Its a small world, after all…

This is the menu from the “roasted chicken store” where we’ll purchase two chickens each week. For a point of reference on pricing; FJD $10 is equal to USD $4.66 as of today’s exchange rate, changing daily. As shown, prices for whole chickens are somewhat high while many other items are reasonable. Other than the chickens, there’s nothing on this menu, we’d eat. Chickens were slightly lower cost at Helen’s Fiji Meats in Savusavu at FJD $20.

When the time was nearing for us to move to this island, Susan, the owner of the property wrote to us explaining a lovely newlywed couple, daughter of her best friend would be staying at her other house two doors down the road. She suggested we meet them since, although much younger than us, we’d all get along famously.

Yesterday, on our first walk in the neighborhood, which was both invigorating and interesting, we were reminded of our walks in the neighborhood on the Big Island of Hawai’i one year ago. It had a similar look and feel with a variety of styles of houses, many built years ago with a few newer homes and a few in the process of renovation at this time.

We took many photos which we’ll share in the days to come. On our way back home as we walked back down to the road, toward our temporary home, we saw a couple walking toward us; a young couple, wearing jogging clothes, looking happy. It must be the newlyweds!

Local handmade crafts in one of the touristy shops.

I spoke first saying, “Hello, where are you from?” 

With much enthusiasm, Samantha answered, “We’re from the US!”

They were indeed the newlyweds, Samantha and Danny, and, of all things, Danny’s from Minneapolis, where Tom grew up and Samantha is from Wisconsin, the state neighboring Minnesota. They now live in Seattle. Small world.

A lively conversation ensued as we shared our stories. We couldn’t have enjoyed them more. Having their wedding six months ago, they are taking a late honeymoon and had arrived the prior day from visiting India.  How exciting! Having considered India as a down-the-road option, we had many questions for them. 

The popular Fijian Lali, a wooden bowl, handcrafted from a single tree trunk, creates a pleasant sound used to announce events.

In the evening after dinner, they stopped by for an enjoyable visit. Again, the conversation was animated and entertaining and we had a wonderful time. I felt like a chatterbox, so excited to speak to others that so related to from-whence-we-came, not only the country but also the general area.

We don’t want to intrude upon their honeymoon and suggested they contact us if they’d like to go out to dinner or exploring. We’ll let them decide. Danny is a resident doctor with long hours and Samantha is a social worker.  They sure can use this time alone together.

By the time they left, it was 9:30 pm. We finished watching one show on the flat-screen TV using the HDMI. I stayed up later than usual finding overall I’d slept better. Hmm…maybe I amble off to bed too early and should stay up until 11:00 pm. With the furniture more comfortable here, it’s easier to stay up later than in the last house.

Catching Tom grab a trolley for the market, unprepared for a photo with a toothpick in his mouth and no smile. Notice the trusty Costco bag.

The cleaning lady, Paeta has arrived. Early this morning, we washed the sheets and hung them to dry. As soon as they’re dry she’ll remake the bed after I explained how we like it; no excess folded sheet at the top, don’t tuck it in.

Normally, the cleaners stay all day cleaning, while waiting for the sheets to dry on the line. We’d prefer she leave as early as possible. There’s no way there’s more than a few hours of cleaning in this house. It almost looked spotless before her arrival barring a few crumbs on the floor and a little bit of dust here and there. We’ll happily pay the full day rate of FJD $30, USD $14, and let her leave as soon as the work is completed.

Currently, we’re in the process of washing, drying, and hanging all of our cruise clothing. After sitting stuffed in our suitcases for the past six months, although clean when we last packed those items, a good washing is definitely in order. 

The market in the Arts Village has few items suitable for our diet, but ideal for most tourists with lots of “western” snacks, chips, soda, and other processed and packaged items. They don’t sell “real” butter, only tub margarine, which we won’t buy. 

Once dry we’ll hang them in the closets.(Yeah for closets and hangers)! The humidity will take out the wrinkles over these next weeks. Soon, we’ll purchase garbage bags to wrap each item to keep it wrinkle-free after repacking, which we’ll wait to do the day before we depart for Sydney and the next day’s cruise.

Although it rained early this morning, the sun is shining for yet another beautiful day. Perhaps another walk is on the agenda, a swim in the pool with a short stint in the chaise lounge, or to sit at the outdoor table while we continue our ongoing, never-ending research.

We are so content it’s indescribable. In many ways, this lifestyle has been instrumental in our ability to appreciate the simple things in life, like umping for joy about hanging our clothes on hangers in a closet is a perfect example.

Happy day!

Photo from one year ago today, December 11, 2014:

We visited the 442 foot, 135 meters, Akaka Falls in the Big Island with the family for another fine day. For more details and photos please click here.

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