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Just an Update

March 27, 2016

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!

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