Sunday, July 14, 2013

What a Week

Hi everyone, I have to title this one WHAT A WEEK!  We finished up our trip to Labasa/Savusavu and even took a little time to shop on Monday.  I bought a Nautilus shell for $10.00 Fijian, now if I can just get it past customs.  I asked Meme the hotel manager why they called our hotel Hot Springs?  She walked us out on the hill and pointed to a small stream near the base of the hill.  We walked over and saw three areas that were encircled with rocks and had hot bubbling water like mini geysers you might see in yellowstone.  I chose this picture because the marked off area to the left had a pot with heavy plastic over it, held down with rocks.  The women in the neighborhood bring out a pot of pudding and put it on the hot springs to cook.  in the small stream we were surprised to see more hot bubbling water.
 It was great to finally understand how our hotel got it's name.

I found this big chunk of coral about 9" in diameter when I was shelll hunting in Savusavu for a few minutes,
 a picture will have to do... it's too heavy for my suitcase, but it was fun to find a whole piece of choral
rather than the bits and pieces we usually see.

Inside the Justin Hunter shop, these little brown lip clams are what he grows the pearls in

Here are some black pearl/diamond pendants and white pearls.  We asked how much they cost and there were several categories ranging from $400.00, to $600.00 and then jumping to $1,000.00 and up from there.
 Fun to look at but we're not willing to pay that much money.

We've read about Justin Hunter in the airline magazine on our flights, he grows world famous pearls and in colors unique to Fiji.  We nearly missed it because the sign (tourquoise) is so small and the building very ordinary looking.

I had to take a picture of this very narrow, long canoe that I can't imagine someone riding in
out in the ocean, but I'm sure it would be easy for someone young and flexible.

Here's a real tongue twister, but we were happy to see that this was the future sight of a women's resource center.  There are many women on Fijian islands who marry, and then their husband leaves them and the kids for another woman.  These centers help the women get on their feet and find work to support their children.

Front= Sister Tuahivaatetonohiti, Trammell, Crowell, Wright
Back= Elder Motuliki, Tenney, Morgan, Tafuna'i, Moka, Moantewa

We came to work on Tuesday expecting to greet the 11 missionaries due to arrive that day, and found out Salt Lake sent them a day early (Monday) and made an exception to the rule that the missionary must have the visa approval letter before coming (we hadn't received the approval letters for Sister T and Crowell)  The Whiting's were great doing orientation and helping them feel welcome on Monday.  We cooked a big welcome dinner for them Tuesday night.  Sister Klingler asked me to do a quadruple batch of brownies from scratch in her Bosch Mixer. I have done that before, so I took off the lid and carefully measured the wet ingredients, then turned on the mixer; and kawush! a huge wave of egg mixture flew out of the bowl landing on the bar, all down the front of my blouse and skirt and onto the floor.  Sister Klingler lent me one of her skirts and  blouses and I'm pretty sure I won't ever forget to put the lid on a Bosch Mixer again,before turning it on.  Realizing I had lost part of the ingredients and needing to get the brownies baked quickly so Sister K could bake her homemade rolls, I added the dry ingredients and some extra wet ingredients to try and compensate for what I lost in my tsunami of egg mixture.  The dough seemed stiff but I went for it... and you guessed it, when we later tried to cut the brownies they were like two very hard gigantic brownies the size of a cookie sheet.  Elder Hogge gouged them out of the pan, we put lots of ice cream on them and added homemade fudge sauce.  The Cherry on the top was when Sister Klingler came over to me and jokingly said do you think you can duplicate that recipe again for me?  She has a great sense of humor, and a way of helping me feel a little less inadequate, expecially when I realize Sister Whiting is leaving August 3rd and I will be Sister Klingler's " most experienced" helper, and the one who will try to help the two new single Senior Sisters who are coming, to learn the routine we have when helping in the kitchen.

I steppde out of our flat this week and surprise our neighbors must have earned enough money
to add the roof boards to the house they are building.

Friday it was time to say goodbye to 6 missionaries we've really come to know and love.
This is Elder Hawk and his parents who came to pick him up.  They live in Gilbert Arizona, so Elder Hawk has already made plans with us to  go out on the lake with the boat and meet up  at Dave's Barbeque for Dinner.
He's the Elder that found the rat under his washing machine in Kedavu 

L-R  Elder Stock,Neider, Hawk, Nawaqasema, Sister Tiakia and Zajac
Each of these missionaries gave such beautiful testimonies,  and after the closing song, I was asked to give the prayer...
I had a hard time making it through, lots of tears...we will really miss them.

Funny story...Sister Whiting grabbed the passports that go with the envelopes I prepare for each missionary and we handed Sister Tiakia her passport, she looked inside and said "this isn't my passport"  it was Elder Tukia's (similar spelling but pronounced differently) .  I was relieved she caught the error before leaving for the other side of the island.   

I snapped this at the sister's flat, I think it might be like the ones I took a few weeks ago out in the bush.
Well the rest of this" crazy week" was spent trying to get approval letters.  For the two sisters, I started last Tuesday before they came, and they told me to come back Friday.  Knowing I would be on our trip I asked Sia who works in the service centre downstairs to follow up.  She asked Salote from downstairs to go to immigration, and she went and sat for a good part of the day on Friday, only to be told to come back on Monday.  After going 5 times to immigration we got 1 of the two sister's letters, one of the letters for the Walker's (a senior couple that were due to arrive this Monday but have now been delayed) and one of the two single senior sister's who are due to arrive and work with us in the office in two weeks!   Frustrating...Sia said the letter's were processed to a point and need the final step to be completed.  They're sitting on an immigration employee's desk  and he had a meeting Friday. By Friday  afternoon immigration employees start leaving early to go home, so there's no choice but to start again on Monday.  We're all praying and hoping the letters we need to get everyone here on time will be completed this week.

Well, I'll sign off for now.  We are keeping you all in our prayers, we love you, and hope you have a good week      Love Elder and Sister Hogge

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