Trip Start Feb 11, 2006
18Trip End May 27, 2006
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We're in our third full day now. We started language lessons yesterday morning. Our tutor is a great Fijian woman and we have class with her two hours a day three days a week. Fijian is actually very easy to learn - you don't have to mess with verb conjugations like in English or in Spanish. One word will change the tense, so it makes it pretty simple.
Yesterday afternoon we spent three hours on a boat cruising around the Mamanuca group of islands. It was probably the most amazing afternoon I've had in recent memory. The weather was unbelievable and with the stiff breeze from the moving boat, it was perfect! We got to see all the little tourist islands and it gave me a better appreciation for the geography and the tourist industry. I'll post some of the pictures I took when I find a computer that has a USB port.
Last night we went to the home of an Anglican priest and had dinner with his family. Part of the purpose of this outing was to teach us how to perform a sevusevu, which is a ceremony that is performed whenever you visit a new village or go to have dinner with another family. We present yaqona, which is a pounded root. The host then makes a drink called kava from it. It looks like muddy water. There is an order in which everyone has to drink and you have to clap before you drink it. It tastes dirty and makes your tongue feel fuzzy. All of us girls had three bowls each, but our teachers and hosts drank late into the night after the rest of us went back to the hotel. It makes you really sleepy and can give you a hangover like alcohol. I'm starting to think I might do my independent study project on yaqona and its significance and the recent abuses of it.
Today we're in Lautoka, one of two cities on this island. We visited a school for physically disabled children earlier and now we're in the city. We just had an amazing lunch at an Indian restaurant. We each had a HUGE meal for about $4 American.
Hopefully I'll have more time to post again this evening back at the hotel, but I have to go now as the rest of the girls want to use the computer here in this internet cafe.