In which we jump a day!

Fiji
(Preface: we didn’t have wifi in Fiji. But here are the disjointed thoughts I journaled briefly while there. Keep in mind- I was sick, sick, sick.)

14th
-a super short write up of this day…
After breakfast, the youngers and I took our last walk around Sunset Blvd. We saw the musical stairs.
I rebooked our shuttle to come at 1 pm as we forgot we would be homeless from that time and it wouldn’t be fun wandering around with all our baggage dragging along behind us.
A long afternoon evening at the airport transpired. I was not impressed to discover that our ‘Air New Zealand flight was actually bought by them but flown and hosted by Air Pacific!
Once aboard the massive aircraft, I was happily surprised by a tasty dinner. So yummy.
There was a TV screen per seat, but it didn’t work. When I asked, we were told there would be an ‘announcement’ regarding it. ???
Basically it was very very poor quality and it was only on for a couple hours and then never came back on.
I was already feeling horrible with a racking cough, but the youngest had a raging temp. It was a long trip and we struggled to sleep.
Breakfast on the plane was very very basic.
But as we disembarked we felt excited to get stuck into a very different culture!
The boat ride in was long but our first time seeing everything. Fijian islands are just stunning.
We were presented with leis on arrival. It was already hot, stiflingly so.
We had breakfast and then our room was ready. Thank goodness for air con!
Flynn was excited about trying out the kids club. I signed him in. About 10 minutes later we had a phone call in our room from the kid’s club manager saying Flynn wanted to talk to me.
His little voice came on the line and he said softly :’ Mum, i don’t think this place is for me….’
I went right over and for him. Turned out some of the kids that had been there for a few days had been put in charge for a few minutes and already
The little bit of power had turned them despotic. I took the little guy home.
The day was feeling pretty surreal. I was feeling worse, Kara was getting sick. The heat was intense. Too much for the kids to habdle after 6 weeks of winter. All the kids were unhappy. I started to fantasize about getting rescued from it all and going home early.
By that I mean I was seriously planning to call the folks to borrow money for airfares- and then calling my dear friend Michelle to book them. I hated everything about where we were!
No offense to Fiji. Just sickness and fatigue took over commonsense.
By 8:20pm we were in bed asleep.

17th
Woke up late. Kara woke up near tears and coughing dreadfully. Then when I went to hug her, she did start crying. I determined to fly us home! No more!
I booked her into the medic. Their diagnostic equipment was down. How does an ear checker, and a throat checker go ‘down?’
But they heard her cough and very happily prescribed antibiotics.
Soon after, Zac and I went to the salon for our hair appointments. I was pretty dubious as to any hair dressing credentials as all they seem to do is braid. Joey the very camp hairdresser took on Zac first. He took nearly an hour! The first half hour, I was thinking: ‘ this is a train wreck. Zac is gonna murder me when we get out of here!
But then, out of nowhere, Joey pulled out a winning haircut!
Then it was my turn. I had an amazing head massage, and his skill blew my mind. It didn’t hurt that he murmured things like: ‘ you have a great natural hair color’. And: ‘you look like a Barbie doll.’
I think I have worked out how this is going to work- rest in the heat….when it is just before the heat of the day or just after: get into the gorgeous water! We did that today and it worked really well.
This evening we ate the Fijian feast – all of it was cooked underground. My favorite dish was cold pieces of lime-marinated fish.
18th
Woke up in a good frame of mind. We are down to a good routine by now:
8:00am Buffet breakfast
Kayak/ swim till 11:30
Ice cream time!
1:30 hot chips
3:30 swim in the ocean
6:00dinner
7:00 kids movie/ entertainment
9:00 bed!!

Flynn was happy to go try out kids club again with the grass weaving toys. He really enjoyed himself.
After a lazy but happy day, we decided to give the other restaurant, Anandas, a go for dinner. I had met a lady, Seini, who works there and she told me to come and she would be there.
There was barely anyone there. It was a bit bare like the shell of a restaurant; definitely no frills! I certainly like our side of the island better!
The menu was big- so were the servings. It was tasty food; unfortunately about 100 flies thought so too. The kids did not cope with the flies at all.
After the meal- which the kids ate by covering their plates with their napkin and pulling out a bite at a time- I asked our waiter if Seini had cooked our food and to please send her our regards.
She disappeared and then came back saying that Seini sent us her regards and as the pastry chef, was sending out some complimentary desserts.
Wow! They were nice too. Mars Bar pudding and a yummy cheesecake. So good.
Flynn watched the kids movie before we all went to sleep.
The first downer happened at dinner; Kara had an episode that seems very similar in every way to my simple partial seizures. We will need to get her checked out at home.
The other downer was that both she and I deteriorated overnight and nearly coughed our collective guts up all night. 2 and a half days in, she should not be getting a fresh cold!

