Things I Didn’t Expect


that I’d be driving the team van…

in a foreign country… on the left side of the road! Our host family usually picks us up in the van and drives us places. However, a couple of times I’ve been able to exhibit my skills in driving stick shift! It’s a little different, grabbing the stick with my left hand and sitting on the right side as the driver! Thanks for teaching me to drive stick, Dad!

that cold showers would become enjoyable…

but seriously! There first few showers here on the farm, I’d be singing and howling! It was painful for the first few weeks. When we spent the weekend on the north part of the island, the hot showers were heaven. Last weekend, at Homes of Hope in Suva, the showers were ICE! Who knew we actually had it really good here at the farm!

that knot-tying skills would come in handy…

apparently, they do. We visited a hostel and school for deaf children over the weekend in Suva, Fiji. Our team performed a skit about the Good Samaritan and afterwards we played games! Well, I know three words in sign language, so I figured tag was pretty straightforward. This little boy was chasing me and he caught my sulu (wrap around skirt or sarong). My sulu dropped mid-stride and thank goodness, I was wearing shorts underneath. For modesty’s sake I dropped to the ground and tried to cover up quickly as a few of the kids howled in laughter. I’ll make sure to tie that sulu more carefully next time!

that frogs and bugs would become commonplace…

cause they have. I was sitting with my roommate Bonnie yesterday and mentioned it. At home, I would’ve flipped out if there was an ant crawling around in my room. Last night, walking into the room I spotted multiple little creatures and I shrugged it off. The farm is situated in the middle of sugar cane fields that cane frogs call home. At night, they swarm the farm, hop on your feet, and get tossed into your room by the other team members. You get used to these things after five weeks!



Auntie Serena’s Juice Recipes

At the farm, we have a lovely couple that help coordinate our meals and daily tasks! They are full of wisdom about Christ, farming, food and more. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with them so far. They’ve been gracious enough to provide us with some of their recipes!

Lemon juice

  • squeeze 2-3 lemons into a 2L pitcher
  • add water and sugar to taste
  • makes 2L pitcher of juice

Pineapple juice

  • boil skins of pineapple and enough water to cover it in a sauce pan for 30 minutes so the flavor can “come out”
  • simmer slowly til the “flavor is there”
  • strain the liquid into a 2L pitcher 
  • add water and sugar to taste
  • makes 2L pitcher of juice

Kumquat juice

  • squeeze enough kumquats to make about 1 1/4 cups of juice 
  • add water and sugar to taste
  • makes 2L pitcher of juice

Papaya juice

  • scoop out the pulp from 6-8 papayas
  • mash and strain the juice into a 2L pitcher
  • add water and sugar to taste
  • makes 2L pitcher of juice

Passion Fruit Juice

  • scoop out 1 1/2 cups of pulp from passion fruits
  • add 1/2 cup of sugar to the pulp
  • strain the juice into a 2L pitcher 
  • add water and sugar to taste
  • makes 2L pitcher of juice

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Birthdays in Fiji

Three gals in our group have had birthdays during our trip. To celebrate Bonnie’s birthday, we baked a carrot and pineapple cake with papaya icing! Baking here is such a blast with Auntie Serena. 

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp grated orange rind
  • 3/4 cup crushed pineapple

Combine eggs and oil

Sift flour, sugar, baking soda and cinnamon into the liquid and combine

Add carrots, walnuts, orange rind and pineapple

Mix and pour into 9” greased cake pan

Bake at 180 C for 40 minutes

Let cool for 10 minutes

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Taken from Edmonds Cookery Book



We’ve hit the middle of our trip, which is unbelievable to me, and this past week we spent some time in Suva. The road trip to get there was pretty long and hot and bumpy. For lunch we had a picnic on the beach and got to see some little sea creatures! We got to stay at Homes of Hope in their guest house during our stay. It is a home for trafficked/abused women and their children to stay and learn about Christ and some job skills (hospitality, jewelry making, crochet and knitting, small animal care, farming, cooking, etc.). We got to help clean the preschool building, plant some coconuts and shop at their arts and crafts store. The money we spent went to whoever made the item – once they get through the program they can use it to support themselves. We weren’t able to take any pictures of the children and moms we worked with, but we did have a few other adventures during the week.


our first rugby game!


Isla and Lizzy investigate the brittle star


bus adventures!


I got to visit the bure and pier that I put in my support letter, pretty cool 🙂


blue starfish!


me and the bure on the pier!


waterfall adventures!



the gopro came in handy for waterfall pictures!

We were able to serve with other ministries while we were in Suva. One day, we got to wake up at 4am and do a coffee ministry. The team of eight Fijians and nine Americans made a huge pot of coffee and took bread to a main intersection in the city. Where we were was the road that people coming from nightclubs would walk. Some clubs would close at four or five in the mornings and hoards of people would migrate down the street to other clubs that were still open. That or people would come to the bus stop that would start running at seven. We also serviced some prostitutes and homeless. One of our girls was flirted with by a drunk but the locals on our team protected her. After the coffee was gone, we walked back for a time of debrief. I liked what Nolan, our team leader, said – that we were all just helping people. He pointed out that our intentions were not to condemn or judge, but to help them make it home safely. That was a great perspective to keep through the rest of the trip as well. 

We were also able to do a kids’ club at a school for deaf children. It was great; I loved seeing their passion and life and enthusiasm. They were so sweet! Of course, something would happen to me. A little boy was mercilessly chasing me and he caught my sarong. He…pulled it down. Shock and laughter. I plopped to the ground and covered my shorts with my sarong. Thankfully no one saw much. One or two little girls were laughing at me and a gal on our team saw it too. Ha!

The stories from the employees at Homes of Hope inspired our team. Please keep them in your prayers as they continue to effectively minister and reach out to the people of Suva and the surrounding area!


David and his little friend at the deaf school


one of the homeless men that we served coffee to


crazy group picture from the deaf schoolIMG_4292

me and my little friend from the deaf school