Fi said, Ji said.

February 2, 2009

Now is the winter of our discontent

I wonder if there is anyone still out there, checking this?

January is over. That is something. It has been irrationally cold. It has been dark. A change is coming, ever so slowly. Now there is just the forever of waiting for the thaw. And the dim memory that we have survived this before.

We have slipped easily into a home and a routine. It's just that we don't yet feel like we are a good fit for all this. Wiser folk than us say that it takes at least a year to start feeling the fit again with home.

We miss Fiji. That is certain. When pressed, it is hard to say what exactly I miss. I tried to answer casually the other day that "everything made sense there". But of course, it didn't. I miss the maddening people, the frustrating politics, the intolerable, humid heat. I miss the naked sensation of being the only one who doesn't get it. I miss moldy bread and moldy paper. I miss leaping from a manic taxi and feeling grateful for my life.

I really miss the warm, blue ocean. It was my medium and spiritual home - I could comprehend the omnipotence of God while suspended there. (Stingy jellyfish-like-microorganisms aside.)

There is nothing to replace that. Not yet.

December 11, 2008

I'm here too

I don't really have more to say - I am working. I am a working schmo. (schmow? schmoo? no, I think schmo.) Yes Fiji seems far away, beautiful and hard to imagine at the moment. And snow is beautiful, but there is ever so much of it. And it is nearly Christmas, and how did that happen?

Scott does a better job of this.
I'll have to try again later

December 2, 2008

Where We Is

Here's the really practical update for people who like details:

  • We're living in Winnipeg. We don't have plans to go back to Fiji or to any other overseas posting at the moment. Maybe some day, but we both kind of feel like we'd like to make some kind of difference in Canada for awhile. (Or at least eat breakfast cereal with finding ants in it.)
  • We're living with my parents, who are very kind and generous and hospitable. And luckily we've found a house of our own so we can get out before we reach that awkward point where the kindness, generosity, and hospitality reach their breaking points. Our new house is in the Wolseley neighbourhood of Winnipeg, not too far from my parents and fairly close to Noah's school.
  • Noah is going to school. He's in Grade 2 in a Grades 1/2/3 mixed class. He just turned 7 last week and had two parties; one with grown-ups and family, and then on Saturday he had a kids party with cousins and friends from school. We went to the museum to look at the dinosaur display, then played video games and ate pizza and cake.
  • Nanette has a job. (Her office is also close to our new house.) She's doing communications and policy for ANCR, the All Nations Coordinated Response, which is part of the Aboriginal Child and Family Services system. A lot of people get a slightly horrified look on their face when they hear where she's working, as in "Why would you want to do that to yourself?!?" It's an intense area to be working in, with a lot of struggles and a lot working against it, but Nanette's sense is that it's important work that will go very poorly unless good people give it a shot.
  • I'm looking for work. I've applied at a few places. Some of them I'm even qualified for. I also applied for a spot in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, which is a summer theatre festival. Slots are chosen by lottery, so I'll know in a few weeks whether I'm going to be doing a show next summer. To tell you the truth, I'm scared senseless. I registered without really thinking, because if I thought about it I would have come up with all sorts of reasons why I shouldn't do a show for the Fringe Festival. So while part of my brain was going, "Hey, what are you doing over there?" the other part was going, "Oh nothing, never mind, go back to your Sudoku. I'm just doing something on the computer over here and ...SEND!" Yikes. I better get writing.
  • Upcoming "mission interpretation" gigs: St. James United, Wpg on December 7, the Manitoba Youth Centre on the 9th, Fred Douglas Lodge seniors home on the 11th, Atlantic-Garden City United, Wpg on the 14th, and then, unless I'm mistaken, we get a break until Christmas. Ah, Christmas.

The Fiji Road Show

Here I am, in the cold of December, fondly remembering the warmth of December, in an antipodal place that is somehow becoming less and less real the more I talk about it.

We have four more "mission interpretation" gigs booked for this month (two with Nanette, two solo). Since the beginning of October we've been going around to churches talking about Fiji and ECREA and the role of overseas personnel, etc. We've got a spiel (which we change slightly every week to connect with the lectionary passages that are being used in worship, and to keep ourselves from getting too bored).

There's something a bit weird about having a spiel. At some point the repetition replaces the reality. "I believe that what I am saying is true, not because I remember it actually happening but because I've said it five times before, so it must be true." Every once in awhile I catch myself thinking, "Is that really how it is, or is that just storytelling?" It's the same with blog entries; events and experiences and complicated ambiguous realities get shaped into something that makes sense, and in the process get filtered, or flattened, or "punched up" for dramatic effect. I wonder about the ethics of that sometimes.

Continue reading "The Fiji Road Show" »

November 9, 2008

Noah's Game

Noah made this game with an online program.

Continue reading "Noah's Game" »

November 8, 2008

This is NOT FIJI!


November 6, 2008

Yes We Can still type

So last night the United States elected their first African-American president, and even though I'm not American and he's not my president, the world does seem a little bit different. I have no doubt that Barack Obama is really smart and talented and capable, but I think the most important thing about him is his ability to attract people's hopefulness. Something about this election makes it seem like things are possible that weren't possible before.

Speaking of change, I guess a lot's changed since our last post. Sorry to everyone who's been following along with our story the last two years that we didn't finish the narrative in a satisfying gestalt kind of way. You can probably safely assume that we made it back to Canada (or that our plane went down over the Pacific and we were stranded on a desert island, threatened by incongruous polar bears and mysterious fog monsters until the viewing public got bored of unresolved plot elements and moved on). But in case you're interested in our return and reintegration into Canadian society, we'lll revive the the blog for awhile.

Let's see, where were we? Oh yeah, Fiji.

Continue reading "Yes We Can still type" »

August 26, 2008

Unofficial Handbook gets some press

Our "Unofficial United Church of Canada Handbook" gets mentioned in a Toronto Star article (along with a picture of a really ugly jello salad. Despite the caption, he didn't get the recipe from us!)

Read more in the Archives.