Tuesday, July 27, 2010

One Post at a Time

I'm taking this one post at a time. You may or may not get multiple posts from me in one sitting, but this begins the process of catching me up. Actually, this really continues the process of me catching up, seeing as how I already posted a video. Also, just for the sake of clarification, the posts will be only slightly chronological. For the most part, they won't be. This one post will be the main exception, simply because this particular category is that of the Wai Lai Lai experience. Now, let's move onward.

Day one was long. We landed in the Nadi (pronounced "Nandi") airport at about 5 a.m. Fiji time. Early. Early enough to still see the stars--way better than the stars in Provo. Just sayin'. But, I did sleep a lot of the flight, so that was nice. After gathering all of our belongings, we loaded the bus, which took us to the dock, which is where we loaded the boats, which took us to the Wai Lai Lai island, which was about a 50 minute boat ride. If the boat works. Mine worked just fine, the other one...not so much. They got to the island much later than we did.

Pardon Mary, she made it into the picture. The rock in the distance is nicknamed "Phantom Cove."

The main purpose of going to the island was to give us a chance to get to know our fellow AYS members. We were there for two days and one night. We got to play volleyball, get-to-know-you activities, go snorkeling, seashell hunting...that kind of thing. While snorkeling, I got to hold a few blue starfish, those were cool. I also touched living sharks. And I got beat up against some coral as the tide came in--I have a tendency to do that. Anywho, when we first arrived, us girls headed over to our dorm. This is where we slept on the first night.

The Staircase of Death, Part 1. We had to walk up this beast to get from the beach to our dorm.

Our dorm building

My bed. Each pillow had a flower on it, which we all put in our hair.

The view from the dorm

We got to ride a boat out to deeper waters for snorkeling, which is where I touched the shark. I was also eaten my "sea mites." I saw a bunch of octopuses...octopi? And they caught one and brought it back with us, so I got to touch it. Sweet.

The meals there were interesting. I began my quest to enjoy seafood. The quest did not reach total success while visiting Wai Lai Lai, but it did begin. I tried some fish; it was better than anticipated. I ate some octopus which, surprisingly, was good. Once I overcame the fact that I was eating the octopus I had been previously been suctioned to. It didn't have the crazy texture I was anticipating, so that was a bonus. But for the most part, I ate a lot of rice.

After dinner, we went on a "Sunset Hike." Or so we were told it would be. We left late, and were in the wrong place when the sun was setting, but it was beautiful all the same.

The hike took us to the top of that rock.
This was our guide. He hiked the whole thing in flip flops and with a machete.
The spiders were huge!

This is the "short way" of the "easy hike."
Look closely, this tree has no roots.
The view from the top.

AYS kids on the top. Anna dropped her camera off this very cliff.
Our guide pushed on this rock and it wobbled.
Gorilla rock

This was the piece of "paradise" that we got while there. I enjoyed it. But, I must admit, I was just itching to get to work. The boat was a welcome sight.
My boat got back first, so we all waited around on the dock for a little bit. As we sat, an ice cream man walked by! He had a little cart that he pushed around and a bell that rang. All of the kids had just gotten out of school and were buying ice cream from him in their uniforms. Naturally, I bought some ice cream as well. We hadn't exchanged our monies yet though, to we had to barter a bit with him. Well worth it, Fijian ice cream is the way to go.

Another sight on the dock while waiting: a pig. Not just any pig, but a pig tied to a pole like a dog. It was so bizarre. Apparently Mary saw people walking it before it was tied up. It was too funny to just let go, so I took a picture.

Eventually, everyone made it back. Then we hopped on the bus. It was then that we noticed that this bus had the coolest stick I had ever seen. It was massive!

Just look at that! It's HUGE! Holy cow, that was so exciting for me. Also in this picture, you can see that they drive on the left side of the road. I was seriously concerned that I would find myself driving on the left side when I came home, but no worries, I've stuck to the right.

We went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. They took forever to bring our food out, so Whitney and I entertained ourselves with our spoons. As pictured below.

After dinner, we exchanged our monies in the airport. Crazy exciting. Their money is colorful, and made of a different kind of paper or something. They don't have one dollar bills, their ones are coins. And yes, that is the Queen of England on the bills.

From there, we made a very long, very bumpy, and very uncomfortable drive to where we lived for the remainder of the time--Club Coral Coast, aka: The Triple C, CCC, and The Christian Camp. Don't ask me about the last one, I honestly have no idea.

This sums up the adventures of my first few days spent in Fiji. They were good days, but the best was yet to come.

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