We have very limited phone signal here in Joma village but just enough to write this.
My first week here on kadavu island has been so surreal and nothing like I can ever put into words. It took a day and a half to get here from the main island but it was worth it as we are so remote and its so beautiful!
We are staying in pairs with the families and thankfully mine are lovely! I’m lucky in my house as we have electricity for 2 hours a day and have furniture. Many of my friends don’t have anything!- a difficult adjustment.
The school I teach in is a 25 min jungle hike away so you get there very sweaty! We’ve only done one day of teaching so far so tomorrow we begin properly.
The culture shock is immense but everyone is so so friendly. The rules and traditions are fundamental to village life and its very difficult to always get things right. To walk across a room to get a water bottle without offending people requires you to:
1. Seak permission from the eldest in the room
2. Chilo- say the word as you duck and walk across the room
3. Pick up item
4. Sit by the doorway and thombo – a cupped clap 3 times before you can get up and leave.
With regards to clothes, knees and shoulders on girls can never be out not even when swimming. Nothing on the head whilst inside village grounds. No bags on shoulders in village grounds etc there’s so much to try and remember.
The food is very different, you can see why there are no Fijian restaurants in the uk! A huge thing in Fijian lifestyle is Grogg – Kava a ground down pepper plant that they LOVE to drink. It’s a very strict ritual but also a “piss up”. The grogg itself looks and tastes like muddy water but about 10 seconds later you can’t feel your mouth for the next few minutes which is quite surreal. It’s served in coconut shells and can last a whole day! There is occasional “hop hop” – Dad dancing in the middle until everyone’s legs go numb! Even in such a fun and social atmosphere you have to be very careful about how you dress and when you can and can’t uncross your legs!
Having the best time although it seems crazy that I’m living with a random family for the next 7 weeks! Can’t upload any pics as the internet isn’t strong enough!
Home so soon