Fiji

Fiji is famed for its intense tropical beauty. Trent had the privilege of celebrating his 5th birthday with the Fijian Villagers. We were aboard Captain Cook's cruise boat and travelled to Robinson Crusoe island. Magnificent scuba diving and welcoming locals. We enjoyed a traditional kava ceremony with delicious lovo. Kava is a mildly narcotic and sedative drink made from the root of the yaqona - when presented with the kava you clap and yell "Bula" (Fijian for Hello) and drink in one gulp followed by three more claps and yelling "Ma-tha!". You then feel marvellously serene ... no doubt why Fijians serve kava to settle arguments or to make peace between Villagers!

🙂 Palm lined beaches. Azure blue water and fantastic diving. The people and their culture.

🙁 Cannibilism (well, way back when – obviously!)

Currency: Fijian Dollar

THREE things we did not know about Fiji:

  1. You can be a Time Traveller! Stretching across two time zones, you can stand with one foot in ‘today’ and the other planted in ‘yesterday’ on the island of Taveuni, where the international date line crosses.
  2. Fijians use to eat people! Long ago, cannibalism was significant to Fijian culture. The last reported case of cannibalism occurred in 1867 when a foreign missionary removed a comb from a Fijian chiefs head. Touching the head of a chief (or any Fijian for that matter) is considered highly disrespectful. Today, you can visit the Suva Museum where war clubs, cannibal forks and the Reverends boots are on display.
  3. Rugby is a national religion: Rugby is a big deal in Fiji. Many locals play professional Rugby Union and Rugby League and if the Fiji Sevens (one of the world’s top teams) are playing an international game, time comes to a halt. Locals crowd into shops and homes to watch the events, while businesses shut down when the game is in play.
  4. Fijians wear Frangipanis to indicate their relationship status: Fijian men and women will wear a frangipani behind their ear. Tucked on the right side tells the world they’re married, on the left and they are single.

Our trip was on a huge sailboat. Snorkellin was better than the Great Barrier Reef! It was fascinating learning all about their culture. Bula! This greeting in Fiji translates to “life,” with its longer use ni sa bula vinaka translating to “wishing you happiness and good health.”This warm well-wishing lies at the heart of Fiji culture, which is just as vibrant and inviting as Fiji’s white-sand beaches, tropical scents, and lush green forests. The most popular sport in Fiji is rugby… Per capita, Fiji has more rugby players than anywhere in the world. We enjoyed the dancing and cava ceremony.

We enjoyed fishing on the beach – we used hermit crabs as bait and caught a couple of fish which were cooked on the bbq for dinner. We also scuba dived – the waters are so warm that we did not even need wetsuits – the diving was divine….we dived to a depth of 26m and perfect visibility! Coral stunning. We did not sleep on the boat but rather in a tent on the beach…we were woken up at some ungodly hour by countless children who were trying to look in and get Trent to go and play with them! It was his birthday and he opened his gifts … obnoxious brat called Mitch who was also on the boat stole Trent’s rubbers which was his present…grrrr… after diving we took Trent’s new present kite out … and brat Mitch broke that too! Unbelievable. Fished some more and Paul caught a snoek. That evening we all sang Happy Birthday to Trent and he was given a delicious fruit platter as his ‘cake;.

We headed into Suva (the capital) and while we were shopping in a surf store Michael Stype walked in! (Lead singer of REM)! I lost my charm bracelet – left it in shop when buying the Fijian charm – they deny ever seeing it…grrrr. Highly recommend captain Cook Sailboat Cruise – it was lovely – great food, even cook your fish for you and lovely excursion to meet the local villagers – great value for money.

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