Sunday, July 1, 2012

Disrespect and Evolution.

So I spent most of this week in Suva.  I left Monday evening for a meeting with some illustrators at USP (University of the South Pacific) and pitched the illustration contest to them for the diabetes book I wrote.  Tomorrow we'll be picking our winners and finishing up our rough draft of the book.

I also met with the head of the dance department to get started on the Zumba video (FINALLY!).  It was a good meeting, but I can tell the director is really wanting to make this a publicity opportunity for himself and his dance team.  This means I probably won't be helping choreograph as much, nor will I probably be in the video's (both of which I'm kind of happy about), but my job is going to be finding music and giving an outline of what the workout should entail.  More than anything, I'm just excited to get to work on this and be involved with these talented and creative minds.  I think it will turn out very nicely.

While I was in Suva, I also met a bit with the mission president and his wife.  Turns out, the mission president's wife is Tacy's (one of the girls that came to Suva with me) grandmother's sister.  Small world once again.  She invited us to dinner the first night in Suva, and then had me over for a cookie-baking afternoon later that week (where I made about 16 dozen crack-cookies)  I was so impressed by this woman.  She's genuinely nurturing, talented, and incredibly wise, but also spunky and fun.  We talked about music, politics, and her children mostly, and it was an incredibly enjoyable afternoon.  I love meeting those kind of people.  I always walk away feeling so....uplifted.  I'll probably be back there next time I go to Suva.

I left Suva Friday afternoon.  Saturday afternoon, I met the the relief society sisters in our ward to give my nutrition lecture.  I taught them the basics and also how to read a nutrition label.  It seemed much more applicable with this audience because they actually have access to sweets and processed foods, and lack the space to grow all of their own fruits and veggies.  I did see the effect as well.  There were a lot more diabetics and hypertensive people in this meeting than any other meeting I'd had thus far.  It was a good opportunity for me to brush up on the NCD portion of my lecture.

And then, last night, we went to the carnival in Lautoka.  It was probably the most dangerous thing I've done since I left the States.  The rides all had to be about 40-50 years old, and, in order to provide the desired thrill, were all run faster than they probably should have been.  The Ferris wheel spun so fast the drop was a free fall.  While I was riding the scrambler (really fast spinny thing), the money that was in my bra (haha had no pockets) somehow managed to end up on the floor by the end of the ride.  It was nuts.

After getting our fill of adrenaline rushes, we decided to check out the dance clubs in Lautoka.  Russ and a few other YSA people came with us.  We were some of the first people to show up, but the DJ was nice enough to provide us with some familiar music, and we made the most of it.  I haven't danced that much since I left Thailand, which seems like forever ago.  We stayed for just a few hours, but I think our timing was perfect.  I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I don't really care for Indian men.  Yes, there are exceptions, but the majority I've interacted with are incredibly arrogant, vain, rude, and shockingly disrespectful.  They're also cowards though, so for the first few hours we were at the club, they mostly left us alone.  Once they were drunk enough to approach us, they were drunk enough to be a huge annoyance.

One guy kept grabbing my arm to dance with him, even though I was already dancing with someone else.  He was so persistent about it, I stopped dancing all together and gave him the biggest death-glare I could muster up.  That worked, and he left me alone after that.  It's just such a contrast to the peaceful and incredibly respectful nature of most Fijian men I interact with.  I just feel so bad for the Indo-fijian women who are having to marry (often by arrangement) and raise children with those men.  Rough as the dating scene may be back home, at least I don't have to deal with that.  Part of me hopes that as the arranged marriages become less popular, Indian men might actually figure out how to treat women well.  If not, I hope those women choose partners that treat them well, and evolution takes its course.

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