October 22 – 28
16 39.266 S – 178 35.329 E
Posting by Barb & Dennis:
We pulled anchor and headed to Naviqiri on a fairly windy day so we had a great sail to our next anchorage. As we had arrived late Saturday evening we spent the Sunday hanging out in the boat and occasionally we could hear the 4 part harmony from the numerous church services through out the day. On Monday we headed into the village and completed our Sevu Sevu ritual. This was a more animated process with it ending in a chorus of chanting and claps. The kava was quickly pounded and shared with anyone that sat around the bowl. Denny had a quick tour of one of their sources of income; selling of their pine trees to outside saw mill. They were paid $10 per tree and basically did nothing as the trees were cut and hauled out by the sawmill operation.
I had tea and hung out with some ladies for a little while. We were invited to share lunch with some of the locals and it was as a Thank You to me and other ladies for helping to roll the Voi Voi leaves in preparation for the drying process. The lunch was a bok choy, fish, tomato, noodle and spicy chilis soup. It was so good!! There was lots of activity as they were preparing the site for their once a year Naviqiri Day. We returned to the boat with a usual supply of papaya and lots of mangos as it was growing in abundance. We were invited to the special day which would take place on Thursday. They wanted lots of photos taken.
The next day we were hanging around the boat and Barb yelled that we had company coming. We watched as we saw three people paddling in our direction. as soon as it was obvious that they coming to our boat, I jumped in the dingy and drove out to them and asked if they wished to come and visit. It was three girls paddling using a board and stick to paddle out. So I towed them back and they came on board and had some Coke and cooks. They look at everything and are really intrigued by it all. I think they are more interested in us then we are in them. It is so fun to share.
We were a little late for the special day thanks to a surprise visit by some young boys from another nearby village. The boys wanted to hear all about USA as it was their dream to someday go there. When we arrived in Naviqiri we were greeted by Sera and Freddie our hosts and given very fragrant Leis to wear for the day. Everybody was dressed in their finest and their temporary sun shelter was decorated with Voi Voi leaves and flowers. We were rewarded with a tapestry of vibrant colors as the Fijians believe in bright, sunny colors. Lunch was the traditional fish with cassava but it also included a very nice spicy tomato salsa and spinach cooked in coconut milk. Everybody, except one particular lady wanted their pictures taken. Denny was often surrounded by kids asking for more pictures. We promised we would send them the pictures of the day. We took about 400 pictures and it took Denny hours to sort and flag the pictures to print and mail. We donated some money to their fund raiser which was flush toilets for the few homes that didn’t already have it. We ate, drank cava and danced for most of the afternoon. And that was the end of our Fiji village experience for 2016. And now just a mere sample of the hundreds of photos we took: