Wedding, weekend getaway, and Fiji epidemic

It's been a full week!  The kids' holiday started off with the Indian wedding ceremony last Thursday night.  I think all of the staff at my school got invited to this wedding, but I am guessing more went for the bigger events on Friday and Saturday.  Thursday night was a simple ceremony honoring the groom to be, Dasha.   I am so glad we went to support him and so glad we got to experience it!  I really wish we could have attended the wedding!

The girls and I had a ton of fun dressing up.   I kept feeling like I'd be overdressed, but I wasn't at all.  All of the women looked beautiful!  (The men on the other hand didn't look like they tried at all!  They were in regular clothes you'd see them wear around town, except Dasha did look very nice.)   I ended up choosing the black one (Thank you Venaat!!!!!!) because it was the most comfortable, albeit a bit hot.   When you wear these dresses, you also have to wear pants to cover any leg you may have in very hot, tropical gets a little bit warm!  I also had a scarf around my neck...  but if I felt so exotic and pretty!

This was the best shot our o maybe 10.  Zoë wan't in the mood to cooperate!
The invitation said 7, so we got there at 7:30 allotting for "Fiji time" We were the first guests there.  Dasha's sister came over and apologized saying they would start soon.   Andie immediately made some friends while we waited and Zoë eventually joined in the play as well.   There was Indian music being blasted by the DJ the whole time.  Guests started arriving and the atmosphere felt festive.   We sat outside on benches lined with noodle wrappers facing an alter.

After sometime, Dasha and his female family members came into the alter.  They performed many rituals (which I didn't understand) but they sang, played the drums, washed his feet, and anointed him with oil.  Throughout all of it, Indian music was playing.   It was interesting to see the Hindi wedding customs.

This boy sitting next to Andie was explaining everything to her.  It was so cute.  They played all night together.  Many jokes were made about their future wedding!

After the ceremony finished, Dasha came over to us and thanked us for coming.  I thought that was the end of the night, but he told us that dinner would be served soon.  By now, it was almost 9:00 pm and I hinted at the fact that we would have to leave soon so the girls could go to bed.  He implied that we shouldn't leave yet and that we of course needed to stay for dinner.  I didn't want to be rude, so we stayed.   The kids had fun....until they didn't.  They were so tired, especially Zoë.    Even though she was complaining, I was fascinated watching everyone.  All of the men sat together in the back drinking grog, which I mistakenly thought only Itaukai Fijians did.   Indo-Fijians apparently love the grog too.  The women mostly sat with their children.  The women and children were served dinner first (it was delicious!!!!!) and then the men were served dinner when the women and children finished.   By the time we were all done it was nearly 11 pm!   I felt so rude, but I had Zoë in the car while Warren ate because she was simply exhausted.   Despite Zoë's lethargy, it was so worth going! I am glad we did.  

At one point, Dasha sat in this chair and the professional photographer took pictures with Dasha and each guest.  No one smiled in the pictures (except for our family with our goofy smiles!) 

The next morning, I went on a long(ish) run and then headed out to Leleuvia, our favorite resort here.  Unfortunately, as I was driving back from the run around 7:30 a.m.  Warren called to tell me that Andie had woken up with conjunctivitis (more on this later).  He was so sweet and offered to stay home with her until the next day so that Zoë and I could head out early.    He's also more responsible than me, because I probably would have just brought her along, but I think we made the right public health choice.  They joined us Saturday morning -  Warren got off the boat with pink eye too - poor things! 

Good morning from our bure!
As always, Leleuvia was beautiful and relaxing and restorative.  I love that place.   They put on a Easter egg hunt, we played bocce,  had drinks by the water and even a late night swim!  Tricia and I swam under the moonlight and then got completely freaked out when a HUGE sea snake swam right in-between us!  The swim ended abruptly!   

They also had adorable baby turtles that they are taking care until they are ready to release them.  They were SO cute! While I was snorkeling I saw some sort of huge fish and a monteray eel.  Also freaked me out, but cool to see.   Someone also saw a turtle and it got brought on shore to tag.  It was awesome!  

There was a huge sailboat taking a break there and the kids got climb aboard and play around.  I also toured it and cannot even imagine staying on that beautiful as it was.  Talk about claustrophobic!  The sailboat is using all renewable energy and doing some relief work and education.  It was very cool.  

Ready with their Easter baskets!

the crew ready to go!

I thought this picture was funny.  The kids are so serious about their candy! 

the sailboat

kids cleaning the boat. 

This is the turtle they tagged. 

First time I've ever seen a sea turtle. 

back to the sea

baby turtles

this is the food the baby turtles eat.  Each shell has to be smashed and then the turtles are hand fed.  It's a lot of work to watch after these babies!

Their caretaker feeding the turtles

This picture was taken later this week but each day the turtles take a swim in the ocean.  I love this shot! 

kite flying

We returned home to Suva and poor Warren still had this terrible eye infection! You cannot even call it pink eye as it is bright red..... It looks like he is bleeding from his eyeballs!   It is an epidemic now in Fiji.  25% of his work is at home due to conjunctivitis.   Everywhere you look  you see people in sunglasses even when it's raining.  It's everywhere!  I heard its 6,000 cases in Suva alone!!!   I seriously don't know anyone who hasn't been affected by it somehow.  Everyone knows either a close family member (my husband and daughter) or a close friend or employee (Fanny) that has it.  It's a virus, so drops don't get rid of it....which is good in a way because apparently Suva has ran out of eye drops!   I am so paranoid.  I wash my hands no less than 30 times a day and I use hand sanitizer every 15 minutes.  I feel like I have OCD.    My eyes are itching just thinking about it....but luckily they are still clear.   I heard today that one of the reasons it's rampant is so many adults don't wash their hands here.  I have a nurse friend who helps out in the neo-natal unit at the hospital and she said they don't even have soap at the sinks there!!!!    Crazy!

It makes me think about other epidemics and what if the Ebola virus came to Fiji.  It would spread like wild fire and if it was an epidemic that needed medicine to cure....the medicine would run out!  It's so weird to think anyone can be affected.  Poor Warren has missed work all week....but he's lucky because he can work from home and he has sick time.  Someone who only makes $2.00 an hour and doesn't have sick time has to go work.  They cannot afford not to...and then it spreads further.   I wonder how long it will last! 

Fingers crossed....our house is through with it by the end of the week.
Despite bloody eyeballs....we still have some good sunsets!  Check out this one from last night!

PS.  This picture is really old from last year, but I just found it and wanted to post it.  Our friend Christian was helping Andie dive for starfish!  Pretty cool!