Thursday, December 22, 2011
No AC, no internet, no problem!
Fiji is well known for it’s snorkeling, and we got a slight taste of that in the water right across from where we are staying. As a swimmer, I’m a pretty good golfer, so I stayed closer to shore and got used to the idea that I could stay afloat without my usual flailing around in the water liked I’d just fallen off the Titanic right after that “strange noise” that fateful night in the North Atlantic. Ben and Annie ventured further out and saw a nice array of tropical fish, including a manta ray spotted by Annie, while Marley paddled along in a kayak. I was all set for another day in the water, which was breaking news in and of itself, but Annie was determined to get some local flavor and had arranged with our taxi driver Sirah to spend a couple of hours tooling around the island in his cab. The morning that we were going to execute the plan, the idea was met with as much enthusiasm from me, Ben and Marley as General Custer probably encountered from his troops the day of his last stand. After seeing my beloved's disappointment and realizing the long-term consequences for me, I reconsidered and managed to convince the children that it would be an educational experience, and dangled the carrot of hitting the Decked Out Café for some internet time after the tour. The weather was comfortable as we left Savusavu and headed north through a collection of villages. Each time we came across people working in and around their doorless homes, we were met with a wave, a smile and an enthusiastic “Bula!”, which we returned in kind.
To describe their homes as modest would be an understatement. Almost all of them are wood frame with corrugated metal for walls and more of the same for the roof. It appeared that they had some electric, and some must have had indoor plumbing as we didn’t see much in the way of outhouses. I was somewhat concerned that we would be seen as rich white tourists and shunned, but that didn’t happen at all. After a stop up in the hills for a scenic overlook, we headed back along the coast and past the airport toward the resorts along the southern coast of the island we’re on. We stopped at one called the Koro Sun to get a feel for it, and it was beautiful, if pricey at $390 Fijian dollars a night for a basic villa, or bure as they call them here. I also wanted to check out the nine-hole golf course and wasn't all that surprised to see that it made Reeves Golf Course at Lunken look like a TPC. But it also looked interesting enough that I will probably explore it sometime in our remaining time here.
The evenings here have been mostly spent at our rental house, and with just two channels of TV from New Zealand available, we've been watching movies on our laptop, which has been some good bonding time for Annie and me and the kids. Marley is very well-versed in pretty much every line from Caddyshack, and Ben is doing his best to keep up. They've been going around singing, "I was born to rub you, but you were born to rub me first!" We've also been spending a lot of time playing the word game Every Word on the Kindle and that's turned into some fun times as well, with the additional benefit of brushing up on vocabulary and spelling.