19th- Kara was worse, so I visited the medic to check if I was doing all the right things. He assured me she should have had the needle option for faster results!
It was a quiet day following our regular routine.
By lunch Kara’s temp had spiked so I brought the hot chips home.
She was so hot even after paracetamol that I took her into the ocean till her little forehead stopped being so hot against my lips.
Dinner was not over exciting. One cool thing they do lost nights is the live cooking. As it was Mongolian night- the live cooking was stirfry. You put raw meat ( chicken, beef or fish) veggies and a selection of sauces on a plate and the chef cooks it up for you!
After dinner and the kids movie it was fire dancing night. We got front row seats and mocktails. The dancers were amazing!!
After the dancing, we somehow got lured into a massive and rather embarrassing conga line. Zac put it rather well as we sashayed awkwardly past each other: ‘ we shall never speak of this again.’

20th
Kara woke up with no fever! Her coughing overnight was less but she felt it was her worst night. She felt wretched.
After breakfast, we chilled at home, till time to catch the ‘limo’ to church.
It was a short ride past the staff quarters which reminded me of rundown parts of Nairobi. Then a climb to the top of a hill. There in the centre was a very basic building. Like the church my family went to in Wajir.
We had to ‘hang out under a tree for over 10 minutes while Bill got the church ready. Bill got Flynn to help him ring the bell for church.
Then we went inside. It was only us and another couple and bill!! The building gave great views of the ocean all round.
We practiced all the songs together. Then Bill opened in prayer and did a reading from Psalms and an official welcome to us.
Another woman showed up. Then we started singing the songs for real, and for some reason Bill kept getting me to start the songs off!!!
Finally the preacher slid in and went on to preach in English with a lot of Hallelujahs, some a little misplaced I felt. He then repeated the sermon in Fijian. A little shorter but with the same quota of Hallelujas.
It was a lovely experience.
By the time we got back it was half 12. The rest of the day was very quiet. It was curry night at the buffet. Very tasty. Kara was still ill.
We saw our first lighting of the torches which was amazing!
Then bodie went to watch a couple of late night movies after the kids movie was over.
21st
-late start today even with daylight saving!
I was up nearly all night coughing up a gut. The only time I am not coughing is when I sleep. The reason I wasn’t sleeping was I accidentally drank caffeine all day….
Kara announced that she felt better, but she became long in the face, said she was tired and slept through 1:30 hot chips.
I have gone through nearly all my books.
Kara was pretty gloomy during the afternoon swim. By dinner time she was crying. She just wants a bath, but I think it is really because she is still sick.
I brought her back fruit and cold jelly.
After the lighting of the torches, I played pinging with Flynn and then it was kid’s movie time. The movie was Rango. Oh my goodness- I did not understand how that weird movie was allowed to be so long. It needed to be twice as funny and half as ‘off the wall’ to carry itself off.

22nd
– after a couple of rains last night I woke up convinced it was gonna be a cooler day. I am not going to be a weather forecaster in the near future. It was so hot.
I had a coconut chiller from cocohut this morning as they run out of them so quickly. It was cold, refreshing and tasty. I took the shell home so I could eat the flesh.
We did some snorkeling this morning just off the beach.
There was a lot of debris on the beach.
We waved off some of our new friends at lunch time.
There was a crab race after dinner. Neither of Flynn’s crabs got a prize but it was fun!

23rd
– last day! We are so ready to go home, but wanting to savor all the ‘last’s. I said goodbye to Joey.
We did our regular routine, documented everything via video and photos so that we can’t ever forget. Flynn’s team in kids club won the tug of war. My team in the parents’ tug of war won too!
I will miss the folk at Plantation Island.
24th
– we farewelled our island home.
Today was a journey that started by boat to the mainland-bus to the airport- plane to Auckland- plane to Sydney- car to Canberra.
My lingering thoughts on Fiji is that I felt really uncomfortable being a tourist there; and being waited on by people who I know have a hard life. It didn’t sit well with me even though I know they rely heavily on tourism.
It was lovely to be on Air New Zealand. Everything on it was great!
I won’t bore you with all the flight details, but suffice to say that our initial boat left at 5:45am and we got through customs in Sydney (very easily) by 7 pm.
Cam, our sweet friend was there with our car!
And the lovely Causley family and Mum and Dad were there to surprise us with posters and love and special Aussie love packages.
Unfortunately they were facing the wrong exit so WE surprised THEM!!!! 🙂
And with that the TRIP is done. I am thankful for every day of it. Chelle in Oz- signing off!

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