We drove over to Nadi (Nan-dee) on Friday, May 20th, to pick up Melinda and Tyler. Many of you may know that Kerali Wyatt is in Fiji for 6 weeks doing humanitarian work. She and 4 friends took the bus over and we had a nice visit with them. We all went to dinner and had some yummy Mexican food and helped them get settled in a hotel. (You should have seen the back seat of our small Yaris with 4 adults in the back!) Kerali and her group LOVE Fiji! They are such a great group of young adults, and we had a great evening with them.
Us and Kerali (she looked beautiful) You can see that Fiji agrees with her.
Saturday morning (6am) we picked Melinda and Tyler up at the airport. It was a wonderful reunion! They were tired but so happy to be here. We fed them some breakfast and then got on a boat to go to the Blue Lagoon Resort in the Yasawa Islands. (We are so blessed to have a schedule where we can take a few days off and spend some time with them.)
Mike and Tyler did not waste any time getting in the water after we arrived!
Melinda relaxing under the beach bure (burr - ay)
Tyler relaxing in the hammock. This was his favorite place to nap in the afternoon (or whenever he got a chance.)
This is a funny story. We were taking a walk down the beach and met this group of kids. They were on their way to school. During the conversation the tall girl on the right asked Mike how old he was. He responded with, "How old do you think I am?" She thought for a minute and said, "70!" We all laughed and Mike was feeling sad that she thought he was older than he really is. Then Mike asked her, "How old do you think he is?" (pointing to Tyler) She responded, "55!" We all busted up, and then Mike was feeling pretty good. So of course he couldn't help but ask the BIG question. "How old do you think she is?" Pointing at me. She thought, (and I'm sure was thinking after that last answer I had better go way lower) and says, "31!" Then she guessed that Melinda was 25 which obviously isn't too far off. But we got a pretty good laugh out of that exchange. Don't worry folks, I have no grand illusions that I look 31. Kids have no concept of age. But Mike said he forgot the rule, "Don't ask any question that you don't know the answer to."
The group after dinner.
One day when the guys were napping Melinda and I took a tour of the local Nacula village on the island. This is Saimone who was our guide on the hike we did the day before. He was so good to me and was really a help when we were coming down the slippery hill. (I only fell once!)
The village welcomed us with leis and danced and sang for all of us on the tour.
Our last sunset at Blue Lagoon.
Thursday morning we drove back to Suva. This young woman sold us some pineapple. Then she offered to cut it up for us because we wanted to eat some right then. I found out there is really an art to cutting pineapple. She did a beautiful job. (no nubs from the spines) We have a hard time cutting all the nubs off and get a lot of extra fiber! The pineapple here is sooo good and cheap too.
Saturday we went on a Navua River tour. We road in (motorized) canoes up to a village where we were greeted by the drums of the village. This is a picture of the river which is very muddy because we had 2 days of a lot of rain. We had a tour of the village. They showed us how they weave their mats for the floor and how they make tapa cloth. (It is made by pounding the bark of trees until it is very thin. Then they stencil or paint decorations on the cloth)
This was the hut where they were cooking the lovo (feast). Lovo is the name of the oven and also what they call the feast.
The villagers taking the lovo out of the pit.
Tyler dancing the snake dance at the village.
Melinda dancing with a villager
After we had lunch we continued up the river. It was beautifully green and this was one of the smaller waterfalls we saw along the river. We finally stopped and walked up a cement path to a pool where there was a big waterfall.
On our way back down the river, we had a chance to float on a bilibili (a bamboo raft that the Fijians use). This one was much larger than the ones we saw the natives using on the river. We saw one bilibili that was partially underwater. There was a woman in a church dress crouched in a tiny spot of the raft trying to stay dry. I wish I would have gotten a picture of it now.
The happy travellers