Vulaga Part 2
Getting into the village scene……
We went to church on Sundays and didn’t get hit by lightning once! We enjoyed the singing and the HUGE Sunday lunches.
We were invited in regularly to share yangona (kava) for special occasions such as birthdays and farewells and just for the hell of it! A lot of kaipalangi (white folks) have trouble adapting to the “muddy water” flavour of kava – but maybe because of the hours of chit chat that goes with it, or just the gentle buzz and relaxation after your 20th bowl – we got quite into it.
We ate things we never thought we would.
We helped get a water supply into the nurse’s station with new friends Steve and Michelle off “Citrus Tart” – yes a bright yellow catamaran with whose owners have an equally sunny disposition.
We gave 3 extra long skipping ropes to the school – one for each village and had a great , but exhausting time swinging the rope while the kids jumped and laughed – very simple things can be so rewarding. We do however expect that it won’t be long before the rope gets kidnapped onto more serious tasks such as fibre boat anchor rope. Look how high these kids can jump!!
We laughed – we cried – we were showered with gifts including carvings and this beautiful mat.
The longer we stayed the harder it became to leave but with our Visa about to expire and being given a few things to take to a neighbouring island (Namuka-I-Lau) – the postal ship Navara had to get a move along. We planned to leave on a Monday after our last Sunday in the village. We had seen Chief Besi, thanked him and given him a pair of woolly socks for winter (he actually thinks it cold!) and a bottle of jam which he was so delighted with that he said he was even going to eat the bottle!
We had our last Sunday lunch with old friends Semesa, Tupou and family where again extra plates of food kept arriving from other families around the village as they knew we were leaving. It was ridiculous how much food ended up in front of us – but we appreciate the sentiment and warm wishes we were being given by many people. Semesa in true Fijian style had been praying very very hard for a storm so we couldn’t leave the next day.
We had woken up on our planned departure and bugger me – lots of rain and wind – hhhhmmmmm….. we wondered whether Semesa had some direct link to the weather gods
We were surprised when Alminio and his wife Salote also paddled out in Meli’s canoe to farewell us again later that afternoon when they heard that we hadn’t actually left yet.
We had tears in our eyes when we motored out through the pass the following morning but knew that we would be back again – will we ever be free of this place we wonder?
Next stop 20nm miles away – still in the Southern Lau to the island of Namuka-I-Lau – but that’s another story ………
Sota tale (see you later)