Search Chasing Jessie

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Survivor: Fiji

The journey has begun again! On Jan 2, 2010, I departed Orlando en route to FIJI! My job responsibilities were to begin in New Zealand, which gave me 5 days in Fiji to take in the sun, sand, beauty, island culture, and get adjusted to 14 hours of time change!

The flights were long, the layovers were awful, and the lack of sleep was painful. There is just nothing to compare being in an airplane seat for over 18 hours; I liken the back of the plane (non-business class) to being in a cattle car. Pack ‘em in tight! The reward of arriving in Nadi, Fiji quickly sent packing all the tight-quarters woes though, thankfully. I waited for the resort bus from the airport for what seemed like forever, and they arrived later than scheduled. I was definitely starting to feel abandoned. The friendliness of the locals however, was unmatched. After many airport workers and shopkeepers saw me sitting for over 30, then 45, then 60 minutes, they each started coming out one-by-one to tell me “Bula” (hello, how are you!), and see how they could help. Finally my bus arrived, and 5 of us were whisked away to a small marina of about 10 boats.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Yes, its true... Round two!

After the end of last year’s journey, I returned to the United States with the optimistic hopes that I could repeat my good fortunes in the South Pacific with a second round of joy. Two semesters of classes waited my US return, and I am happy to report that as of Dec 09, I have finished my THIRD Bachelors degree – Bachelors of Science in Biology from Georgia Institute of Technology! Yes, you read that correctly…three. I am thinking of wallpapering a small bathroom with these pieces of paper; seems the most useful thin to do. Additionally, I was able to finish my last semester of eligibility as a GT Rower in the Fall, and my very last race served as a grand finale send-off with a 1st place win by a mere 3.6 seconds!! What a great way to finish things off!

Alas my dreams were able to come true: my opportunities to return to New Zealand and Australia were realized. The plan? Before and after work officially would begin, I would ‘sandwich’ the NZ/AUS trip with Pacific islands! Spoiled? Yes, maybe.

SO, before New Zealand = Fiji, and after Australia = Tonga. Not so shabby, eh? Before this adventure, however, there was one small detail I needed to iron out --> get Open Water SCUBA certified. Check! Now I was fit to take on my job again! (Pacific Program)

Pictures  SCUBA cert & Rowing

"It’s just a job. Birds fly, grass grows, waves pound the sand. I beat people up.” Muhammad Ali

Really loved the above quote… it makes me think of my opportunities in the South Pacific. “It’s just a job.” I get to teach a subject I love, lead hikes through rainforests and over volcanoes, inspire others through education, and basically have the time of my life. For pay! I really am so lucky and fortunate.

Hugs, Jessie