort was on a little island off the main road. It was beautiful! We had a room right on the ocean and everywhere you looked was a beautiful backdrop. They had an amazing breakfast buffet daily and we got by on our PB&J's and pizza for most of the rest of the time we were there. One of the best things about the resort was Kid's Club. Throughout the day and evening, there were kids activities. You could drop your kids off at Kid's Club for a few hours, allowing for the perfect combination of family vacation time and adult time. The kids loved going to kid's club so it worked out for everyone involved. We met a few Aussies at the resort and they continued to vacation there just because of the kid's activities. Warren and I loved the way the Australians said "Kids Club" so we were total dorks and every time we mentioned Kids Club, we had to say it with an awful Australian accent (Keed's Clob). Most of the tourists there were Aussies from what we could gather. Andie and Zoe made many friends, again reassuring me they would be ok here.
|Relaxing by infinity pool
|Georgia Made T-shirts (Thanks Drydens!)
|Zoe was the sunset photographer
|Two thumbs up on milkshake and view
|"I think I like it here!"
|A kid's club night out (Kids watched movie)
|Andie LOVED that it said NO PARENTS ALLOWED!
They were having a great time, but I think, like me...they are still feeling completely unsettled. When friends asked Andie where she was from, she said Atlanta. I asked her if she told them she now lived in Fiji, and she emphatically said, "No, we don't live in Fiji. We live in Atlanta... we are just visiting here...even if it is for a few years." Zoe had a few temper tantrums based on pure exhaustion and ended them with requests to go back home to Atlanta. We were sitting on our balcony overlooking the ocean, talking about the sheer beauty of it all, when Andie piped in, "Do you know where my favorite place in the whole world is?" We guessed a few possibilities.. Cumberland Island, Disney World, here???? She replied, "Our home in Atlanta." I had to swallow back a few tears and let her know that even among the exquisiteness here, I too missed "home." It will take some time I reassured her. Yet, having said that, in the same hour she went on and on about how much she loved Fiji and how she "is really getting the hang of living here." We are all on the same roller coaster of emotions....loving so many things about here... knowing how much we will miss about home.
|Our balcony view
Warren's friend's from the Peace Corps (one staff member and one past volunteer who married a Fijian) came to visit us for the day at the resort. It was fun to hang out and get to know some future friends in Suva. I learned a lot from the past volunteer married to the Fijian. Wow, the culture here is SO different than the states. As I learn more, I will report back what I know...but in short, I still have a lot to learn. She did confirm that I probably shouldn't wear shorts to run. Ugh.
Tomorrow morning we have a meeting at the embassy to go over paperwork, etc. Warren will be with us for the meeting, and then on to the reality of work. He will be working and we will be on our own. This is when things will feel real... not like a vacation anymore. It will be time for me to to focus on getting the house like we want it and learning to drive. The girls start school in two weeks...so...hopefully we don't go crazy before then!