Saturday, October 25, 2014

McGoons Lagoon and Halloween Activity–October 25, 2014

Just when you think you’ve been everywhere in Fiji, something new comes along.

We were invited to visit “McGoons Lagoon” on Saturday.  Actually it is the home of one of the member families out near the Navua River.  It goes way back in history to some of the first white men who came to Fiji.  Two men, one an Irishman named Dunn and another an Englishman named Danford came to Fiji.  The brought with them blunderbuss guns and amo and joined with one of the villages near the Navua River.

Because of their guns, they lent extra power to the village and never again was the village over taken by their neighbors.  In appreciation the village chief gave each one of them one of his 14 wives and a large tract of land.

The Danford family village now runs Discover Fiji Adventures, and the McGoons are decedents of Mr. Dunn.

We were invited to come out and go net fishing.  But the weather got in the way, it rained – a lot.  Before it rained they treated us to pumpkin pie (actually a cake) and showed us how to make roti and then we ate it with butter, jam and golden syrup.  Then a neighboring fisherman came over and a group of us went out to line fish.  The water was rough, and they only had enough life jackets for the sisters (I told Dew to stay close and we would share my jacket).  We came close to being swamped and headed back to shore, only to have the engine hit the sand.  And so we all bailed out and walked back in, just as the rain began in earnest.

So the net fishing didn’t happen, but we sat around and talked and had lunch and then it was time to head back home – just as the sun began to try and shine forth.

It was a fun, interesting day and we enjoyed spending time with some of the other seniors.

And in the evening we headed over to the Institute where they had a Halloween Party.  We were the judges of the costume contest.  Wow, we amazed to see some of our quiet, well mannered YSA’s let down their hair.  They had a great time and they didn’t even much care who we picked as winners.  As far as we were concerned they were all winners.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Suva Fiji Temple Closes–October 11, 2014

And now it’s official.  The Suva Fiji Temple is closed for the next 18 months.  And no sooner did they shut the doors than the construction began. 

The company that is doing the work is from Orem and they tell us that there is at least 40 containers of materials on the way here.  And by Saturday afternoon the waste containers were in place and things were beginning to change.  Patron housing is now “worker housing”, and in the reception area there are now temporary offices. 

Monday morning dawned with a beautiful blue sky and I decided that I wanted to take another picture of the temple from the Institute kitchen window since the other one I took had a gray sky. So on the way to work we ran over and I got the shot.

And by noon there were scaffolds being raised around the Angel Moroni and by quitting time the scaffolding was all wrapped in black.  They are wasting no time. So now we watch a new kind of activity going on over at the temple and they tell us we should pray for no rain because the roof is coming off this next week.

Things change quickly.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fiji Days, Home Teaching, Weddings, and Villages – October 12, 2014

October has two holidays this year.  Friday was Fiji Days – their Independence Day.  The office was closed and we were invited to lunch by our two home teaching ladies.  We picked them up and headed for the big buffet at the Holiday Inn – wrong – no buffet!  So we went to a cute little place called - Governor.  It was a fun way to spend the holiday.  (My lunch was delish – Dew’s Caesar Salad was awful!  He will have to choose better next time!)

We were invited to a wedding as well.  Elder Shinal Singh’s brother got married on Saturday.  The temple closed at noon and they got married at 11:30am.  Talk about being the last of the last! 

We got a call from Elder S.  He got to go to the wedding and wanted to know if we were home.  Yes, we were and we would love to see him.  And so he and his companion came over for a visit.  He brought us a gift – all wrapped up like Christmas.  As I opened it there was a box from an iron – and he had written “No, it’s not an iron!” on it.  He had bought Elder J. the cutest turtle – engraved with their favorite comment – it said “To Elder HUM BLE!  And he brought me a cute little bag made of tapa cloth.  Such a cute Elder, we will certainly miss him.

And we went to the wedding reception that evening.  Having learned from the last Indian wedding we went to, not to mention it’s in Fiji -  we told the Peterson’s we would pick them up – not to be there at 7 as the invitation said it would start, but at 8.  And we were there a half hour too early!!!  All the other couples wanted to know how come we knew to come late!  :Experience” was all we could say.

But it was fun to see the mix of LDS/Indian cultures.  They came in to the beat of drums, had the families and others speak, cut the cake and then had entertainment.  And just like the other wedding – all the women were dressed up in their finest – the men – not quite so much!  Dinner was served to end the evening, and there were no eating utensils – until someone asked for them, so most people ate with their fingers.  We were lucky enough to be on the utensils end of the line!!!  It was a fun, interesting evening.

And today – Sunday – Fokie’s son, Manoa, dropped over to say good by as he flies out tonight to the Provo MTC for his mission to the Philippines. 

All in all it was an eventful week end!  Oh, and on Saturday we drove out to find a small village that is across the river from the main road and they have to cross the river to go to school or anywhere else they want to go.  Last week LDS Charities donated a boat to them and we wanted to go see it.  It was in a beautiful little valley and they have a big mountain behind them.  I am sure when they picked the location for this village it was for safety reasons, but it sure makes going to school and church hard. We do enjoy riding around on the back roads, we will miss that when we leave.