My Observations

* Disclaimer *

These are my thoughts; though they may be public domain, please have enough respect and understand that they are mine and are not for the use of your own deviant agenda.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

One week... Why am I so excited about turning 30!? So many other people I know have taken turning 30 as a negative thing, feeling like they weren't where they expected to be in life. Yet I feel like it's a new beginning; a fresh start! I mean the last 10 years of my life were filled with so much! I can only imagine all the wonderful things that are going to happen to me in my 30's! I've also always been a late bloomer. Maybe that's why I never worried about having a set idea of where I'd be when I turned 30. I'm very happy!

So, my part in the benefit dinner seems to have slowed down. I have a bunch of stuff to do on the weekends but the majority of my role has been accomplished. I just need to keep people focused. I'm a little nervous about ticket sales. We haven't sold that many tickets yet and the time is running out. But I just have to accept whatever happens! I've done my part... God will do the rest!

I had a relaxing weekend. I finished the last Harry Potter book on Saturday. I baked a lot of cookies this weekend. Some for church on sunday and for Hector at work. He felt that his 3 year anniversary with Alliance deserved some of my homebaked chocolate chip cookies hehe.

I wrote the above while waiting to confirm no one was showing up for training.

I just got home from an unexpected night out with my brother and our friend Jesus whom we affectionately call Chulo. hehe Anyways, they were at Yardhouse and called me while I was still at work and told me to meet them there when I got off work. I did. My brother bought me dinner and then they decided to go to the movies. I'm flat broke but Chulo was nice enough to pay for mine... We went to see Superbad. Which was a really funny horribly wrong movie! hehe Either way it was a great time hanging out! Chulo and I never get to go out! He's buying a few tickets to the benefit dinner so he rocks all the more! hehe

And that's about all I have to say about that... :) It's getting late and I want to get to bed.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

For those of you that are possibly curious... I still don't have full feeling in my tongue... It sucks!

Other then that things have been hectic. The finalization of the benefit dinner is in full swing! Every spare moment I have I'm thinking, organizating, discussing the different aspects of the dinner to make sure we're staying on track. This has been a productive week as far as the benefit dinner is concerned so that's good. The trifolds off to the printers and those should be back by mid-next week. We have a guy lined up to play jazz piano during dinner. I've confirmed the professional photographer is still on for taking pictures at the event. A few of us picked out pictures taken from the last Lesotho trip to get printed on canvas to auction off at the event. Our donations were incredible! We have a huge list of items we are raffling off. Right now the focus needs to be on getting the tickets sold, preferrably business tables since we make a little more off of them. Also we're hoping to get some more items donated for the event itself. I have a meeting here in about a half an hour that will help me gauge where we're at with all that. But it's been an amazing whirlwind! We have less then a month!

Anyways, I'm off to my meeting. Just wanted to give a quick update.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

In remembrance of my time in Fiji I selected this ticker for the countdown to my big "3" "0"! :D I'm really looking forward to my 30's!

Anyways, there are plenty of updates but no time to write them at the moment... Maybe later.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

*Ok so this post was ready last night (Friday the 10th) but FTP was wiggin and I couldn't upload all the pics till today (Saturday the 11th)*

So I think I'm finally off of Fiji time. It took a few days to get back on a normal sleep schedule. I came back Monday and couldn't sleep till 2am and slept in till noon Tuesday. Tuesday night I forced myself to climb into bed at 2am but twiddled my thumbs till 4am and got up for work at 7am Wednesday! So Wednesday night I expected to crash early but I ended up talking to Mel up in Washington till almost 11:30! So much for going to bed early, but in the end I think that helped me switch my sleep mode.

I came back from Fiji and hit the ground running. Tuesday I ran errands all over the place. Wednesday I went back to work and had bible study that night. Yesterday I met Jerry at Starbucks after work and we talked till about 10 or so. Jerry was surprised I didn't bring my pictures to share, some day I'll get a laptop and won't have that issue. Tonight I went straight home after work and vegged. Tomorrow I plan on cleaning cause the house desperately needs it. I have agreed to go on that "date" tomorrow evening. I don't really know the guy so I'm feeling a little bit awkward about it.

Benefit Dinner - I came back from Fiji feeling the heat about getting everything ready in time for the benefit dinner. The trifold isn't completed but my friend Leonard will print them at his cost but it'll take 7 business days to get back. I'm trying to keep everyone motivated but there were some issues that arose with certain individuals when I was gone that I am not sure how to address or whether I even need to. Also the church has fewer people to help out with the projects so people have to take on more then they had to for the last dinner. But I just gotta keep it up in prayer and God will take care of the rest. It's hard not to get overwhelmed at times.

