Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fiji – land of Festivals

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As we set off to explore the land we are informed there is a huge parade and Hibiscus Festival in Suva, and so our plans are promptly changed.

We set off to catch a minivan to Suva – about 1 hour away through the windy hills.
He is a cautious driver and has a near new van, so he is selective to whom he gives a fare to.
At $1.20 AU a ride for both of us, it is a bargain.

We are dropped at the city edge are informed that due to the parade we have to walk the rest.
We are stopped by a very proud policeman and so we have a photo at the markets.

Incredibly we bump into a friend from Adelaide – where else but at MacDonald’s!

We head down to the Hibiscus festival and rides look very home-made, so even at $1 each, I won’t allow my son on many of them as they look like the bolts are about to fling off. 

A 1 hour wait in the sun, sees him on the bouncy slide, but when he finally gets on, it is burning his feet and he is too hot and gets a blister so we move on.

The street parade is in full swing, and really is a bunch of home-made floats promoting businesses, all with the Mr Hardware, and Miss Crush Juice, but I failed to find a Miss or Princess Hibiscus, or indeed anything more than a painted sponge flower decoration of a hibiscus. 

Heading back to the bus we have to walk through the markets and my son is enthralled with the live crabs all tied together, to be sold in bunches.
Seeing they have sat in the sun all day on a cloth or a banana leaf, produce both dead and alive now has a less of a real kick, and more of a pungent kick to them. 

We try to get directions to our bus – there are about 100 all coming and going, and each driver points to the bus row behind him.
Suddenly a bus swings in and they haul us on, and take off as we are barely on the step inside.

It is full as usual, and my son does his usual sleep trick, and flakes out.
The lady next to me grabs him onto her lap.
He wakes and they play. 
I love the honesty and friendliness of these people.
It makes the ride home a lot of fun as they play tricks on each other for the next hour. 

Back here, and as my son makes a new friend and learns to play rugby, I decide to stay another day and forget the hassle of moving to town.
The next day, we make friends with some people that have an English speaking church that meet where we are staying.  
Pacific Harbour Community Church - a really lovely group of friendly people who are a mix of Americans and Fijians.
Church and connections here are important, as everyone goes to some kind of church or temple in Fiji.  

The afternoon sees us visiting the nearby resort for a swim in their fabulous pool with a cave and dive area, and my son is soon making friends, and using up his energy.

Meanwhile I get to relax and read a book under the semi shade of the umbrella, and work on having a less sun reflective tan.  It is so hot even I have a go jumping off the rocks - and it has to be hot to get me in the water.

We finish the swim by looking over the river.  
My son is tired by 3.30 pm and ready for an early Indian curry dinner with copious amounts of Roti, which we share for $5 AU and walk back "home".  
We end up getting a ride back with one of the guys from the church who is an Aussie building a house here - thanks Cliff!  
He has information on his friends who have an orphanage we may be able to help at on the next island.
As we have a heap of stuff to give to the needy, this may be perfect.
Life in Fiji is good.

1 comment:

  1. Hannah Pacific HarbourSeptember 24, 2012 at 5:27 PM


    I came across your blog whilst googling for an English speaking church in Pacific Harbour. Just wondering if you can remember the details of where/when the church met or any contact? I've just moved into Pacific Harbour for the next 4 months and am keen to meet others locally.

    My email address is



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