brad brace



Filed under: culture,disease/health,fiji,General,global islands — admin @ 5:02 pm

Mary the octopus lady — circumcision ceremony in Yamata — blue fish:
rawirawi — big and small generators — tapas mats: wk to make: rolled,
beaten, dried — no power: Kava Joe — opening church hymn — use
everything up (radio, food, cellphone). before someone asks kerri-kerri for
it? — interchangeable clothing, homes — smoked fish: masi masi — rake
paths — my Reef Shoes break! — parrot fish for lunch — Noma fish bites
Joe — tylonol for Joe and Normani –baby hawksbill turtle: lays eggs in
Dec — leatherbacks! — islanders eat eggs and turtles — fijian islander
handshake — sea cucumber — big meetings in community center — moist
climate dissolved Emergen-C tabs — lost helicopter arrives in school
compound looking for Octopus Resort — charge phone and Kindle at Canada
House: 2 laptops playing movies — sea urchin: cawaki, sea cucumber:
sucuwalu “8 breasts” — $55/kg wet (white ones) $75/kg dry — Julian
Nasinger: Canadian musician — home power strip finally appears only after
borrowing from CH next door: 2 hrs to get 1 additional bar on cellphone:
petrol generator — “ah pooh” — about giant piranas – Van Damme movies —
Disney cartoon — Fiji Times: “belly full of iron” “family violence” “the
first newspaper published in world every day” txt MH to 362 to win $80K
Nissan X-Trail — xmas poem contest — tilting table — occasional
newspaper 2 wks old — more concrete work — recording afternoon church
hymns from outside with birds and waves [include words to opening first
hymn: pic] no written music in Fiji? vaguely bi-tonal, rhymic: church goers
dressed up and waiting on the rocks — many church services — Kindle locks
up with first line quotations, or any? limit? — best breeze is by end of
school near the “cellphone caves” — villager as occupation — disapproval
of *white* immodesty — “Tai Wai” (venerable water) boat name — sunsets as
narrative events — sunset viewing from overturned boat — rugby ball=sea
cucumber –the cocoanuts are washing ashore — not so many turtles but
small uninhabited island has them Dec-Feb full moon — shard of pop bottle
plastic to slice papaya — rebar stuck in ground to split open coconuts —
w/c masking fluid doesn’t work: paper too absorbent — 5 radio stations: 3
Indian, 1 English, 1 Fijian — more queries re writing and photos:
publish?: some special arrangement necessary? narrow band of rain over
setting sun like a curtain: green clouds — islander immediate needs: most
else discounted — very polite little girls –2nd or 3rd meal “sittings” ->
sucking the tiny bits of fish from bones that I missed — tambu=pagan! —
playing “house” under a bush with discarded fragments: cassette player,
rusted lanterns, bits of flooring, seeds — T-shirts: Diabetes: Know the
facts; I was rescued by the Fiji Red Cross; Enough is enough, stop family
violence — fishing net stretched out along low tide shore by another
village — someone else concerned about my lunch: maybe later — preserving
traditionalist notion of anthro rather than understanding trad societies —
women like beached whales in the heat — tea with Jim: said “kanna” but
just got papaya slice, tea and breakfast crackers — was “vailala madness”
PNG — wondering why the old man took his big coloured mug away from the
shelter: first thought it was cooler there but turns out it contained not
tea, but fish! Fijians are indentured labourers from S.I. — distant
burning fires at night: GIP postcard or 4/c button — “airplane time” —
12-14 qeti “getti”: giving thanks to the ocean and fields and women: men
prepare pots of food: festive attired women seen carrying them — Sou
actually bought crackers and marg that morning! and I persuaded them to
open a papaya: small boiled chicken for dinner: I ate half just to get a
reaction — Lolo came along beach with drum to “borrow” $20 for (tou)
chicken: perhaps for the similar event tomorrow at the old village —
village very quiet: thought they’d tricked me again but possibly the
villagers are just preparing for the TEVUTEVU today (bridal shower) and I
can go tomorrow morning (Namara: old village) — the boys are gone to Nadi
for a rugby game — Normani was to make the tea and serve the 2 muffins
made the “mayor’s wife” but he ate most of one first: $1 each: cooked in
cans in pot of water– up for the 6 am Tevutevu boat but it didn’t leave
until 7 — dinner of smoked fish at Tai Jerry’s who’s only 55: gives me
flip flops — lovo pig, bbq fish, canned meat in greens, pineapple,
cucumber — old whale’s tooth on braided cord during elders’ kava speech —
photos in the old village! tea at various houses: house being built
(Johnny): bridal gifts in community center — don’t understand why basic
staples (tea, aspirin, marg) are lacking but Joe can take the boat to Nadi,
pay for a hotel, attend rugby games… Tai Nigh gently washed the cut on my
foot with warm water, when I fell out of the boat– smoking? alcohol is
tambu except on New Years — bottles of water around chief’s graves to keep
dogs from pooping (same as Japan!) — Odyssey: lotus eaters — Michel
Leiris: L’Afrique Fantome — ethnography as inner island self-realization
— Epi Island, Indonesia — eating the local hot chilis always impresses —
red, blue, yellow, dark blue mesh shirts — Fiji welfare checks — used,
pre-painted green wood slats in OV house interior — $50 advance on W —
MetaConstruct = Ethnography – esp the landscape, trellis profiles, frontal
image constructs — many years ago a Canadian couple visited the three
villages staying at the “Canada House” here — Natawa All Nations church:
youth attempts to steal my flip flops despite a huge stone on top, on his
way to church as I’m doing my “training” — crackers and noodles while Joe
is away — Margaret now wants my SIM: use up everything in sight — cable
release rusts out — Bebé, the older dog, routinely backs into a bush by
TN’s house and wags tail and eats the flying bugs — Waikoka: bananas and
new resort — Normani is missing the top left thumb joint and has some
church role: prone to headaches: lives on the plantation most of the week
with his namesake — Tai Jerry’s: men eat, kids wait outside, then women —
shower at Tai Patimo’s: clean! locks on doors — partially charged the
Kindle at Paul’s from generator: of course this prompts Joe to turn on his,
so was able to charge other batteries — nice barracuda fish, greens,
pineapple, coconut sauce, cassava — fingernails trimmed with razor blade
— “too old for this world” — Nigh returns from the big city with black
nail polish and low cut dress but still rakes the yard in the morning —
Solar Nokero bulbs — heavy rain: visited Quarta and Joe’s namesake:
recorded stories — “Phantom Rock” — Vaka Mama Lima (celebrating women
ceremony) –Palu Sami: tarro leaves around tinned-meat, onion, tomato, or
tuna flakes: cooked in foil — more pain relief requests: “only one left”
— still after my cell phone! tambu! — venandu riki (thank you very much
in local dialect) — Joe tells me fuel is $15/4l — Fanny, Jim’s church
dog, sings, walks to church when bell rings — “pudding muffins” at Jim’s
— toqara fish — myth of dwarf girls on Quarta at night — $20 to Joe on
Tues: ask the white man first — bath has been clogged with filthy water
for nearly a week — girls make hair extensions from nylon fabric strands
attached with burning stick — metal lounger remains brought back fro OV —
Joe eats big bowl of fish and cassava in front of us: asks again for
aspirin for Margaret — why doesn’t someone buy a big bottle on the
mainland? — Nigh has a boil on her leg [insert definition][insert Capn
Cook novel descriptions of breadfruit and coconut] Ch 7] Ellis: Polynesian
Researches — no early histories: Tai Joe said his grandfather left the
main island due to fighting — Abel the school admin, family was the first
to live in Namara — fire on top of pot to cook “bunnies” — yam growing
contests — as usual much loud sucking on fish bones and satisfied grunts
— 5 gal (20 L) petrol to Lautoka: $10-11 for 4L there — Japanese tourist
from Toronto — men at work clearing land and water pipe for new resort:
owned by American and local partner — the “store” is a large dingy dirty
cupboard under lock and key: tuna, tea, sugar, flour… the Lomolomo house
sells the puddings and snacks? no, its some other house “behind” the church
— heavy rain for several hours this morning — still nothing to eat but
noodles, crackers, pancakey — a purple plastic box with rice curry
suddenly appears: they didn’t expect me to eat it all ;) — pot washing day
on the beach — cell acct only $83: do they charge for unsuccessful txt
msgs? — small mirror and ear plugs missing — pot and blanket as rain gear
— children will snatch food from your plate or play with it until I won’t
eat it — “Johnny” seems to be building a house here as well as for his
mother in the OV: actually he was paid to outline/square the site —
despite the drama served up by M as she dished out yet more noodles: the
women were all gathered in Tai Nigh’s house the next afternoon stuffing
their faces with crab, fish and eye-of-the-shell, plantains with coconut…
they caught the crabs that night using torches: wouldn’t let me eat one
however, just a taste… kerre(2) ..and Lolo tried to dissuade me from
joining them… still no water and filthy bath still plugged-up — TN
showed me some barnacle-like creature they also eat… Dec is when the
flies come indoors… white boat with orange trim/deck! — prayer session
at TN’s: Sau present: curious, he even gets a little weepy: Away in a
Manger, in Fijian: TN is tone deaf — John the house builder “squared up”
the floor plan for the new house — 2x4x10 pine is $13 — offered a trip to
Lautoka to get the lumber but think it was a way to have the white man pay
for the fuel — expressed interest in his sulu screen prints — big chalk
notice on school: stay out: doors locked or nailed shut — thunder this
morning — should start photographing all the sleeping bodies — sky seemed
to recede after kava consumption — divers killed because on-board
generators for air fail — skipping myna birds — deranged laughter: no
escape when it rains: roofing is zinc/aluminum made in NZ — Canada House
is eating crab for lunch: no sign of food here: little Jason goes across
the way to kanna — tombstones (beside houses) are blank: concrete
sometimes with tile — baby stroller carriage now only has 2 wheels — some
dropped off a big pot of food last night just as I went to bed so lunch
today was a cooked plantain ;( no sun until 2:30 — “you’re not playing
your cards right Margaret” — kava is $1/bag or $20-40 a bundle — hellish
racket last night ’til 3 a.m.: the rest of the village was dark and quiet:
when Joe is back I can’t sleep, when he’s away I don’t get enough to eat
and no electricity — just pancakey and noodles — 2 girls at Canada House:
Maryannie (6) and Queenie (2) — may ask Abel is there’s another house I
could stay in — Sau had a bad toothache: I suggested salt and warm water
rinse — everyone seems to know about my morning walk: may have started an
exercise regime for villagers — water line leaking: dug-up and repaired
this a.m. — sunny today 12/24 — mouse trapped in milkey tin bowl — gas
for the stove! and cookies and kava for the flophouse — big dark blue and
white private yacht offshore: 3 jet skis and dingy racing around: yahoo —
“sleeping giant” postcard (stone mountain) — millionaire skipper and
melanesian tart/wife motor ashore and present yaqoni to village headman: I
suppose in exchange for anchoring in the bay — sunning spot next to yams
— xmas village breakfast and lunch after church (mono recording 12/25/11)
— offer to send maple syrup as xmas gift — during the 60-80s big drunken
fights on xmas until alcohol banned — tea at the preacher’s house —
Captain Cook arrives — “Vough-low” “Normeni” — the 12yr Ellie girl from
mainland interior — “we go that side to see the fish” — chubby chef who’s
had a US visa is part of the new resort deal (where former Sunset was?) and
lives in Paul’s corner house: wants to write a Fijian cookbook as he used
to be a chef on Yasawa cruiseship — xmas village breakfast and lunch:
judging by the order in which he was fed and despite his strutting and
snorting and supply of tools (from Jason?), Joe is low in the village
hierarchy — the squared floor plan for the new house has been ignored in
favor of a new position and trial and error eyeballing — gave M $80 less
$20 I gave Joe — finally some breakfast at TN’s: ricey and tea with milk!
