Friday, June 19, 2009

Our House in Fiji

We are still very much enjoying Fiji. Some have asked if it's strange being here as a new family but it hasn't been at all. We're used to being with Steve so it just feels normal to us. I'm sure it's a bit strange to people we know here, but they've only been delighted for our family.

Our fellowship here had their annual camp last weekend and Hannah and Rachel attended the whole thing. It was special to hear all of the comments by people who have known them their whole lives about how they've grown and matured when we took a bus out for the day on Sunday.

We are counting down until the first team's arrival on Sunday evening now. Steve's been working very hard to finish the second bathroom since the teams will be staying in our house with us. Yesterday was D-day of turning the water on to see if there were any leaks since Steve actually hasn't done much plumbing before. He was delighted when there were only 2 small ones that were easily fixed! I think the bathroom (actually a toilet room and a second shower room-normal for this part of the world) is the most attractive part of the house now. Even if 2 cans of paint that were supposed to be the same color were quite different making the rooms 2 fairly different colors!

We are asking for guidance about what do to about the house. We really, really need someone long-term to stay here if we are to keep it (we never thought we'd still have it but the door has been shut numerous times in the past on selling the place). Preferably someone with overseas connections who wouldn't mind doing maintenance themselves as part of the rent. I'm surprised at how much things that haven't been worked on have deteriorated in the time I've been gone and we can't really manage the house from where we're moving.

The other option would be to put it on the market and hope that it sells. The amount we could ask for it in the current Fiji economy is quite low, however, but at least we wouldn't be in danger of it costing us money.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Then and Now

The kids and I have loved going down to the seawall in Suva over the years. There's a bit of a park there and a walking trail along the ocean. The trail passes by the President's mansion on the other side of the street. There's always a guard at the gate that stands perfectly still and the kids' tradition was to always salute whoever was on duty while they walked passed even though he could never respond.

On our last day in Suva before we left in '06 I took a picture of the kids with the guard on duty. So, of course, one of the first things we had to do back on our arrival recently was to take another picture. Here they both are!

Then... (this guard was actually a little on the short side!)

And Now!!!

(Adam is not being 'cool' with his hand in his pocket. He had taken off his belt to pretend it was a whip earlier and had left it there. He's holding up his shorts so they don't fall off!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009


We arrived in Suva very late Thursday evening. It was a good trip over but a bit strange to me to have the flight be shorter than the bus ride across the island since we were coming from NZ! And in true Fiji fashion one of the flight attendants and I recognized each other. She's the cousin of a good friend. Instead of the 'family tree' Steve calls the relationships here the 'family forest'!

We were greeted at our house by a long-time friend who had been watching the house and by a cat we had raised from a kitten who has been given away several times but keeps coming back. She was obviously very hungry and I waited about 24 hours saying, 'Go back home, go back home," to her yowls for food before I broke down and fed her. My rationale is that she's been fed here before so........! We'll have to find a home for her far enough away that she'll stay. The boys have absolutely loved having her here now to love on, however. Their pets were a huge part of memories here.

The water also went off about 30 minutes after our arrival. Just like old times!!!

It is really, really great to be here! Fiji still feels like home. Things have changed, though. In our neighborhood which has never been fancy to start with you can tell there hasn't been extra cash around the last few years. Things just look a little more 'tired.' A sign of the current times, I guess.

Being back in our old house is neat, too, although it looks quite different. If I had known we were still going to own it I would have just kept the old furniture and left pictures on the walls! The first night as I sat in the living room heaps and heaps of old memories of the kids growing up here flooded my mind. I can still see the little people they used to be running around the place. Very precious! It's also very special to have our present with Steve connect with our past this way.

We've seen a number of people that we know already and will go to our old fellowship tomorrow.

P.S. Just coming back to add that the first cat's mother showed up at our door as well a little while ago! The kids were thrilled to see her. I gave her a cuddle but was relieved when she seemed happy to leave later!