Sunday, July 27, 2014

Flat Stanley Travels to Fiji to Visit Grandma

These are two of my granddaughters, Tessa and Brooke Bair. They live in Mesa, Arizona where it is hot and dry. Brooke's classroom had a Flat Stanley project. Each student created a Flat Stanley and mailed them to someone they knew. Brooke, age nine, mailed hers to me here in Fiji. I think he traveled on the slow boat because he took 5 weeks to arrive. He came further than any of the other Flat Stanleys--9,342 kilometers or 5,805 miles. I took him to all the places I usually go and some places that I had never been.

 These photos were taken on September 23 and 25, 2013.

This is a Level Three class of students at LDS Primary School in Samabula--the same age as my granddaughter Brooke.

Same class. Their teacher is in the background, Mr. Batisaresare. We teach his daughter piano.

 Flat Stanley was hungry and so we went to McDonald's in downtown Suva.

Down the street was Proud's department store. Naturally Flat Stanley liked the toy department.

The children's section of the local public library was a Flat Stanley pleaser also.

This is a busy intersection in Suva. ANZ stands for Australia New Zealand Bank and the tower in the background is the main office for Fiji. Victoria Parade is the street that runs in front of the bank.

This is the sea wall at Suva Harbor. The clouds in Fiji are amazingly beautiful. The boat that is closest to the sea wall is actually a fancy restaurant. When you eat there, the boat gently rocks back and forth.

The mission office staff were looking for Flat Stanley in the mail every day. Left to right: Sister Limburg, my companion, Elder and Sister Hogge, Elder Wells, Elder Moantewa, and Elder Johnson.
Flat Stanley and I are hanging out at my office. The bulletin board has photos of people I love.
Flat Stanley loved to see the temple. People come from many different islands to do work for themselves and their ancestors in the Fiji Suva Temple. This is the holy place where families are sealed together forever. It is truly a house of God, a place of love and beauty, where we can feel the Holy Spirit, listen, pray, and make covenants with our Father in Heaven.
 I took Flat Stanley to the ANZ Bank in Lami to cash four checks. There are a few places that will take a credit card, but cash is always the preferred method of payment. This is Alumita. She is a very pleasant teller and good at counting money rapidly. She was excited to accept a Book of Mormon on this visit. Flat Stanley likes to do missionary work.  

This is the Samabula Post Office. Wilisoni helps me send Telegraphic Money Orders (TMO) to the missionaries on the islands that do not have ATM machines. He is a friendly happy guy. He also accepted a Book of Mormon on another day.

These fellows really wanted to sell me a ripe coconut. Instead I gave them a $2.00 coin for letting me take their photo with Flat Stanley.

 This is a beautiful produce stand. We buy fruit and vegetables here often. If you want, you can drive up and they will bring you what you need to your car--curbside service.

 These are some of our piano students with Flat Stanley. We teach all ages. Two of these students continue to take piano today and we are very proud of their efforts.
This is the rugby field near the LDS Primary school and also near our house. I was afraid Flat Stanley would get even flatter if I included him in this photo. Rugby players are a dedicated bunch. They play even in the rain and the mud.

This is our neighbor Vineel Chandra helping Flat Stanley pose with their papaya tree. You can see them bunched together at the top of the tree. You can also see the side of the house where we live.

This is Vineel again posing with Flat Stanley beside a banana tree. Those leaves are over six feet long. The one in the center is just beginning to unfold. Before it unfolds, it is in a tight one-inch roll.
This is what coconut look like when they are growing. They are tightly bunched together much like papaya, but they grow on a palm tree.

Well, that concludes Flat Stanley's visit to Fiji. He took a shorter route home inside the suitcase of some visitors to Fiji. They mailed him to Brooke from the airport in Seattle.

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