I figure I'll post one last blog just to summarize everything up! My last week with my kindergarten kids was probably the saddest moment of my 19 years of life. On the last day, we had a celebration celebrating us, and 3 of the kids that were moving to another school. I really wanted to have one last special moment with all the kids. At one point one of the kids left and just shouted "by teacher" like he had every other day. I ran after him and told him that I wouldn't see him again because I had to go home. He gave me an extra big hug and said that he would miss me so much (my heart died at this moment). When it was actually time for me to leave I ugly cried very hard haha! This week I also had the chance to go to the orphanage and play with the sweetest kids. It was sad to know their story, but believe it or not they're actually quite spoiled there! They are happy kids with a contagious laugh! I had one more week left and seeing as the kindergarteners were on school break, we had kids club! I was with a group of 12-17 year olds! One day, with 14 kids, and with the help of a megaphone, I single handedly put together a play about nature...I think I lost 3 years of my life trying to keep these kids in order. But these kids were amazing the whole week and so much fun to talk to and get to know. On my last day with them, we had a sports day with the kids club! I got all my kids matching shirts and with the help of some coordinators we painted out team name "the killers" on all of the shirts! We looked pretty great (although Im still waiting on someone to finally send me the pictures I've been asking for) but take my word for it, we looked awesome! That Friday afternoon most of us volunteers headed to Beachouse Resort a couple hours away to stay the weekend. It was nice to just relax and spend one last weekend with everyone! I sadly left Saturday afternoon and headed to the airport for my unpleasantly long ride home. When I landed in LA I immediately started converting all prices to "American" prices for everything I saw. Needed to break that habit fast. My sleep schedule was messed up for the first week (still slightly is). I wasn't falling asleep until I forced myself to at 4am, slept all day, and I could never get warm!! Once you get used to being so overwhelmingly hot and sweaty all the time, 40 degree weather really isn't cool. I'm excited to get back to work and get that bank account back up to numbers that I like seeing! I guess I can say it's good to be back, but there's nothing more I want than to go back to Fiji just to see everyone one more time. The day before I left I was given a gift by one of the ladies that went to the church we painted and cleaned up. I didn't open it until I got back to Michigan. It was a Fiji flag, and it smelled exactly like the neighborhood I had been living in and my heart grew three sizes for that place, and all those amazing people that live there!

Wise tip-Fiji is not just all-inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches, it's an amazing place full of such beautiful and welcoming culture. They are by far the nicest people I have ever met in my life. If you ever get the chance to go to Fiji, leave your resort and travel and stay in a village and live like a real Fijian and I promise you won't regret it!

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Tomorrow morning Me and the other volunteers in my school are performing an Easter celebration with our kids. 8 songs, and an acted out scene of the crucifixion. The kids are ready to get it over with but are still excited. And if there's a limit on how many times a person is allowed to sing Kumbaya while waving their hands in the air, I think I've reached it. Today in class we had the kids do an Easter egg hunt with paper mache eggs that we made. They all said they've done it before, but I think that was a lie. When they got in the room they just stood there looking. I'm pretty sure we had more fun dragging them around looking than they did. Next week is their last week of school and I'm going to miss these kids so much. They're little doinks but they're my little doinks. It's amazing how far they've come. When I first started Xavier was the quietest and slowest kid. He always was the last to finish his work and need much help while doing it. But now he comes running to hug us as soon as we walk in the door, he's usually the first one to finish his work and does a good job at it, and he's made so many more friends. There's little things you learn along the way as well. If you want to get Pasepa to do anything, you tell her cousin Meronie (who loves me) to do it, and Pasepa copies anything she does. Problem solved. Never stand my Makalasi when she sings, because that girl screams. When putting bottle tops away, always check Frances' mouth because that's a weird hobby of hers. Make sure Jakopé has literally every color of crayon under the sun when coloring even though you know he's going to use 2 colors max. Otherwise you're battling a 2 time 5 year old kindergartener over why he feels the need to just hold a pink crayons when Victoria wants to use it. "Nap" time is a constant battle of telling everyone to stop threatening to fight each other and sleep. You learn every face they make when they're either going to cry, need help, or about to punch someone in the throat. You know what all of their moods will be at every second of the day. If you give one kid a high five, everyone's going to want 7. And you learn never to say or allow anyone to say the word poop. Of all words, that's the word then makes the cry with laughter. But despite all the bad, you learn to love these little ankle biters and know just how much you're going to miss them when you leave. The last week is going to be full of tears, hugs, and lots of candy! (Also hoping maybe I can achieve one weekend where I'm not sick, so fingers crossed)

Wise tip of the week: Stay at least 100 feet from anyone with pink eye. It sucks.

