OK, so the Campervan has gone, I have left Oz and the solo adventure is ready to begin again!! I am very pleasantly welcomed at the airport by three Fijians singing and playing the guitar to welcome us!! Love that! I have two weeks in Fiji and am told the best place to start is Robinson Crusoe Island . . . and those people are right!!
Robinson Crusoe Island is south of Nadi (pronounced Nandi) where I spend my first night. I am picked up in the morning of the 11th and meet all the lovely people I am going to spend the next few days with. We have about an hour drive down to the water (which is an interesting drive as we see the rear end of a dead cow sticking out a bush into the road - really not a pleasant sight!!). Generally though, driving through Fiji is a lovely experience because everyone stops and waves to you. The Fijian people are so kind and friendly, and they laugh a lot!! We arrive at the water, and are waiting for the boat to arrive to take us to the island. This is our first taste of something that we will learn to both love and hate over the next 2 weeks - a thing called 'Fiji Time'!! It's hilarious - every time you ask the guys on the islands anything, this is the only response you get!! It's lovely cos there are just no stresses on the islands, and everyone is just so chilled out. However, for someone like myself, this is torture!! I like to know what I'm doing and when! I learnt to love it though!
We arrived at Robinson Crusoe to another fabulous welcome of singing and dancing and a lovely lunch. We meet all the rest of the people on the island and got an idea of what the next few days would be like. That evening we were treated to the most spectacular show of Fijian dancing, sword dancing and fire dancing. It was fantastic. Over the next few days we had loads more dancing (every other day they have day-guests arrive on the island) - this always means amazing food, cooked in the traditional Fijian way, under the ground, and loads of activities. One day, we went to visit a Fijian Primary School, which was fantastic. The kids were gorgeous, and so excited to meet us. They were really excited about our cameras, and made me promise to send them the pictures as soon as I could, which I did the other day. I also sent some pictures back to the guys at Robinson Crusoe just to say thank you. After we had met all the kids, we were taken into the hall, and drank Kava and were officially welcomed by the headmaster and the head boy. Then all the years performed dances to us and sang. It was lovely.
The guys at Robinsons also gave us an initiation ceremony to the island, and we all drank Kava, the Fijian drink, which looks and tastes like mud. It's made from drying a plant and then is mixed in a huge bowl with water. It makes you very drowsy, but it's quite fun to drink. It's also rude to turn the offer of a drink down, and you must smile when finishing the cup. We had lots of late night bonfires on the beach and singing with guitars again - that old favourite of mine! We made coconut jewelry and ate like kings for three days! Lots of sitting around in hammocks and reading good books too. I think I finally learnt to chill! The Fijian boys are amazing and are huge - they are all completely muscley and stunning, and only about 19!! We were looked after so well, and they guys really felt like friends at the end. The Fijian people are very proud of their heritage and are massively skilled at the work on the islands.