— Jason gave Jason a large toy “moto car”: replaces the big yellow canola
container that he pushed around — 500L water tank elevated at Abel’s house
— chef says resort spends up to $12K per month on vegetables from the
mainland so he wants to start a greenhouse — brilliant green laundry soap
— exponentially more and more people hear and know your name without you
knowing theirs — stinky red nailpolish also used to mark cups and utensils
— ricey, crackers and tea for breakfast — “chill out chill out” — the 2
cows are moved from behind the dormitory to the back of school rooms in the
afternoon — TN has gone to Yamata: a huge padlock on her door: rain on and
off all day — took CH’s (curiously very heavy) kayak out and photographed
the coral and fishing party– watch strap breaks — TP’s septic tank is
full — new house is decidedly uneven as I said — selective hearing in
effect — some fish but fear the return of meagre meals — Joe hurls the
stinky nail polish out the door — all are punished by Lily’s bawling —
the black piglet now visits this house — the children cry at wanting to
eat as you try and eat your meal — L & N fend for themselves: finding eggs
and cooking them on the gas stove [pic] — Joe bellowing about something
all last night — big rains start just after my morning training/exercise
— eggs, onions, tarrow last night — Joe’s namesake from Quarta is in the
2nd house — new girl in TN’s house says “hmmm” in response to my “yandra”
— 12/28 funeral for chief who died 2 days ago in Naviti (other side of
Waya) but they wouldn’t let me go: big load of kerosene for some reason —
apparently the fish from the far side water taste differently tht from the
ocean side — M says J wants $100 now to buy things with on the mainland:
nope!: too complicated and there would be no end to the advances: typical
Melanesian — the FijiTime boat has left packed with passengers — J & J
continue work on the cement floor — coy interaction between sexes
otherwise segregated — finally got some coconut roti after 9 — more
photos of the workers suspended in the framework of the new house under
construction: lunch behind the church with them: nice fish, curry. lobster
(not my thing): beginning to think my host is deliberately skipping on the
food: showed workers the photos: the headman helped me with some new words
— VANUA: joins past, present, future with the land water mountains etc…
VAU tree: grass skirts, white sticks… some youthful resentment for my Tai
saubret — VULAGI (foreigner) — “acha” (well/good: Fijian Hindi) — no
5:30 tea, just a stinky hair treatment underway — but villagers come to my
rescue with tea, “pie” and little donuts — SQNNY radio — — spearfishing on Moya reef: colourful fish: some eat
raw lungs: shirt sticks to boat’s tacky blue paint so one kid spots my
penis amulet: have put it away — apparently some kava event at Jerry’s
last night: supplemental funeral for a brother who committed suicide? —
ENDLESS SUPPLY — couldn’t start the outboard and had misgivings about
being physically able to get back in the boat if I went swimming —
RAVINASAGA — maybe I should use the weights in the community center —
Bill is off with others to install some cement for waterworks in new resort
— kerosene and mats for funerals — DEUA: double-hulled canoes — Mexican
tourists at small Naboro shell-market: it all looks like dime store junk
from Nadi(?) — photo of children’s festive “house” 12/30/11 — oral
culture: women singing by beach — reef heron — KAIVITI: indigenous
Fijians — TP seems suddenly taciturn: funny how he squirmed as his teatime
came and not wanting to share, had to sit with Eleanor (Normani’s wife) ana
me in his makeshift burre as the real SONY radio played — infants as
living toys passed between young girls and women — young girls readily
adopt feminine acoutrements (nail polish, hair dye, jewelry) so as to
escape the (at least) physical toil of the family life — L & S were
slugging around concrete and lumber this morning: children huddle around
Loo as she dispenses bits of junk food — string of children coming back
from Yamata wit what looked like orange juice ! baby powder and Tang — was
sure the tide was going out (hard to read as the waves are always coming
_in) — keep having to repeat answers to same questions: I must have told
TP 20x that I have no brothers and sisters: his 2 sons work at the resort
and his wife died a couple of years ago so I don’t know who lives in his
house and presumably takes care of him — the “pigman” (Margaret’s
brother?) asked to “borrow” some toothpaste and came in the house early,
taking a pot — supposed to go crabbing in Watonga this early evening but
FT (FijiTime boat) is dismantled and everything revolves around Joe who is
fixated on the concrete work — TEBETEBE (chewy spiral shell interior with
billie greens for lunch) — BABAKAU (triangular pancake) — very hot: last
day of year — apparently for the big-big chef’s funeral (also PM at the
time?) 80 pigs, so many barrels of kerosene, and boat were given to his
mother’s relatives — coffin carried with wailing woman on top fanning him
— grave filled by hand — TP’s room has huge padlock on it now — Melvin
says there’s a one-eyed deaf and dumb Fijian artist who lives at the
resort: painted mural in dining hall — tavioka (cassava) — wait and wait
and ask about tumba-hunting at Watongo (great photo possibilities with the
kerosene lamps): the day and evening pass: now wait probably pointlessly
for possible boat to All Nations church in Natawa? — NYD breakfast with
the village: various cakes, rice, tea — asked how long it will be before
it is Westernized: I say, the West is a culture in decline and will (not
peacefully) fade away: eclipsed by China or India — some went out
night-fishing but many waited in church for the new year: actually service
at 9 then drink kava from 10-12 (plus Jay’s beer and cannabis) — I don’t
know why they have me waiting when the motor’s not even attached to the
boat — I’ve lost bits of 2 molars — “the other side” can mean
anything/place — all nations or nothing — “after tea” — WILLIWILLI bark:
stomach ache, diabetes — “qua” (don’t; most frequently heard expression)
— very nice village NYD lunch: many fish dishes, some “fern” greens —
Nigh comes back this morning with three other girls — discover new track
to the hills (and cemetery) on other side of Jarry’s house: “turn right at
lemon tree” — ask M to buy me some toothpaste with this week’s $100: not
going to happen: Sau charged at me when he heard M’s reaction: you might
think that after I’ve given them over $1K they might spring for some
toothpaste… FT seems to be somewhat permanently dismantled: church,
water-flinging, tin-pail banging, all this week — came home from the
pinhole shoot (panorama sunset) to find the house empty except for Normanie
who remained engrossed in a cell phone menu: no dinner — myna bird(5)
scuffle in the schoolyard — met Bill and Rachel and John on my way up the
rear hillside: they were weeding their cassava patch: they will not tell
anyone they are leaving when they go with John to school on the mainland.
just lockup and leave, as TP seems to have done the day before yesterday:
told them what I pay to Margaret: they seemed enthused to have me stay in
their house when they return (not before) ;) — got tangled-up in the
chest-high vines and grass on my way up the hill: very hot day but had the
energy for the climb thanks to the nice village breakfast: tea, curry,
pancakey, rice) — NAISORO: artist at resort — Paul says “you can go
anywhere” for meals: we’ll see how true that may be: light-headed this
morning “viakana” — if someone douses you (an adult) with water, you
should expect a gift — stirring up the mango skin with bits of mango
results in a sweet red confection that gives the greedy urchins bright
orange fingers — Joe suddenly decides to hammer more nails into the roof
as winds pick-up — hmmm, that’s the second old lady to tell me that I look
sick — didn’t feel too well until I finally had some fish for a much
protested early dinner (pre-Church evening service all this week) — M is
assuming demonic proportions with her feral offspring — some drinking last
night/ early this morning: it must have been hellish before prohibition:
consume everything before it’s gone — favoured girls are often wet
(wearing fragipani flower) as they are carried and plopped into the sea —
tea at another house (next to the new one), with a dozen villagers packed
into one room — reading Typhee and Return of Tarzan — don’t know whether
to chance going to church like they want this evening as the house may be
empty — even TN gets into the act, asking me to buy petrol for a picnic on
Quarta tomorrow — I wonder if the word “budget” exists in Fijian — the
son of the man with the bad leg burns lives near Toronto — roof is on new
house — the little boy with the deformed foot came and sat beside me,
singing along with evening church service hymns, as I made another sunset
pinhole — TJ is sick: probably all the shared dishware or perhaps dengue?
