|Welcome to our world -- off to teach a lesson|
Up and down, up and down, always jostling and bouncing in our seats, we travel this road each day in one direction or another to the four main church centers in Qeleni, Matei, Somosomo, and Vuna, and to many villages in between. Along the way we've captured some sights and memories that typify life on Taveuni.
Smiles, always the smiles. They seem to love life, love each other, and love social life and play time. They constantly hang out on the road, sitting and laughing together. It always appears to us that they were on there way somewhere and just decided to sit down and laugh awhile.
|Fijians have their own version of "bad hair" days -- but don't seem to care|
|Rosana patiently practicing the art of plaiting|
|Brothers back from bathing in the river -- how fun!|
|Jyoti ~ an exceptionally bright young woman who wanted to learn about the Church.|
We appreciate her sincerity and inquiring mind that always has questions about
life and religion which seem well beyond her years.
|Erik Watakini's kindergarten ("kindy") graduation. His Mom,|
Atelini, lovingly made the whole outfit. We went to the ceremony
and kids were treated as though they'd all graduated from Harvard!
Creativity in so many ways. Young Aisea had made himself a home and was just stirring up a batch of "curry"in a discarded chip bag when we passed by.
The Culinary MilieuSpeaking of curry, welcome to our local fast food dining option where menu decisions are easy. It is either chicken curry with bones or chili chicken with bones. We noticed it wasn't listed in the Frommer's guide to Taveuni but then maybe they missed this hometown spot. When you're seated inside it is difficult to know if you are sweating from the heat in the food or the heat in this little metal trailer, either way the one fan is a special addition.
|There's room for four, want to join us?|
|Guess who got the coveted seat?|
|Sister Koy was pleased to demonstrate the art of making her delicious roti. Each one in the|
huge stack was beautifully crafted and cooked on the green kerosene stove.
|Elder Mabunga was honored on his 21st birthday with a beautiful|
home made lei and a chocolate cake made in his honor
|A wonderful meal and a wonderful family who has gone out of their way|
to love the missionaries.
Chocolate cake seems to be everyone's favorite no matter where you live so recently we have spent several Saturday afternoons with young women who wanted to learn how to bake them. In contrast to Americans who stand and use counter tops, the Fijians generally prefer the floor, presumably that would be because they have no cabinets in their kitchens. This group baked in partners and each went home with a cake for their families. As young Joyti (center in pink blouse) proudly carried her cake home, she melted our hearts when she exclaimed, "This is the best day of my life!" Her mother promised her she would be able to bake her own birthday cake this next month so we gave her some candles to dress it up.
These girls from Vuna really got into it.
|This was a new technique to me but one tried and true to her.|
|We introduced them to German Chocolate Icing made with|
freshly grated coconut, and it was a BIG hit.
One reported, "It's even good on bread!"
|All ages enjoyed this activity. The first young women activity ever for this|
newly formed group.
Making French Bread brought this lovely group together. With only one oven all were very patient in getting a turn to bake.
|All were experienced bakers but none had made French Bread so they|
loved adding this to their repertoire
|Local beauties from our own tree|
Mangos grow everywhere here so we did what seemed like a provident thing to do and made a small batch of jam. The excess we froze for smoothies which seemed like a good way to use the local produce.
Most of the women love to get together to create and visit. Each church unit here owns one sewing machine and a few women have their own so by combining resources we can have 3 machines and do quite well. Every few weeks we have gathered together to work on some simple quilting techniques. Last December we found a school uniform making factory in Suva that was willing to donate a rather large bag of fabric scraps which has been a godsend for these projects. Table space was limited but that was no obstacle as you can see. Each brings a little something to contribute for a light lunch- cucumbers and tuna, guavas, canned meat and bread or perhaps some pre-cooked dalo from home. Sharing something we've baked from home with simple ingredients they have access to is always appreciated and they often ask for a copy of the recipe to try at home.
|Found foam insulation will serve as batting for the hand bag|
|Two Lusi's waiting to serve their missions soon and making bags to take|
|Sister Bibi was perfectly happy on the floor with a hand-crank machine|
|And so is he!|
|Finished product after the kids added their prints|
The smoke drifting through the heavy rain caught our eye one day as we drove north. We'd been wondering what this odd shaped shed was for so we pulled in to get a closer look. With all the smoke and rain you wouldn't think a fly could survive but we were swarmed as we got out of the car and neared the "processing plant." Guess they like coconut too! Turns out, this is the village copra drying operation that precedes the pressing out of prized coconut oil.
|After the day's work on a copra plantation, our friends Teivita|
and Loma head out for some spear fishing
|A family out for some net fishing in the early evening|
|Headin' home after a long day -- what a joy to be together!|