Fiji - Fiji was absolutely amazing!!! It was gorgeous and an absolute blast! I remember taking pictures thinking the shots didn't do it justice, but now I look at the pictures and see only beauty! So just imagine even the best shots didn't capture the true beauty of the place! I had a hard time leaving! I had to remind myself that I was living in luxury while I was out there and that if I stayed or lived there it would not be as glorious as my time out there was. Shawn and Brenda made it all possible. They paid for everything! The room, the cab rides, the food! All I had to pay for was the ticket to fly out there and the souvenirs I brought back! I keep asking myself how I'm ever going to show my appreciation to them for helping me experience Fiji! I've been trying to figure out how to explain the trip and show a portion of my 1500 pictures! I can't post all of them obviously and it would be too hard to pick through them. I think I'll pick a favorite or two from each day and throw in a couple showing the highlights or where I stayed etc.

Friday July 27th - My parents picked me up from work at about 6:30pm and we made our way to LAX. I'd been sick for the last few days and that day was no different. My parents and I sat in a row together. The flight was oversold so no luck on getting a row with an empty seat. :( I had intended on reading Harry Potter but was too tired to focus on reading it. I had a hard time sleeping though. But slept on and off and watched a portion of The Shooter.

Saturday July 28th - lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. :)

Sunday July 29th - After a 10 hour flight we landed in Nadi (Nandi), Fiji sometime before dawn. I walked down the outside terminal and was blown away at how beautiful the moon was! We were greeted by a group of Fijian's playing their island music. Apparently a lot of flights from LA arrive at the same time. It took a long time to get the luggage. Shawn, Brenda, Amber, Sierrah, Jackson and Gabriel were all there waiting! It was Sunday so all the shops in Nadi were closed. It was quite odd and looked a bit like a ghost town. But we did get some veggies from the small open market and I had the best cream buns ever at a store called the Bread Kitchen which was also open! I learned that "bula" (Boo lah) was how you say hello and "vinaka" (vee nah kah) was thank you. According to Google though the pronunciations I was taught are incorrect... hehe oh well. After the few stops we made our way out to the Yatule (yah too lei) Resort at Natadola (not ten doh lah) Beach. I was lucky enough to get my own Bure (boo-ray). I met High Chief Ratu Osea Gavidi who was the connection that got us the beautiful bure's at the Yatule Resort. He was a totally sweet, down-to-earth man. As soon as I got in my room I changed into a bathing suit and got into the ocean. It was beautiful! Natadola Beach is ranked one of the top 10 beaches in the world! I could see why! Remember my pictures didn't capture its true beauty.

Monday July 30th - I woke up early to try to take pictures of the moon setting on the ocean. I spent the day enjoying the beautiful beach, I did some snorkeling. I spent most of the daylight in the water, took pictures of the sunset and hung out with the fam in the evening.

Tuesday July 31st - I took another try to get pictures of the moon setting, spent the day in the ocean and took more pictures. It was a bit cloudy but still beautiful. We left Natadola Beach and made our way to the WorldMark Resort which is apart of Denarau Island Resorts. Denarau Island Resorts was home to a lot of luxury resorts and WorldMark was on the far left. Port Denarau Layout/Masterplan That evening I was shocked I didn't go exploring. I just stayed in the room and tried to relax.

Wednesday August 1st - Brian arrived in the morning around the same time our flight came in. It was raining so we (the girls = my mom, Brenda, Amber, Sierrah and myself) decided this would be a good day to do our shopping in Nadi. It was great to experience the town. I spent lots of money. My favorite store was Jack's. We went out to eat at Nando's for lunch. Good grub! That evening we spent time as a family. This was the night that my brother Shawn decided to tickle-wrestle me to the ground! He was in a mood for sure! He kept pestering everyone! It was quite funny and Brenda got a video of it and I felt like I was a kid again, wrestling with my big brother. hehe

Thursday August 2nd - I spent some time swimming in the pool, walked up the beach. The Denarau Island Resort complex had what they called the Bula Bus that stopped at every resort and made a full circle of the complex. It was about a 20 – 30 minute ride total, or you could catch it just right from the Sheraton Resort next to The Republic of Cappuccino and it would hit only two resorts before WorldMark, catch it wrong and you went in the complete opposite direction and it would have been faster to just walk. Amber and Sierrah went with me to The Republic of Cappuccino and we met up with my dad and two brothers. They offered free wifi internet so this was the first time I actually touched a computer since the Friday I worked before flying out! And I wrote a bulletin on myspace and a quick email and I was done. I had no desire to be on more then that! Shawn and Brian did their email communication for their work, and my dad was writing more of his book. That evening we decided to go out to dinner at the SeaFront Restaurant which was at our resort and on the beach. Later we just played cards.

