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.

 

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Work work.

As mentioned, I am here in Fiji to work for a year in the service of a Suva NGO called The Good Neighbour International. I work in a small office with a few people, and it really feels like a family.

This is where I work

This is where I work. All the people I live with are jealous of this setup, especially of my super plush and very business-like chair. A man could conquer nations from such a chair. Other items of note are my sweet laptop you might be able to see there in the foreground and the annoying but nice looking lamp. The lamp’s power cord falls out whenever I rejigger anything in the back of my computer so sometimes it can look like a rave party in our offices f I have to plug in a USB stick or change a network cable.

One of the first things I did when I started work was get internet working for myself and the other people in the office… I found out they have a 5 gig monthly limit and that if they go over that they have to pay, but I only found that out after a few days of pretty heavy use, so hopefully I haven’t gone over the transfer limit by much, or else I’ll be paying by the megabyte… which means eating tinned dog food for the rest of the month so I can pay off the bill.

The observant blog reader will notice the Fiji water bottle. Yes, they do sell a lot of Fiji water here, but it is up to 100% more expensive than other brands and we only buy it when it’s the only brand for sale.

Heavy casualties

The door in my office is always open, so every day I have a few unwanted guests visiting. The mosquitoes are sometimes pretty thick. This photo is how many I managed to kill the other day in the first hour of trade, however I was having a bit of a bad day at whacking them, I think I missed another 6-8. The first two days were the thickest, so I think I’m either getting on top of them or word has gotten out amongst the mosquito community to stay away. Either way I win.

My boss is an Indo-Fijian AOG pastor, and he is really nice, we call him either Pastor Paul or The Rev. There are two more people who work in the office doing various tasks, and also a lot of people who work in more practical stuff. I’m still meeting a lot of the staff, and it’s really hard to remember Fijian names at times, especially when you don’t speak Fijian.

Missi

This is Missi, he works just next to me. He likes to keep a pen in his hair which is surprisingly common apparently. He is a really nice guy. One thing Missi loves to do is make me tea. I drink about 2-3 cups of tea a day in the office, and it would be a lot more if I didn’t protest. Sometimes Missi tries to give me tea when I already have a full cup. He also laughs at all my jokes so we get on well.

I will be doing heaps of different tasks while I am here, from website content to database design, and video production. The role is really diverse so I’m pretty excited about it all. Especially since I get to sit in an office that is heaps nicer than many Australian offices I have worked in. Even if I do have to eat nothing but tinned tuna and toast every now and then… i mean I can’t NOT stream the ashes live can I?