— villagers repeatedly ask about the weather in Canada now: probably
learned that the subject is significant for tourists — I’m still called
Jay occasionally, so they’re seeing the difference in race before any
personal identity — every blessed thing is broken — Sau sports a new $60
pair of spiked rugby shoes (?) — asked why there’d be water outside but
not inside the bathstall: any such questions just seem to piss them off —
telling Bill and Rachel about my arrangements here seems to have improved
attitudes locally somewhat but if I hadn’t happened to be returning along
the beach to get my umbrella I wouldn’t have seen the lot them about to
leave for their picnic without me — if I don’t pay for everything, I get
nothing?) — at first they just ignored me or waved goodbye or pointed off
in the distance, but eventually they motioned for me to come into the boat
— we went to Quarta Island beach — most males were dumped into the sea
enroute to spear-fish and then swim to join us — the women collected VUTU
for nuts which they labourishly extracted from the pods with machetes: fish
and lobster thrown directly on open fire — heavy rain and waves on the way
back — stopped at the resort for fresh water put in old plastic bottles
that M had collected from along the beach — such an expression of
contentment as she lay in the dirt, having eaten, gazing up at the sky —
earlier in the day, she’d been humming a hymn repeatedly in a distracted
fashion — the childless woman (Secca, husband: Air-en-nee) from TN’s house
came over to ask me for matches — it’s raining all morning — and returned
with our kerosene lantern that burns all night — another neighbour takes
some firewood — food, as usual left out last night attracts many flies —
Lily sounds even sicker: and she uses the same utensils/dishes as everyone
else — Sau speared this giant fish, which I had trouble lifting esp when
joined on a line with several other smaller fish: he said it was a parrot
fish but it didn’t look that colourful (sometimes they’ll just say the
closest English word that pops into their noggins) — another was a “shark
fish” with a hard flat head — they purposefully called Nate from the beach
to have her hear from me about the chunk of “lobsta” I had — one of the
women kept badgering me to buy them $20 worth of kava that night in
exchange for my lunch! — Tai Jerry walks past, spies a pair of flip-flops,
tries them on and proceeds — 7:30 a.m. household shows some signs of life
as a string of villagers head for a boat during a break in the rain — wind
from the S across the gap always seems to bring rain — nice “dejeuner sure
la beach” painting-photo but Joe avoids the camera — Jay rattles on to Joe
about many things but there’s little chance he understands but the odd word
— 10:30 breakfast roties and lemon tea finally arrives: scarfed down or
played with — cassava planting this morning — (wonder if I’m an informal
test case for future “guests” that Nate might send?) — raking of the
fallen brown breadfruit leaves — plenty more shouting — Sau and pals pore
over Rugby catalogue — cell phone gets constant use: mp3 player +
flashlight + camera — some plain rice finally arrives after 2 — turns out
the fish including the huge one ($58) were sold to the resort ?! — I’m
served up the memory of lobster — watertank is being installed today along
with the cassava — little Jason shits on the table and Lolo is told to
clean it up (with someone’s sulu, left in a heap by the faucet) — walk to
Yamata where a pig has escaped: chased by dogs and children — dog snaps at
me on the beach — trying to remind them of me — my bit of plate-mirror
appears on the table and I pocket it — charge my cell at night (9-12?):
they’ve turned it on but thankfully I removed the SIM — rain all day,
night and this morning — mountain totally shrouded – villager come to
borrow skillet and then “fire” from Canada House: and now back for a cup of
sugar — villagers often claim to be self-sufficient except for (the list
gets longer): sugar, tea, flour, rice, butta… Naboro village may be 28
years old: no ideas about the old village — little girl hops to church
(boil on foot): 2 or 3 others have similar inflictions — very little
variety of birds — Sivo returns with skillet or perhaps it’s another —
tea at CH: cassava and those rubbery shells: towel put on bench for me,
spoon checked and cleaned; quite soft-spoken — did part of my
walk/training + cell texting during brief break in rain — village girls
flop-slide through puddle in front of school — now that everyone’s
indoors, Joe decides to do some roof hammering — old village may date to
1940 — Joe and Sau have gone diving; Normani, Sivo and Lolo have gone to
Watongo for land crabs – txt SCHOOL to 866 — M tells me dinner is early so
we can go to evening church (last in series) so I get ready (shaved,
shower) but there’s no bell and no one else goes… turns out there _is a
service but not in the church, but in “MacNamara” house: it’s already
underway so I don’t bother (and the singing sounded especially painful):
everyone sort of assumes that I’ve been here before or it’s common
knowledge?)… will attempt the All Nations church tomorrow (Sun) walking
with Sau (low tide or boats, I guess we’ll find out…) — seems to be a
second dinner now…?? UK Jay returned from Lautoka yesterday ( a
girlfriend?) bearing gifts: hair relaxer for Nigh, dye for Tai Nigh, tea,
bread, butta, cheeze Bongo snacks, beer of course, and *toothpaste* -not
for me- -pig tries to rouse Lily from sleep on the veranda this a.m. —
chickens seem to like to stand under this one small breadfruit plant —
assume that Sau (and his g-friend?) Sharon will try and give me the slip
going to All Nations — Nigh has already left yesterday… well, Sau didn’t
go but after a “do you want to have your breakfast first?” ruse, Sharon
took me to Namara: very sincere, spiritual, “home grown” service, pretty
much in the open air — nice village with two streams running through that
are used for drinking (after boiling) and washing/bathing — everyone’s
children seem well-mannered except for this Ravinsaga (M’s) brood: anyway,
met Joe’s brother Cale and wife and took a bath in the stream and lunch in
their house — breakfast coconut bread turns up in communion: electric
keyboard, original hymns, singing, clapping, swaying: “God created us to be
different” — I’m always asked how old I am and I’m often older than the
person asking although they look much older to me — Sharon said that older
people believed there was a God living in the hills behind the mountain
range and that her grandfather had a visitation from Him and probably would
again before he died (the good things are present but hidden) — apparently
the AN congregation was impressed that I’d walked all that way and back to
attend their service — Namara is bigger than Naboro and has a paved path,
a giant Methodist church, a community center under construction, but no
sand beach, hence the nickname of Rock City — sandbridge = parting of the
red sea (exodus: Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord,
which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you
shall never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to
be silent.”) — big patriarchical “other Joe” seems to be directing a beach
cleanup and chopping down the central tree: he also seems to have
instructed this Joe to add big bolts to his verandah construction — crappy
dinner: fish carcass, tiny crabs, cassava — saw Nigh return from Natawa
but she didn’t seem to be at the house — have suggested a statue (Capn
Cook?) to replace the tree stump — boy from CH suffers deep foot gash from
beach shell: cauterized with fire and salt: going to clinic across the bay
but I guess he’ll need to go to the mainland for stitches (is there a first
aid remedy?) — front addition to a house while the other new house stalls
short of siding from lack of money — my trip to Natawa seems to have
opened up new relations here: my forgotten sulu did not come back with
Nigh: may try and record the sounds of the service next Sun — is “big Sau”
also “Paul?” he met a French woman here, married and had 5 children in
France: she remarried and he returned: wonder if TN’s and Secca’s offer of
a girlfriend (like they did for Jay) is a financial proposition — FT is
ashore for more fiberglass patches — pancakes with peanut butter! at TN’s
— another “secret picnic” as I see a boatload go past the sandbridge — TN
tries to get me to “rest” in her house and offers some tinned tuna but I
borrow a saw and make a walking stick and go around to the next beach:
they’ve installed the water pipes now: some boiled fish and I’m urged to go
back: wonder if they’re staying overnight –I read in LP that Fijian
villages are typically quiet(!) except on New Years (1st until school
starts): no difference here esp in this dysfunctional family — another
trip to Lautoka: to see Nate about her new house(?): apparently she shares
with party people from Suva — M has the woman from the first secret
picnic, to ask me for money to buy groceries on mainland and that $100/wk
is “just rent” — I say again that there’s nothing extra — Nate told me
that my stay would be free and that anything I contributed would be
“appreciated” — odd how UK Jay obeys commands from Joe, despite buying
them all these “things” — M says he buys groceries every 2 weeks — maybe
there’s no other family who would tolerate his drinking and smoking for
long (?): he sucked back at least 3 qts of Fiji Bitter Beer last night:
this is why he goes to Lautoka so often (to buy groceries :)) he’s got a
lot “invested” here where he plans to live permanently — rumour has it
that Chinese investors are now involved with the clan’s panned resort and
that the American wants to build a road between the resort and the village
+ a car (!) — Joe, Jay and Sau go to Lautoka, the rest have disappeared by
lunch time (deliberately!) so I poke around until Sula (?) offers me
cassava and tea in Lomolomo house: again startled by how clean and neat it
is comparatively (fewer material items: no UK drunk benefactor: just as
many children): same broad beaming face as the lady who gave me water by
the school: everyone’s related — but perhaps Joe is an outcast in some
way? may make a $50 offering to the AN church and $50 to M — 2 youths
rummaging around the house as I came back from the beach — boat comes back
laden with groceries and lumber anyway: room construction begins — burning
plastic as mosquito repellent :(( despite never having set foot in the
village across the bay, a boatload of children from there all seemed to
know my name (from the school perhaps) — incredibly rude fuckers! —
insanely loud amp party all night at this flophouse –> slept on church
floor — big boatload went to the resort at 7 a.m. — Melanesian Deceit —
M can’t keep her eyes open this morning and so I had to wait a few hours
for breakfast: this entailed pacing up and down the village hoping someone
would invite me for “tea” — eventually TN bought some peanut butter and we
had it on breakfast crackers — the entire village must have been camped
out in front and inside the flophouse — plan to attempt to suddenly leave
Mon a.m.: will take the Flyer if possible around 3:30 p.m. (otherwise
they’ll overload the boat and I’ll end up paying for the fuel anyway) — I
guess maybe the resort is the only employment: that’s maybe what makes them
so crazy — placed a marker in the sandbridge so I can tell which way the
tide is flowing — the nice brother from Natawa paddled over this a.m. to
drop off my sulu — both he and his pastor-son have gentle, limp handshakes
— wary about the mainland expense but last night was the very last straw
and there’s probably not much more to the place — maybe 2 hrs to repack:
I’m reminded of my Grenada evacuation but there be more rain the E: too bad
as it is a beautiful island — end of New Year ceremony: grog helped me get
a good sleep plus I got fish to eat being the only male adult in the
household (!?) — mayor’s son (Noah) is a tourguide/bar-man: asked about
Tavenui — the unrelenting expense of the mainland still a concern —
thunder and lightning this a.m. — think I was offered lunch in Yamata but
“kana” didn’t register in time as I walked past on the beach — nothing at
the flophouse but some cassava at “Breadfuit-head’s” house — waiting to
see if the tide’s going down by the sandbridge — finally unearthed where
the local oral history is stored: in the many versions of the opening kava
ceremony songs: I had to ask the question many ways but finally got TP to
write down some verses on the back of a baked-bean label — the first is
about the introduction of christianity by the missionaries 100 yrs ago
[insert scan of label] — walked to Natawa again for church: amazed by how
quiet it is there: recorded the entire service [1/15/12] — met the mayor’s
son who just arrived from the mainland: sounds like he may be able to
arrange a village stay in Tavenui Island: perhaps a more lush, typical Fiji
landscape — and “chill out” is really “chullo” meaning excuse me when
passing — and the village has two reservoirs: not entirely dependent on
streams as Sharon claimed — the fish head is reserved for honourable
guests seated at the head of the “table” but there’s not much to eat on it!
