A week in Suva
Suva – the week that was ……..
After our final episode dodging dodgy boats on the approach to Suva Harbour – we arrived at dawn in the rain a week ago. It took all day for the various combinations of customs, health, immigration and biosecurity officials to come aboard – so any ideas of that long awaited sleep for longer than 3 hours at a stretch would have to wait a little bit longer L Fiji is the last bastion of heavy carbon paper use and vigorous stamping in triplicate and this was no exception. Just as well everyone was on “Fiji time” as our anchor had barely lodged itself into god knows what on the bottom of Suva Harbour, when good friends from NZ ( s/v Midnight Sun )quickly ferried a tropical fruit platter over for a pre-breakfast snack. Guava, passion fruit, pineapple, water melon, paw paw and bananas. It didn’t last long on the plate – we had to get rid of the evidence anyway before any officials showed up J (they never technically touched our boat Officer)
Dinner at the Suva Yacht Club and an 11 ½ hour sleep later we hit the town. After the obligatory mad ( but very cheap ) taxi ride with Bollywood music playing really loud we made our way to our favourite curry house followed by ice-cream at the Hare Krishna store. Cinnamon and ginger has officially replaced last year’s favourite flavour of mango-saffron – mind you – the cherry coconut was pretty good too …….
Suva has fabulous cheap cotton shorts and shirts – mainly boys’ stuff - all the girls fashion is over the tourist side of Fiji – unless you’re in the market for a sari or long traditional Fiji dress and then you’re spoilt for choice J
Also in town was the US Navy hospital ship “Mercy” travelling the Pacific and in Fiji to do 40 general surgeries and 60 dental surgeries that require a standard of medical facilities not available on land.
We also took time out to make contact with friends made in Suva on our last trip. Imagine our surprise when Max (who with his wife Mere already have 4 kids) were the first Fijian parents to give birth to quadruplets just over a year ago. Naturally proud we were invited to dinner and an opportunity to meet their brood.
Sadly 1 baby didn’t survive but 2 adults and 7 children in a 2 room house was quite an eye-opener. Although they had a table, some chairs and a shelving unit – no other furniture – thank goodness for the calming and numbing effect of Kava for a night sitting crossed legged on the mats – kava makes it much easier on the muscles for us old kai palangi (white folks). It was probably the best part of their week’s food budget but we were served with baked taro, fish with coconut cream, creamed spinach, chicken potato curry and some noodle thing.
Fijians are so generous – it is always a humbling experience to be given so much by people who have so little.
Hope everyone is well and staying warm and cosy.