special day in Fiji

A special day in Fiji

I stayed in Fiji longer than I planned.

I cyclones they messed up my plans by making me miss a flight and forcing me (how terrible!) to stay a week longer than expected.
During this extra week the weather gradually improved but it was definitely not the best. In fact, I only saw the sun one day and now, I’m sitting on the plane heading towards New Zealand and I’m flying over these islands that I haven’t had the pleasure of being able to discover as I would have liked.
Despite this, however, thinking about it, I have good memories of this place, rain and fear aside.
Fijians are warm, welcoming, friendly people with the most engaging laugh in the world.
When they laugh, you do too, even when you don’t know why they’re laughing. They are genuine people who live with little and little but are sociable and who take care of you.
I won’t forget how they treated me in the hostels where I stayed, in particular at Ratu Kini when stuck on the island I was literally going crazy and everyone always remained at my disposal even when I had become boring and repetitive.
But what I will remember as the most beautiful day of my stay and which I would not have experienced if there had not been these cyclones was the one I spent with local family.

Have you found plane tickets? See also on Traveljourn
Read also: Fijian cuisine – What to eat in Fiji

trees beside houses

It all started with a theft. I was the thief. I was stealing banana leaves from a garden to make a dress. I had seen it on some clubs during a show and wanted to somehow do it again but had no idea how.
The village teacher, whose house had been flooded by the flood and who was staying with her family temporarily taking refuge in a classroom of the school, seeing me having difficulty cutting the large leaf (by now already fallen due to the bad weather but still attached to the ‘tree), with knife in hand approaches me and asks me what the hell I was doing?
I think, I’m in trouble.
I’ll tell you straight away how things are. I want to create a Fijian style dress. She laughingly hands me the knife and tells me that it would be easier and faster if I used that instead of trying with my hands.
I have 2 banana leaves in my hand, for those who don’t know they are very large and sometimes heavy, but before I go I admit that I don’t have the faintest idea how to make this dress and I ask for suggestions.
She tells me “no worries. I am going to make it for you, you’ll be a fijian warrior”.
At that point another woman and 5 children approach.

Open (hello in Fijian) what’s your name?”, Where are you coming from? The children continue to ask while the two women take measurements to make my Fiji warrior dress.
With the skirt and anklets completed I ask how I can build in a coconut bra.
Wearing one has always been one of my dreams.
Even in this case the ladies tell me that I don’t have to worry about anything. We take two half coconuts and give them to the husband.
Tradition dictates that this garment is created by men for women and so we do in this case too.

a little girl holding a pair of headphones to her ear

I sit with him and watch him chat while he digs the coconut inside, cleans it, scrapes it, smoothes it. With an ingenious work made of threads he creates the bra that I still have in my suitcase and which I hope will pass all the checks.
Meanwhile, the children are always around. Someone who is maybe 6 years old tells me that he wants to be a doctor, Maria, who is 10 years old, wants to be a teacher.
On my wrist I have two bracelets that were given to me in Laos. I ask dad if I can give the two bracelets as a gift. He approves with a nod. I take them off my wrist and give the orange one to the girl and the yellow one to the boy.
In the meantime, between one chat and another, the dress is ready but it’s not yet time to wear it, we assume that I will return to them later, after dinner.

In the evening at 7.30pm I return to my house. It was pitch dark. Not everyone on the island has electricity and to get to the school I had to pass what was the volleyball court transformed into a pond due to the rain of the previous days.
To dress the lady I put the small flashlight in my cell phone holding it still in my mouth.
First the skirt. Then the bra. Then the banana leaves around the arms.
The husband and all the other curious people enter the room to follow the preparations, I was now ready.
Apparently he was ready too: saber in hand, banana leaf skirt and painted on our faces we leave the room.
His family and neighbors look at us, some laugh, some clap their hands in amusement, some take photos.
We were having fun when a bad storm broke out. Another cyclone warning had been issued and I was scared and asked to accompany me to the hostel.
The two warriors cross the swimming pool/volleyball court in the dark, we run from one house to another taking shelter under the roofs and then continue running.

man's face

I reach the hostel where I appear dressed as a warrior and to everyone’s amazement and loud laughter I become the attraction of the evening.
I think that due to fear of the rain I didn’t have enough time to properly greet this family who enlivened my day and showed me a side of Fiji that I hadn’t yet discovered.
The next morning I finally have the boat to go back to Nadi.
I’m late but I run to the school to hug and thank these wonderful people. They ask me how to say goodbye in Italian and I answer: we have two different goodbyes in Italian. One that is used when you are certain of never seeing someone again, goodbye, and one that is used instead when you are certain or hopeful of being able to see someone again, goodbye. I hug them, kiss them and say Until we meet again, Ni Sa Powers ! and while I run so as not to lose the boat everyone repeats in chorus “Until we meet again, Ni Sa Powers !

Read also: International Travel Tips: Avoid making travel mistakes

Are you getting ready to travel? Check out these useful!!
Cheap flights
Don’t forget your travel insurance!
Car rental with Economybookings.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *