Tickets bought!

It looks like I am blogging once a week nowadays.  It works for me.  I feel super busy lately.   Also, it still feels weird to talk about anything except the cyclone.  This country is still reeling. 53,000 people are still in evacuation centers.  Damage to agriculture has been estimated around 60 million USD.  Around 250,000 people are still in need of water, sanitation, and hygiene assistance according to the UN.  Everyone local person I know has at least one family member extremely affected.   Again, we were so lucky here in Suva.  I think that if the cyclone directly hit Suva, the city would be so destroyed....we'd probably be sent home, at least temporarily.  I don't even know if Suva would still be operational....  

I am SO excited because we booked our tickets to visit the good old USA this summer (our "winter")! We will spend time in Atlanta.  I will go to my annual girls' weekend.  We will spend the week in Duck with Warren's family.  We will have time in Richmond with my family and I will be attending the American School Counseling annual conference in New Orleans!!!  It will be 1.5 years since we have last been in the States and we are all so excited to reunite with friends and family, and to eat some good food!   It's probably good we are going home for a bit too...because my kids are forgetting so many things about the States!  I recently posted that Andie didn't remember what a squirrel was.  This week, Zoë saw a picture of a racoon and a porcupine and asked me what kind of animals they are.  We are really lacking in our woodland creature knowledge!   Also, in a rare exception in the grocery store, there were imported peaches!  The kids asked if they could have I forked over the big money so they could each have a taste of home.   Before Zoë bit into hers, she asked me, "Does this have seeds?  Does this have one big seed or lots of seeds?"  She didn't remember about peaches.   Isa.  We will buy lots of peaches when we visit home because I know the grocery store will have matter if it's peach season or not....American grocery stores have everything!   Lastly, Andie told me she doesn't remember the pledge of allegiance anymore.  I recited it several times and felt like a terrible American that she forgot it.  Zoë doesn't know it at all.   Andie even asked me, "Mom what is that day in America where we get to see fireworks and wear red, white, and blue?"   Don't worry girls, we'll be celebrating Independence Day with lots of Americans this year!

While I am thrilled to be going home, I do wish the elections were over by that time.  I am not looking forward to the political climate there.   I am watching in shock from here.  I cannot believe the hateful rhetoric and how angry/fearful/hateful such a large part of our country is. I can believe it actually, but it just makes me sad.  At the risk of offending some here, I don't know what to do with the Trump supporters in my life.   I feel I've always been able to accept people who are different than me....those with different beliefs.   But, I am feeling so torn up about friends and family who love Trump.   How can I be close with someone if they rally for racism and sexism?   It's not just different's completely different values.  I think I need to get off Facebook...because maybe I'm just not mature enough to handle others' view points?  I feel passionate about advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves ... so I run into some serious moral clashes with Trump supporters.  Ya....I am glad I'm not at home right now because I have not met a single Trump supporter here in Fjii.  People are shaking their heads in disbelief here.

I cannot stop reading about the election....but it's nice to choose when I do read instead of being bombarded with it non-stop like I imagine it to be at home.  I've always read the ending of books before I finish them and I always read spoilers for shows.  I like to know the endings.  I feel more settled that way.  It is driving me crazy that I cannot read a spoiler for this election.  It's completely unnerving.

On another note, we have been doing super well with Buy Nothing New.  We have gotten by quite well.  I still need to buy a mop bucket for Fanny, the housekeeper as she keeps asking me, so I guess I cannot avoid that one.  Warren says it is just a jerk move to not get her one.  I guess I was just hoping one would turn up at some second hand shop, but no such luck.   Also, I did buy one book instead of getting it on kindle.  I could not find a used copy and the book was actually cheaper in paper than on kindle...but I know I still broke the rules.  I do promise however to pass along the book as soon as I finish it.   Before we go home, I feel like I should buy gifts for friends...but I know it will just be clutter in people's homes.   It just feels odd to go home empty handed.  I have to admit to one other big oops.  In a weak moment, I looked around on Amazon for a cute dress for girls' weekend.  I was hoping to just get ideas and definitely not intending to buy anything.  I found a cute dress and put it in the cart...honestly without an intention to buy.   Warren got some food on Amazon and didn't see the dress and then wondered why his total was so expensive when he checked out.   Well, lo and behold, he unknowingly bought that dress.   I can return it...and I might....because even if the dress looks great I think I will feel so guilty wearing it. three months....we've bought a book, we will buy a mop,...and accidentally bought a dress.   I guess it could be worse...but we've got to do better!  I guess the good thing is that we are so much more aware now.

Lastly, one of my besties here, Wendy, has been gone all week.  She went to Sydney to rejuvenate her soul at a Christian women's conference.  I love that I have her in my life and we can offer each other our different perspectives on religion, parenting, running, etc.   I am trying very hard not to pre-grieve her upcoming December departure...and instead just feel grateful that she is in my life...but I missed her and she was only gone for one week!  Ok....let me just go back to denial for a bit.   I have had such a great week here with friends and feel immensely grateful that we have the group of friends we do have here.  Have a great week everyone!


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