hawaii on the way home

I have bought part of my ticket home! I found a cheapo flight to Honolulu, and have booked it for late November. I don’t have my flight from Honolulu to Canada yet, I will buy it when I have more plans sorted out or there is a sale. That will be in the middle of the first week of December. I am EXTRA excited to go to Hawaii and everything people keep telling me at work/on the Internet/in person has made me even more excited! There are some awesome looking sea cliffs to climb, some bouldering, diving, lots o’ prawns, shaved ice, turtles, volcanoes, hiking, …!!!!! I’m going to have to keep in mind that it will be a lot more touristy and developed than Fiji. And that I will be underage! (haha!!) I haven’t been to the US in ages. I think the last time was when we all went on the road trip to Darien Lake/Cedar Point/Buffalo/Listowel. Katelin told me the other day that it is quite likely she will be in Hawaii/Vancouver at the same time… that would be BEYOND awesome. A few others have said they are looking into it as well.. I hope so… hint hint! Hawaii is not that far away!!!

makapuu
Credit: David Chatsuthiphan
Look here for more awesome photos: http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2010/11/rock-climbing-at-makapuu/

Lauren has told me that I need to stop talking about Hawaii. /Hawaii out

We have been making a lot of delicious food lately and Lauren has become a pita/naan master! Everyone stares at my lunch at work. I made a pasta bake yesterday, and an asian stir fry the day before that we wrapped up in leftover naan (reminds me of peking duck). On the weekend, we made a giant meal with our friends and flatmates of butter chicken, pumpkin curry (using an entire pumpkin!!!), korean chicken, naan and salad. It was delicious. Yesterday I made two batches of Budget Bytes’ Soft Oat & Nut bars. They were delicious too! I left out the almonds and used white flour instead of whole wheat flour (didn’t have either) and it worked out fine. What I love about Budget Bytes recipes is that you can have a disaster in the middle of cooking and it will still turn out. I put the sugar in at the wrong time and I also didn’t let the butter soften up enough. When I poured in the cold milk it looked like curdled cream of chicken soup. Yuck. So I just popped it in the microwave to melt it all and it still turned out fine! Another time, I made her Cajun Pasta Salad¬†and the top fell off the paprika and pretty much the entire container fell in. Even though the pasta salad now looked like a fire truck, I just stirred it in and now I always put a lot more paprika than usual. She tweeted me the other day (insert some hyperventilation here) and said her cookbook is, hopefully, coming out February 4th. (how convenient that it is so close to my birthday…) I am excited!

I feel like I don’t introduce people far enough, so I’ll introduce everyone that was at the dinner. Felipe and Mccauley, two of our flatmates. Felipe is studying engineering at University of Canterbury and is from Brazil. Mcauley is in his last year of high school. (Damien is his dad, who is our ‘landlord’, but he wasn’t at the dinner) Mccauley’s friend was over as well. There used to be one more flatmate, but then one night last week he got taken away by the police because he skipped his hearing (huh?) and our landlord decided that that wasn’t very nice when we have 3 people on visas in the house. Very strange. Then there was our friends that we invited (who I might have mentioned before), Natalie and Hugh (both studying Classics at the uni, and I climb with Natalie a lot), Kota (finished his PHD thesis at the uni just recently and is leaving soon to go back to Japan, sad face), and Brendan!! (who I travelled with this past summer around Nelson/Paynes Ford) It was good seeing Brendan again 5 months later!

This season has been a bit warm for skiing… (picture of Fox Peak)

fox peak

So I decided to look into other options.

Tasman_Glacier_Skiing_10

THIS LOOKS AWESOME. My eyes are as big as saucers.

I hope to do some exciting things in the near future, but I think I have to wait until my eyes shrink down from about 8 times the size of my wallet. I have an offer to sail from Ohau (tip of NZ) to Tonga in September for 2 weeks. I am also still drooling over skiing on the Tasman Glacier. I would also like to climb and ski in Wanaka & Queenstown soon. And snorkel with whales. And go to Wellington/Bay of Islands/paragliding/ski touring. And get better at snowboarding so I can go to the splitboard festival in the middle of September. And and and… I’ll stop talking now. I’m spoiled. And I’m nervous about finding another placement.

I’ve been planning what my courses might look like for the rest of my degree (with the help of many others). Here is a list (please ignore this if you don’t care):

Microeconomics II, Business Communication, International Business, Business Ethics, Statistics II, Business Law, Organization Theory, Project Management, Canadian Public Administration, Public Policy Process, Finance, Cross-Cultural Management, Leadership, International Human Resources, Negotiations and Conflict Management, Organizational Development and Change, Group Dynamics and Teamwork, Global Marketing Management, Strategy, and Management of International Firms.

I hope doing Honours will pay off.

I don’t know if I bragged about my marks this semester yet. If I did, I guess you’ll have to hear it again. I got an A+ in Psychology of Individual & Community Health (PSYC 3XX), an A+ in Ethics & Professionalism in the Public Sector (POL 3XX), an A in Marketing (direct transfer) and a.. (pass) in Marine Biology (BISC 3XX). This means I am finished my 2 mandatory science credits as well. This brings my exchange GPA up to 83%. I am pleased with this.

