Lesley, Eric and I went to the town of Raki Raki and went to an open air market. The market is in the center of town and the shops are built in a square around the market. It gives you a sense of community that I think is lost in the US. We purchased a bunch of fruits and vegetables and a grouper that was caught last night. We walked around the shops, which are mostly owned by Indians, before we headed back to Wananavu.
In the afternoon we went back to visit Eveloni who gave a talk on Fijian culture and what it is like to live in his village
. He told us when his first child was born he was no longer called Eveloni he was then called Tamai Volu which means father of Volu. He is called that until his first grandchild is born and then is referred to as grandfather of that child. Whenever they leave their home they must wear the traditional floral shirt and suvi when they are within the village. Once they leave the village they can wear anything. The village chief is born into his position and it will never change or leave that family. It is not up for a vote. Only the chief is allowed to wear a hat and change traditions and rules of the village. There are 90 villages in the Ra province and the Ra province is one of 14 provinces in Fiji. Marriages are not arranged in Fiji. Fijians marry for love and are allowed to marry outside of their village with permission from the chief which is always approved. The Fijians have strict code about how they can dress and behave but do not push it onto outsiders. They have their customs and we are not expected to know them all or follow them. Everything seems to revolve around Kava. Kava is a root that is ground into a powder and brewed like tea. It tastes like dirt and makes your lips a little numb and is known to be a natural muscle relaxer. Before anything is discussed in the village they have a kava ceremony and then the meeting can begin. I am not sure how they accomplish anything after kava but this is how they do it. Villages are friendly, caring and respectful of one another so there is no feuding
. The number one rule to live by in Fiji is to respect everyone. Seems like a good way to live.
Eveloni invited us to go with him to his village and meet his family later in the week but we are leaving tomorrow. If it wasn’t for a cyclone heading straight for us I would change my flight just to go with him. It was very generous of him to offer.
We cooked our grouper for dinner in an old fashioned roaster/fryer made by Black and Decker (haha) that sits on the counter and plugs into the wall. It took me a minute to figure out why the temperature only went to 210 degrees and then I had to do math to figure out Celsius to Fahrenheit. Ryan gathered a few coconuts and opened them. We used the coconut milk as broth added ginger, onion, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers, limes and some kind of greens we bought at market that tasted like a combination of lemons and artichokes but looked like spinach. We put our fish on top and closed the lid and steamed it for about 40 minutes. We ate on the deck under our covered roof and watched it rain and wondered what kind of weather tomorrow will bring.
It started to rain about midway through the night and never stopped all day. Sometime during the day we started hearing rumors of a cyclone coming our way. The resort and the airline are very tight lipped about exactly what we are to expect and mysteriously the internet has been shut off so we can't look online. We still had a nice day in spite of the rain.