Friday, June 17, 2011

More pictures!

Sugar cane! If you haven't ever tried it, I highly recommend it.

Some of our lovely girls! After a long hard day of weeding and clearing a lot of brush! We are such hard workers :)

The wonderful Ba bus stand. We were fortunate enough to ride these babies everyday.

Ya this is the after shock of finding a spider that huge in our pile of shoes. We freaked out. And Maya our lovely landlady and cook came to our rescue.

Brandi and I at the Koroipita medical screening. Such a successful day! We checked blood pressure and blood sugar level along with BMI, to assess if they were in the range of diabetes and hypertension. I did the health education talks and gave them important information for a lifestyle change! The community was so eager to listen to us and so compliant! Brandi was a wonderful PR rep and so many people attended our screening!

Wonderful Emily and Alyssa assessing our Koroipita village members. They were great!

For vacation one weekend, we went to Suva! This little lake is in a national forest, so beautiful! Full day of hiking and pond jumping!

Kids at the Lomo Lomo public school. I had to make them swallow de-worming pills and iron pills, it was so sad! But really funny.

Ward Family fun day on the Queen's birthday! Our ward was so fun and welcoming! Loved them all!

10 hour flight.

And I'm home! Oh America, how I've missed you so. I have missed those tall glasses of milk, my own car, the right side of the road, an actual road, and my cell phone. But more importantly I miss Fiji and the team back in Ba! Let me just start by apologizing to those who frequent this blog, only to find out its mostly words! my bad. Theinternet was very sketchy in Fiji so now I will do my best to summarize what I could not post. The last few weeks were so wonderful. I really feel like I was starting to get to know our team. Of course I had to go right. Also, I miss Maya and her Indian food! And I miss all the little children of Fiji...I can't get over how adorable they are. I have a great story that will make anyone laugh. So the last day in Fiji Rachel and I are trying to stock up on souv's, so we went to the Lautoka craft market. The second you walk in, "Take a look, I give you good price", and "That pretty, I give you discount". So every ten seconds we have tosay, "oh ok, thank you", or "we are just looking". Until we are about to walk out, and the last lady yells, "You want free children?" We had to think twice about what she just said. But thenresponded with, "Um yes!" The exact reason I came to the Lautoka market. I knew they had a sale on cute children. I was so not expecting that, especially since everyone was trying to get us to buy everything they sold. This lady had the best sense of humor. Thought that might make you laugh.
Anyway, more about the volunteer work. I loved the last few weeks. The Vielomani Boys home was so sad to see us leave. I loved it there. They have made so much progress in the short time we were there. And the last time I taught 'health talks' in the Lomo Lomo primary school the kids were so eager to pose around the pond they were o
bserving, for an adorable picture! I hope I was able to make a difference on someone, or something in the short time I was able to help out.
I loved every second of it, and I wouldn't change anything. I feel very selfish when I say that Fiji helped me out so much, in so many different ways. So as long as someone in Fiji valued my presence and contribution, then I feel it was so wor
th it. Thank you for everyone who helped me get there. I have been home 10 hours and I already miss it so much and the whole team. Moce feejee.

The last time with the amazing PRISM team! Love them all.

Cutest kids!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I only have 2 more weeks left! Time has gone by so fast. I wish I had pictures to put up right now but I only have a few minutes to write! So I'll be fast. The last two weeks I've been able to help out the nurses from the Ministry of Health. They visit each primary school in the area, grades 1-7, and they do wellness checks on every student. While they are doing the wellness checks I've been able to teach each class about personal hygiene and nutrition! Its so fun. The kids here are so amazing. They are so disciplined, but at the same time so fun and love to participate. I've been able to teach them the importance of hand washing and their nutrition, because diabetes is rampant here. So sad. And its preventable and controlable! So I hate when people let it go out of control. That's why I'm here! to help! ha anyway, its been so fun. I love getting to know the people and making a difference. The bugs here are definitely getting to know me. I think at any given time I have like20 bites on my body. Mostly my legs its horrible! Yesterday, some bug attacked me and I had like 10 bites on one leg and I must have had an allergic reaction or something, cause my leg is definitely swollen. Hope its not Dengue. (don't worry Mom, if my bones feel like they are breaking then we should worry). ha I love Fiji. Also, I just started liking the food. Too bad I'm leaving so soon. I'll try to put pictures up later! Also I started helping out in the Vielomani Boys Home, and I love the kids there. I found out Kera means Banana in Hindi and the boys thought that was hilarious. The kids love me there, its hard not to love me right? ha k I really have to go! Love you all. Au taleitaka Fiji.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Week 2

Cutest kids ever!
Bula! This week was a little more hands on, we were able to start some of our projects! I participated in an outreach clinic with the coolest Dr. I've ever met. He's from America and spends 9 months out of the year volunteering in Fiji. I don't think I've met a more relaxed and hilarious person before! But at the same time he's so brilliant and has so much to offer the people here. I was able to help out the nurses in a village called Matawalu. We did blood pressure tests and blood sugar level tests and measured height and weight. The people in the village pretty much have every ailment and just come to see the doctor when he comes to their village every 3 weeks. He has been attempting to manage their diabetes and hypertension and will diagnose and treat other smaller ailments, mainly infections. It is so interesting to see how this all works. Yesterday a few of our volunteers went to a school to help with their oral hygiene celebration. We ended up just painting faces all day! But it was so fun. This weekend we came to Nadi again to enjoy the beautiful beaches! Here are a few pictures! Enjoy!
Part of the group at the Sheraton!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Au lomani iko.

