This post is nothing exciting, but I was just out in the yard snapping a few pictures (after I discovered some odd growths on one of our trees while taking laundry off of the line) and decided to post them for you to see.
If you only KNEW how hard I have tried recently to update this blog….and the post I was working on STILL won’t cooperate, so we’ll save that for another day. Or maybe never. We’ll see if I’m ever in the mood again to tackle it.😉
Life here has been one series of interesting events after another. And each week it seems I am working on something new at the school. So I’ve *started* a lot of things, but haven’t quite managed to *finish* anything as I keep getting pulled away to tackle something new. I think I will know a little bit about everything here after a while. =) BUT, I am here to help, so it doesn’t matter to me what I do. As long as I can show up each day and be a blessing then I’m accomplishing why I came. Life sure is never dull here though! The multitude of geckos, toads, and termites that either LIVE in the house or frequently visit (toads) help to keep life just as interesting when we are home as when we are away.
I won’t try to upload any pictures tonight, as that seems to jinx the internet, but maybe one of these days I will be able to give you a peek into what is going on here. AND I have a week off in June so I am *hoping* to be able to get away to some nearby islands and actually do some sightseeing in Fiji- so maybe I will have some pretty pictures to post eventually, too!
Wow this week has been an interesting one! Cyclones. Earthquakes. The South Pacific won’t bore you, that’s for sure. And in amongst travel, life still goes on. So while trying to deal with changing travel plans and rebooking flights, and figuring out accommodations for the next few days here in Vanuatu due to flying on Sunday instead of Friday, there was sad news from back home to deal with. I am so thankful, though, that the internet worked ALL day long here yesterday (first day since I’ve been here that we’ve had internet all day) and enabled me to keep up with the news back home. Of course that meant that the emotions of it all kept resurfacing with each new email, but…it was expected and I knew that this day would come, so at least I had warning. The staff here at the Hideaway Resort has been fabulous. They’ve been so accommodating and sweet and I am so thankful that I was here for all that I had to deal with. I highly recommend staying on Hideaway Island at the resort if you visit Port Vila! (And the snorkeling is awesome)
A few pictures from the past few days:
If my internet would cooperate better with WordPress I would have a TON more photos to show you. But I can’t upload them, and I know that in the busyness of life that awaits me back in Fiji, combined with our poor internet, they will probably never get posted here. But trust me, it’s cool here. =)
You guys, you should visit Vanuatu and I’ll tell you why. It’s AMAZING. Really. The biggest highlight for me so far has been Tanna Island and Mt. Yasur, but rainy weather aside, I’m loving all of Vanuatu.
I’m lying by a pool in Vanuatu. Looking up at the stars and getting wet from passing clouds that are sending down drops here and there. A cool breeze is ruffling the palm trees all around me and I’m so thankful for it. Tonight there is going to be a fire show at the place I’m staying. And tomorrow I’m supposed to be flying to Tanna island to visit the volcano that is Mt. Yasur. Nights like this have me smiling and thinking “what is my life?” Seriously, how much more can God spoil me? I was thinking last night about how crazy the last ten years have been. If you’d have told me ten years ago what the next ten years would hold I would have said you were insane. Ten years ago I was finishing up my first year of grad school and pondering the deeper issues of life. Like trying to figure out boys. Or at least one of them. Ha. Looking back I just have to smile. You really never know what life will hold!
I think we often dream way too small. And then when we give those small dreams to God, He has a way of giving back bigger dreams than we even thought about dreaming of!
If I don’t get struck by chunks of flying lava tomorrow (it’s happened before – to others, ha) I’ll be sure to post about the volcano – eek!
So apparently updating from my phone doesn’t work so well. At least not when the internet is super sketchy. Thought I’d take advantage of the time I have here with nothing I *have* to do and update the blog a bit.
I’m sitting at the Coconut Palms Resort (sounds better than it is. My room is like a hostel room, but at least it’s private. Just have to go down the hall to the shower and then another hall to the toilet lol.) in Port Vila, Vanuatu listening to the rain and enjoying not having a schedule. I was supposed to fly to Tanna Island today to visit the volcano and spend the night there but I was informed after I arrived yesterday that my trip had been cancelled due to not enough participants. So they rescheduled me for another day and I had to scramble to switch around all my accommodations. Thankfully reception was able to call everyone for me and we got it all worked out.
Yesterday at the airport I was so surprised to run into another American solo traveler! (Vanuatu isn’t really a mainstream American destination lol) We both needed to catch the bus so we stuck together and found it (with the help of a friendly Vanuatuan). As we were getting ready to hop on, 3 British girls arrived to join us (I had pointed them in the direction of the bus earlier, but somehow we beat them there) and we all piled in after smashing all our luggage into the back seat. It was fun chatting with them all for a while while we all peered out the window, amused at our surroundings. Port Vila is certainly not “tourist friendly.”
I haven’t pulled out the DSLR one time yet since leaving the US =( (haven’t done anything touristy yet!) so all I have are phone pics of everything.
