Treasure House ~ My Return

Bula Gang,

I’m back at the Treasure House! I visited the kiddies and staff the first Monday of Feb. I was wondering all morning if my toddlers would remember me since I had been away for 5 weeks or if they would be shy to begin with. Nope, not these children, they greeted me with hugs and excitedly screaming “Alice, Alice”! Gloria told me all about her 3rd birthday which they celebrated the day before, then complimented me on my change of handbags and pink top haha. Shiriti just kept saying “Alice come” as she does and the boys, Jacob, Moses and Caleb were all smiles. Moses was a bit tired but managed a smile and wave between micro sleeps. I was happy to see Daphne as well but she’s still not walking on her own which is a shame. She also remembered me and put her hand out to hold mine, it’s all very touching. GG said the toddlers were asking for me each time a new volunteer would come. This was just a quick visit to say hello and discuss my return to volunteering…

I made my comeback on Monday 9th Feb, it was all familiar and the kids were very happy to have me back as well as the staff. When I arrived Moses was at the outside sink playing with the water then tried to help me open the gate. There was a new volunteer on her first day so I enjoyed showing her the ropes. One of the staff said “Alice knows the drill”.

We played with some play-dough, then colouring had some visitors and then I took Shiriti for toilet training. She now lets us know when she needs to go so that’s fantastic, only Moses and Jacob left to learn. It already feels like I haven’t been away for 6 weeks. I’m feeding Daphne her lunch and she’s eating it all up like a good girl.

It was the cutest when I came back from lunch break and Shiriti wakes up from her sleep and immediately asks for me. Moses and Caleb have resumed climbing all over me and Jacob pulls my hand to come with him and Gloria continues with the compliments on my earrings, clothes, bag etc hehe. The older children were full of cuddles and questions about my holiday and glad that I came back.

There is still a shortage of staff so I’ve been helping out a lot with Daphne, reading to her, taking her for walks around the house, feeding her. She shuffles along after me very quickly and is extremely jealous of the other toddlers. Speaking of jealous, Shiriti also has that streak. It can get quite aggressive as well, pinches and biting if someone else attempts to sit on my lap.

Jacob is becoming more intrigued by the toilet and likes to put the child seat on and take it off, this is becoming a popular game between him, caleb and shiriti! Jacob is still too scared to sit on the toilet but gets very embarrassed if he wets his pants. Shiriti likes me to take her to the toilet even when she doesn’t need to go, she’ll run in the house excitedly saying “toilet toilet” then looks up to me with a big smile and giggle. Caleb is now wanting to dress himself, he can put his undies and pants on with limited help but t-shirts he still needs help.

It was funny on Thursday, Gloria was giving me a recount of her time at the doctors and receiving a vaccination. She told me that GG held her tight while the nurse gave her an injection in her bum. She was so serious but I had to hold my breath not to laugh, it just sounded so funny coming from someone who only just turned 3. She amazes me every day!

I’m really enjoying being back in my routine, I missed these people.

More news from the Treasure House soon.

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma Levu x

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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 ~ Xmas Preps & School Holidays !

Bula Gang,

It’s the lead up to Christmas at the Treasure House 🙂 I put up the Christmas tree with some help from the kids. I usually put up the tree at home but since I won’t be back until 3 days before Christmas, I’m sure Mum will be taking on that duty. It’s a much larger tree than our one at home, I had to really stretch and climb to get decorations on the top branches. The kids had a fun afternoon helping me put it up and singing “we wish you a merry Christmas”! The older girls and staff put up tinsel around the living & lounge rooms.

When the toddlers saw the tree, they looked at it for about 5 seconds probably wondering what’s going on. Then all smiles and started inching closer and closer, I told them to just look and not touch. I don’t know why I wasted my breath since they rarely listen to these types of requests. Moses and Jacob both climbed up onto the chair and just had to touch and play with the ornaments. It’s going to be a long month pulling them away from the lures of the Christmas tree lol.

The afternoon was filled with taking pics with the tree, group selfies and videos. I will cherish these moments and look over them when I’m no longer volunteering with the Treasure House.

We have a new volunteer from England, I’m thankful for the extra set of hands to help 🙂 Also being able to have a chat about London between, bathing, playing, feeding and changing the toddlers hehe.

It is school holidays, so all the children are home. Now firstly I’m greeted with a big Bula Alice from the older kids and a slightly but more excited bula from the toddlers. It’s a lot of fun having them all around and get to spend extra time with the school kids. Some were sad on the last day saying bye to their friends who were going to different schools. I remember those days and assured them they would make lots of new friends as well. Nadi is a small place, I’m sure they’ll run into their primary school friends sometime down the track.

On Thursday we were quite short staffed so I had to look after baby Joel for about 1 ½ hours. I fed him, gave him a cuddle and changed his dirty nappy. One of the older girls Ruth, she is 12 and wanted to watch, she was shocked by his greenish poo haha. He is a beautiful baby, lots of hair and smiles easily now, his dimples are to die for! I really didn’t want to put him down but I know it’s not fair on the others and the staff if he becomes a high maintenance baby.

Later in the afternoon I had to help with Joel again and one of the staff said “alice the best”! I felt so touched and glad that I am actually making a difference around the Treasure House.

Daphane has been allocated to another staff member, I’m not sure how long for but I miss her being around with us. I see her from day to day but not as much, she always has a big smile for me and shuffles her way over to get a cuddle. I’m just waiting for the day she walks over for a cuddle!

I’m looking forward to the coming weeks with all the xmas celebrations, school holidays and activities!

Vinaka Vakalevu,

Loloma levu xox