Treasure House ~ 2nd last week & Xmas build up

Bula Gang,

Delayed post, my second last week was last week hehe my blog is on Island Time…

To begin my second last week, I was greeted by the kids washing their hands before their mid-morning snacks. Five little people running up with ALICE screams, I didn’t have time to put my bag down before I was helping with the hand washing!

We always have to play tricks with Sritty to get her to finish her food. Usually pretending that we’ll give it to one of the other children. It seems she’s outsmarted this tactic so the new one is a threat that I will go home. The staff say “Alice will go home if you don’t eat your food”, then I’m meant to get up and leave, after one or two cries and flaps of her hands, I sit down and spoon feed her. She’s an emotional little thing, cries at the drop of a hat but I think a lot of the time it’s because she wants to be picked up and cuddled.

Wednesday we had a great xmas lunch provided by Chicken BBQ. The kids loved to get ready to go out to a restaurant. Toddlers were in their best dress and the older girls really liked the way I did my hair (fish braid) so they asked if I could do their hair like that too. I had a lot of fun playing hairdresser and they all looked very pretty.

Everyone was well behaved in the restaurant. Ansu made a thank you speech on behalf of everyone at Treasure House, she spoke very well but she is used to it as they encourage her public speaking abilities. We were talking after about what we want to be when we grow up, she wants to be a flight attendant, this would suit her very well, she can travel (which I’m always encouraging) and opens up the door to lots of other career opportunities. I’ve heard the training is quite rigorous but I believe she’ll do great at anything she puts her mind too.

Anyway, back to the restaurant… there was an applause once Ansu finished and Aaron our 5 year old who has autism, couldn’t stop clapping and his catch phrase “on the light, on the light, BULA”. He is a character and brings a lot of happiness to the house, even though he bit me on my second day, we’ve bonded since. I’ll never forget when I asked him how he was and he replied “not bad, not bad” such a funny response from a 5 year old.

Sritty ate too much lollies so she didn’t eat the chicken or chips, typical. Gloria was taken up to cut the cake, afterwards she thought the cake was hers but said she would share with everyone. The afternoons are always a lil out of sync after these big lunches. They go to sleep later, have their bath later and then no time for much playing because they’re all so exhausted. Generally makes for a more relaxing afternoon 😀

As we don’t see and spend as much time with the older girls from Judy House next door for 14 and above, one of the other volunteers Lucille organised for her, Laura and myself to take them out for lunch. Originally it was to the movies but it became too hard with session times and getting to Lautoka which is 45 mins by bus. Lunch was great though, the girls really enjoyed it and so did we. It was nice to be able to chat without being interrupted by the smaller children and being able to give all your focus on them.

It was a great end to the week and end to Lucille’s last day, she’s been with us for 2 weeks.

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma Levu,

xx

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Treasure House ~ My Final Weeks ~ School Holidays & Excursions

Bula Gang,

I can’t believe I only have 2 weeks left at the Treasure House and in Fiji! The time has gone so quickly and the older girls have been asking me to stay over Christmas, trying to explain visa restraints to 8-12 year olds is difficult.

We had 3 American couples come to visit one afternoon, they were guest speakers from a church group which had a function in Suva. The Director brought them to Treasure House as they were interested to meet the children. The kids introduced themselves and then sang a few songs in Fijian, it was lovely. One lady was so overwhelmed it brought her to tears, she hadn’t been to an orphanage before and asked herself or god, why? … Why indeed, children are innocents so why do some of them endure more pain and suffering from birth than others do in their entire life? At least the Treasure House provides a safe and happy environment for these children until they’re adopted, fostered or able to look after themselves independently, once they’ve completely all their schooling.