— beware of rusty, jagged-open tuna tins on beach — big clean-up of
compound (no washing on funeral day tomorrow) — Captn Cook is back: shell
market on school yard – Normani says the Methodist church in USA provides
no support — photo of some crabs on shore-rocks [insert] — TP (jokingly,
I think) asks me to buy a “brush cutter”: $700 lawn mower — pigs cost $15
– 800 — Joe takes “my” sulu (probably to discourage me from attending the
funeral): assuredly he will steal the $2 in pocket if he notices it — I
wear my Indonesian sarong instead — cow butchered this morning: huge pots
of food prepared — kava drinking most of the night of course — b’fast in
the community hall — someone takes a bite from the mango on my shelf and
puts it back: I lock-up most of my stuff — we await the arrival of the
body: then church service and kava: big stack of mats, kerosene, tapas,
some root crop — the pilau was a bad choice for dinner (earlier dish
prepared for youth?) as stomach upset this morning — NAMARA YAMATA NABORO
TATAWA — kava bells mp4 [1/18 and 1/17] — one Naboro villager tells me
it’s so noisy and the children so unruly because all the houses are so
close together: another visitor from Lautoka says Naboro used to be very
dirty — told Naah I’d visit Tavenui in Feb — big rain this afternoon so I
read the Kindle with earplugs against the loud racket but suddenly it got
very quiet: sure enough, they were all secretly eating fish in the kitchen:
they grudgingly gave me some: little N took my spoon but then washed it in
the volu (hand-washing) bowl first, after hearing of my stomach ache — the
girls resist much communication with me: asked about the video clips they
were watching on their cellphones… SOMOSOMO village in Tavenui -> not so
traditional says SIRELI (9083402) who recommends NACOMOTO village in KADAVU
staying with VARANI MAKELESI — mango juice with pulp + cassava for lunch
— supposed to go with Joe and Sireli to L then with S tomorrow but S
doesn’t sound too trustworthy so I’ll postpone despite dearly loving to
escape this hellhole — apparently S ran off with Sivo’s school fee: but
Joe gave no indication about this (related, cousin) military character
(discharged apparently) — too expensive to go to Lautoka this early: TP
also called him a con-man: Secca doesn’t like him either — Lily let loose
with a sustained barrage of bawling at b’fast — Lolo is torturing little
Jason with a stick: the piglet now beats me to the falling mangos — sounds
improbable but Sireli was arrested on Quarta for trying to takeover the
resort with “his gang” — Sivo has to be repeatedly told to heat-up cassava
for Tai Brad — some funeral-related ceremony this afternoon: went out to
the point past Yamata where the birds drop and shatter their caught crabs
— Lily yanks out glass shutter and cuts above her eye — men who don’t
marry do the cooking…? cassava breadmaking time -> (Lolo greedily
protects her mangos) but not before the piglet gets a good drink of the
coconut milk — Marley “Born to Suffer” song — offered tea in Yamata —
many mosquito bites around my knees: reason for sulu? “Nogu Viti Lomoase??”
Joe the shark, sees his namesake — Bill’s boat leaks: unrepairable: new
tin sheet: $45 — big broom steamed bread slices at the communal place —
times goes back 1/22 (but I’ve heard that a few times already) — I think
I’m hearing my name a lot lately (or they could be talking about bread) due
to the Sireli affair: even lyin’ Joe was at church today and now makes some
effort to communicate: he was complicit in this potential con (other than
asking for $160 to go to Lautoka: same price as Flyer) — Abel in Naboro
church thanked me for coming and asked God to watch over and protect me:
packed church, very humid — rain moves across bay in advancing sheets —
Nigh is thought to have gone to N for church: Joe throws stone at her as
she appears in village — Joe feigns interest in my evening conversation as
he drags out the German picture book: I show him the world’s 2nd largest
country on GIP map/card but he ends by asking for more money! incorrigible!
and this after a double hit of church! he’s supposed to take Sivo to L to
begin highschool year this morning but the weather is bad — didn’t think
there’d be anything for Sun lunch other than cassava but we join group at
TP’s for fish heads and shells — hidden fish tail appears only at Joe’s
insistence for late dinner prior to being hit-up for more money — I find 2
fallen mangos in the early morning, before the pig — UK Jay has been on
the mainland for wks now: great! — strange mangy dog sneaks up behind and
half-bites my ankle — laundry being slapped around: clothesline strung in
verandah — potato and eggplant last night disagreed with me: maybe the oil
was rancid — another day and night of rain: apparently due to a hurricane
— Sivo has still not been delivered to L for school and although today is
supposed to be the first school day, here it may have been cancelled —
Captn Cook came yesterday and motored quite close to drop off passengers
for the shell-market — wet sulus cling to massive buttocks — “happiness
is egotistical” 3 Musketeers — gave M what should be the last “help” on
1/25 (total $1500) — 3 days/nights of rain come to an end: very low tide
that very quickly rises-up — overheard prayers — feral grooming sessions
— wait 5+ min for txt (twitter) message to go out — Sivo goes off to
school-> no emotion (maybe relief?): no thanks to me for paying her fees
either of course — food covering crawling with flies: think I was affected
by the rancid oil again at dinner (fried fish) — there was no lunch, had
to get it from Paul’s house (breadfruit curry) — mangos are fast
disappearing: eat with soya sauce + garlic (yuk) — second Bula Boat
grossly overloaded heads to L too -> although it has covered area for
baggage: not sure what method to use to get to mainland and may have to
curtail the $100 payments here if I have to stay in L guesthouse (rather
than at Nate’s as first planned) — NANDERU/Melvin — resort manager pays
for fuel for family to go to town — big selfish children — M takes my
flipflops which panics me as I have little alternative when walking on
rocks — Sau fries some fish which I’m reluctant to eat (rancid oil) —
wonder if Joe knew before how much I’ve given to his family: I have come to
really not like any of them — heavy rain has shifted mud and broken
waterlines — house empty: hungry: food appears in TN’s: Airenee is one of
5 cooks at the resort: he brought home leftover porridge: pathos — stomach
still not well — tense unpleasant atmosphere at house — may try Nanderu
for day passage to L otherwise I’ll just take the Flyer to N: not much
point in paying M any more: “just wait” — watch Nigh trim and split
coconut: ask for the water inside, grimace included — what is it with
these urchins? — Joe returns from L with rice, underwear, and cookies —
more and more islanders turn out to be resort workers — fancy sarong
missing — more mosquito bites — asked (txt) Nate if I can stay with her
at her new job at Long Beach (!) resort before flying home (no reply as
usual) –> of course Joe gets wind of this and again wants to use my
phone-time: red-eyed and bleary at 10 a.m. I can only assume he’s spent my
money on grog while his family is hungry? — Sau is using the boat to pick
up siding for the new house construction — apparently passage on the BB is
only $10 1-way: they tell me this only after ascertaining that I’ve paid
enough to M’s family ($1500): but TN still lies when saying that the cost
of reg boat is $300 (!) — Joe who lied about being unable to call Nate via
cell, all in support of Sireli’s scheme [boxing game] — judging tide
direction — UK Jay is in Suva visiting with Elli’s parents: don’t think
he’s coming back (if only!) — “ungraceful” thrashing swimmers were driving
fish to a net — solar Vodafone! — kerosene is $30 for 20L — keeps much
longer in the plastic cooking oil containers — boat to Watongo for
coconuts, crabs, fish, nuts: eat at Normani’s: house has small hinged doors
with locks – other house is used by Tai Lynn? — THUR-RE-A SERI “say-re”
for short (Joe’s aunt) — hundreds of bats appear as the sun sets! easily
the coolest event of my stay! — 2 youth rush out the door as I
enter/return to the house ahead of the others saying, “you’ve been to
Watonga? see you around” -> this does not bode well as too many people now
know I pay $100 each week and am leaving end of Feb — scratch scratch
scratch sound of coconut grater — more and more mosquito bites: think
they’re getting me first thing in the morning: perhaps I’ll start my walk
later — attach audible alarm to my bag — “ripe mango theory” of immediate
consumption — Nate’s maybe on the mainland next week? — miraculously fish
were abundant this Sun: oh sure, let the brats walk back and forth on the
tin roof (or is that Joe on “the day of rest” — no matter how I try the
fishbone suckers can always find more to eat from my plate — I’m often
given the smallest crab to eat because I can rarely stand
struggling/tearing at the carcass for a smidgeon of meat: which is only on
small crab — Nano is spastic and feeble-minded — Lily has spells of
near-madness and a glass-shattering wale — young virgin girls on the East
Side grow a length of virgin hair like my “wisp” which is cut once they
have sex — played the VIDIVIDI game: all games (cards) proceed in an
anticlockwise direction — first day of school 1/30 — parents carry foam
mattresses/bedding to school dormitory: 70+ pupils (31 in dorm) — must be
depressing to see your deficiencies repackaged in offspring — rounds of
“row row row your boat” — hurricane rumours? — “nannitou? devil: nanitu:
4 yr old Jason looked outside the night window, pointed and said it
repeatedly: Nigh got very quiet when I asked how to spell it — all the
boats pulled on shore: even the fishing boat which sells barracuda from its
icechests ($10 for a big one), has left the bay — Joe comes back clutching
2 little fish muttering something about TM — watch TN weave a mat — tea
at Jim’s: nice neat house with bare wood floors and big tampa on main wall
— rooves tied down: windows boarded — much high-pitched screaming and
rapid babbling — children make fun of my worry — FT is dragged up under
the verandah as it could blow away — b’fast (rice) in the brother’s
house/store: filthy but they tell me radio weather news: cyclone has passed
