sometimes I get carried away…

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So sometimes I get really hungry for food that I can’t get in Fiji and I start torturing myself by looking at delicious food on Pinterest or Food Gawker and change my background to pictures of delicious food (don’t judge).

Scott (who apparently is pulling an all-nighter) says that I need to share my list, so here is my grocery list for when I get back to Canada/NZ:

bacon
bagels
english muffins
waffles
buttermilk pancakes
fresh cookies
strawberries
raspberries
grapes
broccoli
udon
salmon
sashimi
sushi
more bagels
cream cheese
gouda
edam
brie
cammenbert
poached eggs
hollondaise
avocado
microwave popcorn
milk
hazlenut yogurt
hummus
chickpeas
black beans
salsa
romaine lettuce
goat cheese
celery
tofu
halloumi
rye bread
nutella
sourdough
lemonade
juice concentrate
fresh orange juice
sour cream
red pepper
orange peppers
olives
oatmeal crisp
meatballs
guacamole
doritos
ground pork
maple syrup
corn chips
sour gummy worms
black jujubes (don’t judge)

Hehe.

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marine biology field trip

The last 3 days that Dad and Kate were here coincided with my field trip for my Marine Biology class. We always joked that they could stay at the same place as the class did, and it turned out they did! We stayed at Tubakula Bungalows along the Coral Coast (south of main island, Viti Levu).

My Marine Biology class is a great group of people. Most of the people on my trip are in my lab on Fridays, which is the smaller lab. Everyone is incredibly friendly.

The first day we snorkelled just outside the resort and laid a transect to examine substrate (where the tape lay), invertebrates and fish. It had really high sedimentation there (so, cloudy) and not super nice (partly because of the river run-off nearby). The second day we went to a marine protected area down the road near a village called Votua and did the same thing. It was much better though, but a lot harder to do the transect because there was more coral there.

part of my group

part of my group

I didn’t see anything spectacular but the marine protected area did have quite a large number of fish! I was surprised. (Marine protected area means that visitors are regulated along with fishing rights and researchers)

Luckily I sent some pictures to my group mates before the break-in so I have some itty bitty pictures to share.

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baby parrotfish, so cuuute

baby parrotfish, so cuuute

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butterflyfish (vagabond)

butterflyfish (vagabond)

crown of thorns starfish

crown of thorns starfish

HELLO FISHY

HELLO FISHY

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damselfish

damselfish

angelfish

angelfish

The rest of the field trip I hung out and met my classmates which was great. We drank grog, cooked food, hung out on the beach, had a big bonfire, played in the pool and generally just laughed and laughed and laughed. I don’t think Dad and Kate appreciated being woken up by my classmates swimming at 5 in the morning, but I guess they’ve had lots of training.

We had a lot of downtime too and one afternoon, the three of us went to the Kila Bird Park and saw iguanas, peacocks, boas, owls, parrots and lots of other living things. I didn’t like holding the iguana.

All in all, it was a fantastic field trip and I can’t believe it counts as part of school credit! I had an amazing time and it would definitely count in my top 5 Fiji experiences.

new zealand job shout out

Hi all – I am starting my search for a job in New Zealand am just sending out a cyber call if anyone knows anyone in NZ that might be keen to hire me for a few months. I’m hoping for a related full-time (or part-time) job in an HR, Marketing, or Project Management role. Also interested in NGO/non-profit work or international development. Am also keen for jobs that involve being outside as much as possible, or a job that you think I would enjoy. The plan right now is to fly out of Fiji late June and stay until late November. I already have a working visa.

Still undecided about location but I have a feeling South Island would be the best bet, and maybe even back towards Queenstown/Wanaka area. But not committed to anything so far, so a job could change that.

Any help is super appreciated! Thank you/Vinaka!

taveuni

My posts are very scattered as of late but here goes on pre-Dad and Kate visiting and Taveuni.

The couple of days after the dive course, Kat went off to do her own thing and I stayed back in Suva to do lots of homework. But obviously I found something to do… Holi! I had never even heard of Holi before but it is a Hindu celebration, also known as the festival of colours. The Indian Students Association had an evening of song, paint throwing, dance and sweets.

Credit: Alden

Credit: Alden

Like at home, we got a 4-day weekend for Easter where we all went to Robinson Crusoe Island (also known as day-tripper tourist paradise). After Kat left, Dad, Kate and I took the bus back to Suva. I was pretty busy those couple of days but we did squeeze in a trip to the forest park (of course) with my sailing partner Deborah. She works for the forestry department so could answer their 1 000 000 questions quite well.

I flew to Taveuni the day after they flew. They rented a cottage that was really nice. The first full day that we were there, Dad and I went scuba diving on the Rainbow Reef which was awesome! He had to do a refresher course because the last time he dove was 1977. He said that the only fish he saw during his whole course was dead. He liked it a lot. I did too! We saw big fish, lots of triggerfish, parrotfish, corallius maximus, and a small whitetip reef shark. We dove at a site called Fish Factory.

