Having spoken to a retired Aussie couple during my morning walk on the beach, I decided to go to the weekly church service not too far from Pacific Harbour at the Catholic Church of Lomary.
I got a taxi there but the service had already started. After taking off my shoes to enter, I was invited to sit at the pews at the back by a sweet little old lady. The church was packed with adults and children of all ages, dressed in the most colourful colours and prints imaginable. I felt out of place, not because I wasn't made to feel welcome (quite the opposite), but because I looked like a typical Greek woman in mourning going to Greek Orthodox Church - wearing all black (the only smart dress in my suitcase is a 'sensible' black linen number).
Unlike many other modest churches in Fiji, this one is quite large an looks like it was built in the 1970's. It has a huge ceiling, gorgeous stain-glass windows depicting European saints (as well as a Fijian priest with 2 children). The floor is covered with traditional woven mats and the congregation has a 180 degree view of both the podium AND the beautiful sea.
Listening to the Youth Choir at Lomary was like listening to tropical island angels singing! The singing was accompanied by a ukulele, a guitar and a Hawaiian slide-guitar - which just added an even more tropical sound to the proceedings. The effect was heavenly - definitely one of my highlights in Fiji and I am only sorry that I did not record the service on video as I have scoured the music shops in both Suva and Sigatoka and have not been able to find any recordings of such beautiful music!
This was definitely one of the highlights of my trip to Fiji and I will always treasure it - long after the melodies have faded from my memory...