Posting us things!

So packages seem to be getting through to us rather quickly, except Kyle’s ones which may or may not be getting kerekered by the mail guys – we will know soon cos the last one was tracked! Mwahahahahaha! We are looking into getting a PO box for ourselves, but if you want to mail us there are instructions on the link at the top right of screen for reaching us now.

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Christmas. All the best for 2011 – Remember, it’s not a new decade, we start counting at 0.

No Nishing?

The nishing! It is cancelled! It was a sad day yesterday, but a mixup in communication and general Fijian vagueness meant that we were not booked on a boat to go to the island so we are still in Suva. The boat made it to the island, but on the way back the engine failed and it is now drifting while people attempt to fix the problem. To borrow a phrase from Ghana Dee, “This is Fiji”.

So instead we are off to a village on vanua levu (get your google maps out industrious people) with one of Connie’s colleagues just for a few days and then maybe up to voli voli with the volunteering crew for new years. We were toying with the idea of coming home for Christmas at one point yesterday, but it was just too much money, too little time to prepare, and we weren’t sure everyone would even be around to catch up with considering it is holiday season.

Christmas is in full swing here, mariah is heard all over the place belting out all I want for Christmas is you, and lots of people are starting to depart to see family. I still managed to see a few films this week which I will dutifully review:

 

Tron – “You haven’t seen the original tron? What kind of nerd are you?”. This is the kind of ribbing I have been getting from these tree hugging hippy development workers when I told them I haven’t seen the first tron. I made sure to see this one to restore a bit of cred, but honestly it wasn’t that nerdy so I’m going to have to do better. The film was in 3d, it had pretty lights, the acting was ok to so-so, the plot was thin and the effects were cool. Rating: I’d rather munch on muncheros

Narnia, Voyage of the Dawn Treader – I loved these books as a kid, but always remembered the kids in the books being quite annoying. In this sense they have cast the actors very well. There were some pretty good bits in this film but it really felt like they had no time to fit everything in the story into the time they had for the film. It must have been a long book. Rating: Only if your little cousin begs you to go (but make your aunty pay)


Well that’s all for this blog post. I may or may not update before Christmas, either way have a blessed holiday time and I hope you all get to have some precious moments with family and loved ones.

Merry Christmas!

Perks of the Job

There are a lot of good things about development work, however, in Fiji there is an added benefit of sneaky island escapes on the weekends. I have been in the country for a month now, and twice we have managed to get away for a weekend off in the sun.

Caqalai

The first place we went was called caqalai (pronounced thangalai). It’s a very small island, the kind you can walk around in only 15 minutes. It had palm trees, sand, coral and all the essentials.

The guys there have some old rickety boats that I paid $10 to go out fishing in, and you can walk around the coral flats at low tide. There is some pretty good snorkelling too.

Mealtime is everytime at the surfing resort.

The accommodation is pretty basic but you only pay like $15AUD a night for a dorm bed and you get a mosquito net. It also includes free meals, but the food is not very good. The locals are pretty fond of their kava, so they gave us some when they were drinking n singin, singin n drinkin. It’s pretty good and cheap for a small island in Fiji that is ok for a weekend trip from Suva.

sea bass

Donu and kawakawa

The other island we went to was a little one near Beqa. It was a small surfing resort and Connie and I were the only people there. We kinda got spoiled a bit and definitely were overfed by the lady running the resort. It was a step up in price and luxury from caqalai, but still not too bad at about $75AUD per night (that’s a lot for us – but we are poor volunteers).

The upside of this place was that the fishing trips were better, the snorkelling was better, and the food was in a whole different stratosphere. They cooked for about 6-7 people and it was just us eating, and everything tasted amazing. They had fresh juices every meal, and asked us what we wanted to eat and made it for us. It was really good eatin. I also managed to catch a few fish which is nice! Caught two coral trout and a big sea bass. The coral trout were delicious – I cooked it up really plain but it was still so very good.

This week I’m planning to add a link for posting things to us (since everyone has been asking) and also info if you want to visit Fiji while we are here. Check for it in the next few days before we go to the “island of nishing” in about 7 days time.

 

Unthematic but vaguely informative.

The last week or so has been exceptionally sunny for Suva, so of course we are out in it as much as possible. Another genius plan is to escape from the heat by seeing a lot of movies. Here is my quick review for those poor few back in Australia that are regularly extorted $20 instead of $3 to see a movie:

Harry Potter – great although not a kids movie. Lots of bloodshed and an awkward erotic moment, even though it was a CGI projection. The next one should be really good because this was the boring half of the book (unless you like teenagers bickering). Rating – Commendable

Fair Game – worth $3, not worth $20. I had really low expectations but it surpassed those and was enteratining and well shot/acted. You wouldn’t really miss anything if you skipped it, but it was entertaining. Rating – Only if they give you free popcorn

Due Date – All you need to know about this movie is that on my way to see Fair Game, a drunk Fijian guy tried to sell me the merits of Due Date instead by yelling out “Hey bro, in this one the man is masturbating and the dog is masturbating at the same time!”. Rating – You’re paying for torture in an airconditioned room

I actually watched a few DVDs this week too, so my film education and appreciation is coming along nicely, more-so than the things I had planned to get good at while here such as Fijian language and guitar playing. In a point-counterpoint though, I have been practicing my pentatonic scale and learning a few new songs – it’s just sporadic.

This week was the first time I have felt like I moved to a developing country. The water went out on Wednesday after frisbee, so I couldn’t have a shower even though I had been running around and jumping in mud. It always rains for frisbee on Wednesdays, so we come back really muddy. I was supposed to go out for Connie’s 30th that night so I cleaned up using a bottle of water I found in the kitchen and we did some teppanyaki. Going to teppanyaki reminded me I’m being a development wuss about the water going out once, and that I should suck it up because all the other guys around the world in hectic places are shocked when the water comes on. I can even drink the water straight from the tap and not get sick!! Although sometimes it comes out brown or kind of cloudy, so I have juice instead those days. OJ is expensive here though.

The red party.

Connie and I are settling into our house well, we even had a housewarming with a “red” theme. Almost everyone dressed up and much fun was had, but someone stole my havianas and left me some crappy Fijian thongs 😦 the big jerk. There are a few cool things coming up in the next month or so so I should be posting about them – but basically I joined a basketball team, and we are apparently going to a remote island over Christmas and new year for some crazy village times and ancient fishing rituals. Apparently they involve nudity. Looks like I’m going… nishing!?