Arrived in Nadi Airport at 8am and had my first shower in 3 days, it was fantastic! Met our Lattitude Rep; Dave at the Airport and he took us to the Capricorn Hotel where our Induction Week will take place until Sunday. We had the day off as the Induction was not starting until the following day. We took a cab that must have been 40 years old into the City Centre and had a look around. My initial thoughts of the town was it was very shabby old and run down. We returned to the Hotel, got dinner that was
The following day had an interesting twist as all 16 volunteers were broken into 4 groups to go into Nadi and collect information to report back to the other groups on essential Fiji topics such as Food, Health, Teaching etc. The group i was placed in had to go gather info on Fijian Food, so off we went to poke around the various markets and shops in Nadi. Everyone in the markets were really helpful as we asked questions and weaved our way through 1000s of stalls of fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices we had never seen before. After the market Ollie and I had to get our Traditional Fijian Dress ware which consists of a shirt called a Bula and a wrap around called a Sulu. Very jazzy from the pictures huh!
That evening we went to an Indigenous Fijian familys house for some traditional food. This was a formal event so we all ahd to wear our Fijian dress ware. We all sat leg crossed (which i found extremely difficult as i am as flexible as a bag of potatoes) on the floor in a circle and ate with our fingers from the plates on the ground. The food was made from fresh fish and vegetables. A Fijian house is very basic, there is no furniture and only about 3-4 rooms and a toilet. After food we had a Kava Session. Kava is a root grown in Fiji that is ground down, mixed with water and is shared out from a big bowl in little polished coconut shells. You are handed the coconut shell with the brown liquid, you clap your hand with a hollow clap, shout "Bula" (meaning "life" in Fijian) knock the kava down in one gulp and repeat the hollow clap 3 times. Kava is drunk like tea in Fiji, people pass it around and have a natter. It is also drunk at weddings and funerals like we would drink champagne. Kava is also a mild narcotic so everyone was getting giddy or sleepy!
The following evening we went to a Indian Fijian and had some of their food and followed it by another Kava session. This Kava sessions was alot more relaxed and i enjoyed this one more. The couple prepared gorgeous Indian food that was plentiful and we all ate our fill.
The next day, following our exam we all piled into a back of a truck and went to Sea Shell Beach and splashed about the warm blue water, ran up and down the white sands and collected coconuts. What amazes me about Fiji is the haggling with the taxi drivers. We haggled a taxi driver down to $50 to take us on a 1 hour round trip to the beach, wait for us for an hour and bring us back! That evening we went to another Kava Session to celebrate one of the natives getting a new job.
As i type this we are waiting to be picked up to be dropped off to our various locations for the next 3-4 months. Tonight i shall be sleeping in the middle of the jungle in a shack!
Life is good....