Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I'm just gonna go right ahead and prove all you unbelievers that I am really going to become a blogger now! So to begin, here's a shout-out to my cals gals. My cals are my high school gals, my girls that I have been lucky enough to love since the beginning of high school (some longer), and even more lucky enough to continue to stay close with through the college experience. Why the name 'cals' you say?

I'll tell you. Junior year of high school, we read the scarlet letter. For the sake of my cals story, I will give you a run-down on the plot of the book. The protagonist, Hester Prynne, was unfortunate enough to have an affair with... someone... (I don't want to tell you and ruin the book for those of you who haven't read it- this is one required read that I actually enjoyed) and as punishment, was forced to wear a scarlet 'A' on all of her clothing, to 'warn' others that she was an adulterer. For our class, our teacher had us think of something we struggled with in life or were embarrassed about, take the first letter of it and 'wear' it all day the next day- to help us feel a sense of what Hester went through I suppose. I soon discovered my main problem was picking one word from the many I had quickly thought of. So, Becca, Hannah and I had finally cut it down to four words we felt were sufficient (with a bit of exaggeration... hopefully) the winners were- Creepy, Awkward, Loser, and Stalker. We walked around school the next day with CALS all over our shirts. We eventually informed the rest of our girls the true meaning of the acronym- we all discovered we liked the nice ring to it. So, it stuck. The cals gals we became.

We've been through thick and thin, and we are all as different as they come. Yet, we still can't get enough of each other. So, here's to you my cals! Hannah, Becca, Nichole, Jessica, Ashley and Beth.

New leaf

Alright everyone. I am turning a new leaf- I really am. I have decided to start blogging about nothing and everything, whenever I want to. Get ready. I'm gonna master this blog

Monday, November 1, 2010

post hallows eve

Here I am, in the good ole' Harold B. Lee library (for once) writing a paper for my survey of world religions class. Of course, I eventually got sick of it. Sooo, to remedy that, I thought I would take a break, and start creepin everyone's blog! After I finished that, I still wasn't feelin quite ready to write for a grade. So, I decided to write for mr blog!

I still haven't found my camera charger. Such a bummer- think of all those things I have done I haven't been able to document! Of which includes one of the greatest halloween weekends I have ever had. Mainly because it was triple the length- Friday, Saturday AND Sunday were all days of celebration! Friday I donned my Injun Pocahontis/Tigerlily outfit complete with a bow and arrows, and headed off to some sort of multi-stake halloween dance with my roomies. After that, I party hopped right over to a Fiji friend's halloween house, complete with a bunch of dead/stuffed animals from the museum. Fabulous. I then dined at the Provo hospital (which, I have just discovered, has a delicious grill which is open 24/7) and ate a grilled cheese with a root beer float. After that, I headed over to another house to finish the night watching Avatar. I don't care what anyone says, that movie rocks.
Saturday night I spent with a few Fiji peeps, ranging from movie watchin (music and lyrics- so great.. aaaaand, hope floats. woops, two movies in one day. That has to be against some sort of rule. Whatever, it was halloween), cosco, and yet another dance partaaaay (dressed as a stick man) complete with deck jumping.

To end the halloween weekend, my mother bribed me, Bry, and a couple of our friends with some soup and breadsticks in Bountiful.... We headed right up there. SO DELICIOUS! Mom, you are the best. Dad, you are the best.

Welp, my new goal is to get a camera battery charger sometime soon. Can't forget to document another weekend like that.

Ok, I guess I'll continue my assignment. Thanks blog for being such a great distraction when absolutely necessary. And when unnecessary I guess.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

College livin!

So, if there are any of you out there who still read my blog, I am now continuing my reports on a new foot. I have changed my background, changed the fonts and colors, and have done basically anything to get me to get going. Admittedly, I am not a very good blogger. In fact, I struggle to remember I even have a blog to update in the first place. In addition, Provo life is considerably less exciting than Tavau Fiji life, but I am still going to attempt to write about the every day happenings of what goes on in the life of Rachel Miles. Sooooo, not only do you guys get to see what happens in Fiji, but you get to see what happens at good ole' BYU! Rest assured you will hear some fabulous stories about my experiences in the Harris Fine arts Center (I spend more time there than in my own apartment- so I consider that where I 'live'), weekend excursions, intramural updates, homework happenings, and all the super exciting college life experiences! So buckle up readers, you're in for some "exciting" updates. Get ready.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

back in one piece!

