Bula! Sa va cava tiko?! Fiji is amazing and beautiful. I cannot believe how wonderful the people are! This is such an amazing experience. A little hard at times, but so worth it. First off, this is a long wordy entry but its great so keep reading! My group is great, diverse and everyone has something unique to offer Fiji. Americans stand out so much here! Everywhere we go we attract so much attention. I kind of love it. Fijians are so friendly, you never pass anyone without saying bula (hi), in America that would never happen. If you just walk around saying hi to people you look extremely odd. Here, if you don’t say bula you are being rude, but that also may be because we are obviously visitors. It is great learning the culture and so interesting. Everyday we are out in the town conversing with the local people and learning the culture. I have so much to learn! The population where I am is half Indo-Fijian and half Fijian, and the cultures are so different. So half the time I’m saying hi and the other half I’m saying bula, not hard, but the people are really different. There are a lot of social cues you need to pick up on and learn to differentiate between the cultures. ANYWAY, I clearly have a lot to learn, but its so fun learning it!
We’ve only been here a week so we haven’t had the opportunity to actually do any projects, but we have made so many great contacts. Currently we are evaluating last year’s projects to see if they were a success or not, and we have made a lot of progress. We have set up so many promising projects and I can’t wait to actually start! I won’t go into all the details because that may bore some of you, but I’m really excited to participate and lead some of the health initiatives and medical outreaches that will be taking place! I’ve only been here a week and already I feel as if I’m learning so much. The days fly by here. The showers are freezing cold, so I’m trying to get used to it, but its so hot and humid in the day that you have to shower every night. So exciting right? Everyone uses public transportation here, its very rare to have a car. So we are pros at the bus schedules now. And these buses are so cool, no windows, but you don’t want windows because of the heat. I’ve been learning a lot of Fijian and if you speak two words to the locals they immediately love you. So here are a few words for you to practice at home: Bula [hello], sa va cava (thava) tiko [how are you doing], yadra (yandra) vinaka [good morning], au lomani iko [I love you] but you would say that not romantically :) like to a friend. Hope you got that! Last weekend we had off so we went to Nadi (nandi) and stayed at the Sheraton on the beach. so amazing, and exactly what you envision Fiji to be. You would think that the beaches would be everywhere but we are inland and you need to search for a good beach, and we found them. I put pictures on my facebook, so make sure to check there :) Love you all. I kind of miss America, but only kinda.
You need to love Indian food, which I don’t, but its growing on me! And I quickly learned that people eat to live, they don’t live to eat (like in America). Sooo people never eat out, and if they do, its like chinese food ha everywhere you go. No matter if it’s Mohammed’s or The Hillside Restaurant, it is stir fry, fried rice, beef and chicken. So ya I’ve had a lot of rice this week. And we found a brand new smoothie place today, its like an authentic Jamba Juice. It is definitely by far the best thing I've had since being here. ha
I love Fiji. Enough said. Thanks for reading :)
Moce (mothay) [bye!]