Well August in Fiji is a time when the second term at the Primary School and LDS College comes to an end. The school year is organized into three terms, nine weeks of school and two weeks vacation. The school year runs from mid-January until mid-November. In the southern hemisphere their summer vacation is from mid-November until mid-January. During the end of the second term the college was involved in many activities and sporting events. They have their national basketball tournament during this time. All three level basketball teams were national champions in 2013 so they are out to defend their national championships this year. When the tournament was completed, one LDS team (Under 15 Boys) repeated as National Champions. The under 17 team was runner-up and had a very successful year. The Under 19 Boys lost in the quarter finals and did not have a chance to defend their national title. The girls also competed in the national tournament and performed well but were unable to vie for a national championship.
This is the first year in quite awhile that the college is engaged in what is called the Tadra Khani which is where the college identifies a social issue and through sound, dance and acting tries to bring attention to the issue and how to solve the problem. There were 11 schools participating in this year’s competition. We had an opportunity to witness this event as it was held in Suva at the Vodaphone Arena. There were six specific prizes given for such areas as sound, theme, choreography, lighting, and a couple of others. The LDS College received the award in four out of six categories, and was runner-up for the National Grand Champion. The point difference between the National Champion and the 1st runner-up was one point. It was a wonderful evening of seeing many social issues identified as well as having the youth of Fiji present a way to solve many of the problems they face today.
During the two weeks that there was no school, Suva has what they call the Hibiscus Festival. It is a week long event with carnival rides for children, music, booths of every kind, and many live presentations of all kinds. They have a huge parade on the last day which brings out thousands of people. There is a King and Queen crowed as well as a Junior Queen. This year the Junior Queen was from the LDS College, a sophomore aged young lady.
We also had the opportunity to host our ITEP Coordinators who visited us from New Zealand. Elder and Sister Aland were here for three days visiting with us about our mission and provide valuable information and insight into being an ITEP missionary. We had a wonderful time hosting them and getting to know them. The final few days of our short vacation we spent with Elder and Sister Collins who are ITEP TVet Missionaries at the LDS College here in Suva. TVet missionaries are over the vocational programs at the college. They are from Arizona and have been here for about a year.
We had an opportunity to travel to the other side of the island and spend four days at the Wyndam Resort and Spa on Denarau Island. While we were there we toured the Garden of the Giants which has hundreds of different species of orchids aw well as other beautiful flowers and foliage. On the way home from Nandi, we stopped at several other resorts to take a peek at what they offered and how much it costs for future travel opportunities.
Here are some pictures that we took during the past several weeks. We hope you enjoy them. The first pictures are from the Hibiscus Festival.
Some pictures from the Wyndom Resort
An evening out, enjoying dinner and a fire dance…
And finally, the beautiful Fijian sunsets…