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delicious food that I can get here

This is the counter-post after the “Western food that I miss”. It is the “what food I will miss when I leave Fiji”.

  • pineapple – you haven’t tasted pineapple until you’ve tasted an in season Fiji pineapple
  • soursop – a large fruit that is tangy, sweet, sour and glue-y all at the same time!
  • cream buns – a Hot Bread Kitchen classic
  • chicken pies – another Hot Bread Kitchen classic
  • fish and chips – if you know where to go, some realllly good fish and chips!
  • pumpkin curry – lately we’ve been making a giant pot at least once/week
  • aman’s chicken curry – YOM
  • hunky dog – the best food cart ever, you haven’t eaten a hot dog until you try a hunky dog (nyc hot dogs can’t even compare)
  • bbq – only tastes good when you’re REALLY hungry, a chicken leg, lamb chop, cassava, fried noodles, a lamb sausage and a fried egg for $6
  • curry maggi noodles – pretty much the spiciest 2-minute noodles ever
  • tuna – the fresh tuna here is amazing!!! favourite way: sashimi style
  • mahi mahi – a light fish, favourite way: with a balsamic honey glaze ooorr in…
  • kokoda – raw light fish cured with lime with onion, tomato, cucumber
  • rourou – taro leaves with garlic, butter and some coconut milk
  • palusami – “Fijian lasagna” taro leaves wrapped up with layers of coconut and onion and baked in the oven or a lovo
  • bhaji – indian savoury donut with onion, flour, taro, spices served with chutney
  • coconut milk
  • fresh coconut
  • cheese buns – another Hot Bread Kitchen classic
  • samosas
  • tamarind chutney!!!!! – delicious
  • other chutneys
  • daal – indian lentil soup
  • butter chicken – they make it spicy here, i love that
  • korma – yum!!
  • roti – upgraded pita
  • roti parcels – roti with curried potatoes and tuna/chicken. convenient and delicious and usually only $1
  • pappadam
  • pakoras
  • okra – unbelievably cheap here
  • eggplant – the best eggplants I have ever had
  • mandarins – delicous when they are ripe and in season
  • murg tikka – upgraded butter chicken
  • panner – delicious cheese
  • naan – delicious bread
  • guava – minus the seeds, delicious
  • lamb burgers – especially when homemade
  • fish burgers – in the words of my friend Marty “only in Fiji where they deep-fy marlin like it ain’t no thang”

In other news, I changed my flights around to go to New Zealand on June 25th. Pretty soon! I will be sad to leave Fiji. I was hoping that when I fly back to Canada I would be able to stop back in Fiji, but it’s looking like it will be significantly cheaper to fly back via Honolulu than LAX.

meals in october

For most of October I decided to take pictures of food that I made (inspired by Katrina). I think it made me cook better than I usually do. This is a mix of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks.Spot the breakfast trend!

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Other notable dinner mentions include thai green curry, ahi tuna with teriyaki veggies, teriyaki chicken and sweet & sour veggies, and spicy sezchuan beef & eggplant.

busy suva weekend

Dillon’s birthday at O’s
Aggie (middle) threw a house party on Friday
Mariyama, Maria, Rosi and me

On Saturday night, Rosi invited me to a dinner that her mom was going to. She was in town for the Republic of Fiji Military Wives Annual Tournament and the dinner was their awards diner on the final night. The tournament is a volleyball and netball competition.

Everyone was dressed up and I wore a chamba. I borrowed it from a friend who received it as a gift during the first week she was here. It was a bit big, but luckily the skirt didn’t fall off. There were about 500 people there and everyone was very dressed up. All the teams had matching chambas. The prime minister and prime minister’s wife were both there! (Fiji has a prime minister and a president. The prime minister is the head of government and the president is the head of state – more of a signing figure.)

This is in Vodafone arena, where basically any big event is held (church, dances, concerts, even exams!)

Rosi’s mom and me

The food was good, we had dalo, curry, chop suey, stew, rice, fish, chicken, and probably more things that I am forgetting. You could tell it was a special meal because there was a lot of meat.. multiple kinds of beef, pork, chicken and fish! I couldn’t finish it all (not even close). The whole event was quite silly. At one point the band started playing a dance-y song, and a whole bunch of ladies rushed up and grabbed the prime minister and prime minister’s wife and dragged them on the dance floor. Everyone screamed in response. And while they were giving away the awards, people would run up and accept other people’s awards and then run over to who actually won the award and ‘present’ it to them, haha.

The prime minister and prime minister’s wife

what I am looking forward to

Things that I am really excited about!

– being able to go outside between classes and be in outdoor/indoor campus buildings

– living coastal, all the time!

– fresh fruit and veggies and markets (maybe I will be able to try a guanabana!)

Рmeeting local students, other exchange students from SFU and all across the world, international students from all the partner countries  (including Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Tonga, and ~10 more!!)

– trying lots of new sports like surfing (I know I will have epic bails like the one in the picture but on piddly waves), snorkelling, and scuba diving

– white beaches (still think they are photoshopped)

– hiking (especially in the rain forest and previously volcanic areas)

Is it just me, or does that picture of that scuba diver TERRIFY you?? I am really going to have to get over my fish-phobia.