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

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

Treasure House ~ Hopeful 5th Week

Bula Gang,

An exciting and hopeful 5th week, there were a lot of visitors who were very generous with donations. One family donated 4+ massive boxes, the husband is Fijian Indian and his wife is Australian, they reside in Australia now and it’s so nice they still think of those that need their help back in Fiji.

Another visitor from Australia came especially to see the 8 year old twin girls. He and his wife are going through the process of adopting these two girls. He gave them new dresses, school shoes, school bags, amongst a lot of other goodies and also for the other children in the house. I love hearing that children have been either adopted or able to return to their families. All going ahead, they’ll be living in Melbourne and I just thought how great that will be, open to a big world and a culturally diverse city. Although, they may take a while to get used to the forever changing climate, I know I do and I’m from Canberra haha!

There were more testing times during toilet training! I had to bath and change one of the 2 year olds Jacob twice in 20 mins! It’s so hard 6 toddlers undergoing toilet training and accidents are imminent, I feel sorry for the laundry lady! However, that wasn’t the worst of it… I thought to myself, I don’t think anyone gave Caleb chocolate so why is it melted on his fingers… OMG, it’s POO! He has developed a habit of pooing his nappy and touching it. I was holding Daphane so I couldn’t attend to him but I alerted the staff pretty well and they acted swiftly before he could touch anything or anyone! He has done that twice now that I know of.

I remembered a trick my Nan Harvey said she used to do with my Dad and had him toilet trained by 9 months old! I’ve never heard a baby trained so young so I’m not sure if the truth is somewhat stretched haha? Anyway, she said to make the baby wee you blow air into their face while they’re on the toilet, I’m not sure if it worked but I will try again with this method haha, maybe sometimes wives tales work?

We are being strict with Daphane’s mobility effort, haha I’m used to talking about mobility in an IT sense but a little girl’s mobility is much more interesting! We have noticed when she’s standing against the couch she doesn’t necessarily take a step but she manages to shuffle gradually from one end to another. She’s curious to see what the other children are doing and is laughing a lot more. She is also putting her hand out for me to do “round and round the garden like a teddy bear”, as the toddlers do. She may not be able to communicate vocally but she seems to understand quite a lot. When she feels like walking she does very well and even laughs and smiles, however walking is very much on her terms. We are seeing small results every day, that’s the main thing.

I had a really good cuddle with baby Joel, he was awake as well and pulling lots of funny faces. I have noticed he has dimples when he (sort of) smiles, they are the cutest and I can’t wait until he’s smiling properly! He liked his chin being lightly tickled with my fingernail and his cheeks which are a lil chubby hehe. Later in the day he made another appearance but he was mainly asleep, I got to put him back to bed and he looked so peaceful and didn’t stir at all, bless his little heart.

Some of the older girls have asked me about showing them some of my music as they aren’t allowed to listen to chart music. They are 12-14 and haven’t heard of the likes of One Direction. They have heard of Beyonce but don’t know any of her songs, saddens me! I spoke to the supervisor, unfortunately music even without swearing isn’t allowed but I can show my pics. I respect and understand this is a Christian house and these are children and they are trying to protect them. Although at 14 when Destiny’s Child came out with “Independent Woman”, I believe that played a part in how I wanted to live my life haha!

They did enjoy looking at some of my recent Europe photos but hadn’t heard of most of the countries. They would like me to bring in some more pics. Some of them said they wanted to travel when they’re grown up and asked if it was hard… I didn’t want to discourage them since they are children and should be able to dream, so I just said if you study hard, do well in school and take every opportunity which comes your way, the world is what you make it.

I’ll leave it on that positive piece of advice!

Vinaka vakalevu,

Loloma levu xox