Despite a rough start in our trip to Fiji, Juleigh and I had a great trip. We arrived on Monday and left on Friday, but we had a wonderful time even in just a few days. Highlights include:
- Air conditioning. Our hotel was decked out with wildly extravagant conveniences such as air conditioning, television, and heated showers. Juleigh and I also enjoyed the pool (and ordering poolside snacks like bruchetta) and the fitness room.
- Amazing food. We had Japanese food, Indian food, doner kebab, and McDonald’s, among others. We also bought foods you can’t find in Tonga, like popcorn, maple syrup, and chocolates. Whenever we PCVs go anywhere, people in the community ask for treats, ie chocolate and sweets, so I also bought kilos of candy and Peeps (just in time for Easter!), mostly for the school children.
- Juleigh getting a class set of reading and grammar books for her students. Finally, they have something to follow that progresses in an orderly and understandable manner! I also bought a few books with reading and activities for my students.
- Seeing a movie in a theater. We ended up at the theater at 6pm, and we picked out our movie by seeing what started at that time. It was a movie we’d never heard of (“Lincoln Lawyer”), but for picking it by the time it started, it was pretty good. And, we had movie popcorn.
- Meeting Fiji PCVs. We were lucky enough to meet some PCVs in the Peace Corps Office in Suva, and we ended up having happy hour and Mexican dinner with them.
- Wandering into stores. In Ha’ano, there is literally no store to walk into. In Pangai, we could walk into stores and choose from their goods: buckets of lard, baggies of mutton, chicken flavored potato chips, piles of flip flops. In Suva, we went into clothing stores, trying on all kinds of things that would be inappropriate to wear in Tonga (because they show shoulders or knees). We also went into a department store, Costco-like store, bookstore, and so on and so on!
- Getting henna done. We found a woman who did henna, so we got our hands done. I knew I would get comments from people around town, since girls with tattoos are so scandalous. My students loved it though, and for the after school program one day, we decorated paper hands with drawn-on henna designs.
Now that I’m back from Fiji, I think I’m in Tonga for the long-haul. December 2011 countdown beginning...