Treasure House ~ Week 3 / Diwali

Bula Gang!

I can’t believe how quickly time is going as I’m now in my 3rd week at the Treasure House. I love getting in there just as they’re sitting at the table waiting for their morning snacks with their huge smiles, hello’s, bula’s and mummy! Sometimes when they are more interested in playing or attention seeking, we are forced to spoon feed them. They can do it themselves but to make sure they are eating and it’s not all going on the floor or in someone else’s bowl, we help them. Moses and Sritty are still quite underweight, so making sure they are eating their full meals is important so they can catch up.

Last Thursday was the Indian festival of lights Diwali. In Fiji this is a public holiday so all the kids were at home for the festivities. It was so nice to see the kids had quite a few visits for Diwali and HEAPS of sweets to enjoy. People even bought things for the staff to eat, so delicious but definitely not for anyone who doesn’t have a sweet tooth! Fireworks are even going off during the day and that excited the kids, although the toddlers didn’t understand why they could hear the fireworks but not see them like in the night time hehe.

In the afternoon all the children were enjoying the day outside. I was pushing the toddlers on the swings and the older children were learning how to ride their new bikes. I also helped some of them with the first push, it is hard work teaching someone to ride 2 wheels. The younger ones got the hang of it quicker than the older ones, maybe because they are more agile and think about falling off less…

On Friday I got to feed and nurse the month old baby Joel, he’s growing quickly and looks very healthy and content for someone who was separated from his mum after 2 days of living. As he was happily drinking away, I was faced with another bodily fluid to clean up, this time it was spew, projectile style, it was only milk though so not too much of a big deal, although he managed to get it all over himself, a bit on me and the couch. He didn’t even cry and went to back to doing what he does best, sleep!

Unit next week 🙂

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma levu x

Advertisements

Treasure House Orphanage – Week 2

Bula Gang,

I’ve been at the Treasure House now for 2 weeks and 2 days. I’m feeling very settled in and know the children and their temperaments well.

After the first week I decided to look past the confronting side and not compare the living situation and ways things are done here to Australian standards. This is Fiji and it is still a developing country but it is so great to see so many visitors and locals donate anything that they can.

We have had many Australian tourists come to visit and play with the kids for an hour or so, they also bring toys, clothes, food, nappies and cleaning supplies. It really helps and goes a long way and the staff really appreciate it.

It was funny the other day we had some bogans visit, the woman laughed when I said I was from Canberra and proudly said she was from Sydney, I asked whereabouts and Campbelltown was the reply = no further comments haha

Last week I went with the staff and 7 of the 0-4 year olds for their health checkup at the hospital in Nadi. It was very interesting to see the hospital and what a checkup for an infant requires. The hospital was old and no sign of a computer or laptop, everything is written and filed away.

I looked after Manu, a 1 year old boy for the visit. Needless to say he’s cute because they are all cute but he’s a well behaved lil guy. He happily sat on my lap until we were called by the nurse, who then measured, weighed, quick look in the mouth and ears, then he was good to go.

Everything went smoothly until the van was late picking us up! Trying to keep 7 children/babies happy and under control when they are getting bored and fed up is a hard task, where “Fiji Time” goes wrong hehe.

Well as for today, I hit another milestone! I’ve decided to look at it as a milestone rather than grose which it was haha. I had to bath Jacob one of the 2 year olds who likes to hold my hand and drag me everywhere with him J well this little cutie did a poo in his nappy/dipper just as I was getting him ready for his bath. Well not only did I change a dirty nappy, I had to wash him and the poo off. Yes, I had to even touch poo!! I dry-reached the whole time but I did it and once the poo was gone and he was back smelling nice and looking fresh I’d forgotten about it Yay!

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma Levu x

Treasure House Orphanage ~ Week 1

Bula bula,

I’ve just completed my first week at the Treasure House Christian Childrens Home. It is an orphanage in Nadi, which is home to 28 children ageing from 2 weeks old to 18 years old. The 2 week old boy came to the orphanage when he was only 2 days old, he is so tiny, cute and being shown a lot of love from the staff, I even got to have a little cuddle yesterday 🙂

I have been helping out with the toddlers. They are very sweet but also quite cheeky, demanding but mainly lovely little people who just want attention and love. It does make it hard when 5 toddlers under 3 and 2 special needs children are fighting for your affections.

