catch-up before the guests

Well, again it's been forever and a day since I've written.  I put together the pictures of this post before our guests arrived and it's been pretty non-stop since.  Three days before Allison, Tom, Dalton, and Darcy came our friend Mere left to go back to her village. The girls were so sad to see her go...but we promised to see each other again soon.   During part of her stay, Warren had to go to Taveuni for work.   This is a beautiful island in Fiji where some volunteers live.  He had a nice time and even got to stand on the International Date line.  Pretty cool.  

Warren on International Date Line
When he got back we went to Pacific Harbour for the day to enjoy the beach for a bit.   It was a good time. 

sleepy girl at the beach

Pacific Harbour

We also went to see the movies a few times.  I took Mere to an incredible movie that was part of the 16 days of activism.  The movie was Kuma Hina, a movie about a transgender teacher dedicated to preserving Hawaiian culture.  I think it was a real eye opener for Mere.  It was only the third time she's ever been to the movies (all with us) and it was definitely the first time she ever had a conversation about transgenders.  It was a phenomenal movie which reminded me how important it is to advocate for the LGBTQ community.  

We also went to see Hotel Transylvania (again) with all the kids.  I was THRILLED to see this fake Santa at the movie theater.   Background: Every year I get a picture of the girls with Santa for our desktop book.  You may remember from this post (  Anyway, there has not been an easy way to find Santa here.  I have searched everywhere.  There was a place all set up at the mall for Santa so I asked the employees around if Santa would be there. They said that yes, Santa drops in now and again.  I asked if there were posted or scheduled times for Santa and they informed me he just sort of drops in.  They told me try on the weekend. I tried.  He wasn't there.  On a random Tuesday, a friend posted a picture of him on Facebook from the mall,....but she said that right after she took the picture he was leaving.  SO.....basically, I knew there would be a Santa there at some point...but there was no schedule and no hints as to when he would show up.  So different than the states where Santa is on every corner!!!

This may be the best I can hope for!

I have been really into the fruit and veggie stands lately.  It doesn't get much better than the coconut and pineapple here.  Yum.

Yum- pineapples, watermelon, coconuts!

Flowers bought at road side stand for only $7.50 USD
Christmas in Fiji- bathing suits, Christmas trees, Santa hats, and pumping up pool rafts
Christmas tree at my Suva Park
Snow in Fiji?

My Suva Park put on a great Christmas display for the first time this year.  It was really nice to go and listen to the carols and walk around the Christmas light display.   Also, we went to a friend's house for a Hanukkah celebration.   It was cool for the kids to learn another holiday tradition.   

Hanukkah Celebration (see menorah in background)

Happy Hanukkah!

Lastly, a small thing....that has turned out to be a big(ish) thing.  We have two lights in our kitchen that have burned out.  In Atlanta this would mean that one of us would pop into Lowe's, pick up new light bulbs and eventually replace them in a few minutes.'s a different story.  The lights have gone out.  Warren tried to pull them out of the ceiling....he was unsuccessful.  He attempted a few times, to no avail. We had some repair men in our house to fix the air con so Warren had to ask the house manager to ask them to please try to change the light bulbs for us.  After I reminded them a few times to please have a go at our light bulbs, one of the gentlemen tried for me.  After a bit of tugging, he finally got it out (along with the paint around it).   He told me I had to take it to an electric shop to get a replacement.  After I asked around to find the shop, I brought the lights in and the sales clerk there spent 15 minutes switching out the light bulbs using a wrench and a screw driver.  He showed me how to replace them in the ceiling and now they are still sitting on our counter.  I think both Warren and I are slightly nervous about attaching and connecting the wires....but also just a bit lazy.    Hopefully by the first of the year they are done!   It's funny how the littlest things here can take up so much time and energy!  

The culprit light bulbs