Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas letter from a Fijian abroad

from Wendy and Peceli

There were ten of us in the household earlier in the year – George’s family and Andrew’s family, though Andrew Snr, Eka, and Linlay now are in Nukualoafa, Tonga for a year, with Eka working as a pathologist. The teenagers Andrew and Jordan are at Geelong High School, Epa working full-time, Bale studying Aged Care Certificate and has worked part of the year at Lorne, George on his computer most times.  Peceli and I write up a couple of blogs – Geelong Visual Diary –  and the Babasiga blog, -, with drawings and photos. I am still obsessed with Fiji news which under the dictatorship is still hardly the outcome we desire.

Jordan who finished Year Ten had his first knee surgery at the Royal Children’s Hospital a couple of months ago.  The medical care is brilliant there and it’s such a wonderful hospital. The second operation will be in a few months time – all after an accident in Fiji three years ago.

Peceli is keeping very well and is gardening enthusiastically rather than playing golf. I’ve got a crook knee so that’s stopped me in my tracks!  Peceli and I help most weeks at Rotary Donation in Kind sorting books to send in containers to the Pacific and South East Asia.

Our family are members of the East Geelong Uniting Church where I help with piano/organ and on Sunday afternoons some of us go up to Altona Meadows/ Laverton to the Fijian service . There are numerous Fijian functions we are involved with such as the Fiji Geelong Friendship Club with kava drinking, yarning and hospitality.

A highlight for me personally was three days at the Emmaus Walk which was a really quality retreat with beautiful people at a camp in the Myrniong area.  Also, arly in the year over three months Peceli and I spent several weekends at Colac helping the Uniting Church people there with pastoral care and services. They are such lovely country people and it was a pleasure to spend time with them.

This year there were many bereavements with younger friends passing on. as well as our dear Aunt Mary Collins in Bacchus Marsh who was 99.  At the funeral the Lay and Collins families met up so that was very good.  Also, George took the boys to Fiji for the funeral of Robin’s wife Sala’s mother in Navuso.

Our house is full of computers, laptops, note-books, ipads,  smart phones, so we are all  hooked up and in our private worlds. I have 100 classical pieces of music on a tiny gadget!  This is so different to the time when we were young with only the radio. Then we did talk to one another around a table!

Advent and Christmas are special times and we enjoy the fellowship of the different churches we attend and the rich messages of the birth of Jesus Christ.  The road to Christmas though is full of bumps and distractions and parties that are evidence of our cbsession with consumption. We are currently preparing for a Carols program, a church dinner, and special events.

So that’s the round-up for the Ratawa family in Geelong for the year 2012. We are looking forward to news from friends and family from far and wide, though during the year Facebook has enabled us to keep in touch with many.

With love from Wendy and Peceli Ratawa  

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