another week goes by

So, it's been a while since I updated the blog on the regular happenings of the week.  Life here is beginning to feel a bit more routine and settled.  Definitely not 100% settled, but taking steps each day.   A lot of things have happened in the last week to help me feel that way.   

For one, we had some friends over to our house to eat dinner last Saturday night.   I want to do this WAY more often, but find the prep work to be a daunting task.  I don't know why I am so much daunted by it here than in Atlanta where we always had friends over, but I am nonetheless.   We made soft tacos and I swear it took us 6 hours to get it all together!   Warren did most of the prep work and he likes things to be perfect with the it was awesome, but also a lot of work.    For one thing, you have to go to so many stores to get the right ingredients.   We are probably not the best at planning ahead that doesn't help.  One friend, Allegra, offered to make pineapple salsa as an accompaniment to the meal and she said it took her two hours, going to 7 different places, all over town to find cilantro.    I guess we are not alone in the extra prep work.  Regardless, I am so glad we had people over.  It was fun and made our house feel more like a home.   Hopefully we (meaning me since I'm not working)  just get better at prepping stuff during the week.   

Allegra got this awesome shot from the backyard.


On Sunday, the girls and I ran errands with a friend while Warren worked.  We ended up crashing a kid's birthday party too.  I cannot be positive yet, but I think the kids' birthday parties here are pretty awesome.  So many people have pools so the kids just have a blast swimming and running around outside.   We have four more birthday parties that we are actually invited to in the coming weeks, so I'll confirm later.  I love that the girls are already making enough connections to get invited to parties.  

At the party, my friend, Cyndee was telling me to really be aware of infections here.   Apparently they run rampant here due to the tropical climate.   She warned me that if the girls even get a little cut, put a strong antibiotic ointment on it right away to ward off infection.  She told me horror stories of her years here with infections and tropical boils.   Yikes!  I am so happy she shared it with me, but now I'm so nervous about it!  I guess all I can be is prepared.   It's a good thing I know actually, because at that party Andie fell off of a zip-line and scraped up her face and shoulder.   I immediately applied the ointment like a crazy mum chasing her child around the party.   She also had a fairly hard blow to her mouth so she ended up knocking loose her already loose front tooth. 

Do you think someone is excited about losing her first tooth?!

Warren had to work all day Sunday to prepare for an upcoming Peace Corps training, so after work he met us in the evening at the Holiday Inn pool.   Another nice night of pizza, swimming, and pretty sunsets.   

Holiday Inn

We got the car on Sunday too!  I drove home!!  I was nervous as anything, but I did it!!!   Since then, I've driven all over Suva.  It's so weird getting used to driving on the other side of the road, looking to your right to see if you are clear, and looking to your upper left to look in your rear view mirror.  I constantly turn on the windshield wipers when I mean to turn on my turn signal and vice versa, but again, I'm slowly getting better.  Baby steps.   I am starting to figure out my way around town and LOVE the independence the car provides!   

On Monday I started a 6 week boot-camp style exercise class.  It meets at 9AM three times a week at the local YMCA.   OH MY GOSH.  It's SO SO SO hot in that Y.   The gym reminds me of a gym you would see in a Rocky movie where boxers go to train.  It's just one room with no fans, no air conditioning, and slats for windows.  There is no breeze.  I am sweating before we even start warm up.   The class itself is hard, but the heat makes it a million times harder.  I LOVED boot camp in Atlanta.  It was so challenging and rewarding...but here the heat is the biggest challenge.   Hopefully I'll acclimate to that too.  If nothing else, I'll lose water weight as a result.   It's fun to be in the class because there is a great mix of women.   Some Fijians, some Indo-Fijians, one other American, British, Aussies..the whole mix.  Liti the teacher is Fijian.  If I can look like her after doing boot-camp, I'd endure the heat forever!


Picture lots of bear crawls, burpees, and star-jumps (jumping jacks) in this place

After boot camp, I went to the oddest super bowl party I've ever been to, simply because it was different than the usual.   It was on a Monday afternoon in a non-air conditioned bar with Indian snacks.  It was crazy hot..but hey I liked the half time show!    
On Tuesday, the US embassy welcomed the new US ambassador, Ambassador Cefkin, to Fiji and to the embassy    Again, it was a traditional welcome ceremony and again I was impressed the power and reverence to tradition here.  I am actually going to another welcome ceremony "sevusevu" for her today at the Peace Corps office. 

They greeted her right at her car.

Grog bowl

Wednesday night I went to a trivia wine tasting with a few women.  It was so fun!  I am starting to realize how small Suva is because I continue to run into the same people all of the time.  At the tasting, I learned about the term "the trailing spouse"...which I am.   Some of the ladies were saying that life is harder here on the trailing spouse (which many of their husbands are trailing spouses)  because everyone who works here seems to really like their jobs.  When you don't work, you really have to make the life for yourself that you want.   It's easier to miss home when you are alone more often and used to working.  They all agreed life is great here for kids.  I hope that I stay busy enough and maybe even work some so that I do not fall into this "trailing spouse" tough spot.  It's good to be aware of it I suppose.  I think I'll be ok though. Yesterday I ran errands IN THE CAR all day!  I drove all around Suva with a friend.  I picked up the curtains, went grocery shopping, went out to lunch, and went to the hardware store.  My hands were sore from gripping the wheel so tightly, but hey....I did it!  

Play room curtains.   Unfortunately, have to take the bedroom ones back.

When the kids got home, we fell into the regular routine of lice combing.  I am SO sick of it.   I am trying desperately to get a better attitude about it, but every time I think we are free and clear, one little bug shows up on one of their heads.  Since this began three weeks ago, they have a pattern of being lice and nit free (from what I can tell) for 6-7 days and then on the 7-8th day I find one louse.   Ugh.  It's so frustrating.   It just takes up SO much time of the day to comb out both girls' hair and wash linens and hats everyday.  I'm over it, but I cannot be.  Last night I found one stupid little nit on Andie.  Check out how small it is and how easy it would be to miss.   I am sure everyone is sick of hearing me complain about this.  I am sick of hearing me complain about this.   (I even have dreams about lice, regularly!) I apologize and can only hope I can get rid of it or get used to it!

That's my pinky!   So damn small.

Not sure why we are still letting them in our bed.   Lice bed.

P.S. I forgot to mention I made dinner!  Here's my first attempt at a meal for the whole family.  (To be fair, I did use left over rice Warren made from the weekend...but I turned it into stir fried rice!)  

Not too bad!

Avocado from the tree in our yard. Yum.  

Lastly, let me end with some of the beautiful sunsets we've seen this week from our porch. Not a bad finish to an afternoon of lice combing!