On Monday, my main focus was a 4 year old girl named Daphne. She is a bit slow in that she can’t walk or talk properly yet. The staff said the doctor advised that it will come in time. She understands everything but just can’t reply and can only walk when we hold her hands for balance. She also needs to be fed her food, so I discovered just like most other children, she doesn’t like her veggies. The 5 toddlers fight a bit between themselves and one little girl is always crying to be picked up. Staff said to let her cry because she can’t get her own way all the time which I understand. They all want to sit on my lap and cuddles are regular between running around and playing. They sleep between 12-2 so I take a 2hr lunch break and either go home or into Nadi town. Around 2.30 it’s afternoon tea time followed by bath time.

I hit a milestone, once the children were clean and dry I had to dress them and put on my first nappy (aka dipper). It’s easy when it’s a clean one, really dreading if I’ll have to change a dirty one lol.

It was chaos when the older kids arrived home from school, also it was torrential raining and storming so we had to keep the toddlers in a separate room. Quite challenging and cramped, I was sitting on the change table due to lack of chairs and at one stage I had 3 toddlers on it with me just sitting, 2 beside and 1 on my lap. Cuteness! The school children are friendly and inquisitive, one girl said I look very nice and thought I was only 20. They were happy to see me back for a second day.

Some of the special needs children are the hardest. Especially when telling them to stop doing something, I found out on my second day the hard way. All the other ladies were occupied with feeding the babies and he was jumping around and playing with the louvers, they asked me to put him down but then he turned and bit me. It wasn’t too bad but since I bruise easily it looks worse than what it is. He ended up getting his own way and continued to play with the louvers until he was bored and onto the next thing.

To end the week it was very sweet, the little boy Jacob who always wants to sit next to me and hold my hand waved me goodbye until I went out of the gate. Some older children asked if I’ll be back next week, I’m glad that they are happy for me to be there.

It is overwhelming but I hope it helps to make a difference.

Until next update, Vinaka Vakalevu

Loloma Levu

Fresh Fijian Food – Kokoda

Bula!

I’ve been in Fiji living for nearly a month now and have been meaning to write my first post! It’s taken a cool and cloudy day for me to start and yes, surprisingly Fiji can be a little fresh at times, not just the food! There has been a welcomed arrival of cooler weather and rain since it has reached drought status for 4+ months.

We all know when the topic gets onto weather, the conversation is taking a downward turn, so I’ll change the subject fast kind (islander slang for quickly)!

Since it’s a fresh kind of day, I’ll talk about the food Fijian traditional cuisine! Kokoda (pronounced: Kokonda) is a dish where the fish is marinated in lemon & vinegar for a few hours. Then coriander, chili, coconut milk, tomato and cucumber is added to the fish. It is also served with casava, which is a root crop similar to a potato. As you can probably imagine, coconuts are used in basically every meal here. When I moved into my apartment (semi furnished) there was a wooden board with a metal fork-like scraper which I had no idea what its use was, until I had Kokoda cooked for me by a local Chef.

Kokoda is an important dish which is served at special occasions, such as weddings. Strongest flavours being coconut and lemon, giving the fresh cool feeling and then a kick of chili, just fabulous. The fish is cut up into little cubes and the texture is soft. Perfect for those with sensitive teeth, false teeth or no teeth at all haha!  One of my best friends back at home missed the “teenage braises boat”, so she’s in her 20’s suffering and watching what she eats in fear of her braises breaking, Kokoda would be perfect for her and anyone else in this condition! hehe

I hope you enjoy the pics & post! 🙂

Vinaka vakalevu, (thank you very much)

Loloma levu (much love)

Fijian name Sakalo

Fijian name Sakalo

Root crop similar to a potato

Root crop similar to a potato

Coconut scraping in action

Coconut scraping in action

My turn, it's harder than it looks :P

My turn, it’s harder than it looks 😛

Once all the milk is squeezed out, you throw away the coconut shavings.

Once all the milk is squeezed out, you throw away the coconut shavings.

The traditional Fijian dish Kokoda, which is considered a starter at d

The traditional Fijian dish Kokoda with Casava