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Date: 02 Jan 2015 08:00:02
Title: Levuka on Ovalau

New years eve, a mixed experience.
We were told there was going to be a celebration starting with church 8.30 at night.
We forced our children to take a nap during the day and since we were used to the "Fulaga way" Ellinor and the kids baked some cakes to bring ashore (we should not have bothered, they just had our cakes but did not offer anything in return).
8.30 we were ashore with the other boats and even though we had confirmed the time on several occasions it was postponed till 9.30pm.
We sat there and had a chat with each others and some locals.
9.30 the bell rang but it would be another 30 minutes before it started and it was a very loooong service in Fijian so we understood nothing and I was surprised to see how good
the kids were at just sitting and being bored to death.
It took well over an hour and afterwards a big mat was rigged and we sat outside on the old stairs to the hospital (there is no hospital anymore, just the stairs to heaven).
On that mat the local people started to sit down with some rhythm instruments, guitars and ukuleles.
Around 11pm a group showed up from a diving boat, they were guests on board,
around 17 of them and it was obvious the diveboat tour leader had paid the villagers to perform some kind of "traditional" show.
The tour leader even tried to shove us on the side but I refused and so did most of the others. My feeling was that we had showed the village respect by being there from the beginning and suddenly comes a bunch of people.... well you know.
This was actually the first time in Fiji I felt the sensation of being part of something superficial, something cheated. They started with a Sevusevu for the new comers and it was done with some kind of dramatic touch I have not seen it before and then the kava was offered to the tourists. Well I had a go and that kava was probably more water than kava.
But here comes the catch. Andreas who had been sitting very very still in church had enough now. He was moving about, loved by everybody for his blond looks and straightforward attitude. He left the stairs we were sitting on and decided to join the group of Fijians on the mat. He tried their guitars etc. As the sevusevu ceremony started it all looked serious enough to behave, and the newcomers not knowing that in a real sevusevu you don't take pictures started to take a lot of pictures, flash after flash went off.
Andreas who maybe thought he could add some spice to the pictures sat behind the Chief and started to make rabbit ears behind his head. So the tourists will get pictures of a serious chief doing his speech with rabbit ears...
If that was not enough Andreas grabbed an ukulele and made an extra head on the chief and so it went.
We did not know what to do, stuck on the audience side (normally a sevusevu is not an audience thing, we all sit together), we tried to grab Andreas attention to stop him, but had no success.
Later we asked Andreas if any of the women behind the chief tried to stop him he just said that they laughed silently, so I guess that got him going...
Time to drink Kava and Andreas insisted on trying (he usually tries nothing new), he kept clapping his hands the traditional way (well curved hands clapped together in a one bang means I want Kava), I kept telling him to stop it but the villagers thought he could try so he got a bowl, drank it and spitted it out in a burst (that's something you are NOT supposed to do unless you want a war), but they laughed again and I guess you could say we gave up.
As we approached midnight we could conclude we were the first people in the world entering the new year as we are right west of the dateline, just a few miles actually.
There was a dance performance, very cute and very amateurish which we liked. The villagers did the typical thing you see done with tourists, grabbed the visitors and forced them to dance some simple steps back and forth...
Back on the boat after one o clock we crashed in bed.
The 1/1-2014 we set sail to Ovalau, we need fuel and food now. Levuka is a god size town with about 3000 souls living here.
According to Lonely Planet the most picturesque town in the south Pacific.
It look like a movie set for a western film. This was the first European settlement on Fiji, made to be the capital actually (not anymore).
We had a great sail coming here and the anchorage is right outside the town. The anchorage itself is very rough, swell coming in and crashing onto a wall makes a mixed pattern of wavetrains. But as soon as we are restocked we will move on from here.

You can call us on the Swedish number
0842043121
and reach us wherever we are

Local PHONE NUMBER IN Fiji
+6799385208

You can call us on the Swedish number
0842043121
and reach us wherever we are

Local PHONE NUMBER IN Fiji
+6799385208

Callsign SLOR
Sattelite number
+870773991871
Our loggbook will be updated through satellite on
http://blog.mailasail.com/salsa


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