Published: July 28th 2008July 1st 2008
The ACTUAL Castaway Island
Where Tom Hanks and Wilson met!
They used to say that the world was flat, and if you sailed to the end, you'd plummet over the edge into an abyss.. COOL!
I'm now in the Eastern Hemisphere, having crossed the International Date Line and 180-degree mark.
Not much else to report, but I can safely say Fijans have been the friendliest people in my South Pacific experience. There are some small culture shocks, such as how people ask
for gifts. The customs official came aboard, poked through our stuff, went through our wallets, and then asked if we had any iPods or DVDs or clothes that we would like to give him as a gift. I think he got a tshirt out of the ordeal, and he seemed disappointed about that.
The recent history of Fiji has seen an incredible amount of Indians introduced to the population by Europeans to "help" deforest huge swaths of land and work in the sugarcane fields. Some places are half native Fijan, half Indo-Fijan. It brings up some really interesting political and cultural questions. The native Fijans are desperate to hold onto their traditions, heritage, and political and financial power. The Indians born here are proud Fijan
citizens who want equal rights to purchase land, make a living and practice their religion.
I find myself wondering..
What are the true values of tradition and heritage? How much of it is worth holding onto? How much can we realistically expect immigrants to embrace? How much of it is an excuse to discriminate?
Does government have a right to steer individual citizens on a predetermined course in life?
If we can't choose our skin colour or where we are born - if you could have just as easily been born in Africa or Asia - do 2nd generation immigrants deserve to be given the same rights and freedoms as a native?
Anyway, those are hypothetical questions, so don't bother telling me what you think. :)
After a wild chase across the high seas, I finally caught up with my friends from Panama - Zach and Cody - and caught a ride on their boat for a couple of weeks of snorkeling and feasting! We are headed west to the mysterious islands of Vanuatu, and surely shenangians will ensue.. Enjoy the photos! BULA!
NOTE: Hiking, dancing and underwater photos taken by Zach
and Cody. Sunset photos taken by me!
There are more photos below