to the South but still lots of rain, wind and floods in the mainland —
nice shot of the children cleaning the school window slots — trad bures
not affected by high winds as the wind passes through them and structures
bend with wind — Sami off to plant cassava; Normeni paddles home but
leaves Eleanor — I suggest alu-min-ium for boats instead of fiberglass
(all those rocks) — E washed M’s pots but then the pig and dog ate from
them — VUDI (orange veg) — another cyclone coming! — seems to be just
wind and rain so far — went across to M’s brother’s place to
unsuccessfully (can’t charge error: too much draw maybe as the hidden
washing machine was running), charge my cell phone as their generator was
the only one running that night — 3, 4 or 5 cyclones per year — but
someone heard on the radio that there may be 8 just this month! -> which
means I need to leave ASAP — is the Yasawa Flyer still running? apparently
nearly always — bellowing bumpkin sneaks off for the stoner midnight
“fishing” gig and leaves the power strip on the boat so I charge my cell
and reader at TP & TN’s — fortunately I spot Nigh’s fly-encrusted fish
dish and have A’s catch of small fish at TN’s instead — still more wind,
rain, surf — papaya and the big doughy lumps — Friday is “sports day” at
the school: kids do sliding belly flops in the puddles — supper is cassava
(Sau, Lolo, Normani know better and eat elsewhere) and Joe asks me to buy
“tin fish”: I refuse as always: he orders PMSy Nigh to get some which she
subsequently shoves through th window slats [2/4/12 recording – erased] —
storm as finally lifted: lyin’ Joe says he’s going to the mainland this wk
— FT was carried down to the water this morning and tie-downs and boards
removed from house — I use Jay’s brighter, less-fly-ridden room to read
and Eli (gay guy) lies saying Nigh needed to change in order to get me out
— lying is like breathing here — Air-en-ee tells me the Flyer is still
running but resort has few guests so I may as well wait and see if the BB
goes back into service — mainland will likely be flooded anyway — Lily is
sounding increasingly mad — they no longer bother to clean my room but
used batteries are disappearing — big styro box in rafters that hides
items (fishing spears, volleyball) — allergic to Sawyer insect repellent
it seems — anything, or info not of immediate use is discarded —
mandatory Sun fish lunch: break in weather Sat allows better village mood
— does TN have a hidden secret washing machine? or is it a toilet? — when
the weather’s rough the boats leave from the school-beach and go around the
island clockwise — TIVI (looks like potatoes) — MAKITA NUT + coconut oil
= red hair dye — Air-en-nee brings home chicken-bones/scraps and beef
curry from resort — rumours of hurricane this morning but just the
continuing rain for now — Jim the pastor says, no cyclone if you have
faith: his mother? offers to make a $50 mat: would like to see if he’d sell
the tapa but probably couldn’t get it out of the country — cold greasy
pancakes: Nano squeezes one an applies the grease to his face and hair:
little Jason clutches them all to his chest — hepatitis: boils? — pecking
order — sandalwood sells for $180/kg: one tree worth $60-70K — offered
$100 for tapa burial shroud if Wayalailai chief — Namara Entertainment
Group — school teachers paid $100/wk by gov’t — dormitory costs $2/yr as
local families take turns cooking meals — I’m offered mayor’s daughters’
place in Nadi close to airport but Joe’s enthusiasm for that idea seems
like his evil complicity with Sireli’s plot — re, $3K and corporate flat:
“everything inside” — ELIJAH (dismayed, disheartened, broken) insert —
Pastor Jim turns down my offer of $200 for the tapa but half-seriously says
$500 — M falls asleep in the middle of the laundry on the floor so only
rice to eat that TN scares up — old breadfruit for lunch — alcoholic UK
Jay returns with Eli: starts smoking indoors again — butter, store-bread,
beer, bongos from Mainland — cyclone Jasmascus — maybe more rain this
week – promise of fish, at least from Joe doesn’t materialize — 3 wks to
go: 2 kava 3 bundles of yakqi? — no sugar left on island! — school
offered me tea and bread but silly snitch-boy ran back to tell M that I had
breakfast and Nigh says that I “eat too much” — Kava: REM sleep
deprivation — the less the “interface” (interaction) the clearer the
“expression” — am beginning to truly despise these people esp when they
furtively talk about me in Fijian: there they go again! off on a picnic
without me! — Bula Boat is back in water — apparently a bus to Lautoka
connects at Denerau port so perhaps the expensive Flyer is the prudent
passage & drier — I tell Nanduro I leave on wk of 20th: he says he’ll let
me know — Joe rapidly builds door for the “newly coupled:” Jay and Elli
sanction: dowry?: lock on outside — they all drink kava (& beer) late into
the night: I can’t stand the sound of his clipped English natterings — BB
leaves this a.m. fully loaded: Fri : 7 a.m. — maybe just 10 days to
endure: dreamt of animated, dried yoqona roots (protruding from breast
shirt pocket — some domestic displays for Elli: will she stay when Jay
leaves?) — TAI RASI (88 y.o.) has nap on verandah using 2×4 and folded
plastic-burlap bag as pillow — little more rain and surf is still strong
— toilet paper!: Eli (horsey face like many and a limp?): Jay gets eggs
and the Tai prefix and I get a look as the Tai Rasi says smoking is not
tabu in the village (he uses the string-tobacco) — M seems especially
jovial these last days: Tai Mary comes by with a huge boil on her elbow:
Sau has one on his neck: Jays seems to have tablets for them but produce
headache side effects — Tai Rasi takes pride in his 6-spoons-sugar tea and
gets firewood which a youth delivers, papaya, tobacco plug — single bed
moved from J&M’s room so the big bed is used by J&E for sex? — the Tai
with the burned legs slips in the rain and this event is cause for 15 min
of mirth and retelling for several plus those coming by — more hidden
food: the music woke me up: despite being told that there was nothing to
eat, they’re eating meat, potatoes & noodles at 12 p.m.

Sau dropped out of school at form/grade 5 or 6 because the teacher would
frequently hit him on the head. Nigh got as far as form 3?: wants to be a
part of the AN church. Lily seems to like going to school (grade 1): all
that structure must be reassuring somehow: apparently L & N are learning
how to make brooms today in school. I’m waiting for the “village visit”
boat to return with me to the resort/Flyer; all this sporadic rain may be
an issue and of course I’m not keen on dragging this luggage around Lautoka
in this weather at night. M had just finished her shower and as I entered
the stall, Elli was adamantally alarmed that the cake of soap was still
inside and I might just use it! How is this pettiness possible? One last
lie from squinty-eyed Joe: no village-visit boat but pay him to take me to
the Flyer now. One v-v is here now from Nangia (on the other side :)). Noah
should be here from Wayalailai Resort @ 1 p.m. With the language difficulty
it’s hard to tell just how “simple minded” (singular mind) the villagers
may be: they seem deprived and for me depressing. The albino-boatman tells
me the v-v is on as Joe watches from a distance. That fucker did nothing
but lie to me all 4 months so, as he seemed to know about the plan to call
Goro (Mogee’s son) once at Lautoka bus station, I decide not to contact
him, which was likely wise as the hotel was only around the corner from the
bus depot! So that was likely another bad scheme. The Flyer was a pleasant
albeit expensive ride: very smooth and fast with a high viewpoint but
imagine my horror/surprise at seeing a few villagers in Lautoka once I’d
checked into the Seabreeze: they wanted to go drinking, with me paying no
doubt. They were probably disappointed to see me only buy a litre of juice
$1 from the market and not-so “Lucki Bites” take-away chicken-curry $3.50 I
must remember to ask for souvenir receipts and head back to my room (who’s
number I’d “forgotten”) but gave Frances one dollar for juice too. They
came on Tai Jerry’s wooden boat (could it be faster than taking the Flyer
to Nadi + bus to Lautoka, included in $129 fare?) The hotel has a nice
central garden and outdoor pool and right on the bay shore. There’s
apparently a new hotel just up the street which I’ll “check out” in the
morning but anxious now to get some sleep and not be tortured by loud
music, screaming screeching all night. Very glad to be out of that
hell-house. Paid for 16 nights @ Seabreeze $720 discounted to $45/night.
Anna, the maid’s, grandmother is from Namara so that should be helpful.
Looked at Kiran Palace: a new, still partially under construction, motel:
garish Indian multi-color schemes, with a/c and dark (offered at $40 +
breakfast) but prefer the sunny, breezy place with (murky) pool and view
over the bay. Bought a piece of sandpaper 70c to finish my vau (was
incorrectly calling it tivi) walking stick: maybe a can of urethane spray
too: assuming I’ll be permitted to bring it on the plane: although light
it’s pretty massive in appearance. Nice to be able to buy things! Brown
sugar $3.30 Red Cow powdered milk $5.39 Punjas ceylon tea (
excellent! $2.42 Lee’s breakfast crackers $1.99 Bhuja snack mix $3.30,
5-pack Maggi instant chicken noodles $2.85 Matches $1.99… exchange rate
is about the same (at Western Union) 1.69 as when I arrived at airport, but
only 1.50-something at bank. As the bus terminal is very close I’ll likely
make many trips. Hotel seems pretty secure: there’s even a guard that makes
the rounds at night. Bought a big cup $1.75 and big tea strainer $2.20 —
I’ll have to leave these behind. Earlier, bought some peanuts $1.65 and
Fanta pineapple cold drink 1.25L $2.59 to ease my stomach after the curry
(or was it the market fruit juice)?? See more villagers in town: are they
native Fijian societal misfits who retreat to the outlying islands? 2/14/12
FT headline: Bad Weather Affects Jobs. As most are, this public market is
picturesque plus the fragrances of the many Indian spices: I’ll be able to
eat quite cheaply just from the fruit and vegetable offerings. Got the “are
you on a yacht?” question, but there are but a few here (most in Suva, I
think), that I’ve seen. My big mop of hair attracts some looks. Many shops.
