The bright, orange cloth hammock is cool and reassuringly sturdy under me. I can feel leftover sand tickling the backs of my legs. A group of Fijians sing a traditional song with guitar and ukelele on the seashore in anticipation of new arrivals to our traveling village. Their soothing language mingles with the wind off the sea and makes me sleepy.
I’ve been sleepy most of the trip. We’ve been going to bed at 9:00 every night. We may as well since there isn’t much to miss and the electricity goes out at 10:00 anyway. There was a TV on last night, playing Fiji One, but I refused to watch it as I don’t even watch “The Nanny” at home.
The villages put on a show the first night after dinner. The star was undoubtedly Nikki, a four year old who loves an audience. I think he may have even been impersonating Elvis. At the end of the show, they came into the crowd (I say that lightly as there are less than 25 of us here) and pulled us up to dance with them. There was no way I could keep up with the steps, but I blame it on the jetlag.
Upon arriving, the woman in charge said, “In Fiji, we love to laugh” as hysterics erupted in the kitchen. They laugh all the time. I often hear them in the evening when they are preparing our meal. While they cook the meat, reserved only for dinner, one of them will say something in that language I don’t understand and giggles will start again. I’m tempted to giggle with them.
We are the only Americans here. The rest are English, German and Israeli. They speak in terms of Celsius and kilometers. It’s something we’ll have to get used to.
Another thing to get used to is the menu. The first day we had baked bean sandwiches. I’ve eaten cabbage and watermelon (a huge dietary step for me) for lack of anything else. We are also getting used to not using a mirror. There is one very small mirror glued above the sink but I’m too short to see into it. I suppose its just as well since my hair is stiff and sticky with saltwater and my body is sprinkled in sand.
The salt and sand come from the Blue Lagoon. Yes, THE Blue Lagoon, “the movie that Brooke Shields acted” as they say here. It is a half-hour walk around the island over black rocks and coconuts. The sea is teal and turquoise and there are the most amazing blue starfish. The best part is that we seem to be the only people there.
On Thursday, we will take the ferry back to Nadi, where we will stay the night before catching our 10am flight to New Zealand. By taking the ferry, we will escape the torture of being weighed on a scale, like luggage, before taking the seaplane we arrived on. At least my weight was measured in kilograms, so I don’t know the difference and can’t be too alarmed. Of course, after a diet of baked bean sandwiches and carrots, I may not mind the result.
Posted by Rachel
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