MP3 track of the day – Village People - YMCA
Weather: Hot with a cool breeze
This morning the sun burst through my window and straight into my eyes at around 6:30am, meaning I was up and about by 7am. I took the opportunity (while the weather was cool and most people were still asleep) to take some photos of the resort.
At 8am I went for breakfast and again it didn't disappoint; pancakes, french toast, toast, fruit and chocolate cake to name just a few things on offer … I went back for seconds. Whilst eating breakfast an activity guy came around to ask who wanted to go to the village today and so I put my name down. There needed to be a minimum of four people, which concerned me a little as most people here seemed to want to just lie on a beach, however we managed to get six in the end.
I went back to my dorm to apply suncream and get my camera and a bottle of water before heading out to catch the water taxi to the village. Learning from my last water taxi trip I left my passport, phone and MP3 player in my bag at the resort and only took my wallet and my camera (which had a water proof cover over the bag). As it turned out though it didn't matter as this boat was a little bigger than yesterdays and so I hardly got wet at all.
On the way over I chatted to the other five people, four Kiwi's and an Australian, about my travels and Fiji and New Zealand. All was good and the 20 minute ride flew by and we reached the village in no time. We were met by our guide, a local lady from the village, and we were first taken to the school.
On the way to the school we went past a few houses which are predominately made out of concrete and timber. Also along the way we met some locals just casually sitting around and a friendly 'bula' was exchanged between us. Once at the school our tour lady just wanted to show us the buildings, however the Kiwi's wanted to see the children (and secretly I did too) and so she took us into the classroom which held years 7 and 8.
The children's teacher was ill today so they had to occupy themselves; they seem to have been getting on with some work ... before we arrived. As soon as we entered the door they greeted us and wanted to show us there classroom, there work and they all wanted their picture taken. To me this was the best experience of Fiji so far (I though that my mum and dad, being teachers, would have loved this too) and we spent twenty minutes with them. The amount of photos I took was incredible as they all wanted their photo taken.
On child gave me their village address so that I can write to them when I get home. This was quite touching and I thought not only will I write and send them a few photos of our visit, but I think I will try to send some books, pens oh and a rugby ball as they don't seem to have a lot in the village. If anyone else wishes to donate things to the village school there address is:
Ratu Apenisa Memorial School,
P.O. Box 1409,
I'm sure they will be more than great full for anything (apparently sunglasses are needed).
After this the lady took us to where some of the female members of the village were selling goods. I usually don't like it when you are taken to a place where goods are sold because you end up feeling that you have to buy something. However here I felt like I wanted to buy something as the money went straight to the village. I had a look around and I bought myself a necklace (which I think upgrades my looks from stunningly handsome to stud … watch out ladies) made from coconut and a sharks backbone and tooth. I realized that this was my first souvenir from Fiji
After this we didn't have long left and so we walked to their church for a quick look around before getting back on the boat and back to the resort. The village trip was amazing and I was certainly glad I did it; all the people were friendly but the children were just brilliant (even the ones too young for school were following us, wondering what we were doing).
By the time we got back to the resort I had just enough time for a quick freshen up before lunch. Again Manta-ray didn't disappoint with a lunch menu larger than most restaurants. I decided to go for the mackerel as a few of my friends had it last night and it looked good.
At lunch I said goodbye to most of my friends as they were off to another island; I however was glad that I was staying here another night. It was now the hottest part of the day and, considering I didn't get a lot of sleep last night, I headed back to my dorm to chill.
Hours went past and it was soon time for tea. I sat with a group of young English people who were in Fiji for a holiday; we chatted a little through the meal until, after eating, it was announced that some members of the village were on the beach. They had come to show us some traditional Fijian dancers.
I headed straight down to the beach; on my way I met our guide from the village today and we had a quick chat. All the residents of the resort sat on some wooden benches facing the sea, the village sat on the beach in front of us, also facing the sea (so they had their backs to us).
An employee at the resort welcomed us and introduced each dance throughout the evening. Once a dance was announced the people involved would stand up, turn to face us and perform, whilst the rest of the group would remain seating and sing and play instruments. It was fantastic; my highlight was a 'Meka', a traditional Fijian warrior dance with the men dressed in grass skirts and armed with clubs. There was also a good dance from three women with fans. The night was a cultural feast and time flew.
After about six or seven dancers the night ended with each villager meeting each resort tenant and we said thank you ('Vinaka' in Fijian) before they headed back to the village.
Village life and traditional dancers, it had been a cultural day.