We had a Fun Day with other orphanages in the area, lots of games, yummy foods and music. The kids had a great day, there was sack races, musical chairs and running races. The kids also enjoyed playing with the other children. Some of them are related as well, one of our girls has a sister in another orphanage, unfortunately due to space issues at the time, they weren’t able to be sent to the same one. Some of the older girls just wanted to walk around in groups or sit together and not participate, reminded me of high school at sports carnivals haha. There was a freak out moment when one of the Administrators ran up to me asking if I could run to the school as 3 girls have walked off unattended. I thought they’d made a run for it but turned out they just went to the bathroom and were happy to return to the oval. Really happy I could be around for this day, it was great to see everyone happy and enjoying while on school holidays.

The next 2 days the weather wasn’t good, very windy and raining spells. This means the children can only do inside activities and there just isn’t really the room for it while all the kids are home during the holidays. So we were busy trying to keep them entertained, it was hard with the toddlers and their 2 min attention spans. Gloria just wants to do her own thing, she’s an independent little 2 year old! She can sometimes be a pleasure to look after and her communication is amazing, so advanced… but when she doesn’t want to follow the group and wants to be with the older girls, she’s can be a little madam… Although, I must say I’m proud of her being so well developed in an environment where most children are performing below their age. She’s also completely toilet trained and lets me know when she needs go 🙂 yaymigae

Sritty has recently started to cry when I leave for my lunch break or leave in the afternoons, she calls my name and I can usually hear her from the gate. I’ve been trying to leave more discreetly to avoid any upsets.

It is impossible to not get attached to these gorgeous kids.

Vinaka vakalevu,

Loloma Levu xx

Treasure House – Excursions, Play Dough & Toilet Training Success!

Bula Gang,

It was all fun and games when some Aussie visitors organised for the kids to have dinner at Maccas 😀 Everyone was very excited and all dressed up nicely. I looked after Moses as I’m a favourite of his, he was a good little boy who walked the 5 min walk holding my hand and didn’t look to run off at all. He enjoyed looking at the cars at the mechanics pointing and saying “cars, cars”!

All the other children were also well behaved and looked both ways when crossing the road in single file hehe.

A lot of the kids had face painting and enjoyed playing in the playground. Maccas here looks exactly the same as in Australia and menu seems to also be basically the same. The visitors also paid for the staff and me to have dinner yay! I hadn’t had Maccas since I left Aussie in June… it tastes just as good here too 😛 although looking after Moses, I had to wait to eat mine since he couldn’t grasp how to eat the burger. I broke it up into little pieces and with each piece he wanted a sip of coke. I now understand how those mums feel eating a cold meal because they had to help their small child.

The older girls had their eyes glued to the TV on the wall playing the chart music & video clips. Being a family place everything was tasteful, no Nicki Minaj Anaconda haha!

More visitors donated toys and play dough has been a huge success. The toddlers have one each and it keeps them amused for ages, even if they are just breaking it into little pieces and putting it back into the containers. Some haven’t really caught on to making shapes just yet. Similar with puzzles, Caleb much prefers to empty the puzzle bag and then put each piece back into the bag haha.

I got chatting one afternoon with the director who drops down a few times a month from Suva. She is a lovely lady who accompanied the supervisor to Australia recently. A Melbourne family sponsored them to travel as they donated a large amount of money for furniture etc for the orphanage. They sent a team to check if the money was spent correctly, their holiday was a Thank You for the efforts. Anyway, there was a little Indo-Fijian girl playing that I had never met before and she didn’t look like she would be a new child. She called the director Mummy and I realised she must have adopted her, then one of the other staff said she was brought to the Treasure House as a new born and the director and her husband adopted her. She already had 3 sons, so I thought this was lovely and also that it didn’t matter if she was Fijian or Indian.

Caleb and I had a high 5 in the toilet when he managed to not wet his pants and wee’d in the toilet, like he’s supposed to YAY! Toilet training is a bit inconsistent between different staff members, that’s why it’s taking so long and 2 and 3 year olds are still in nappies.

Sometimes when you’re missing your friends and family back at home, these lil people instantly make you feel better! Their bright smiles, big eyes, abundance of hugs and all the funny ways they try to say Alice, is a definite pick me up!

Leaving it on that happy note 😀

Vinaka Vakalevu

Loloma Levu xox