New Zealand 2005

Journal 3


Gallery 2 Gallery 2This past week in Fiji consisted of the group staying in Fijian villages for four nights and with an Indo-Fijian family for one night. I was a little anxious heading into the week because I knew it might get uncomfortable at times and had the potential to get long. I soon found over the duration of the week that I had nothing to be worried about because the villagers were very friendly. Despite the warm hospitality displayed by the people, I soon found myself wishing that the week would go faster, just because it's a lifestyle so very different from my own. The village of Navala was where we stayed Tuesday and Wednesday night, January 25 and 26. It's the most traditional village in Fiji mainly because of the housing. The people live in bures, which can best be described as big bungalows with three doors. There was so much to see and from various observations, I realized just how much I had to be thankful for, after seeing how the Fijians "roughed" it.

The village of Malake was on an island, so we had to get there by a long bus ride, and then by boat. The housing was a little more modern here. I never really adjusted to this village because I was still processing things from Navala. Once again the people were friendly and very gracious to us. Most of the group went to the beach with our respective host families and some of us got badly burned. Later that evening, utter exhaustion hit most of us, and some students started running fevers. With one more home stay to go, most of us just wanted to get through to Sunday.

We all stayed with Indo-Fijian families on Saturday night. My family was Hindu so it was interesting to talk and stay with them. Sunday finally arrived, marking the end of the period of home stays. I was relieved and happy, but I know that I will remember this week for a long, long time. Through it all, I gained a greater understanding of the culture. It was also one of the most stretching and challenging weeks of my life.

~Heather Keim


Other current program:
Latin America