News flash....it's sunny in Suva today! It makes me happy! It's amazing how much the nice weather affects my attitude! I'm crossing my fingers for nice weather when Warren's family visits soon, but either way it will just be nice to have family here.
The past week has been good. Probably the biggest thing going on is that Carrie Hessler Radelet, (Read more here) the Director of Peace Corps world wide is in Fiji! This is a big deal. She is a big deal. She was appointed by President Obama and comes from four generations of Peace Corps
family members. She oversees 68 Peace Corps countries. It is so cool that she is here!
On Monday night we went to a meal at the country director's house with her. I really don't know if I've ever eaten dinner with someone so important. The amazing thing is though, she is such a huge deal, but you wouldn't know it when you talk to her. Of course, she is charming and articulate and brilliant....but she is also down to earth and laid back. There were fourteen of us at dinner and as we were all sitting down, she patted the seat next to her and said, "Kate, come sit next to me." I wanted to reply, "I am not important enough to sit next to you. I am just the wife here." But...of course I didn't. I sat next to her and we had the most lovely conversation ranging from motherhood's joys and challenges, school counseling, our Peace Corps experiences, and my experience with AmeriCorps. She was so easy to talk to, which is probably one of the reasons she is so good at her job. I loved sitting at the table with intelligent people who all want to do good in this world. Everyone there was an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) and all of them were doing something to make our world a better place. It was inspiring and made me feel so happy to be where we are in life. To top it all of, we had the best dinner ... four different kinds of salads- all of them delicious. It was a delightful night.
The next morning (yesterday) the Peace Corps office had a TOTALLY AWESOME sevusevu (traditional welcome ceremony) for the Director. The Peace Corps staff and volunteers held nothing back! They decorated the office beautifully. They were awake at 2am to prepare a lovo. They wrote a touching song just for Carrie. There was music, dancing, kava drinking.... all of it. It was the most warm welcome I've ever witnessed, and Carrie said she felt the same way. The country director even said he thinks President Obama couldn't have received better treatment. Carrie gave a beautiful speech about the impact of Peace Corps volunteers world-wide and how even years later we never know how much impact we had on the place we served. I am so proud of my Peace Corps service and so proud to still be part of such a phenomenal organization. The pictures do not do this experience justice and the videos are too large to upload.
|Sulu outfit picture
|This is before the ceremony began. Volunteers and local staff getting ready.
|Volunteer giving Carrie her necklace as part of ceremony
|Presenting the grog tree as gift
|The grog from the root. We enjoyed a few glasses after the ceremony
|Peace Corps Staff and Carrie
|Some of the Peace Corps volunteers with Carrie
|All three flags
|must take photo op
On a completely different note, here are a few things going on in the Passin household amidst the on -goings on the week.
|Andie received her medal for swimming. Go Andie!
|Zoe's class took a field trip to the Australian High Commission gardens on Friday.
|Andie helping Zoe with her hair. Sweet moment.
|Mufti day at school. So pleased not to be wearing uniforms! Turns out the one day of the year they wore their hair down they didn't get lice either!
|Sleepover with friends on Saturday night. The girls played outside all morning. Still cannot believe this is our backyard/landscape for the girls to play in.
|movie night before bedtime