AHHHH MY LAST ENTRY FROM FIJI!!!! But before I start bawling and getting all gushy about my time here...I'll recap the last week from where I left off.
On Tuesday night I packed up to head to Suva again. I had one last meeting with the guys at World Health and was able to plant the seed of possibly coming back with them next summer. That evening, we went to a massive multi-school talent show called Tadra Kahani. Basically, each school comes up with a drama/dance routine with themes and costumes and compete with one another for various prizes. Many of the schools had a crazy amount of talent and creativity. I just love watching Fijians dance. They're so good and have so much fun doing it. It was a lot of fun. Well, except for this violent chest cold that took hold during the event that made me feel like someone had thrown my body into a lawn mower. By the time I got home all I could think of was sleep and mucus. (yum....). The whole next day I spent in bed. I guess it was good because it gave me the chance to apply for jobs and post pictures on facebook, but I can't say getting sick my last week in Fiji has been fun.
Saturday I was feeling a bit better, and even caught one last session at the temple before going to give my last nutrition lecture of the summer. It was for a Relief Society activity for one of the Suva wards, and the meeting went really well. The women were attentive, curious, and quite funny. We had a good discussion about basic nutrition, chronic disease, and exercise, as well as how to read nutrition labels. Afterward, the RS president made me some yummy Australian-style sandwiches and took me to the bus station to head back to Lautoka.
Even though they kept me out until almost 2am, I somehow managed to get up early and prepare my last lesson for my last day in church. I ended up teaching the youth about the 2000 stripling warriors and had a lot of fun with an object lesson I made up about how covenants are like our conscious commitment to achieve happiness. It was a good time, and I really just love teaching - in all it's varieties. It makes me excited to get to work on this PhD business.
After sacrament meeting, the congregation sang me a goodbye and my face felt like it was going to break from smiling so big. I just love Fijians, and I've loved the chance to get to know so many wonderful people. It took about two hours to say goodbye to everyone (fiji time...) and get pictures with all the kids who wouldn't let go of me. It was tough to say goodbye, but I really am hoping for some opportunity to return next summer. Something tells me I'm not completely done here.
Agh...I just can't believe my time now is up. I can't believe it's been 8 months since I left home. Now, I leave Fiji tomorrow and all I can think about is how weird it will be to be stateside once more. The emotions are bittersweet. I've learned so much on this trip, (far more than I would have ever been capable of fitting in this blog), and I'm nervous about what the next few months will hold. In a way I feel like I've been cruising along a coastal highway, with lots of ups, downs, twists, and turns, but now the road has ended, and I'm not exactly sure which exit to take.
But I guess that's just the nature of life. I do have a rough idea about where I'll be and what I'll be doing for the next couple months, but now my choices now seem to hold more consequences. I can sense the stress of functioning in America once more, and it looms ahead of me, almost taunting me. As if to say, "Ok, so you think you're something huh? Prove it." Now it's time to utilize all the things I've learned and put my life in gear. Now it's time to reassess my desires, my plans, and my goals. I've been in "do" mode for so long, it will probably take some major effort to transition back into "think/feel."
So lead kindly Light, amidst the encircling gloom. Lead thou me on....