When the rooster crows, when the mosquitos bite
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things (about Fiji!)
And then I don’t feel so bad 🙂
Despite the challenges inherent in outer island village life, I know one day looking back it’ll be memories of the little things about this beautiful place, the daily blessings that I remember and cherish…
- Rain on tin roofs – need I say more?
- Vinaka – After all of this time in Fiji I cannot help but vinaka (say thank you for) everything. Vinaka na veivuke! Vinaka na davo! Vinaka na cakacaka! Vinaka na taubale! (Thank you for: the help, for lying down, for working, for walking!) People thank each other for just about everything, and that spirit is infectious.
- Fresh tropical fruit – juice will never be the same since I made fresh picked and squeezed mango, soursop, banana, papaya juice.
- Extended family – what’s better than having a na, na levu and na lailai (mom, big mom, little mom)? And can you ever have too many Bu (grandmas)? I think not!
- Rourou – back at home I could eat something green for every meal. Here, my favorite food is taro leaf, or rourou. It’s my Fijian chicken soup. Cooked with coconut cream it’s heavenly!
- Music – communities here still sing and play music together for good old fashioned fun and entertainment! What’s cable television?
- Ombre Ocean – it starts out a steel gray close to the beach, turns an aquamarine further out, and then fades into a deep blue towards the horizon.
- Greetings – when you walk past someone’s house in a Fijian village, instead of saying hello they say “come eat!” If it’s breakfast it’s “gunu ti!”, lunch “vakasigalevu!” and dinner “vakayakavi!” You can’t go hungry here 🙂
- Taki taki – when one cooks a big meal it is customary to “taki taki” or bring over a plate of food to a neighbor. The longer I am here the more I find myself doing this naturally! It not only encourages community connection and interdependence, but is totally practical.
- Relations – where you are from in Fiji determines how you relate with those from other parts of Fiji, and these relationships have names. For instance, Koro and Kadavu are “nai ta”, which is a friendly, relaxed relationship.
- Lolo – I’m convinced that anyone who thinks coconut milk can’t improve the quality of a dish has only tried the canned version.
- Salusalu – I feel so honored to be part of creating these beautiful flowered garlands for special occasions, and especially honored when I’m gifted one! Never could you find more lovely perfumed adornment.
- Foraging – Plenty of our food is still collected from the bush where it grows wild. Having to