Bula! Sa va cava tiko?! Fiji is amazing and beautiful. I cannot believe how wonderful the people are! This is such an amazing experience. A little hard at times, but so worth it. First off, this is a long wordy entry but its great so keep reading! My group is great, diverse and everyone has something unique to offer Fiji. Americans stand out so much here! Everywhere we go we attract so much attention. I kind of love it. Fijians are so friendly, you never pass anyone without saying bula (hi), in America that would never happen. If you just walk around saying hi to people you look extremely odd. Here, if you don’t say bula you are being rude, but that also may be because we are obviously visitors. It is great learning the culture and so interesting. Everyday we are out in the town conversing with the local people and learning the culture. I have so much to learn! The population where I am is half Indo-Fijian and half Fijian, and the cultures are so different. So half the time I’m saying hi and the other half I’m saying bula, not hard, but the people are really different. There are a lot of social cues you need to pick up on and learn to differentiate between the cultures. ANYWAY, I clearly have a lot to learn, but its so fun learning it!
We’ve only been here a week so we haven’t had the opportunity to actually do any projects, but we have made so many great contacts. Currently we are evaluating last year’s projects to see if they were a success or not, and we have made a lot of progress. We have set up so many promising projects and I can’t wait to actually start! I won’t go into all the details because that may bore some of you, but I’m really excited to participate and lead some of the health initiatives and medical outreaches that will be taking place! I’ve only been here a week and already I feel as if I’m learning so much. The days fly by here. The showers are freezing cold, so I’m trying to get used to it, but its so hot and humid in the day that you have to shower every night. So exciting right? Everyone uses public transportation here, its very rare to have a car. So we are pros at the bus schedules now. And these buses are so cool, no windows, but you don’t want windows because of the heat. I’ve been learning a lot of Fijian and if you speak two words to the locals they immediately love you. So here are a few words for you to practice at home: Bula [hello], sa va cava (thava) tiko [how are you doing], yadra (yandra) vinaka [good morning], au lomani iko [I love you] but you would say that not romantically :) like to a friend. Hope you got that! Last weekend we had off so we went to Nadi (nandi) and stayed at the Sheraton on the beach. so amazing, and exactly what you envision Fiji to be. You would think that the beaches would be everywhere but we are inland and you need to search for a good beach, and we found them. I put pictures on my facebook, so make sure to check there :) Love you all. I kind of miss America, but only kinda.
You need to love Indian food, which I don’t, but its growing on me! And I quickly learned that people eat to live, they don’t live to eat (like in America). Sooo people never eat out, and if they do, its like chinese food ha everywhere you go. No matter if it’s Mohammed’s or The Hillside Restaurant, it is stir fry, fried rice, beef and chicken. So ya I’ve had a lot of rice this week. And we found a brand new smoothie place today, its like an authentic Jamba Juice. It is definitely by far the best thing I've had since being here. ha
I love Fiji. Enough said. Thanks for reading :)

Moce (mothay) [bye!]

Saturday, May 14, 2011


Bula! (hello!) I had this whole blog post written and then I wasn't able to upload it at this internet cafe! I will next time, but I have one picture!! So you now can see a little bit of what I have been up to this past week. I really feel like its been wayy longer than 1 week but I'm loving it!
Everyone loves us in Fiji. They call us kaipaloge (kaipalangay), it means person from far away. but I think they just call the white people that haha everywhere we go everyone says bula! I cannot believe how friendly the people are here. It is so amazing.
Ok I may have to try again later to upload pictures because it is not working! sorry :/ check my facebook, maybe that one worked!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Future Home.

Welcome! I am so excited to be starting this new adventure and in Fiji of all places! I'm leaving May 6th for 6 weeks with HELP International to participate in amazing empowering projects with the people in Fiji! I have an amazing opportunity to have this as my internship to graduate as well! I'm a public health major so I really hope to participate in related projects! We will see! I am not sure of our internet situation at this point, so I will try to update as often as I can. But leave comments and love since I will be very far away from everything I know and love!
If you would like to donate to help me get there and to our projects its not too late! I can accept donations even while I'm there! So if you forgot but are still wanting to be a part of this amazing experience, donate! And I can't thank those enough who have already helped me out. I am so fortunate to be able to have this experience!