Monday, July 31, 2017

Supplemental Post to July or 1st Installment for August

This is a supplement to the July blog, but because it is being done in August, I guess I should call it the 1st installment of the August Blog.

We have had 20-23 students that have volunteered with HELP International. They are an organization that send young people, usually college students, to under developed nations to help with the schools, hospitals, villages, and in any other way they can. We had about 14 last year. They come and work for 6-12 weeks. the last of these will be going home for this year on Friday. They are so helpful with many of the things Jackie and I have been doing; tutoring, activities for the youth, teaching self-reliance classes to villagers so they can qualify for and receive a grant to start a business in their respective village.

We had a farewell celebration for them last night. With every celebration, there was food provided and some entertainment. Then it is just "party hardy". Everyone danced, the old and the young. These videos are of some of the dancing done last night. The little boy, Manueli Nabose, is the cutest and his personality has been emerging for last several months. He is only 3. He seems to add a move or two with every celebration. Hope you enjoy as much as we did. Even Jackie got involved. I also danced but there was no one filming so the evidence is very thin.

Love, Kurt and Jackie.

                                                              Manueli Nabose (3 yrs)

Jackie and H.E.L.P. people (age ???)

Makalesi (neighbor and 13 yrs)

One More by Manueli

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Winding Down but Keeping Busy

Wow! We have passed out one year mark on our mission. It really seems to go fast. Looking back over the past 12 months has made me realize that the scripture Jackie and I choose as our "mission scripture", was perfect for us. Mosiah 2:17  "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."

As we have served here in Fiji, we have grown to love the people here. Especially those in the branches and groups we work with. We travel one direction 75 km and the other direction 20 km. We have 4 branches, Tukavesi, Nabua, Savusavu and Nuku, (a 45 minutes boat ride to the island) and 3 groups (small group of saints in a remote village), Dreikeniwai, Tacilevu and Vunavesi. Our assignment is to visit each of these branches and groups as often as we can. If we visited each area it would take us 7 weeks, over 500 kilometers (300 miles) to complete the circuit. That would usually also mean speaking in sacrament meeting 3-4 times. I know that every missionary says this, but we have grown to love the Fijian people, particularly those we have worked with in the Taveuni Zone. The people in the towns that we do business with are always so helpful in finding what we are looking for. We get lettuce and English cucumbers from Grace Road Kitchen. It is a Korean owned and operated enterprise. They have their own farm with greenhouses, etc. to supply vegetables to the public and the resorts. Jackie has become very friendly with the ladies working there. The one running the kitchen is from Southern California.

We go to the gym nearby and exercise. I noticed today, more than before, that there are three roosters tied up in front of the store. Can you say "watch roosters?". Not sure why but they sure are noisy.

We had a chance to "get off the island". Well, for a few hours anyway. We we invited by the H.E.L.P. International students to a 4th of July celebration on the island of Nawi. It sits in the middle of the Savusavu Bay about 300 yards from the pier. It seemed like a lot farther away than that. We sat, relaxed, read, walk on some sand and rocks and judged a cooking contest. They all leave in August.

We are still waiting for word from the mission president as to when we will leave Savusavu for Suva. We want to spend 4-5 days being tourists on that island before we go to New Zealand on November 7th. Then from Auckland to SLC on November 20th.

We love the people and the work but most of all we love the Savior.

Kurt and Jackie

P.S. Last night was the finale of the Savusavu Hidden Paradise Carnival. We had several branch members participating so we went there around 5:00 pm. Nothing was going on at that time so we had dinner, Chinese, and I put the "doggie bags" in the truck. We walked across the street and up behind a building to the park where all the action was taking place. We hadn't been there 15 minutes when one of our neighbors, an Indian lady, came up to us to tell us that someone had backed into our truck whick was parked on the street. Sure enough, there it was, damaged so the drivers door wold not open. I could be opened from the inside. There were several witnesses that gave me the license number of the car and that it was from one of the resorts on the island. Police had been called. 2 1/2 hours later, I had been to the police station, talked with the driver of the other vehicle, talked with his supervisor, exchanged phone numbers and I had listed by demands of the resort fixing the truck and if it needed to be in the shop for a period of time that they would provide me with a rental vehicle. The supervisor had to talk to her supervisor but she was more than accommodating. I need to get an estimate and they need to get permission from the general manager of the resort.