Rolling Down the River

Oct. 23rd, 2014

Jungle Based Learning had a part two on the river, which took place today!  My blog posts tend to be long-winded, so I’ll try to cut to the highlights of the day:

1.  We departed in a very tiny boat around 10:30am… the boat nearly sank with all our weight, and you couldn’t breath without letting water in. The scenery took our mind off the possibility of sinking—mangrove thickly line the river banks, making for a beautiful landscape.  We arrived at Liz’s family plantation in about 20 min.

2.  Went fishing in the pond, caught a fish that I later ate for lunch.

3.  I’m now “smart in climbing coconut trees”!  I climbed my way to the top and tossed down a bunch of bu for everyone.  I’m also pretty handy at chopping it open with a machete to drink the water, and know how to make a straw out of grass.  Post-drinking I chopped it in half to eat the coconut meat, using a coconut shell spoon.  My machete skills are coming along, if I do say so myself J I have to admit I’m prettttty darn proud of my recently-developed coconut related talents.  Also, I almost cried when the women called me “kaukawa” (strong).  It’s good to feel strong and capable,  since the gender roles have been a bit tough on me lately.  My tai was also really proud of me when I showed him the pictures, which warmed my heart.

4.  I witnessed the death of our lunch-chicken.  Post head chopping, we soaked it in boiling water for a bit and then pulled its feathers off.  I generally don’t eat much meat, but when it’s a chicken who lived a happy life and had a quick death I’m fine with it.  I decided to help with the feather pulling because I’ve decided that A) if I’m going to eat something I should be capable of preparing it.  If I’m too squeamish, then maybe I shouldn’t eat it, and B) in Fiji I’ll always say yes to a new experience-the more I say yes, the more experiences that will come my way!

5.  As usual, the days events culminated with a river day feast.  We ate the chicken we killed and the fish that we caught, tavioka from the farm, prawns from the river, and miti from the coconuts we harvested.

Another successful day of fresh, local traditional Fijian deliciousness with awesome family and friends!  Today is Diwali, so tonight I’m off to watch fire-works in town (about a 20 min walk) with the village youth and the rugby team.  Still can’t enjoy any beer since I’m in PST, but I’ll survive with some Indian sweets!

Countdowns:

11 days until site announcements

11 days left in Vanuadina

15 days until swearing in

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