primarily Indian-run: of course you don’t see many Indians on the
village-islands: Tai Jerry would be the only exception I’ve noticed and
he’s married to a Fijian. All prices except grocery items seem negotiable:
wonder if I’m bargaining hard-enough: seem to need to hear the “final
price” phrase… 15 reg postcards $6.60; 5 big cards $6.25 minus .85c
discount; notebook 40c; silk sulu $10 (from $12.50); wooden souvenir
war-axe (I liked the shape but I’m getting a little buying-spree crazy. The
luggage weight limit is sure to be an issue, even before purchases as they
may weigh the carry-on on the way home. 4-$1 lottery scratch tickets (one
$2 winner): asked about the Aussie Lucky-7 draw but it seemed to require a
name and phone number: weekly draw 35 million/$2 pick — Fiji map $3 (from
$3.50) — $2 bananas in market — got 350 5c coins for the GIP
coin-edition, from the bank with no problem — haven’t found any Fijian
pencils: they all seem to come from Malaysia or China — lots of DVDs for
sale, some CDs but no sign of the mp3s that must be here somewhere: CDs are
pricey at $20 — HOPE Daycare centre outside: children singing Frere
Jacques in Fijian… Music mix DVDs $3ea x3. Michael Jackson DVD movie
collection for V $4, but it’s looking familiar: bought her something
similar at least. There’s also a Julia Roberts movie collection which may
be available tomorrow. Mailed the 5 big postcards 90c ea. Ate some of the
Mix Bhuja which probably wasn’t good for my stomach but I craved the salt I
guess. More tea with powdered milk and sugar and perhaps down to the lounge
to watch TV and sunset(?) Must remember to make some mp4 clips of the
loaded buses leaving the terminal late afternoon. Almost seems to be as
many Indians, if not more, than Fijians: they seem to disdain typical
Fijian gospel music fare as well as reggae. Big Muslim temple with green
glass next to the sugarcane narrow-gauge railway tracks: with all the rain
and damaged crops perhaps the train isn’t operating: I’d hoped to film it
— Watched a Sandra Bullock movie on FijiOne TV: The Proposal: just a
smattering of auto, mosquito, deodorant and public service ads in the
middle: accompanied by squeaking window washing and pleas of feral cat. A
piece of my tooth-guard has snapped-off: probably excess stress-driven
tooth-grinding. I must call Nate tonight and determine whether she really
_has moved from Lautoka: if so, it would be the only truthful thing Joe
told me. Remember spotting what was perhaps an un-manned weather(?) drone
aircraft from the bus window on the way to Lautoka. Need to buy 13+ more
postcards; mailing 15 this morning 2/15/12 Need to buy some adhesive
patches to repair the tears in my big bag that Joe caused by dragging it
down to the beach. They were all either indifferent or lying about the
village visit boat: TP said there was no visit due to the earlier rain: TN
said it was too late for it: Eleanor just related how frustrating it was
for me to pick out tiny pieces of crabmeat when I was so hungry: I drank
the “tuom” (coconut broth with onion) instead of dunking the crab meat. Joe
kept saying the boat either was or wasn’t coming: they all seemed to enjoy
my stress: I kept checking on the v-visit once it did arrive: at one point
the boat suddenly left empty: it finally returned but went to “the other
side” (school beach/sand bridge) so instead of “relaxing” as Joe kept
insisting (trans: it’s not my problem), we had to hussle with the luggage
to the new pick-up point. Joe’s auntie helped me (sort of) carry the one
bag. If you ask the villagers a question they might blurt out an indefinite
reply and continue with their chatter so you don’t know if they’re
discussing your query or not –> inevitably not, as if they are not
attempting to speak or listen to you, they’ll immediately switch their
attention to the first local conversation and ignore you: or even fall
asleep in mid-sentence! as TJ did… (Here’s hoping that UK asshole doesn’t
come here before he leaves… I’d rather not listen to that clipped insipid
accent anymore.) Two buttons on flush-toilets: half and full flush. I
partially forgot that I’m no longer drinking (fairly) fresh artesinal water
as on the island but likely treated Lautoka City water (that’s perhaps also
tainted by all the flooding?) Stomach cramps still so bought some bottled
AquaSafe water 1.5L $1.89. Spotted in the Shop-N-Save checkout by folks
from Namara (Old) Village. Also BulaLand salted peanuts from China 150g
$1.99×2; Golden Harvest crunchy peanut butter 340g $4.69 to use on the dry
breakfast crackers; Nestle Milo soft pack $2.95 (never had this but it
promises protein). Had an Egg Bun $1.20 at the Public Mkt Snack Bar. Not
sure I’m really saving much by buying groceries but I like preparing little
meals in my room. Anna did a nice job this morning: new, smaller quieter
fan and a new roll of orange colored toilet paper. Nothing appears to be
missing. 4 white young guest (3 male) likely Australian as was the older,
very pale gent I saw this morning in a cafe, while on the way to the P.O.
where I also bought 15 more postcards (postage for the reg size cards is
only 40c anywhere overseas but packages are $17.50/kg by sea, $22.50/kg by
air plus a big box at $2.50 (but maybe not big enough for my carved Fiji
war club. Overweight Air Pacific baggage: $10/kg. At the Wise Kids
bookshop: box of Indian pencils, new copy of Fiji Myths & Legends, Indian
children’s reader (nice line work) and scissors to cut items from the FT
newspaper 2/15/12: “Ministry Sends 56 More Workers Home: DISMISSED” Raven
Symone in Suva (news for V): total $15.65. Will also try boiling the tap
water longer in a partially-full “hot pot” -> making some Magi chicken
noodles. Little nap: stomach still not good. Out to buy some Ming’s Hot
Bread 75c Pacific Laundry soap bar (orange) 99c (will attempt to wash other
pair of shorts and tanks in the shower); Real Orange-Mango juice 2L $6.95
Nice photo of the girl selling bread at Ming’s. Some of the fish prices:
Wahloo is $8.95 per kilo! Fish heads $1.79 (see, I knew it wasn’t a good
thing…) More folks recognize me at the bus terminal where I braved the
diesel fumes for some nice busy footage mostly of students plus stills (and
calendar $2 but I bet they were really free) of more kava sellers: waba
(root only) & yaqoni — light rain; trails of bus exhaust cling to the damp
roadway… Well, eating that bread wasn’t a good idea… I should just stop
eating altogether but I’d be too weak at this point. Once this clears, I’ll
be taking the 12-hr bus trip around the island (Viti Levu) from bay #13:
Sunbeam bus might cost $39 (but that seems inflated) or so one of the
drivers claimed after discussing my question others… 200% tax deduction
on flood relief donations over $1000: $1.2 million raised so far. Just OJ
and bottled water today. Really wish I’d managed to bring my radio,
although it would have been turned on 24/7 and soon destroyed at the
hell-house: I could probably buy a cheap one in town. A few voices outside
at 4 a.m. — feels like a surprisingly safe town with shoplifting perhaps
the main crime judging by the inevitable shadow clerks in the shops. Apart
from the overpriced craft section of the public market there’s not much in
the way of souvenirs: only the post office shop has postcards and I’ve
bought most of them. Only Fiji rugby shirts and sleeveless beer shirts: the
P.O. has a nice black T with “Fiji Kings” in white (rugby?) but it’s $35.
Visited the botanical gardens which I stumbled upon during my morning walk:
few visitors, I suspect: not a lot there: the field office employee had to
think long and hard to find me a printed brochure: I suppose that cyclones
would discourage much development — mail 11 more postcards — still no
sign of the sugar cane train :(( saw a repurposed (cafe + housing) Indian
movie theatre that I’ll visit later today — several decrepit internet
cafes with out the coffee — feels a little like Central America this
morning: humid, palms, open buses, rain showers, light industrial
shambles… not a lot _to Lautoka: bars, gates, security fences on houses
— may end-up making many bus trips: may buy some snacks, drinks for the
ride tomorrow — it’s not a light, but a fan that’s missing from the
ceiling, hence the portable model — Fiji Bitter quart $3.55; snack mix
from red Indian cart 50c — typhoid, dengue, & leptospirosis(?) are
water-borne diseases — 11 dead and 4500 displaced due to flooding — NZ
donates $2.2 million — got some nice footage of the snack carts outside
the market — cars actually stop at crosswalks in town: probably a big fine
for offenders like the $400 fine littering in the public market. I see now
why Fijians cling to the only validating history available (the early
missionary days) -> the established Indian Hindu and Islamic faiths and the
sheer number of these adherents trump trivial comparative claims to
historical culture (the cannibal era excluded). Have delayed my 12-hr bus
trip to tomorrow, Sat as my intestines remain unwell. The hotel, being
Indian-managed, is scrupulously clean: much sweeping and mopping: white
ceramic tiles — I’d assumed the tap water would be OK once boiled for tea,
but maybe not: I’ll try buying the expensive 1.5L bottles of a while:
grocery store probably not open yet: starts to warm-up about 6:30 a.m. I’ll
buy a newspaper and the water and read outside in the sun for a while.
