Bula, Vinaka and moce

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March 1st 2013
Published: March 1st 2013
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Bula y'all! I've had several friends ask me what the Fijian language is like. Well, it's a tough language because everything is spelled differently than it is pronounced. Many Fijians, from the younger generation, don't even speak much of it. But there are some basic words that everyone knows and uses. Here is your Fijian lesson for the month:

Bula: hello, goodbye, and just a general all around greeting

Vinkaka: thank you

Moce: pronounced mo-de, means goodBye

kata kata : very hot! We use this one a lot because it gets VERY hot! One of the perks of living right on the equator I guess.

That is about the extent of my Fijian language skills, but I plan on learning more! Luckily so much communication in Fiji is unspoken, and pretty odd. I got the remarkable opportunity to spend a few days in a Fijian village in the jungle which is where I learned so much about communication here. For example, when asked a yes or no question, the response is not verbal. It took me ages to figure this out and frustrated me to no end! To say "yes", they raise their eye brows, weird I know. And "no" is a quick tilt of the head. Needless to say you really have to pay attention when speaking to someone! Secondly, hailing a cab is much more difficult here because it is not like NYC where you simply throw up your hand, no, here you make a very loud and obnoxiou "smooching" noise. And le me tell you, this is much harder than it sounds and takes lots of practice, I'm terrible at it. (my Dad will be happy to read that).

My little sister likes to ask me about the animals here so Piper, this part is for you. The wildlife here is not what I expected it to be. Having grown up in the jungles of Mexico, I expected big snakes, crazy spiders and hopefully iguanas! Here is what I found, there are no snakes here because of this little creature called a Mongoose. Mongoose are like little red squirrel/ferret hybrids. They eat all of the snakes and any other little creatures unfortunate enough to live on the ground. I have a pair of them thatlife to sit outside of my bedroom window at night andclock at each other. This used to annoy me to no end but now it is just a comforting part of my evening. There is also a little family of geckos that live on my bathroom wall and come out in the evenings to say hello. As a kid I had a pet gecko named Skiddy, consequently every gecko I've ever met since has gotten the same name. Both of those animals I like, however I HATE cockroaches. Many of them are the size of my hand and they all fly. I'm a little bit embarrassed to admit that they never fail to make me squeal....ok scream, daily. There are red solo cups overturned all over my flat, trapping cockroaches beneath them. Call me a sissy, but I refuse to get near them!

If anyone has anything specific they want me to talk about shoot me an email and let me know! mika.old@ttu.edu.

Moce y'all!


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