Hopefully when I arrive back in Fiji next week progress will have been made on my visa situation and everything will have worked out ok. Fingers crossed (prayers) that it all works out ok. Things in Fiji are so funny. They require *so* much documentation for everything and they want it all *certified.* So the other day as I was filling out a form for a license, I noticed at the bottom that my signature for the document had to be witnessed by either an education minister, a justice of the peace, etc. So I asked about it and was told to walk to the Education office nearby. I did and when I arrived, the man signed my forms (after I signed them) without even asking for photo ID (good thing, because I’d forgotten to bring it along on my walk!). So, they require a witnessed signature, but don’t require proof of WHO is signing it. Just an example of the oddity of things over there. =) Just praying that if God wants me to stay there He will work it all out. I’m actually still waiting on letters of reference that Fiji requires. I thought I had brought along all that was required, but apparently there is much more that is required. They want certified letters of reference from all of my employers! So I’m just waiting on those. *Then* I think my visa can be applied for. Whew. It’s been an interesting month!
But in the meantime I’m just going to enjoy exploring Vanuatu. =)
Well…it has been a while! Life here has kept me on my toes and so preoccupied that I haven’t had the time nor energy to sit down and write.
Every day here is so interesting, funny, and packed full that at the end of the day when I sit down and think about writing home, I don’t even know where to start. There’s just too much to say. Because even the (seemingly) simplest task here can become a major ordeal, you end up with so much to talk about by the end of the day.
This past week we have been going over to City Baptist Church in Suva every night for their nightly revival meetings and then their anniversary service on Sunday. That has been a lot of fun, but it’s also been extremely exhausting. I haven’t been sleeping that well, so combined with the heat and humidity AND the fact that I have to take car sickness medicine (that knocks me out) to survive the long, winding road to Suva means that I am a zombie each night. But every night was so good and I am so glad I was able to go. It’s been a lot of fun seeing people that I remember from their college days at PCBBC.
In addition to the meetings, another exciting thing happened last week. WE GOT AN AC UNIT! It’s only in our living room downstairs, which means the upstairs bedrooms are still sweltering, BUT it means we can come down here and hang out (and sleep) and feel normal again! (Cool and dry and not hot, sweaty and sticky.) I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it is. We spent all morning walking around Suva trying to find a unit to buy. A lot of stores were completely sold out of all units. They said that because of this extreme heat we’ve been having, everyone has been buying all the AC units. And for some reason, the stores we talked to weren’t getting any more in stock until MAY! And May is when it starts to cool down here. We finally found a place that had one available that was close to the price we had been hoping for (all of the cheapest units were long gone) AND they said they could install it the same day! So we bought it and then headed back to Nausori to pack up all our stuff (we had been staying with a friend who has an AC unit) to head back to our house and wait for the installers. After the bus dropped us off in town, we hung out at the school for a while and then took the bus back to our house. My roommate told me the plan: she would stay at our house to wait while I packed up all our stuff at our friend’s house. Once it was packed up, I would call her and she would grab a taxi and come up and get it all. Well, she got off at our house and told me to just get off at our friend’s house. Only, the bus didn’t turn to go up to our friend’s house. It kept going straight and I knew that didn’t seem good. We were heading back to Suva. So I texted Christen and told her and she said “get off.” By this point I was far down the road. (I would have gotten off as soon I as I saw he didn’t turn, but I thought “Well, Christen knows this place and she said the bus would go there, so maybe he is going to turn around at some point?” So I got off the bus on the side of the road and started walking back towards Nausori. I knew I couldn’t walk all the way back to town but I walked a ways and then grabbed a taxi the rest of the way. As I was walking on the side of the road, a bunch of little Fijian kids started running alongside me yelling cavilongi (sp?) (white person) Haha. They kept saying it over and over again till I looked at them and smiled and then they all started smiling.
Anyway, I think life right now can be summed up as:
Hot. Humid. Unpredictable. Rain. Conjunctivitis. (EVERYONE has been getting it – all over the Suva area. Apparently pharmacies are running out of medicine. I have been a hand washing Nazi over here! Too bad all the Fijians don’t like washing their hands with soap like I do!) Geckos. Gecko excrement all over the house. Bugs. Mosquito bites. Hot, crowded buses. Busy, busy streets. Friendly people. Everyone yelling/whistling at us from their cars. Getting stared at. Having school kids all say “bye” as they walk past (it feels weird saying bye to someone you didn’t first say hi to). Being called ma’am (I miss being Jennifer. I don’t like being “ma’am.”) Excitement at finding some new food item to buy (choices are so limited here in Nausori.) Cockroaches. IN OUR SILVERWARE DRAWER. School. School. School. Having kids constantly ask me to define English words for them (I feel like a walking dictionary. I think I need to start referring them to an actual dictionary.) Flies. Trying to keep flies off of the food. Struggling with internet. Beautiful sunrises. Flying foxes (bats) flying around even during the day! Stray dogs. EVERYWHERE. And really sickly and diseased looking. =( Surviving each day through lots of prayer! (I was suddenly thrown into the high school learning center when they got desperate for help as staff was out with pink eye and it was such a learning curve because they do things so differently than we did in our ACE school. It was a good experience though and I learned a lot. I think next week I will be back in the office helping with Fine Arts while we wait for my work visa to be approved. Still just volunteering but the load of work has definitely been full-time!)
The past few weeks have been so funny, challenging, tiring, and full that I feel I could write a book if I sat down and thought about it all. The other day I was so distracted in church as I watched a gecko overhead stalking and eating moths and flies! I had never seen a gecko actually catch and chomp down on a moth before. It was fascinating. I was glad it wasn’t over MY head though, but a few rows away. Every time he would chomp down on the moth, puffs of moth dust (whatever that stuff is on their wings) would float into the air. It was funny and gross at the same time. This place……
I have LOTS of phone pictures to share, but the internet is rarely good enough for me to be able to upload them. =( One of these days!