Still plugging through “Thus Spake Zarathursa”: pseudo biblical treatise on
the Kindle (which I remember trying to finish years ago). Left a nice oil
slick on the surface of the pool water yesterday from my suntan lotion:
have yet to see anyone else use the pool: modesty issues? — txt msg to
Nate?: the more I help your family the more hostile they become — clouds
building in the afternoon over the mountains, probably bringing light rain
soon — many guests arrive Friday afternoon by taxi — I had many
premonitions/misgivings about traveling to this region (South Pacific)
which I finally knowingly ignored (to my peril?): I can’t believe that one
bottle of juice is still upsetting my intestinal tract 5 days later —
Lautoka seems to be a bit of a weekend party town: the motel patrol was in
effect by 8 and guests are asked, “are you going out?” as they do: this to
provide some reassurance? — I’ve been going to bed too early to see what’s
going on and of course as the islanders know, I’m not a party-person —
it’s either 15 min before (VodaFone) or after (TV) 8 p.m.: I can very
faintly hear the Muslim prayer call — slid the bicycle-cable lock through
the handle of the smaller bag and the PacSafe and around the plumbing that
runs through the closet — threw out the old toothbrush (who knows?): could
be the Red Cow milk-powder?: best before date 06/10/2014: I don’t even use
water when brushing my teeth: should be able to risk taking the bus to the
airport as (for once), I’ll have all day before departure time — story in
the paper about cancelled, weather-related flights and no compensation from
the airlines — I’m thinking UK Jay must have been behind all the
hostility: from confusing my airport pickup; feigning sleep in the
shoreline hammock as I arrived; to finally ignoring me altogether, which
could only have fueled the household hostility — 3 tiny imported USA
oranges $2; 4 tiny imported USA apples $1.50 — Sat is the _big market day:
more vendors: includes live chickens, crabs, shrimp… bought 2 small buré
models and fan for $15; 7 wooden bracelets for V $10… from the ShopNSave
more 1.5L water: 3 for $5.67; Punjas breakfast crackers $1.13; 2 more
BulaLand peanuts in the tin $3.98 (150g); Sat FijiTimes $1 2/18/12: TWO
DEAD (Leptospirosis) — little mormants scuttle along the fenceline at the
back of the hotel -> introduced here and elsewhere to kill rats but they
also ate the birds’ eggs — thunder at 3 p.m. — back from the bus trip
around the island Viti Levu ($40): apparently there’s a slightly cheaper
option with Pacific Trails busline and they have a/c but you need to switch
buses in Suva: glad I went on Sun: it has to be very hectic during the week
— not a lot to this place really — saw little evidence of major flood
damage other than eroded river banks: small horses, cows along the roadway;
lots of sugarcane, numerous designated “villages”; a prison but no visible
military institutions; grog shops; very long. narrow dug-out canoes;
families headed to church; empty roadside produce stands (would make great
photos); some posh resorts along the Coral Coast (SW tip); shops were
mostly all closed on Sunday; the drivers were all neatly coiffered, young,
polite Indian males: the ticket-takers seem to be circulated along the
route: a running dis/mount from/to the bus: they seem very chummy amongst
themselves and seem to engage in fairly serious respectful conversation as
the bus moves along: any responsible job is invariably held by non-Fijians
— generous rainfall as I come home — still remember various islanders
asking to borrow my umbrella (light, small, delicate travel model) -> zero
chance of it not being broken, so that’s what I said it was: and even less
chance of them appreciating that it’s “special/significant” and difficult
to replace: still, Fijians seem fairly easy-going, accepting, and cheerful:
it has to be the kava ;) the Indians may see this land as amazingly
open/sparsely populated and that may contribute to a sense of ease,
although they’re clearly “driven” compared to the natives — the
settlements on smaller islands must empty the “mainland” pretty quickly for
those wishing an approximation of Western capitalist environments; I
imagine students’ secondary schooling would provide the initial impetus,
but there’s very little secondary industry income for arriving islanders
suddenly faced with new expenses — gold, timber, sugar, fish — 3G network
isn’t picked up by the Kindle although I’ve seen ads for 3&4G — the USB
port on my Sanyo movie camera shows green corrosion but I’ve rarely used
(TV playback) esp as all my films are the very small 176×144 format — the
Airborne evanescent vitamin C container seems the perfect size stashing
currency!: had the last of it: may not still be effective: after my bus
trip I woke at 1 a.m. charged the cell phone and Kindle: also made some
Milo with powdered milk and thought about making some more w/c of the
multiple rippled small wavelets out back of the hotel –12hr aerial shots
of the hotel garden foliage — could hear the wooden (church?) drums last
morning — [from LP phrase book:] should you be invited to stay with a
Fijian family, prepare yourself for a novel and heartwarming experience.
Fijians are masters at entertaining, and go out of their way to make guests
feel as comfortable as possible. You will probably be given the best room
in the house (or, if in a village, the only bed) and served with the best
foods, within your host’s means.” — was wondering why I had a bruise on
one side of my nose -> the nosepiece from my Revo sunglasses is missing:
expensive optical clarity isn’t worth the price given how often Revos fail
in other regards: it was sometimes too dark to see properly: have a cheap
backup pair of course — Punjas breakfast crackers are vitamin-enriched:
feel a cold coming on: odd how these ailments strike once I _leave the
flophouse — only saw the southern outskirts of Nadi and the colourful
Hindu temple on the way back to Lautoka -> made some probably unremarkable
footage from the bus window — I like this mitre of coconut tanning oil +
SPF4 lotion: looks like ghee — 2/20/12 DRUG RESIDUE DANGER (no tests on
meat from sick animals) — big afternoon rain with thunder and lightning:
from RP Foodtown: Laxmi Mix Bhuja 400g $3.15 and here’s the good deal: Real
Juice Orange-Mango 2 x $6.95 2L — Fiji Gold 750ml $3.95 — temps in the
low 30’s C — the burlap bags come out all along the open entrances to the
grocery stores, to minimize the mud tracked in — instant coffee in a nice
squarish red Nescafe mug 70c in order to sit with my groceries and take
pictures of people and buses in the downpour — wallou = kingfish — ate
some breakfast crackers with canola spread + tea + bananas — did the Milo
Mile 6x (why not Kilo?): came home and basically sat in the sun all day,
drinking a 2L bottle of Australian orange-mango juice as my throat is sore
— shot a few clips of the rapidly incoming tide towards 4 p.m. — no
watercolours — small 28 pp paper today: 2/21/12 “Commander warns Health:
Toll up by 3” (flood borne diseases) — there’s running water at the market
so I’m thinking the fruit juice I had on arrival was not likely tainted:
assuming the Lautoka city water is OK) — “The breaking of the coconut
represents the cracking of the three forms of human weakness: egotism (the
hard shell), delusion (the fibre) and material attachments (the outermost
covering), The white kernel and sweet water represent the pure soul
within.” — about half way through the Neitzche — had a Fiji Gold Beer
last night but again the beer doesn’t seem to have any alcohol in it:
bottles wrapped in newspaper: Muslim propriety: all purchases are rounded
to the nearest 5c as that the smallest coin now — more juice 3 x $6.95;
FMF breakfast crackers $1.50; Collins (Indonesian) candies for my throat
$1.35; Fiji Cheddar cheese $6.09 (so far nothing’s disappeared from the
shared fridge) -> the whole complex is very open, structured around a
central courtyard filled with plants and a non-functioning fountain (I must
ask if it works): they may just be thrifty with the electricity — mailed 2
more postcards: started to explore North of the hotel along the shore
wondering whether there’s a local dock (apart from the fisheries formality
farther South) -> heard there _was but now it’s “finished” -> came across
cluster of tombstones that perhaps was relocated (due to cyclones/floods),
as usually they’re seen separately outside relatives’ homes — 2/22/12 KAVA
BAN IN PLACE — bits of sun but rain again by 2:30 p.m.: chicken chop suey
$4: asked at the red Indian restaurant what “ah-poo” meant: “A-poh is the
boss’ name and “a-poo” means apple ? in Fijian-Hindi? — light rain + sun +
rainbow -> put on the new grey & pink swimtrunks (a little tight in the
crotch: even with recent weight loss): cheap Chinese eBay purchase: no
pouch in front) and swam in the rain and sun: no chlorine in this pool I’d
say, but lots of rainwater — Ming’s Hot Bread 75c; bunch of bananas $2 —
tried another Fiji Gold from Shop-N-Save: 20c cheaper at $3.75 and another
Bhuja Mix (not as fresh as the carts but cheaper) — asked to have the
central fountain turned-on amid all the plants which I’d remarked on
earlier: only the sprayer in the center works, along with red, blue & white
underwater floods, and not the cascading water shells: the hotel lady said
“thank you for reminding me”: they’re supposed to be on at 7 p.m.: nice,
effective background sound: and it’s easy to lose sight of all the plants:
they’re a significant feature here: I guess I admire the layout of the
place: open and yet private/sequestered — Japan’s ambassador is moving on
and hopes that Fiji will implement a “credible/transparent” democracy in
2014 elections — I try to get down to the lounge to watch the 6 p.m. TV
news each night (despite the occasional cloud of cigarette smoke) —
apparently the mini-vans at the corner, (as well as the buses every 15 min)
also go to Nadi for $2 so maybe I’ll take the trip tomorrow morning: but I
see/hear that the fountain has now been turned-off, before 8 p.m. — ashes
from burnt Sunday palms of previous year (church service) — VEREKAUTA’S 7s
CHANCE (Fiji Rugby) 2/23/12 — finally paid $4 in advance? for Julia
Roberts DVD collection (6 films) for V — $15 for Fiji Time T shirt for D
— more big rain at 4 p.m. (glad I didn’t go to Nadi today: tomorrow’s
weather is supposed to be similar — semblance of village between
commercial sector and light industrial zone — photograph the wild power
poles (insulators, jump-wires, connectors): big church in village: these
are the drums I hear: I don’t have a sulu anymore but maybe the shorts on a
tourist would be OK here, if I attend this Sunday — couple more w/c before
I began tanning my ass! they don’t disturb me on the deck now: but I was
interrupted by 2 brief downpours and so wandered up the street in search of
lunch (fish and chips $3.50) — bought 2 small papayas for $3: seems a
rip-ff after having big free ones on the island — seems the sugar can
harvest doesn’t start until June: the small train that used to transport it
was running at the end of the season when I saw it in Nov — jumped on the
bus to Nadi this morning ($2.75) before I could get too worried ->
interesting to see the locals up close on their way: meticulously groomed
school girls: about 1-1/2 hours from bus terminal to terminal: bought some
jewelry for V from a shop that likely supplies all the shell market ;)) a
nice but small (and as usual for bird books), too expensive, but got it
down to $7.90 from one shop: “Birds of the Fiji Bush” published by Fiji
Museum: includes the little bright “red-headed parrot-finch” that I would
often see in the green grass on Waya — more tourists (but not many; some
Japanese) in Nadi as well as souvenir shops & the buy-now dreaded bula
greeting — a quieter, with larger yaqona section, market next to the bus
terminal — almost didn’t bother to pay the $3.50 tourist fee to see the
Swami Temple: very lurid and a little crude decorations, just at the edge
of town: snuck a few prohibited snaps before being admonished: and I hate
having to leave my shoes in these places (functional, fitting footwear
being a perpetual problem): there was one goddess-statue that I was allowed
to photograph (Malina?): perhaps she watched over my footwear — there’s
nothing foreboding about either Nadi or Lautoka, but just like Belize, I
tend to believe the locals (who have their own agendas), in the absence of
any other info — bought an ice-cream cone from a vendor-cart in the bus
terminal [insert: “Me and My Ice Cream” pic] — didn’t see any
cheaper/appealing accommodation in/around Nadi: so Lautoka is the way to go
— still scared-to-death that AP will weigh my carry-on — locals at the
almost adjacent house offered me kava (“one bowl”) but the water is still
too scary: I suppose I could bring a bottled water — 2/24/12 LIGHTNING
STRIKE KILLS — bursts of rain this afternoon — asked about the “Sleeping
Giant” garden at a Nadi tourist kiosk: hahaha $85! + there’s a directional
arrow to it off the Queen’s HWY little above the airport — to bed and up
early: make toast in the kitchen: can hear distant bass music rumbling: ate
a market papaya: much darker orange color inside and smaller than the Waya
variety — more shots in the Sat market: morning shafts of sunlight:
suddenly realized that all these heaps of produce are 12hr material so I
ran several rolls (all doubled exposed with earlier, likely volcanic rocks
shots) — banana pudding & lemon cakee $1.50 ea — mailed 2 more postcards
wit re-valued stamps 2x20c — bought $9 BISONY tiny radio at the same shop
where I finally found mp3s for sale: 150 songs burned to CD: gospel & grog:
$15 total (despite there being a big sign stating “Pleeze No Gospel”) —
making a mon recording [2/24/12] of the $9 radio with ambient hotel and
weather using splitter [seems to generate line-noise; follows on Island
grog-hell recording] — article in FT about Indian and Chinese ATMs that
dispense gold coins and bars (in the event of global currency collapse: I’d
reckon on ammunition, shotgun-shells, being the new barter currency) & “Kim
Dotcom’s” custodial proceedings (Australian millionaire founder of
MegaUpload) — BE HONEST (Flood disease statistics bother Commander Cawaki)
— sucked back another 2L container of Orange-Mango juice in a bid to shake
what just seems to be a head-cold — had a slice of the “lemon pie” : like
the “banana pudding” this lady makes the best! : I’ll tell her next time I
see her (assuming that she’s not only there on Sat) — [insert photos]
can’t believe the sound from this tiny cheap radio, about the size of a
thick business card — saw a disturbed elderly, white (Australian) man in a
b&w striped dress/long shirt and elevated men’s shoes shuffle past as I was
eating a piece of fried chicken ($4) yesterday: he made quite a stir in the
restaurant — my chest was covered with what looked like small bug bites
that itched and “leaked” -> stopped using the sunscreen-oil combination and
it seems to have improved but this morning I brushed at what looked like a
very big pimple on my left shin and it broke, releasing some fluid and
applied (expired) antibiotic cream (still leaking): hope it’s not a boil!