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3 Weeks Left.

These past 5 weeks have gone by incredibly fast! (Given my 5th week was spent on an island.) I'm not ready to leave this beautiful island but I know these upcoming 3 week are going to go by even faster. On Friday we spent the night at bamboo resort in Nadi which is on the other said of the mainland and is the tourist hot spot, relaxing and eating an unhealthy amount of tourist pizza. We also went to Cloud 9 on Saturday which is this floating bar and pizza kitchen. It was amazing!! We jumped off the top level into the clearest blue water I have ever seen! I came out super relaxed, and with some sunburns in places that never even touched the sun...but it was amazing! Sunday we got up much earlier than I would like to be up to travel to Bounty Island. We got on a big boat which brought us to the middle of the ocean in the middle of a bunch of smaller islands where we got onto a smaller boat and headed to our island! We were greeted by Berry, seriously the nicest guy ever, who sang us a welcome song. Sunday was an especially hot day. Our rooms weren't ready when we got there so we sat in the dining area sweating massively trying to think of what to do. We decided to go snorkeling. We dried off our sweat (disgusting..I know) and put enough sun screen on to cover and elephant and got in the water. Shoutout to the sea lice, thanks for always biting my legs and arms...I seriously hate you. We saw a stonefish which are one of the most venomous fish known in the world (Nancy if you're reading this to my dad leave that part out so I don't get 405 texts from him telling me to never go in the water again) and lots and lots of starfish. The typical day went, wake up at 7:30 and eat breakfast. Lay in the sun for a couple hours, jump into the pool to cool off, go snorkeling, eat lunch, take a nap (well deserved after all that hard work), wake up and go walk around the island or take pictures, dinner, chill on the beach looking at the stars. It's seriously a tough life if you ask me. We also did a weaving class with palm tree leaves. We made headbands, basket, had, and "glasses".  Then Thursday it was time for me to come back. Thursday is also the day I got sick once again. Only a few healthy days since last time I was sick. 5 hours on the coldest bus I've ever been on and I was finally back in Suva. When I got home, I was greeted my at least 20 new people and 2 new roommates. Everyone is super nice and I'm looking forward to spending my last 3 weeks with them!

Vanaka Vakalevu

Wise tip of the week: When walking on the beach and the wave rolls up onto shore, make sure you don't walk into a rock. It will rip your toe nail off. Seriously it's disgusting.

