|How is this for a fashion statement!|
There is a diverse population of Fijian and Indian, who were brought to Fiji as laborers to work in the sugar cane industry in the latter part of the nineteenth century. The native Fijians of Melanesian descent live primarily on the outer islands while the Indian population is on the two larger islands where they are engaged in various forms of commerce.
|The village "market."|
Upon arrival at a village, there is a proper protocol to follow. And follow it you must! First of all, your attire must conform: no hats or sunglasses, shoulders covered, a sula wrap is worn over your shorts for men and women, shoes are removed before entering a building and no backpacks or bags carried on your shoulders - only by hand. I am not sure why, and it was difficult for me as I have always had some kind of bag on my shoulder from diaper bag to purse, brief case or computer bag.
|Tewa was our guide (not sure of how to spell his name!)|
At the shore, we were greeted by a young man, Tewa, who immediately corrected our attire as I was wearing a visor and sunglasses. I am very sensitive to the sunlight and always have my eyes shaded so I did not even realize I still had them on. Opps! The first thing you MUST do when you arrive is to visit the village chief. In this case, it is an elderly woman.
|Breadfruit after boiling for 20 minutes and |
peeling the tough outer skin. Next you cut it
into pieces like French fries and cook it in
hot oil. Result: Island version of Frites!
|Dennis offering some assistance in the camp.|
|There was a very serene feeling in the cemetery under|
the palm trees. The graves were interesting.
|Not a great photo due to dim light, but a look at the|
native costume for the performance.
|Kini explaining the island culture in her home. They sit|
on the floor or ground and have little furniture. I have
difficulty sitting on the ground so I was offered a chair.
|Our gift of papaya and bananas were delicious!|
|This little guy has a club foot. It is unlikely|
that any medical help will be available.
There is great need in these villages for
medical ad dental care as we know it.
|The sun was setting in the west as the moon rose in the east.|
We can see a lot of need in these islands: powdered milk for the children, eye glasses, clothing for the children, school supplies. When we come back next year, we plan to bring what we can. If you have old eyeglasses lying around, consider getting to me when we are home in December. Probably someone here can benefit from them even if the prescription is not perfect. It may be better than nothing. We would also accept any light-weight school supplies (we will be flying with several stops and can't deal with too much weight or excess baggage).