So guess what I eat around here? Today it was oysters. Not my favorite thing ever, but not disgusting. They boil them with onions and these little chili peppers (they eat everything with chili peppers). Pretty much spicy and rubbery. Also, I will admit, I love the fish here. So much better than the fish back home. And they have plenty of ways to prepare them, and I've enjoyed all those ways! Fried, boiled in coconut water, all good. We also eat plenty of curry in both Indian and Fijian homes. Curry and rice are staples. Curry is very spicy. Besides that, I have eaten octopus, shark and plenty of corned beef. Corned beef is in the same family as Spam. I don't really like it. Canned meat has never been my favorite, but I eat it a lot, because its a Polynesian staple. If you go to Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand - any of those countries - you will eat plenty of corned beef. Dad would probably love it but me, not so much. And all of these are often eaten with your hands. Indians never use utensils. Fijians only sometimes do. And they drink soda with everything, but they don't call it soda, they call it juice. Before the mission, I didn't drink soda, even in the MTC. But here, I drink plenty of juice, haha!
We all sit cross-legged on the floor around a cloth covered with all the food. The cloth is pretty much the table. Its definitely different, but I love it! Some foods that I still want to eat are eel, bat, and mongoose. Mongoose is rarer, no one in the city catches these things, so I may be out of luck. :/
When it comes to being a white girl, people are always watching and judging. I get a lot of stares. And the Fijian boys always want to talk with me and flirt with me and tease me - super annoying! The little kids are either terrified of me or they love me and want to touch my skin. I'm the exotic around here, haha!
To Mum and Dad:
One thing that I really miss is music. Not listening to it, but playing it and writing it. I bought a ukulele a couple of weeks ago but it turns out that having a musical instrument is against mission rules. The ZL's "confiscated" it! It's funny how much more you appreciate something when it's gone!
Suva 1st ward is a hard ward because there is a lot of gossiping and backbiting. And a lot of less-actives. My plan is to get a ward directory and visit each member, one by one. Get to know them and help them trust the missionaries more. Plan a few firesides (who would ever have thought that I would be speaking at firesides.) (MAN I AM SICK OF THE COCKROACHES, THAT'S THE FIFTH ONE I'VE KILLED TODAY!!!)
The branch that Sister Bechu went to before her mission is on the island of Ovalau. Her dad was the first counselor in the branch presidency. The branch president was pretty slack so he was released and guess who replaced him? An elder. Elder Pence. A 20 year old boy. Elder Pence had been here in Fiji for like eight months when he busted his shoulder and had to go home. He just came back, was assigned to serve in this branch, and was immediately called as branch president. It just blows my mind! He has all the responsibilities of a Bishop. I guess this kind of thing isn't that uncommon in developing missions, but still. I met him before he was assigned to Ovalau, he's just a goofy kid with glasses that are too big for his face. Crazy! He'll be great, though. Missions turn boys into men, and girls into women.
Love, your Sister Wright