Saturday, August 31, 2013

They have a bathroom now! :)

The family that I built the flushing toilet for, had at least 8 kids there at a time.  They were really excited about this new addition.  I gave them all American names, and they named me Susana (you can see where I signed the wall right behind the kids).  They couldn't say the 'r' ending to Summer, so Susana, in their awesome accents, was much easier.  They also called me Susan quite a bit.
 As you can see in these pictures, their house was maroon, so they picked this hunter green color for their bathroom (which is just a small room on the side with a toilet).
 I still have green paint on my legs from it.  ;)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lovin' life!

 I loved everyone in Fiji!  Our 
ward was fantastic.
 I have been able to stay in contact with a lot of the Fijians through Facebook.  :)
 I feel as though I made friends for life!
 What's even better than that!?!  We got to go to the temple and do baptisms there. It's my favorite temple!
 Another thing I fell in love with there?  The brooms!!!  I stole this off the maids cart for a quick picture.  I wish I could have brought one home with me!
I'm missing these sweet faces more and more, everyday!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Round 2 of pictures

 Under the awning, we are digging and placing the septic tank.  Next to the house, you can see where we are placing the bathroom 
(just a flushing toilet).

 This was my family in Fiji.  I got to enjoy tea time with them twice a day.  They were the BEST and I miss them terribly!
We always felt safe with this guy around!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

My camera and all it's pictures...Part 1

I didn't get to do much of this...
but I did get to do a lot of this.  I love the kids there!

They taught me some really fun games.  Now I've been teaching them to my family.  It was a little bit of Fiji I could share with Ty and Sydney.
That's my mom on the right.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Farewell Feast

Today was our final feast and we had to say goodbye to our Fijian 'families'. 
They presented us with these beautiful traditional Fijian dresses. 
Our group has been so wonderful. I love these people!
The only hard part of this entire trip was saying goodbye to all these adorable kids. They are in my heart forever!!!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bites and all

The bed bugs, the sweat, and the cement legs are all worth it when I see these smiling faces every day!!!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Net Fishing!

Net fishing is a lot of work!
It all began with this big jumble of net. 
Then we worked as a team to spread it out. 
With patience...
comes a great reward!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Letter number 2!!!

surprise, we actually get to email twice. So bula again! We started our work projects the day after i emailed you, and so far it's been the most amazing experience of my life. We're working in the Matanimoli Village and we're each assigned a family to build the bathroom for. I'm in a group with another boy and girl, and I think we have the best family by far. They gave us all Fiji names, mine is Susanna (It sounds amazing with an accent). There are roughly 8 little kids in the family, with new kids showing up every once in awhile. They have school right now so they usually don't get home until an hour before we leave, but our whole family ditched school one day so they could hang out with us. There's a 15 year old boy named Unax who is staying home from school the whole time we're here so he can help out. He's awesome, I'm pretty sure most of my pictures have him in them. There are two girls around syd's age who are super adorable, and a boy who's 12. His name is Jamos but I gave the kids american names since they gave us Fijian names. His name was Josh, but he wanted to change it to Ty when he heard it was my brother's name. So now i call him Ty :) Tell dad that instead of a tar baby, I'm a cement baby. I mix cement all day everyday, but it's the most fun i've ever had. The work is SO hard, especially the first few days when you have absolutely no idea what the people are telling you to do. Our foreman's name is Ben and he's a really quiet young Fijian guy, but he's suuuper cool once you get to know him. There are roughly 5 guys that are always there helping out with our bathroom, so we sort of have to force our way in to help. They usually play music on their phones...a mix of Shania Twain and rap. It rained really bad one day so Unax took us to his uncle's house and we sat and watched a Shania Twain concert on's great the stuff they get into. They have remixes of all our popular songs like That girl is on Fire, but it's a Fijian remix so it's actually super awesome. We have the same bus driver whose name is Riz. He has a family in India but a girlfriend here in Suva so that's a little weird...but it turns out he's like the coolest guy ever! We played soccer on tuesday, it was just 3 of us with a bunch of Fijians..and Riz. He was so good! Until he ripped his was super funny. I can count to ten in Fijian super fast now without even thinking about it, and I know a really fun Fiji game i need to teach you. I also learned how to make coconut thing ever. Sorry mom, but you've been replaced. My Fiji mom is super crazy, we call her Na. She's hilarious and we have a grandma (Boo in Fijian) who can't walk but has a full on beard...pretty great. We have breakfast at 8, drive to the village, work, have tea time at 10, work, have lunch at 12:30, work, tea time at 3, play/work (mainly play), then go home and have dinner at 6. Sooooooo much food, holy crap! And tea time isn't just's bread bread and more bread. I'm not complaining, i'm just getting fat. We went net fishing yesterday and it was actually super fun! The Magoons are way cool and they had two boys my age so i talked to them a bunch. One of them got attacked by a shark two years ago and was in the hospital for 3 weeks! We gave them a ride to Suva and he sat by me on the bus. Once you get used to their accents, they're super funny. He got my name for facebook so we can be friends. Then we went ziplining and it it was soooo fun! I was really bad at braking though so i had to be pulled by the foot a few times...still super fun. Then we had dinner at mcdonalds, which was soooo expensive! My happy meal was 9 bucks. We were going to see Turbo and i was way excited, but we had to see Smurfs 2 instead. It was a good nap. I don't know how i'm going to say goodbye to the villagers on wednesday...i might just die. I told them i would bring a "change" so we could all go swimming in the river. If i don't come back home, it's because i "accidently" got left behind. I'm definately coming back here someday so you guys can come too if you want. Just prepare for my type of paradise, it probably doesn't match yours. Fijians have a very distinct smell... i actually love it, everyone else says they smell bad though haha. I'm super paranoid about the whole head touching thing, i accidently touched a kid's head the other day and no one did who knows. Our ward is great, we had a ball on friday that was really fun and the girls taught us a cultural dance. I volunteered to give a talk for BYDtonight so that really sucks, i haven't even written it yet... I'm so tired all the time, but america is for sleep, fun is for Fiji. My favorite thing to do is wave at people from the bus. Everyone is sooo friendly, all the Fijians anyway. There are a ton of Indian people here and if you wave at them, they just stare at you. It's pretty funny actually. We don't go shopping until thursday so hopefully i find some good stuff...I got some awesome sand dollars yesterday at the magoons house! They live right on the beach and didn't even pay for the property...I'm definately moving here some day. I have like a gajillion bug bites because we all have bed bugs, but it's all worth it. Anyways, have fun in america. Try not to be too jealous of me. I'll teach you some fijian stuff when i get back. Until then, mothe! 