Hello everyone! I am finally back from Fiji- safe and sound! In a nutshell, it was super hard- but probably the best experience I have ever had! I loved it, and i'm so glad I went. I can finally upload some pictures for all to see! Cause now I have free internet. Yessss. and no worries folks, there is a loooooot more where this came from. I think i have around 1500 pics. so maybe i'll post some more!

Just a couple of SWEET ladies in Rabulu village
Rabulu Kindee
We hiked the tallest mountain in Fiji- Mt. Victoria! Which we were, quite literally, climbing straight up this mountain. most of the time we were on our hands and knees, or climbing up the tree roots and branches and vines- hard to explain. just know that it was the coolest/scariest/hardest/most beautiful hike I have ever been on. No worries, this was just our tour guide. I'm pretty sure he hiked it barefoot.
Champions. Me and Sue
Navai Kids just climbin' a tree
Cutest little boys ever. For one of my music classes, another volunteer and I would teach a group of teenage girls, and these boys would try and interrupt the lesson and be crazy. So I would just take them away and play with them for an hour! They rocked
Standin on a huge pile of sugar cane- snappin a stick off for me to eat!
My Tokovuci music theory class- all of them receiving their certificates! They were pumped
Bau island- This tiny island took over all of Fiji, so the Fijian language is Bauan dialect (every place in Fiji has it's own dialect and variation on the Bauan dialect)
Band picture. Caleb, Me, Courtney, Janey
INSANE storm on the island- so me, Heather, and Courtney decided we were already soaked, so we might as well play in the ocean.
Me and Heather with the Tavua District Kindee! Some of them at least. there are around 50-60 students
Teachin a health lesson to the youth in Vatutavui village
Rugby game in Nasivi! Rugby is EVERYWHERE in Fiji- everyone plays it.
Janey, Stacie, Rachel Farr, Me, and Court in Nasivi
Cutest Nasivi kids. forgot their names.
Beautiful baby Eka
Just rockin my little baby. puppies are everywhere
My all time favorite Fijians- Arietta, or cook, and her two granddaughters Maggie (in the white) and Arietta
Liku playin the uke at my Tokovuci Music class
Cutest little kids ever- they would wait every day after school on these steps and wait till we passed, just so they could yell 'Namaste!'
Nasivi village business class
oh Tavua
I am a murderer.
look at this BEAST. They were all over the place in our house unfortunately.
Doin the Hokey Pokey with the Tavua District Kindee
Just learnin how to pound some tree bark into paper!
Starfish everywhere
Babiest lizard. So many.... so many.
Little boy Tavite (David) in Vanuakoula village. He had the biggest, most beautiful brown eyes i have ever seen.

Ok! Those are only some random pics from one of the three memory cards I have- so i'll probably be posting some more! Get ready!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Garden Island...

This very day, I am about to depart on a boat -bligh is her name, and go to one of the Fijian Islands called 'Taveuni'. This place, I hear, is one of the most beautiful islands in Fiji, and is home to some sort of flower that will only grow on that very island. I will be going on a saweeeet hike, that has natural water slides made out of rock all throughout the hike- that, should be pretty awesome!!! Anyways, I dont know much, only that it's an 11 hour boat ride to the island, we are stopping at Savu Savu on Vanua Levu (the upper main island of Fiji), spending a day there, and taking another boat ride to Taveuni, and livin the life there for two days, headin back to Savu Savu the next day, then hoppin back on the boat to Tavua. Wednesday night till monday morning- needless to say, I will have used up all my vacation days after this trip- but it's ok, cause i'm pretty pumped about it. Alrighty, I have to be at the dock in about twenty minutes- so till next time reader!


p.s. sorry this is such a short and scrawny post, I didnt have much to say- other than I'm pretty pumped and get ready for some great posts when I come back.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Jai ho

This was such an awesome week!- let me give you a little tidbit of how it went.

