Saturday, April 26, 2014

Willie Irava Receives Endowments–April 26, 2014

Willie is one of our favorite people!  He is the young man who organized the beach clean up service project and got the new rubbish bins made and installed. 

Willie has been called to the Washington, Tacoma Mission and Saturday we went through the temple with him to get his endowments.  It was a small, intimate group and we enjoyed it very much.  Willie sobbed and sobbed in the Celestial Room.  What a neat young man.  We got his whole group together for pictures after – in the pouring rain. 

This week-end is our Stake Conference and it was a broadcast from Salt Lake.  It was very good.  And that was our week-end! 

We even tried to take a few walks down on the sea wall, but every time we headed toward the beach – the rain began.  Guess we were being told it wasn’t a good time to walk.

Peterson’s have family coming this next Friday.  Hope that the rain has passed on by then.












Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trip Around the Island–April 19, 2014

Four day week-end….what shall we do?

Friday was spent looking for Sam’s stomping grounds.  And Saturday we decided to take a trip around the island.  We have done this once before, going west and on around but not the whole trip in one day.  This time we headed east and went around the whole island.

Just outside of Ba is a village up in the mountains that still has the original Bures.  I have wanted to see it so we thought we would do a bit of reconnoitering to see what we could find.  We left at 7am.  It’s a beautiful drive, but there aren’t a lot of pit stops along the way.  You need to plan a head and not drink a large drink until you get close to Ba, Latoka, or Nadi!

We stopped in Ba and after a few wrong turns found the road to the village and got most of our questions answered about it.  Seems that you need to stay over night in order to have enough time to get there and back.

We visited the Ba market and discovered that they sell a LOT of Kava!  We have never seen it in it’s natural root form, we’ve only seen it pounded into powder ready for the water to be added.  It’s an ugly lookin stuff.

On around past Nadi and on to Sigatoka and then to Navua and home.  We arrived at about 7pm – a long day on the road.  We went 504 Kilometers or in our language 302 Miles.  The distance is not that far, but the roads are narrow, winding, and every village has those wonderful speed bumps!

By the time we got home we were wondering how just sitting in a car all day can make you soooooo tired.

Village Where Sam Jackson Worked–April 18, 2014

I’m pretty sure that we have mentioned this before – but….  Two years agoNabudrau Village - Sams Village01a02 our grandson Sam came over to Fiji with a group to do humanitarian work.  He instantly fell in love with everything Fijian.

Flash forward two years… Sam is now serving a mission in California, Riverside, and here we are in Fiji.  I don’t think Sam had it planned quite that way, but that is how it worked out.

Long story – short – ever since we arrived here we have wondered justNabudrau Village - Sams Village01a01 exactly he worked.  When Scott and Ann were here we talked about it, but no one knew exactly where to look.  So after they returned home she dug out his old letters and sent us the village where he stayed and the island he visited for his “fun” time.

This is a long Easter week-end and we didn’t have any plans so why not try and find the village where Sam worked?  The village is called “Nabudrau” Village.  We found that it is out past the airport, in the same general area that we found that lovely beach not too long ago.  So on Friday we undertook the assignment to find it and take photos.

With the help of our GPS we found it fairly easily and we stopped to askNabudrau Village - Sams Village01a03 which houses were the village center and discovered three young men from Suva, out spending the Easter break with family at the village. They became our instant “tour guides”. 

They took us to the center of the village and explained to everyone why we were there and that we just wanted to take pictures.  They took us to the school and after we showed them the photo of Sam sitting in one of the classrooms they took us right to the very classroom.  It hadn’t changed much in two years.

We took along a bag of Starbursts and I filled my pockets with them.  The 3 boys all had pockets full of them as well.  They were just getting ready for a Good Friday meeting at the church and all the little kids were dressed in their best.  One young girl took over drum duty and announced the meeting time. 

We continued to pass out the candy and when my pockets ran low and we still had kids with their hands out, the 3 tour guides took the candy out of their pockets and passed it around.  It was touching to see.

We didn’t stay long, but were able to see the toilets they had built.  As Sam always told us, “somewhere in Fiji there is a toilet with my name on it!”  Well Sam we found the place, but didn’t go looking for your name.

On the way back we took a detour to the beach and discovered a large group doing baptisms in the ocean.  It was pretty fun to watch.  What a fun way to spend a day off and re-live a few Sam memories as well.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Takalana With Senior Couples–April 5, 2014

Just when we thought all the fun was over – NOT!  The senior couples (all those who could make it) went out to Takalana to see the spinner dolphins.  But our luck with weather was not quite as good this time around.  It was gray and overcast, but off we went anyway.

On the way we passed a man with a bull on a rope, and the rope was stretched across the road.  He dropped it and off ran the bull.  We were in the van and we just buzzed right on past.  But Elder Collins and his group stopped to help him catch it. After they caught it and handed the rope back to the man, he just let it go and walked off.  Seems he was just taking it out to graze, not trying to catch it.  How were we to know?

We had our “morning tea”, changed our clothes and off we went. We wereTakalana - Seniors(U)02b not alone this time around.  There was 14 of us and 7 others, so they had two boats go out.  On the way out it started to sprinkle, and with the spray we were all pretty wet by the time we got out there. Sister Wells and Decker thought they would stay dry and have nice looking hair, since they didn’t plan on going in the water, but try as they would, they were as wet as the rest of us.

On the way out Jim, our guide, was trolling and this time he actually caught a fish.  Actually he caught 3 fish – Wow! 

We found the dolphins and there were about 3 who treated us to spins, but with the gray skies it was harder to see them swimming by.  Then we went over to snorkel.  With such a big group their snorkeling equipment was a bit on the “not enough” side.  So not everyone got in, but those who did found that the water was a bit rough and the tide was dragging you away from the reef.  But those intrepid swimmers that got there enjoyed the reef a lot.

We didn’t get a second visit to the dolphins, but went back in where we had a lovo dinner.  It tasted good after our snorkeling.  We headed back towards home.

On the way we stopped at that cute church out there on the top of the hill.Takalana - Seniors29a2  We took pictures of both the church and the missionaries little house.  Then on back home.  And of course by the time we got back the skies were clearing and the breeze that dropped.  Oh well, it was fun anyway.