Visitors, Triathlons, Athletics, Teeth, and the THE NATIONAL HOLIDAY!!!

Andie hung out with this crew all morning!

Mere's back to visit for the week.   She actually just left on Wednesday.  It was great to have her here again and we are all looking forward to her next visit.  It's so nice to have her here.  We sort of lived life regularly while she was here, except for the FUN national holiday which I'll get to in this post.

On Friday, Warren and I went to see the Australian Navy band at the Holiday Inn and then went out dancing afterwards.  It was so much fun!  On Saturday we stayed inside all day due to the NON-STOP rain (for past two weeks).   We went to an 11 year old co-ed birthday party Saturday night which involved a lot of glow sticks, dancing, and disco balls. be 11 again.  (J/K......  fun to watch....not to re-live).   I think Mere was a bit overwhelmed by all of it!    

Sunday morning I somehow thought it would be a good idea to do a triathlon after not being on a bike for two years or swimming for probably 6 months.    I do run....but that's about it.  Ha!   Not sure what I was thinking but I had a lot of fun!   I swam 750 m, biked 20k, and ran 5k.   It was a lot more challenging than I thought it would be!   When I jumped into the water, I felt like I couldn't breathe.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  This happened to me a lifetime ago when I used to regularly do triathlons but I always thought it was the crowds...but this time there was only a few of us in the pool.  I guess it isn't the crowds but the crazy adrenaline.  I had to do 2 laps of breast stroke just to get my breathing to somewhat normal - which I am sure did a lot for my time....    Then I hopped on my bike (which I was most nervous about) and realized there was no way I could keep up with ANY of the other bikers.  Part of it is that I am not a bike rider.  I have no idea what I am doing. I don't understand the gears and I am constantly nervous I will fall off or get hit by a car.  The other part is my bike is basically a cross between a hybrid and a cruiser.  My feet kept sliding off of the pedals and I simply cannot go fast.   Oh well.  It was a relaxing break for my lungs.  My legs were burning though.  The run was good....except for how uncomfortable I feel in what I was wearing.   I think I was just so happy to be almost done with it and proud of myself for doing it.  At the end of it all, I was beaming.  Who cares if I came in last (fourth) or how slow I was?  I did it!  I had so much adrenaline all day!  I cannot wait for the next one.  Maybe this time I'll at least try to swim a few times beforehand.   I cannot do much about the bike though!

the whole crew and volunteers - not exactly the large groups I used to do tri's with

When we got home, we cleaned up from the girls' sleepover the night before and headed to the beach at The Pearl for the first day of sun we've had in over two weeks.  I was starting to go a bit crazy from the rain, so it was the perfect Sunday getaway.  So nice! Everyone had a blast and felt exhausted on the way back home.   Sunday night we celebrated Tricia's birthday, sans kids - which is always a nice treat.

ran into friends at beach

poor Mere.  exhausted girls on way home

Monday was designated a national holiday for all of Fiji due to the Rugby team bringing home the gold from Rio.   The night before the team flew in and there were major parties in the streets greeting the team's bus as they rode into the Grand Pacific Hotel for the night.    Monday morning they started the parade downtown and marched through town straight to the ANZ stadium for a huge ceremony.   We parked ourselves on the road about 30 minutes prior to the parade.  Andie found some dancing Fijians to hang out with - much cooler than us!  Then the team paraded by preceded by a marching band and followed by LOADS of flags and people dancing in the streets.  We couldn't help ourselves.  We just jumped in!  We paraded with the team for at least 30 minutes.  It was AWESOME!  The music was great.  The energy was amazing.   I haven't been in a street carnival atmosphere like that since I was in the Peace Corps.   The kids loved it.  Mere loved it.   I loved it.  It was impossible not to smile.   When it was all over, we went back to Liz and Andy's house to watch the ceremony on television.   I feel so lucky that I was in Fiji at this time.  It's been so cool to see the island untied in pride over their team.   Just thinking about, I have to smile.

This is what the coach had to say regarding the win.

"I knew before the final we would win...we won not because the boys were carrying the hopes of Fiji on their shoulders, but because the boys were on the shoulders of every Fijian"
-Peni Ryani (Ben Ryan) addressing a jam packed crowd in Nadi

The team waving from top of GPH where the queen used to stand and wave!

the awesome parade!

the team is up top.  

It was such a good day.  Such a good weekend.   Bands, lots of dancing, a triathlon, birthday parties, a beach trip, dinner with friends, and a national celebration.  Pretty great.

On Thursday, the kids had Sports Day, which is kind of like field day without all of the silly/fun events....more focused on high jump, long jump, shot-put, and lots of sprints.   All the houses compete against each other, each cheering for their own house.  Zoe just did a fun relay, but Andie competed in the long jump, the 800 meter race, and the 50 meter race.   She came in second to last or last for all of the races but she was SO happy!  As soon as she finished, she ran up to me saying, "Look how fast I ran Mommy!"  She was beaming.  I loved it.  Sometimes it's not great when she isn't aware of others (personal space) but sometimes it's beautiful.  She is so confident and isn't worried about the place she crosses the finish line.  I LOVE that about her!


After the long day of Athletics, we went to dance and Zoe lost her first tooth!  I was so happy for her as she was super excited!   She wrote the sweetest note to the tooth fairy asking for her to bring money to Andie too.   As I mentioned previously, Andie no longer believes in the tooth fairy so she got super into helping st up the fairy dust.  It was fun to have her "in" on the whole thing with us.
Also, random....went to see Bad Moms with a bunch of moms Thursday night (the day she lost her tooth).... funny movie.  Gross, inappropriate, kind of dumb, but definitely entertaining!   I'm probably a bad mom for even mentioning it in the same paragraph as talking about the first tooth loss!

This is seconds after it came out! 

Oh, also, check out the price of blueberries right now.   (We usually don't even have them on the shelf!)  (This is $10 USD)