The next 3 days I went to Qamea Island which is off the East of Taveuni by myself to a backpackers. I had heard good things about Maqai Beach Backpackers so I decided to check it out. I wasn’t quite sure if it was worth going over there despite it being a beautiful place, but then on one snorkel expedition off the beach I saw a leoprad whip ray, a turtle, and a haaaUUUge fish! I saw a turtle!! That was one of my Fiji goals. Worth it! I met a lot of nice people there as well.

Lastly with Dad and Kate in Taveuni, we drove down the West side of Taveuni to the International Date Line (Dad really liked that, please ask him about it), a church and the sliding rocks. I was really excited to go to the sliding rocks because it’s an all-natural waterslide. I was really nervous and only slid down maybe 3 m of it. It would look fine for a while but then would make a sharp turn or get really narrow. I needed a local kid to show me how it’s done! Or someone with more guts.

Dad and Kate seemed to really like Taveuni and I am glad they went there because I think they got a good experience for being tourists! They were really keen to try lots of new foods (but not kava).

Taveuni was really nice and I’d love to go back to dive more, go to Bouma National Park and really go on the water slide. I’m not sure if I will go back.. a group is going after exams but I haven’t figured out my plans yet. Moving my plane flights has turned out to be harder than I thought it would be.

After this, I went on a three-day field trip with my Marine Biology class (and Dad and Kate too!). Another entry for that though and I have a few pictures from that (but you might have to squint because they are lab report sized).

whatta week

WHAT A WEEK.

For those of you I’ve talked to, you’ve probably had a glimpse of my terrible week. I don’t want to dwell on it but here is the short info (and the results):

– I got really sick earlier this week and I was nervous that it was dengue fever (there are rumours of an outbreak right now), but it turned out to just be strep throat. I missed a week of classes but I am pretty much back to normal now.

– Late last week, our apartment got robbed while we were at home. I guess luckily we are both heavy sleepers (and I was on tons of drugs) so we didn’t wake up when they came and took things from all rooms in our apartment. Gross. We lost a lot of electronics (laptops, iphones, camera), keys, a bag, flip flops and some money but nothing major. We’re both fine and our locks are changed now.

I am most frustrated because I lost seven months of photos from the last year. (back up your files!!!! do it! now!!!) I am happy that I have the pictures on my blog but I am incredibly disappointed because there are even more pictures I didn’t put up. I also lost a lot of phone contacts of people in New Zealand that I didn’t have written down. Back up your stuff, right now. Do it!

Break-ins are pretty common here but what makes me most frustrated is this person/these people have obviously done it before. They only took things that they could find chargers for and didn’t take anything you can track (like internet sticks and credit cards). They also closed the door behind them. We’re not sure if we/our building are being watched or if it was just a coincidence. We’ll never really know.

– And finally, yesterday I got bit by a dog when I was walking down the street. The gross. It’s not terrible but WHY WOULD IT DO THAT. It was more of a pinch. The dogs on my street are so annoying. I didn’t recognize this dog though and it’s farther down than the usual puppy pack.

Through this, though, neighbours/friends have been super nice offering us beds/computers/phones helping us get back on our feet. A couple nights ago we pulled our massive mattresses off of our beds and had a big movie marathon in the living room. That was fun. I got a cheapo phone and rented a laptop from school so getting back into shape.

Aaaaand out. I’ll be posting sometime this week about Taveuni and Dad and Kate’s visit.

shark dive or not to shark dive?

Shark dive or not to shark dive? That is the question.

I have been hearing this line since before I got to Fiji: You’re going to Fiji? You’re in Fiji? You HAVE to dive. Especially the shark dive. My usual response was: Um. Sharks eat people. That’s scary. I made an oath not to do a cage dive because those sharks are SERIOUSLY trying to eat you. But they don’t have cage dives in Fiji – just open dives.

http://fijisharkdive.com/diving/shark-diving/the-shark-dive

I had a few friends do the shark dive recently, and now I keep thinking about it more and more. Is it worth the money? Is it worth doing and supporting a cause I do not like? (The sharks are attracted because the divemasters feed them. I am a strong believer that animals should be left as is.)

I’ve already high fived a shark, and that was one of my silly Fiji goals before I got here.

Thoughts?

nananu-i-ra island

While Liz, Evan, Christine and I were doing the dive course (and Kat was hanging with us up there!) we decided to make one meal each instead of all bringing our own food. It was awesome! We ended up eating peanut butter and and banana french toast, sushi, omelettes and chickpea stir fry. YUM!!!

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scu3

Nananu-I-Ra was just as beautiful as the last time I was there. (You can read about that here and here). We had a full 8-bed dorm to ourselves, including a giant kitchen, eating area, and a huge porch over-looking the water.

Evan's photo

Evan’s photo

Christine's photo of Liz

Christine’s photo of Liz

Homework and pre-studying for scuba was not as exciting.

scu

scu1 scu2

Oh! Katelin’s (my roommate) birthday was on the weekend while we were gone so we decided to bake a cake for her the day before we left. Though Evan and I may have to thank Ms. Crocker and Mr. Oreo, it was quite delicious.

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Evan’s photo