Visit to Nacula Village
20130808 Thursday – Shân
Thursday morning is damp and overcast. We start the day by filling a very large saucepan with salt water. Whilst we’re waiting for the water to come to the boil we have our coffee and toast.
Finally the water is boiling and ceremoniously the lobsters, that spent the night in a sink full of water, are submerged. They take about 20 minutes to cook so by the time I’ve cleared up the galley they’re and left to cool down whilst we decide to walk along the beach and rocks to get to one of the other villages called Nacula. The tide is ebbing so we have plenty of time to get there and back without being trapped by the tide.
One for the pot. beach combers
Lars and Bob wade in very shallow water photographing crabs and hairy beast lurking under rocks. Needless to say I stick to the sand and rocks. The sun is coming out and the day brightening as we reach the village.
We follow a path through the plantation that is flourishing with young pawpaw, bananas and cassava. Everyone we meet as “What is your name, where you come from?” We all introduce ourselves and explain that we’re on the Yatch in Malakati Bay, etc., etc.
Papaya Traditional Bure.
We enter the village to see a mixture of traditional ‘bures’ and concrete block housing. One young man we meet outside a new looking bure explains to us that they prefer the traditional house which is made of timber because it’s cool in summer and warm in winter but the concrete block houses are cold in winter.
We amble along stopping to talk to everyone we meet. We are directed to the Primary School which is just a little way outside the village. In the distance we can see the children playing outside and stream of people returning from delivering lunch for their children. Yes, everyone wants to know our names and where we come from.
Bill and his school
We are adopted just outside the school boundary by Bill who nominates himself as our official guide. He’s been home for his lunch, so escorts us to the class rooms and introduce us to the curious students who gather around. Bob takes advantage of the world map on the wall to show Bill where we come from; I look over the very sparse collection of books.
Wandering outside Bill takes us to the Assembly Hall, which is an open sided building but one of the structural walls is close to collapse. A result of the cyclones earlier in the year.
Next he takes us to the staff room where the 5 volunteer teachers appear, there is no sign of the permanent teachers. They live in the houses on the far side of the rugby pitch, so we assume they’re having lunch. These young volunteers are a mixed bunch one is from Austria! Unfortunately they don’t seem to stay at the school for very long; in fact 4 out of the 5 were leaving the next day after being there for just 2 weeks.
Chess or Poker?
The long drop.
As we leave the school we meet a gang of young lads who have been collecting the long thick grass used for weaving floor mats and fans. However, these young men are going to use them to make aeroplanes. One of the lads introduces himself as Emily’s brother.
We wave our farewells and retrace steps through rough looking long grass where cows and their calves graze. Lars even manages to get a photograph of one of the very few birds we see in Fiji.
Mother and calf.
We look around the village for a little longer and explore a very imposing bure which is clearly where the “Sevu sevu” ceremony is conducted.
Mortar for grinding Kava root
Outside one of the concrete block houses we meet a young woman sitting cross legged doing the washing up, I wonder whether I want to part with my dishwasher for this simple life. She has decorated her garden with hibiscus and sea shells that reminded me of the old nursery rhyme, “with silver bells and cockle shells”.
Wash day. Tidy garden
Finally returning to our beached dinghy we meet up with an Italian couple who have just arrived on a chartered catamaran.
We while away the afternoon looking forward to our lobster feast which is as good as anticipated and so we end another day in this glorious, friendly paradise.