P.S. Wow haha i just saw the blog you made...i guess you already know everything i'm doing here. But yeah that guy on the roof with us is Unax, and he's in the rugby picture too. And i've given up on the local food, i just eat the sack lunch the lady packs us. But Brad caught a crab yesterday and i tried some, it was actually pretty good. And there are these ssssuuuuuuuuuper hot little green peppers that i tried...oh my goodness, worst thing EVER! But hey, no regrets. So yeah just thought i'd add that...bye!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Break time!

Yes, I am working hard...
and making great friends 
along the way...
but I had to share this with you:
Every day, we enjoy a Fijian Tea Time. Look!  It's food I enjoy!  BREAD!!!
And of course, we sneak in a little rugby during break time, as well. No one ever said, "All work, no play!"  :)

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The real reason I'm in Fiji!

These adorable kids are the reason I am here. Keeping them healthy, safe, and happy. 
For 2 straight weeks, we will be digging, hauling cinder blocks, and building flushing toilets for this small village here. 
The sanitation here is non-existent. We are making a difference. I'm learning how to build a public restroom, plumb it, and complete it (paint, and all). 
It's a ton of hard work. By lunch time, we are ready for our daily Fijian feast. This picky eater is trying to survive. I don't do fruit or fish...their main staples. Guess I'll be trying new things!  ;)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Having tons of fun without you!

Bula!! That's how us Fijians say hello, welcome and I love you. I'm having tons of fun without you, I hope you're super jealous. Today is Sunday for us so we had church in Suva. We got to Suva last night after a two hour boat trip and a five hour bus ride...luckily the view was amazing! Our flight to Nadi (pronounced Nandy) wasn't too bad, i actually slept a little bit. They gave us food! At first i didn't want any but then i realized it might be my last normal i ate like a starving person. We landed at 5 something in the morning Fiji time, and there were people singing to us in the airport! One amazing thing i've noticed about Fijians is they're all musical! Their singing is absolutely amazing. We had 3 breakfasts that morning...which i was super thankful for because i didn't enjoy lunch very much. Lots and lots and lots of fish.......
Waya LaiLai was sooooooo beautiful!!! That was the island we stayed on for the first few nights. The people were so super nice, every time we saw a Fijian we would say bula and they would smile all big and say it back to us. Venaka means thank you and mothe means goodbye or goodnight, just so ya know. I'm pretty much fluent by now. I'll probably come back with an accent.
Have you seen our pictures on instagram? Our resort was like camping...all the girls were in one room on bunk beds, and we had to share the bathrooms with the lizards, but they usually let us in. The showers were seriously the tiniest trickle of the coldest water i have ever felt in my life! The breakfasts were always super yummy, and sometimes there was chicken for the other meals. I did try the fish, i have pictures to prove it! So our first day was the longest day eeeevvvveeerrrrrr.....but that doesn't mean it was bad. It was awesome! We went swimming and we found a little cliff to jump off of...and we did an amazing sunset hike that was super beautiful. The next day we went snorkeling! So far my absolute biggest regret is not bringing an underwater second biggest is not bringing soap. There was no soap, anywhere. The fish were so bright and colorful! Everything was so blue, and our guide was insane! It was at least 30 feet deep in some spots and he would just casually swim down to the bottom to grap his spear, then calmly float back up....i don't know how he held his breath that long! And my ears were killing after going like 5 feet down. He got some bait to get the reefs sharks to come out. They were about 4 feet long and super awesome! One shark bit him but of course he carried on as normal. I got like 5 inches away from touching one...ugh i was SO close! Next time...
After that we went to the village with the school. The little kids were SOOO cute!!! They sang songs for us then gave us tours. My little "guide" was a cutie named Judy, she was hilarious. She would have me take pictures of her doing handstands, then she wanted to see all the pictures. We all played Little Sally Walker and Red Rover, then it was lunch. They had this mystery sausage that looked pretty sketch, but it was better than fish so i ate a bunch. On a side note, there is no ice cream bar better than a Fijian ice cream bar. Just saying.
After lunch we donated our books and toys on a little table, and i never saw Judy again because she went home for lunch. But the other little kids were there, one little boy had me give him a piggy back ride. He was super cute but i can't remember his name, it was something crazy. Lily was my favorite, she was a super shy girl we met at the very beginning and i finaly got her to talk. She held my hand and would pull me around, she was adorable. After we left the school we took a tour of the village. It's crazy to see how poor they are but they're still so happy. My time is running out...i love you guys, hope you're having fun! Remember, no disneyland or yogurtland or anything until i'm back. Mothe!


The only communication I have with
home is an occasional email and
HEFY downloaded Instagram photos.
This was our first batch:

Waiting for the boat
A local Fijian teaching us how
to properly drink a coconut
With some of the locals
I'm here!!!