Posted by: Colleen Ens | February 14, 2010

Three days in Fiji

From L.A. to Fiji, I crossed the dateline. Now I’m tuning in on establishing a new rhythm and considering my options on setting aside a few bad habits in this transition.

I started my day in Fiji upon arrival at the Nadi airport with the sun rise. Deciding not to lose a day, during my brief trip to the Mercure Hotel, I quickly got changed and decided a long walk into town would do me good. As it happens, I measured the round trip at just over 9 kilometers and I must say that the belching diesel fumes along the way could, at times, be quite oppressive.

 Before making a decision on the nature of the out island tour that I would select, I decided it was time to pause and count my blessings. My foot path brought me to a carving shop where I was introduced to the Kava Kava tradition. Apparently this is a welcoming ceremony which includes a white powder called Kava Kava (so good they say it twice?) sieved with water through a soft silk cloth and accompanied with an appropriate amount of clapping and arm circles. (Visualize here the kind of dance we have seen Snoopy undertake and add a circular motion as though stirring a pot)

 Greatly encouraged by the shop owners’ insistance that Fijians are no longer cannibals, I drank down the bitter liquid and refrained from requesting ‘seconds’.

 Carrying on from my first foray into Fijian Hospitality and continuing into town, I noted that there is a cultural mix of Polynesian, Thai and East Indian .

Day two in Fiji and I carried along my camera during my 5 k jog. Once off the main road, I found a lovely village and will include a few snap that will help me savour the souvenir.

 With the help Gabby, a very helpful agent at the Mecure, I chose Mola Mola as my destination for the day. On inspiration, I decided to stroll down to the end of the pier and play my flute, given that I had a bit of time before my departure, not realizing that they would leave once all passengers were on board (oops) which made me the last to board 🙂

En route, I made fast friends with Dylan and his girl Silka hailing from Tasmania.

The sad little boat laid anchor about 100 metres off-shore and we were ferried into a little metal motor boat. The coral reef and calm waters could be enjoyed by taking a leisurely 15 minute stroll all the way around the island in a soothing ‘promenade’.

I took the notion to swim out to the boat and back and was astounded by how much buoyancy I enjoyed in the salty water and somewhat less thrilled with the slight stings of ‘sea lice’  – say what?

For those who know me well, I wasted no time in moving from passenger to ‘crew’ by joining in to sing along with a beautifully musical group and playing my flute. By joining in I felt myself becoming a part of the crew.  Along  with my boat mates who were Aussie, German, Kiwi, we enjoyed perfect weather and a resounding game of beach volleyball.  

On the return trip, I decided to take the long way home when the shuttle bus was taking the German couples to their resort which was called 1st Landing – dating from 1500. This is a point in history when a ship first docked with many locals from Jamaica.

 Day three meant pacing myself by staying closer to the hotel by completing my 5 k and rewarding myself by finding a great price on a relaxing massage. 

In all, stopping here was a wonderful idea. I must say that this type of transition is one that is not all that difficult to cope with. Isn’t it great to find the ‘upside’ of changing ones course?

What have I taken away from my time in Fiji? A wonderful mix of many flavours of music with a group possessing amazing musicality.

Useful expressions, written phonetically:

 Bulla                                         hello (think Avatar “I see you”)

Moo – say                                Goodbye

Venaka Vek a lay vous             Thank you very much

Kahloota Na Singa Nknee Kooa  Have a nice day (doesn’t every Canadian need this?)

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