Power outage…Christmas Day in the South Pacific…Dining out midday…Merry Christmas to all..

Another boat heading down the Qaraniqio River.

Oh, another power outage…on Christmas Day. Wonder when it will come back on. 

In yesterday’s post we failed to mention the cost of the fine dinner at Seduce Restaurant at the Pearl Resort on the evening of Tom’s birthday. Including the meal, the gratuities and the bar bill for his Margarita and my bubbly water, the grand total was FJD $256, USD $106. 

Had we been dining in many other countries such an evening could easily have cost well over USD $200, $FJD $427. As the Fiji dollar changes daily as is the case for currencies worldwide, our round trip taxi fare was FJD $4.68, USD $10 including a 20% tip. When we leave Fiji in 10 days, we’ll give Alfaan a more substantial tip as we often do when we have an opportunity to work with one special driver.

The pebbly road for part of our walk later turned into a paved road.

Yesterday afternoon, when the rain stopped for a period, we ventured out on an ambitious walk through the neighborhood. A dog living two doors from us, followed us during the entire almost hour-long walk, making every turn we made continually watching us for our next move.

A house in the area with a commonly seen stucco-type exterior and tin roof.

It reminded me of our old lives when walking our two dogs (Tom didn’t walk in those days) on a vigorous walk in the neighborhood often every day, including the cold winters unless it the temperature was too cold for their little paws walking in the winter’s snow and ice. There was more than one occasion during which I had to carry one or both of our little dogs home when the tiny pads on their feet were too cold to continue on. 

The walk, in addition to working out almost daily at the local fitness club provided me with ample exercise.  Now, with pelting rain most days and no access to a fitness center, a good walk as often as possible brings considerable energy and a sense of well being. 

A vacant lot in the neighborhood collecting debris from an adjoining building site.

In a mere 12 days I’ll be working out on the ship in an attempt to rebuild my fitness level after this lengthy hiatus without much exercise. I haven’t belonged to a fitness center since living in Trinity Beach, Austalia from June to September, 2015.

Another vacant lot behind this neighboring house.

Soon, living in Taranaki, New Zealand with several nearby fitness centers (within 20 minutes), I’ll be back at it again for another three months. At this point, I have no idea what I’ll do once we arrive in a remote area in Bali, there again, perhaps unable to find a fitness center which has been the case in Fiji.

Today is Christmas Day here in the South Pacific. After a delicious dinner and  movie last night, we wandered off to bed, content for another good day. Sure, it doesn’t feel like Christmas without all the festivities associated with the holiday celebrations we experienced in our old lives. 

Finally, we reach the paved road making walking easier.

There are no twinkling lights on the houses in the neighborhood, no front lawns littered with lighted snowmen, reindeer and Santas and few Christmas trees visible through living room windows. We’ve become used to the lack of hoopla, decorations and festivities as a normal part of our life, without disappointment or a sense of loss. 

A fairway on the Pacific Harbour/Pearl Resort golf course only steps from our house.

Instead, we revel in the spiritual aspect of Christmas easily appreciating life, our good health and the health and well being of those we love and the many blessings we’ve been given.

At 2:00 am this morning, we were startled out of bed by outrageously loud fireworks in the neighborhood. Fijians sure love their fireworks, day and night. Wide awake after the heart racing awakening, I decided to listen to a podcast on my phone to lull me back to sleep which often works better than reading.

We’ve often seen these boats heading to scuba diving on the reefs.

Yeah, yeah, yeah…I know about “sleep hygiene” that bespeaks reading and listening in bed impedes quality sleep. I tried over and over again to break the habit, often spending night after night lying in bed wide awake unable to fall back to sleep. Ultimately, the total combined amount of sleep seems to suffice to keep me alert all day.

There are many homes in the area with Qaraniqio River frontage property, docks, and boats.

When I couldn’t connect to the house wifi to download a podcast, I got out of bed to reset the router, necessary every four or five days. Once back in bed I was able to get download a few podcasts and listen to two 40-minute broadcasts. Finally, I fell back to sleep awakening at 6:30 anxious to get the day underway.

With solar power here and no sun in well over a week (its raining now as I write), its not unusual for the shower to be cool in the morning. Susan, the owner, explained there’s a switch on the wall in the master bedroom to turn on the electricity to heat the water heater. We often turn it on for an hour in the late afternoon when the water is cold for Tom’s shower and for washing dinner dishes. 

The bridge over Qaraniqio River we cross on our walk.

Preferring to shower upon awakening and not wanting to waste power overnight, my showers are often cooler than I’d like. So it goes. I guess its part of life living in the tropics, including the near-constant rain often preventing us from daily walks.

As many walks as we’ve taken since our arrival almost three weeks ago, we’ve yet to experience a single walk on a sunny day, as shown in our cloudy day photos.

A scuba diving boat heading out to sea via the Qaraniqio River in Pacific Harbour.

With today’s upcoming buffet lunch at the Pearl at 1:00 pm, we hesitated about making tonight’s dinner. I rarely eat during the day and most likely won’t feel like eating again later in the day. This low carb way has a tendency kill the appetite, only feeling hungry every 24 hours or so.

Tom, back at the carbs again during today’s buffet and perhaps after eight more slices of bread or bread-like items, most likely will be hungry by 7:00 pm. With this in mind, I’m making a few items just in case. By 1:00 pm, when Alfaan picks us up, I’ll have everything prepped and ready to complete later in the day when we return from the Christmas lunch.

Hibiscus, prolific year-round are the most commonly seen flowers in tropical climates.

Its a good day, this Christmas Day 2015. The love we feel from family and friends from afar, the love with share with one another, and the joy we experience each and everyday, making this day as special and as meaningful as all the rest.

May all of our readers and their family and friends have a joyous Christmas Eve and Christmas Day filled with love and wonder. We feel all of you with us, each and everyday. We appreciate each and every one of you for sharing this life with us. Have a beautiful Christmas!

Photo from one year ago today, December 25, 2014:

I wish we’d taken more family photos last Christmas when family was visiting. When I was preoccupied with everyone being there, I just didn’t take many photos of “people” always one of my photo-taking downfalls. We all spent Christmas Day at a picnic at a beach park in Hilo, Hawai’i, on yet another cloudy day. For more details, please click here.

Comments and responses Power outage…Christmas Day in the South Pacific…Dining out midday…Merry Christmas to all..

  1. Jessica Reply

    Merry Christmas to you, Glen and your family! Have a wonderful day!

    Lots of love,
    Jess & Tom

  2. Jessica Reply

    Richard, and a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well. Sorry you didn't get snow. We always longed for snow at Christmas and many years we weren't disappointed. Now, here in Fiji, its been cloudy and rainy for nine days in a row.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

    Warmest regards,
    Jess & Tom

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