Friday August 3rd - Considering I took 1500 pictures during the trip clarifying that I took pictures each day is kind of counterproductive, so yeah I took pictures ALL the time! But I had gotten a little too much color on my upper thighs the day before so I avoided sunbathing but took the opportunity to get some shots of the family enjoying the pool. I also took some pictures around the resort and was able to meet Isei the security guard who had been on duty each day since I had gotten there. He and I hit it off and we decided to meet up and walk down the beach later in the day. I found out during our walk that he wasn’t really allowed to go off with guests so he said if anyone asked he was escorting me to some photography spots. We laughed and had a good time. He said he was going back to Suva to spend time with his family for the weekend but wanted to meet up Sunday night if at all possible. (I never got a chance though). After I got back to the resort we watched Amber's performance as the cowardly lion in her last school play. She’s awesome and definitely needs to stay in drama!

Saturday August 4th - It was Brian's birthday this day. I went down to a timeshare meeting with Shawn, Brenda and my parents. I got free breakfast with Repeka, who was trying to sell me on the timeshare concept (She and I had a lot in common, being the same age and loving to travel, both being interested in older men, her being Methodist and having family members in church leadership). At first I was thinking it was insane but by the end of the presentation I ended up signing up for a WorldMark timeshare! I got a gift certificate for Jack’s so the girls decided to all go shopping again but we discovered there was a Jack’s closer to home and didn’t have to take a cab drive into town but instead just take the Bula Bus to Port Denarau. As we were on our way we met Brian and Shawn who were going out to lunch for Brian's birthday so we decided to join them. We went back for the boys because we discovered a pizza place Mama's Pizza at Port Denarau too! And we had wanted to get pizza for Brian's birthday dinner so it worked out perfect. And as an added bonus they had Fijian Fire Performers in the center of the shopping area. All-in-all it was a great day!

Sunday August 5th - Brian had wanted to go kayaking for his birthday but since our timeshare meetings took so long they rescheduled to kayak this day. I had thought it was just going to be Brian and Shawn but Shawn came back up and told me to get dressed because they were 2 man kayaks and they wanted me and Brenda to join them. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I’m afraid of the ocean. I was shocked I got in further then I could touch the bottom out at the Natadola beach but some of the best experiences are when you are spontaneous and don’t think too much about it! I had a good time. I was a little uneasy on the kayak but still enjoyed myself. My brother Brian was the mellow one, Shawn kept trying to get his kayak to ram ours! Stinkin older brothers! Then I was told they were going on a 4 person catamaran and wanted me to go. I loved it! We only had an hour so my turn with Brian was only a short 10 minutes but we rented it again for later in the day and so I went and enjoyed the pool while we waited. It was windier then it had been all week so you could say it caused for a more interesting experience sailing. When it came my turn again Shawn took me out and we were pretty far and then he told me to take over the sail and rudder! We switched spots and he directed my steps. It was cool! I was nervous but could feel the control I had over the catamaran! It was an awesome experience! The closer we got to shore the water just got sooo choppy and I got a little panicked and made my brother take over. After we all showered from our salty experience on the catamaran we made our way back out to Port Denarau, because my dad had discovered the “best pot pies he’d ever had” at the Bread Kitchen next door to Mama’s Pizza. When we got back to the resort we watched a family movie and I went to bed knowing it was my last night there and became a bit melancholy.

Monday August 6th - My last day. Amber, Sierrah and I went to the Republic of Cappuccino to check the girls email and I popped onto myspace to let everyone know I was heading home. We caught the bula bus but it happened to be going the long way around and well we weren’t in a rush so we decided to enjoy the ride since this would be my last opportunity. When we got back to the resort we convinced everyone to come together for a family picture, once we were done with that I walked the beach one last time and was very heartbroken about leaving this place that I experienced so much out of my comfort zone and was all so positive! We said our farewells and on the cab drive to the airport my eyes started tearing up. It was definitely an experience of a lifetime! My Fiji experience with (most of) my family will always hold a special place in my heart.

Once at the airport we found out our flight was delayed and then completely moved! We had three flights combined on one huge plane. (My dad would be able to tell you what plane it was and how many times he’s successfully flown one on his flight sim game hehe.) Either way it made for yet another full plane and this time I was in the window seat and it was an uncomfortable flight home. We landed in LAX on Monday at 1pm. That was quite the oddity since we didn’t leave Fiji till Monday night at 11:50pm! It took us forever to get through customs and Mike was there to pick us up. We had to drop my parents off first which really sucked but I got home to my place at about 8pm. Yeah LONG day.

So there you have it! A (not so summarized) summary of my trip to Fiji!

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