Fresh fruit in Fiji
Trip Start Dec 13, 2004
70Trip End Ongoing
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This is what happens after spending a couple of weeks in Fiji. Quite extraordinary events become one of your everyday sights and quite quickly become normal enough that you don't even flinch. Fiji is full of these extraordinary moments. That is what makes it so beautiful and special. Fiji makes people feel more welcome in a completely relaxed way than any other place I've been. When one is leaving somewhere, be it a village or a resort, all the staff, or the villagers gather together and sing Fiji's national farewell song, Isa Lei, to the people who are leaving
Fiji was a fantastic two weeks of memories. I loved the resorts... the beaches... the tropics of it all, but for me the most amazing part was all the memories that came back. The sensual feelings, the smells, the tastes, the sounds... all of it swept over me and took me back to a carefree time when I was 9 years old. I suprised myself with how much detail I could remember or how important a certain place had been to me. I also suprised myself by realizing that some of the memories had been slightly changed in my head and weren't quite right anymore. Most of the memories happened for me in Suva, Fiji's capital. That is where I used to live. Suva was our third stop in Fiji, so I'm not working chronologically here, but it was a really important time. It was one big walk down memory lane. We spent the whole three days driving around to places that we used to go, including our old school, the pony club, our old house, friend's old houses..
The other most amazing part about Suva was seeing Lavinia. She was the woman who worked for us and lived with us the entire time we lived in Fiji. She was like my second Mom. She is absolutely one of the most spirited women I have ever met. And when I say spirited I mean that in the best sense possible. She is just bursting with life and with spirit. She laughs hysterically all the time and is always smiling. She has such a great sense of humour and sees the good in absolutely everything
To backtrack... before getting to Suva we arrived in Nadi airport. Getting off the plane was the first moment that the memories came rushing back... the heat and the humidity swept into our lungs and the smell of freshness reminded me of life there. We didn't spend long in Nadi.. it isn't much to see at all.. but headed straight out to Beachcomber island, a backpackers destination filled with young people desperately trying to get a tan and have some time to relax before the head home from their trips. We had a really fun time there and watched some amazing sunsets as well as a traditional Fijian dance.
There were two highlights for me at Beachcomber and in a way they were similar. One was going above the island (parasailing) and the other was going below it (scuba diving). Both of which I had never tried before. The similarity they shared was that they both seemed like they would be really scary, but once I was actually doing them they were in fact the opposite of scary and felt so peaceful it could almost be described as zen-like. Peaceful and magical are two words that can describe both experiences. Being underwater and using a tank of air you have to really control and monitor your breathing, so it ends up feeling almost like a yoga exercise
We returned to the mainland and drove over the top of Viti Levu which is not touristy at all and ended up finding a beautiful villa on the sea to stay at for a few nights. There, like everywhere, we had fresh fruit every morning and ample time to lie around in the sun or shade. Next stop was Suva. The drive there was amazing. We drove through a village and bought some fresh coconuts from the locals who then wanted us to take photos of us with them. It was such a great chance to get some photos of the adorable curly haired kids. I went a bit crazy. Yay digital. The next bit of excitement on our way was a torrential tropical rainfall. Lara, Pex and I jumped out of the car and danced around in the warm juicy drops of rain. We were soaked within seconds, it was great.
After Suva, our last stop was Naigani Island, a small island with a beautiful small resort that we used to go to all the time when we were locals. This was where we chose to spend Christmas. We couldn't have picked a better place. It was beautiful and perfect. It had a cute little pool which it never used to have
Fiji was such a treat. I am so happy to have finally returned to what I consider to be in some way my roots. Most of my first major memories are held there and were uncovered when I went back and dug them up. I loved the warmth, the breath of the sea, the jungle-like flora, the fresh fruit, the beautiful fish, the sunrises, the sunsets, the time with family and the old and special friends. I love Fiji.