Foki, our office helper’s daughter, Mariaha returned home from her mission to Sydney, Australia this last Wednesday. Foki was so excited. She flew into Nadi and then on to Suva and got in at 10pm. So we were sure Foki wouldn’t be in the office the next morning, but there she was, but by afternoon she left early and she took the rest of the days off. She planned a big party for her on Friday night and we knew it would take a while for her to do all the preparations.
And so we were in the office alone most of the week and we did great. Well, maybe okay and not quite great yet.
Friday we ran out to pickup the picture that we made for Mariaha and discovered that custom framing in Fiji costs about the same as custom framing at home – big bucks!
Friday evening was the party and when we arrived it was such fun. The aunties were all in the yard finishing up the cooking and they had large mats all laid out outside. We went inside and there were mats on the floor and a huge tapa cloth hanging on the wall. It was beautiful.
We were given places of honor and all the food was placed on the floor and everyone sat around it. I was shocked by a few things – first the women did not eat until the men had all filled their plates and eaten and then they ate – and they ate with their fingers. We were given sissy forks, and used them proudly.
The two young missionaries were invited as well and given the other place of honor and we discovered that Elder Grotepas was from Syracuse and that his mother works for Dr. Coleman! Such a small world. And the other elder, Elder Moulton was from Draper. They said they loved it here and especially in this ward.
It almost took a crane, but Elder J. made it down on the floor, but when it came time to eat he opted for a chair. It was very fun to try the “authentic” Fijian food, some I liked, some I did not – enough said! They must have cooked for days to have it all ready and it was fun to see how easily they could sit around on the floor and eat, and to discover that if you don’t do it all the time, it’s hard for some of us!
There were about 80 people in attendance and they all had their fill and more. I don’t think I’ve seen that much food at most of our ward dinners. It was amazing. And yes there was even a U of U fan at the dinner.