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Week 3. These past couple weeks have gone by so fast! (And obviously I'm so good with updating this blog seeing as this is only my 3rd post.) To sum up the majority of the past 3 weeks, on my third day here me, and 2 other volunteers were taken to our kindergarten called Viti Community Kindergarten. When we arrived we were met by 43 very excited children in a very small and hot room. The kids are especially cute (minus the one who spit on my lip) and we end up teaching the class the majority of the day. The kids and the teachers were also very excited and thankful for all their new school supplies (shoutout to Target🎯). My first weekend here I got sick so I stayed in bed all weekend while everyone else got to celebrate the Holi Fest and go swimming in the waterfall. My second weekend the majority of volunteers went to a place called Beach House. It was located on a beautiful beach with many hammocks that I ended up falling asleep in one afternoon, we also had the opportunity to go horseback riding on the beach, and get a traditional Fiji massage. We came back Sunday evening very relaxed and ready for the week again. This past week the kids learned all about the number 2. (That's seriously all we were told to teach them. 5 days of just the number 2...) and this week we get to teach them the number...3. But they also threw in the legs this week so I guess that's better than just the number 3. This particular weekend wasn't all that exciting. One other volunteer suggested that we go to Caqulai Island for her last weekend here. It was a very wet hour boat ride to get to the island. We are greeted by the nicest people I have ever met and shown to our room. I wasn't expecting much seeing as it takes 20 minutes to walk around this island (which we did) but I at least expected the toilet to flush. Inside our very minimal room was 8 sets of bunk beds covered in mosquito nets with very easy access to the ground through the floor. But we put our happy camper faces on and headed to the beach. Upon walking we were told to not pick up any shells because there was one in particular that was poisonous and could kill you. We decided to walk around the island an came in contact with many, many jellyfish. After coming back one of the guys staying on the island told us about snake island that you can walk to when the water is low enough. I quickly declined going there seeing as I have ridiculously high fear of snakes. But we were assured that they only stay on that island or farther out in the water. Later that night we found that to be a lie seeing as three of the girls saw the worlds 2nd most deadly snake slither right in front of them. (I never went near the water again.) We had a bamboo fire that night and of course with my luck I started not feeling well again and headed to bed followed by another volunteer. The amount of bugs that had flown into my eye, or that I had breathed in made me a litte happy to be under that mosquito net. And after getting ready for bed the other volunteer saw seriously the biggest spider I have ever seen in real life chilling in her bed. So long story short, we ended up sharing my tiny twin sized top bunk. I promise you, I was up every single hour sweating more than I have in my entire life. At one point I was trying to cuddle my room temperature water bottle because it felt cold against my skin. But after many painful hours the morning came. I felt worse than the day before and decided to call it quits and go home early. Four others joined me as well and we got onto another boat for an hour and a half ride to literally no where. The "boat launch" was the side of a road in the middle of nowhere. We ended up getting a ride in the back of a truck (despite my many paranoid requests to wait for a taxi to drive by) and by the grace of God we made it back alive. These past 3 weeks have gone by so fast, I have no doubt these last 5 will go any slower. I'm not super thrilled to be leaving Fiji, but I'm so ready for American food again. (I live off of Rice, Fruit, Cassava, and the crackers I buy down the road if you were interested in the Fiji diet.) My wise tip of the week, if you think you have enough bug spray on, your wrong.

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​First 24 hours


After being here 24 hours all I can say is wow. Currently, I am sprawled on my bed with the fan blowing on me. I can't even begin to describe the heat and humidity.
Getting here was hard enough, and my horrible fear of flying (as many of you know) didn't help in the slightest. 3 hour drive down to Chicago followed by a 4.5 hour flight to LAX that was interrupted by a one hour flight delay, got me to the beautiful city of Los Angeles where I spent my eleven hour layover. Then we boarded our next flight where I sat by a very nice lady who told me story's all about her family in California and Fiji and about her tooth she need to get pulled. (She was very determined to not fall asleep so she could get her free meal, and also woke me up from my 10 minutes of sleep I was finally able to accomplish just to make sure I didn't miss it either.) but after landing we were greeting by a 3-man band before immigrations. Then a 4 hour bus ride followed by a 30 minute taxi ride, we made it.
During that 4 hour bus ride, the driver stopped in a small village where I had the pleasure of walking into a beaten up shack to use the restroom. When you walk in you pay 50 cents and they had you 3 sheets of toilet paper and you round the corner and squat over a fly covered toilet. But finally I did make it to my accommodations.
I came in , said hi and went to unpack my things. Me and a couple of other volunteers went on a walk to find the infamous "Tucker's ice cream shop" we saw on a sign right next to our house...there wasn't one. But on the way we did witness our first dog fight. The loser was our "guard dog" Spot. We also quickly learned that Spot likes to chase after moving cars trying to try and bite the tires. Smart dog. Then dinner was served and we all came back to the house I stay in to watch a movie. By 7:30am (3:30am home time) I was ready to pass out. And I did.
It is very much something that is going to take time to get used to but I'm excited for the next eight weeks. (If I can ever get used to this unbearable heat!)

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BULA!

Seeing as the only people reading this blog are me, my grandma and someone who clicked on here out of pure boredom, you all know where I'm going. (But if you don't it's Fiji.) So basically, I decided to be super cliché and start my own blog! I figure this is easier than texting pictures or posting disorganized things on Facebook. My postings are going to be so random so enjoy by terrible storytelling!

Vinaka!

-Brogan

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