Growing up I had a Young Women’s teacher that would have us at the beginning of class say one thing that we liked about the week and one that we did not like about the week. I loved how she gave everyone this opportunity because it helped us grow closer. We got to celebrate the joys and support one another in the hard times. If I am ever a YW teacher (bless those girls), I want to do this as well.
The reason why I share this thought is because I am about to tell you my three favorite things about Fiji and my least favorite thing about Fiji (because I could not think of three things I did not like).
First, I will tell you my least favorite thing-
In Fiji, they speak English, Fijian, and Hindi. Thankfully, almost everyone can speak, or at least understand, English. Sometimes I would get a little crazy and try to speak in Fijian to impress people. The most confusing thing ever is trying to say “uh-huh” and “uh-uh” in Fijian. They are switched! To say yes you say “uh-uh” and to say no you say “uh-huh”. How and why did that happen? To make me look dumb, I believe.
I don’t know how many times someone would ask me “Do you like Fiji?” to which I replied “uh-huh”. The worst was when it would seem as if I was ungrateful or did not like the food that a family would make for us. I wish I could say, “Lesson learned. Won’t do that again” but I did do it again and I am sure I will in the future yet again. It’s so hard for me to wrap my mind around the switch.
Anyway, on to my favorite parts. First, I loved the people! These kids are definitely my favorite-
There are so much fun! The one on the right was my little buddy. Since I am a “palagi” or a white person, I did not know how to sit right in a “sulu” or cloth skirt. I would sit down, and then she would smooth out my skirt for me. She would touch my hair and skin because she was not use to it, and she was just a hoot to be around. It was fun trying to teach her what my favorite food is, which is pasta. It was a hard concept for her since the closest thing to pasta is Ramon Noodles.
I also loved the beaches. They are so beautiful! It was fun to be able to have a few days to relax on the beach.
The last thing I really enjoyed is summed up pretty well in this picture-
I love the ‘lax feeling of Fiji! I hardly know any Fijian words, but one of the phrases that I know is “sega na leqa”, which means “no worries”. It’s so laid-back in Fiji, and I am not saying that just because we were vacationing. One time Kenneth asked his Fijian friend to come hiking with us during a weekday. His friend was able to just “skip” work because for a lot of Fijians, work is farming, so they can go to work whenever they do or do not want to. Also, Fijians like to tease one another that they are on “Fiji time” aka they are always late. The reason being is because most of the people do not have cars, so they have to ride the bus. There is a general time-slot for when the bus will arrive, but it really depends day-to-day.
One day we had just gotten back from hiking, and we were trying to catch the bus. We started walking up the road, and sure enough we found the bus. In the middle of the street. Without the bus driver in sight. All the village kids were playing out in front of the street like it was the coolest thing they had seen in a while, which is probably true.
I just loved the great perspective the Fijian have on life.