Update on less important things..like lice and shorts


A few people have asked me about the lice situation since we first started here.   The lice situation is definitely still a situation and it's here to stay.   That said, we manage it.   I've mentioned before we have Seini, nit picker extraordinaire, come to our house weekly to search the girls' hair for nits and lice.   The girls wear their hair in braids every day to school and any social function where other children are involved (unless it's a really special occasion, like their birthdays).   Every morning I spray their hair with a lice repel conditioning spray before the braids, then I coat it with hair spray afterwards.   I then add a few drops of lavender or tea tree oil to their heads just for extra protection.  I make the girls keep their hats in their backpacks, instead of out on the rack with the other kids' hats at school. I wash their hair with a lice repel shampoo and conditioner. I keep their separate brushes and ponytail holders in the freezer.   I only wash their pillowcases and sheets once a week.    I feel like that is a lot in the way of protection.

Some weeks Seini finds nothing in their hair..."free and clear" she says.  Some weeks she finds one or two eggs and/or one or two live little lice.   I know this sounds gross, but if there are only one or two, we just keep up the routine like normal.   Some weeks she finds more.   If she finds 5 or more lice or eggs, I treat the girls' heads with poison and wash the pillowcases daily for the week.   Since January, this has only happened 3 times.   Mostly, they are free and clear or just one or two.  For our family, this is manageable.  I don't love the idea of basically ignoring the one or two lice that occasionally pop up, but I simply cannot see us spending hours every day to deal with that problem.  I am pretty sure that everyone around here deals with it similarly.

Sometimes I still get emails from the girls' schools in Atlanta letting me know that there has been lice there.   Those emails used to completely freak me out.  Now, I don't think I would bat an eye.   I'm totally used to it.  I don't love it AT ALL....but it is what it is.  Maybe when we move back, I can open a lice lady business.  I definitely feel like an expert now!


When we first moved here I was so panicking about not being able to wear shorts here in the heat and while I run.   I bought some longer, knee length spandex and was prepared  to wear them for exercise.  I relaxed about it all now.  Yes, in Suva, you hardly see people wearing shorts when they are out and about the town...grocery shopping, picking up children from school, etc.   I don't wear shorts at those times either.   But, when I run or go to boot camp, I wear shorts.  I would say that probably 75% of the women in my boot camp where knee length shorts, but I don't.   When I am out running, most everyone is wearing longer shorts, but my running partner and I both wear short shorts to run.   I just cannot run in longer shorts...I get so overheated.  I am basically comfortable wearing my shorts for exercise or when we go over to another ex-pat's house.

That said,   when I run past locals, I am very much aware of my shorts.  I feel their stares (whether or not it's my imagination, who knows?)  I feel half naked!   If for some reason, I have to run errands after exercising, I always try to remember a pair of pants.  Sometimes, I forget and I don't go home to change.   I will walk into a store in my shorts...but I am incredibly aware and a little self-conscious that so much of my legs are exposed.  I am getting used to being more covered up.  Even on July 4, when we went to some close ex-pat friend's house, I wore shorts and was a little self-conscious.   Most people do not wear short shorts...just as their regular clothing.   I never felt weird stateside in my shorts, but who knows...maybe it's just being so close to 40....  Maybe I am not supposed to wear short things anymore.   Obviously, it's also the culture here.   If I were in a village or simply outside of Suva, I wouldn't dream of wearing shorts.  It's not acceptable (unless of course, you are at a resort and then anything goes!)


Andie turned 7 yesterday.  I cannot believe my sweet girl is 7!!!  Tomorrow (hopefully) I will complete here birthday letter and post some pictures from her party.