Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Primary Assembly and Thanksgiving

Yesterday I, Cherie, (Mike was teaching our class at the college) was the "honored guest" and speaker at the end of the year assembly for the LDS Primary School.  They presented me with a lei and I just gave a short talk, 8 minutes, on motivation.  It was really an amazing experience.  They are really big into singing here.  They sing at the beginning and end of every meeting.  And they sing with all their hearts.  They are a very soft spoken people.  When someone says a prayer often you can hardly hear it,  but when they sing everyone sings loudly.  When they sang the Fiji National Anthem, it was so inspiring.  Everyone stands at attention with their hands at their sides and sings.  I so wanted to take a video of it, but I was on the stand in the front and I wasn't sure if it would be rude.  So instead I have a very short video clip of the kids singing a Primary song..

We were invited to Thanksgiving with some of the other church members who are from the US.  I wanted to bring sweet potatoes, but couldn't find any.  Finally I decided I would make a pumpkin pie, but there is no canned pumpkin here, only a type of squash they call pumpkin.  It looks like a pumpkin but is squash yellow instead of orange like our pumpkins.  So I cleaned it out, cooked it in the microwave, then scooped it into the blender and pureed the pumpkin.  It was really runny, so I tried to strain it and then mixed and baked it.  It tasted pretty good, but didn't set up really well, it just had too much water in it.  I will need to practice more on that I guess.  But we still had a nice Thanksgiving meal: roasted chicken (no turkey), mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls, squash for sweet potatoes, etc.  We were just very thankful to be able to spend the holiday with friends.  My pictures didn't turn out very well. But we had about 16 adults and 10 or so kids.

That same evening we were invited to the Christmas party for the Primary School.  So we ate our Thanksgiving meal, and then left a little early to go over to that party.  They had a little gift exchange.  This is Mike receiving his Fiji key chain from his Pixie Teis (that is the shortened version of her name.)  I am actually starting to remember peoples' names now. 

This is Sister Rabuka giving me my gift.  It was a handmade bag made of basket type material.  I loved it!  She called in a scripture case.  I took it to church Sunday with my scriptures and all my other necessities. 

Saturday it was pouring.  We have had a lot of rain since we arrived here, but nothing like this.  We had to walk from a covered area to our car with an unbrella, it was about 3 feet, and Mike's pant legs were soaked!  Our shoes were also very wet. There were many people walking on the streets with no umbrellas as they do little good!   On our way home, we saw a taxi driver out in the rain washing his car!  We thought it looked pretty funny. 

Saturday, Nov. 27 we had a senior missionary get together and a farewell dinner for our neighbors, Elder and Sister Seare.  They are going home to Utah this Thursday.  There is a nice restaurant downtown on a boat.  We had a really nice dinner there.  Mike ordered "Surf & Sand" a reef trout & baby lobster tail that was big and really good.  We had a great time and got to know President and Sister Wooley, the Fiji temple president and matron a little better.  They are from Canada and are both pretty funny.  Elder Seare is going to have an operation for a torn rotater-cuff that happened when he slipped in the shower.  Pres. Wooley quipped, "at least it was a clean break".


  1. yum! That meal looks like it was really nice, but you guys are the only ones there!! Maybe the locals don't eat out much? I hope your birthday was fantastic also! I love how it was a Thanksgiving and Christmas party on the same day. It looks very wet there. Is it also hot? Next year maybe we can send you a can of pumpkin in the mail for a pumpkin pie!

  2. Cherie, your blog entries are such a highlight for our day. We went to the Vanessa Sant wedding last night. The coldest time ever. It was held outside at their home. John Jr. came home Monday and looks really good. He has headaches most of the time, but only takes Tylenol. We love you both and love hearing about your "pumpkin" pie making, the culture and the your experiences. Keep them coming. Sue Ann

  3. Mom sounds like a great week. I love the story about the kids singing it reallyvis inspiring. We know that this is such a neat experience formyou and can,t wait to see what you guys are doing.