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Published: February 11th 2013
When we think of Fiji our minds conjure up images of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and swaying palm trees. And yes! That is what Fiji looks like....well, parts of it anyway. The cities are just like all the rest, fast traffic, eateries, souvenir shops and business' line every street. If you have a bit more of an adventurous soul you can hop a bus and head up into the jungles of Fiji and into one of the hundreds of villages that are tucked away there, seemingly untouched by the rest of the world with all of its technology and fluff. Which just happens to be what I did this weekend.
About 2 hours from the main city of Suva is a little place called the Sote village. I made the trip there with 11 other international students from the University of the South Pacific. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the villages "Ratu's", that is "chief" in Fijian, and the children from the school. We were welcomed with traditional sulus attached to flowea necklaces and a kava ceremony. Kava is a root that is dried, ground into a powder and then mixed with water. It is a mild narcotic and slowly but surely makes your face numb. And yes, it tastes much like you would expect it to, like dirt. We spent the days building a walkway connected the school with it's cafeteria. The village is made up of four clans and has about 100 children, give or take a few. You have never met anyone who smiles more than a Fijian child. All they want is for you to dance, play and hold there hand. They are also a bit like piranhas however, they never let go, so beware.
After 3 days of being in the Sote village we returned to civilization, took a cold shower, and said a prayer thanking God for his abundant mercy and blessings. And now I am off to the Royal Suva Yacht club to find a dive outfitter and possibly talk my way into a job on a boat.
So until next time my friends, Vinaka!!
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