Saturday, May 7, 2016

Island AFHA Conference in Fiji

Fiji AFHA Conference group
We finally got to have the training conference for Area Family History Advisors (AFHAs) from the islands that we had spent so much time planning.   Originally we were going to do this back in March, but when Cyclone Pam hit Fiji so hard we had to postpone for a while.  

We flew to Nadi on Monday, May 2.   We had a chance to spend a bit of time with our dear friend, Fipe Rabuka from Savusavu who we had met last October.  It was really nice to connect with her again.
Me with Fipe Rabuka from Savusavu

Our boss, Mike Higgins, and the three couples we would be training all arrived the following day.   We were all staying at our usual place - Tanoa Waterfront Hotel in Latoka.   In addition,  Mike's boss from Salt Lake, Bruce Miller, and Mark Kelly from Australia were with us.  We had some great sessions and everyone got a lot out of it.

We have truly loved the people in every one of the islands we have visited throughout this mission.  However, if we ever wanted to pick a place to come back to on our own when this mission ends, it would probably be Fiji.  Both of us really love our time there.  It helps that the tap water in Fiji is safe to drink and the infrastructure is well developed (good roads, decent Internet, and many people who speak English). After our last trip there in October I spent some time dreaming of the possibility of going to live there one day, joining the strong expat community in Savusavu.   After the last big cyclone I would be less ready to do that.  But we will always have a special love for Fiji and the dear friends we have made there.

On Friday, May 6 we all went our separate ways - each of the couples going back to their homes and us returning to Samoa for the last part of our assignment there.

We've been gone from Auckland for  three weeks now and we are not done yet.   It's been a lot of travel with trainings in three different countries.  We are tired.  We are ready to get back to our own beds.  But we would not have up these experiences for anything in the whole world.

Here are a few shots we took during the conference.   Working with these people has been such a delight!
  Elder Bennett & I with Bruce Miller

Brother Victor & Sister Domonique Hapairai from Tahiti

Sister Siutiti and Brother Sioeli 'Unga from Tonga

Brother Tueri and Sister Seruwaia Senikuriciri from Fiji

Enjoying dinner together

Mark Kelly and Mike Higgins 

Bruce Miller

Larry and I dancing with the 'Ungas on the last evening in Fiji

                                                                Scenes of Fiji Beauty

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