First off, I got to skype my family- what the what!?! that never happens- they were all in Jackson lake, babies and all, and they made the trek to the lodge to get some internet service so they could skype me! Best ever. My finding a computer wasn't so easy, I'll tell you that much. Long story short, after running all around Tavua town (I was literally running, just a little info to help with the mental image) to and from all three internet cafes to 1. Find a internet cafe that wasnt all shut down for the day 2. Find a computer that had a camera for skype, and 3. out of those computers, sift through the ones which were broken, find a computer that had skype that worked/was fast enough to actually be worth it. 20 minutes later, sweat dripping down my face, I finally got to a computer! I wanted to sing praises out loud, it was such a miracle. Anyways, I filled my family canteen there.

Second, in addition to all the other team projects, all of my music projects went really well! I am teaching two new kindergartens, one is a Fijian kindergarten in a village called Rambulu and the other is a Muslim kindergarten in a village called Korovuo. Those went really well, I will be going there every week until I leave, and hopefully will be teaching some more music classes to those schools in the older grades. Music in Lautoka has turned into a choir class, which was super successful, after I finally figured out they learn everything in solfedge (?? I have no idea how to spell that) which is the do-re-mi singing - for all you 'sound of music' fans, it's like the song on that movie. Praaaaise you sight singing classes at byu, the only way I could teach them the songs was to translate everything, using the stuff I learned in that class. Anyways, I'm teaching them be still my soul right now using solfedge, and they are lovin it- they sound amazing! On Mondays, I'm teaching a village called Vatutavui how to play guitar, ukulele and keyboard- that's goin pretty well. It's kinda hard to teach, cause they don't have a guitar or keyboard there, they just have some in their local methodist church- but they reeeally want to learn it, so whatevs. That village is sooooo sweet, it's right on the ocean, and all their houses are bures (however you spell that one) which are the houses you see in the movies and on the internet, the ones with the roofs made out of palm tree leaves and the base made out of wood and everything. Obviously, i'm terrible at explaining it, i'll just have to post a picture of it sometime when I get back. I'm still teaching piano lessons to a young single mother who used to be a member of the church and who is starting to come back to church (her name is Suzi Q, and her cute daughter's name is Fanny) She is practically family to us, she comes over all the time, I go to 'training' with her (which is just scrimmaging soccer every night) and she has hung out with us on the weekends for the past couple of weeks. Aaaaanyways, moral of the story is, music is going really well, and I'm really excited about that!

Last, I had the sweeeetest cultural weekend. Sorta last minute, Saturday morning a group of us woke up and went with Suzi Q and Meli (another Fijian guy) to a nearby village called Nodolodolo and went on a hour long boat ride through the river to the ocean to this tiny island the Tavuans call their 'picnic' island- it's just this tiny island right off the main island that is pure white sandy beach, big enough for two palm trees and a bure. (once again, I have no idea how to spell that). We pretty much just sat in the sun, ate coconuts, and played in the water all day, it was the beeest. The island was completely COVERED with starfish, they were all over the place- I actually took a bunch and just spelled my name with them. So sweet. Kayla actually found like 5 in her hair, I guess that would be a downside to an island infested with starfish haha. Anyways, it was really fun. I might have gotten some cooked legs, but other than that, I didnt burn anywhere! Pretty successful weekend. That night, we went to Suzi's cousins 21 birthday- which is something to compare to a latin girl's 15th birthday- cant rememeber what it's called, quincienta or something? Probably way off. Anyways, they have this whole cultural dinner with the village and neighbors, the birthday boy was all dressed up in the native Fijian outfit skirt- flower head dress thing, and we just danced and partied. So fun! Then Sunday, we all donned our indian outfits we bought at Rups big bear and went to an Indian wedding- so cool! It was actually a Christian wedding, but they had some of the Hindi traditional things included in there to get the best of both worlds I guess. We proceeded to be the only dancers on the dance floor, being the display of the party once again, most people just like to watch the white people make fools of themselves. Which is alright with us, as long as we have fun right? haha. guess so. Anyways, 91 pictures later, I would say it was a pretty sweet weekend. Alright! Till next week readers. Moce Moce