I'm now back in Nadi after a week spent in the capital, Suva.
The past two weeks have been packed. We started off the first week with an EE clinic in Nadi. It went really well, but unfortunately several of us got sick that week and had to stay back at the center.
The second week we piled in a bus and drove four hours along the most beautiful coastline to Fiji's capital, Suva. On the way, we stopped at a resort for lunch and a swim, it wasn't quite the most exciting Fourth of July, but at least we got to celebrate a week later.
As we drove to Suva, we noticed a subtle change in our surroundings. The dry, dusty roads gave way to lush, green coastal hills. The sugar canes got replaced by papaya trees.
But the biggest noticable difference was the humidity. Several people had warned us that Suva was colder than Nadi, but with the intense humidity and daily rains, we were constantly sweaty and sticky.
We made our home for the week at the Suva credit union in dormitory style rooms. It wasn't the most pleasant of experiences, but we survived the bed bugs and can now laugh at our adventures.
It does make the little nursery rhyme, "goodnight, sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite," a whole lot more funny when you know you'll actually end up with bites in the morning.
We met so many lovely people in Suva, on of which shared my name. Elizabeth told me that when you cave the same name as someone else, you can call them "Yaca" (in Fijian the "c" is pronounced as a "th" so it sounds like "Yatha." The same is true for the Fijian word for goodbye, "Moce", which is pronounced as "mothey")
We arrived back in Nadi late Thursday night happy for our home sweet home.
On Saturday night we said goodbye to around 20 people from Figtree Anglican Church in Australia. They'd been with us for the past 2 weeks as they helped lead EE clinics in Nadi and then Suva. It was bittersweet saying goodbye. They are such amazing people and I'm blessed by so many new friendships, but I'm glad that we'll be able to step back and go at a little slower and quieter pace for the next couple of weeks.
The best part is I'm going to get to see them all in two weeks! They've all done a wonderful job at convincing me to return to Australia. It's such a beautiful country and I can't wait to spend more time with all of my new friends!
We been able to persuade one of the girls from Figtree to stay for the remaining two weeks of the internship, which I'm thrilled about!
So after the group left, we decided we needed to celebrate the 4th of July. On Saturday night (a week late) two other American girls and I made a southern meal for all of our friends. For some, it was new and the only thing they could compare it to was KFC, but for others it was great to have a taste of comfort food. We made fried chicken, green beans, mashed taters, cole slaw, biscuits(which everyone here calls small tea crackers or cookies, so they were heaps confused).
After the dinner, we had an evening talent show and fireworks. It was the best belated Independence Day celebration.