— the 4th month is maybe just too much to recover from… 4 days to go…
now the zipper on my waist-bag isn’t closing completely: things never get
better, only worse: entropy: not every shop seems to carry the Sunday
TImes: :finally found one from the street stand and bought 4 green oranges
($2) from a Chinese vendor outside the closed public market: no breeze and
the street stunk — I’ve resumed using boiled local water for my tea ->
wonder if that caused my leg “boil” — everything/everyone suspect —
couple of soft voices called to me (“Madrai; Tai Brad”) but I was stressed
& too intent on returning my $9 radio which suddenly didn’t have any
volume, that I just glanced in their direction and kept going -> of course
you don’t know off the islands, if it’s a genuine greeting or just an
opener to ask for money: felt kinda badly after… I chanced on a peaceful
soccer match, after finding the Sunday streets mostly deserted and shops
closed — and staying with the hostile buggers where leaving anything
unattended/unlocked would guarantee its disappearance, meant I was
continually having to check myself and where things were: exhausting after
4 months! and I still have to deal with airline baggage issues and the
usual immigration goons… so, I headed home to ditch the radio, have a cup
of tea and lemon pie and return to watch the soccer games, umbrella in hand
for the usual afternoon downpour — I’m unusually itchy coming in from
sitting outside the hotel: seem to have a salt residue on my body: perhaps
that’s what killed my radio! -> tried unsuccessfully to spot the island
family who hailed me but I don’t think it was anyone I knew especially —
well, I still upset the radio doesn’t work! I really enjoyed listening
before I went to sleep and the choir music this morning. Anyway, went back
to the soccer field and watched 2 games at once, nearly always missing the
goals ;) this is akin to my 2-puck hockey idea… not a friendly city: most
people seem to have that urban-frazzle look: but the wide streets & parks
are promising — just realized that the “Sleeping Giant” Waya mountain’s
name was probably borrowed from Raymond Burr’s garden of the same name…
one hotel worker told me it was a 15 min walk from the directional arrow
off the highway but another says 45 min and there’s a “carrier” who will
take me there and back for $40… nothing perplexes me more than electronic
devices that suddenly only partially function ;) I can still only hear a
very faint radio station signal — Monday morning: leg boil looks OK but I
still have some of the rash of oil pimples/bites (?) on my chest/thighs ->
pop ’em & apply antibiotic: still have cold: the fan blowing on me all
night probably doesn’t help but it keeps any mosquitos at bay — 8 loose
bananas in mkt $2 — Seacoast shop exchanged radios: very pleased: will
keep this one indoors: drinking water should be boiled for at least 1
minute — 3 x $6.95 2L orange-mango juice (broke the refrigerator door
shelf with the weight: of course everything’s a little broken down to begin
with) — Aqua Pacific 1.5L water $1.95; Indian Tonic Water $2.50 1.25L;
Punja Ceylon tea (small box loose $1.48 to take home); b’fast doughy fried
snacks from carts: $1 + crunchy snacks $1 — paper 2/27/12 “BURNED ALIVE”
(Koronvia home fire) — tiny tight demin short on tiny thin Indian girl at
grocery check-out — spent the day reading “Thus Spake Zarathustra” (Happy
Isles) 84% finished: overcast but warm all day: no rain: would have been a
good day to visit the S.G. Garden but will hope for something similar
tomorrow: thought of asking the Tourist Police (next to Ming’s Seaview
restaurant: chicken chop suey $4.50 + Juicy pineapple drink $2) about the
safety of my walk to the SG but there was no one in the office (open barred
door) — picked up a little racial animosity when I asked the Indian hotel
staff which island we could see in the distance: “ask the Fijian girl
(Anna); she’s pretty smart” — some conflict this morning between the 5
a.m. drums, call-to-prayer and dogs — after much agonizing I decided to
try and and cash back about 1900 FJD in case there was a big line or
problems at the airport: the rate seems to be .56 so about $820US: Western
Union had the cash on hand but wanted to see my name on the e-tkt and
wanted my local address: I then went to the bank where the teller took my
passport & ticket & money and went to two other tellers/windows where
everyone muttered and flipped through my passport: I finally went over and
said, “what do you think you’re doing?” : the teller asked me if I wanted
to buy FJD!? then said they didn’t have enough USD! WTF! — went back to
the hotel where I almost left my bags unlocked/unchained as I wasn’t going
to be long and they never clean the room this early –> but they had! this
time (but didn’t leave a towel or blanket) – called AP to check on my
flight Thurs and they really do weigh carry-ons! (actually they didn’t:
just hoisted up the bag to see if it felt too heavy) — I’ll have to cram a
lot of stuff into my pockets! too stressed to try the Sleeping Giant trip
— Bakana Island: seen from hotel — 2/28/12 DOCS FIGHT BACK (10 on stop
work notice over medical decree) — still can’t decide about currency:
charge razor, sanyo, cell, kindle, batteries…

Western Division since Jan 25: 53 cases of communicable diseases: 14
typhoid, 16 leptosprirosis, 23 dengue — discover sun & cool breezes on
usually-locked (never used) dining room deck: Fijian below bellows: “make
use of the pool” (I doubt it but I wonder if my bacterial issues stemmed
from using that pool…) — only white upholstered chairs in the
dining-room so I bring up a plastic one from poolside: a great spot with
views over/beyond the barbed wire fence & debris-strewn, muddy shore (12
tyres & trash) — locals seem to forge for something (firewood? refundable
bottles?) — only 3 newspapers (2 English, 1 Hindi?): no magazines anywhere
(presumably the old mags on the island came through cruise ship passengers?
although it seems unlikely that’s how many of the playcard decks arrived:
perhaps passengers are advised to bring certain items ashore? along with
the many color-pencils (I almost did too) that litter the school compound
— not hearing any likely audio-sources: the market seems only to yield
many muffled voices & traffic outside — residential 4-plex next door is
well-fortified: fencing & caged verandahs: there are breaches in the flimsy
shore fencing here but perhaps the roving security guy is a better option,
given the occasional Fijian visitor (such as the 3 in the pool now) — FT
headlines 2/17/12 KAVA BAN (water borne disease threat): wonder if bottled
water is even OK as my stomach is still gurgling: must check the seals on
the remaining bottles (no exp date on this one or is it embossed 30-01-14)
— send yet another txt msg to Nate: all ignored so far: would like to
believe she’s not complicit: but it all make me wonder if the friendly
islanders were in on the ruse -> I’m tending to think that M was instructed
by Joe to be increasingly inhospitable as there was initially some token
recognition of my household contribution: (mat on the floor, powdered milk,
Pop’s juice, clean sheets…) -> wonder if there contraband activity of
some sort? why else would UK Jay buy them all those expensive things,
(boat, motor, tools, diving equip, etc) — I hope I’m not denied this
sunning spot: I see that the dining room door (which leads to the verandah)
is being reinforced with a strip of wood: perhaps the lock in the
double-doors could be forced? — applied some Neosporin to the scratched
pimple (I hope) and switched to the micro-mesh thong: very private here,
unless you snuck right up behind me — now, if I can just get a bottle of
vodka + OJ up here :) wonder if the alcohol helps kill the intestinal
bacteria? — the occasional freighter & passenger ship slides by — can
hear bottles clanking at the night club adjacent — many eggs offered for
sale in the mkt (that I could boil in the hotpot) but samonella or
something would be almost a certainty in this heat, and distance
transported… maybe I’ll do the bus loop on Sunday (less traffic) = Like
the sail trembling with the violence of the spirit, doth my wisdom cross
the sea — my wild wisdom! = now I’m thinking it’s the Bhuja mix, although
I didn’t have any the first night. I have lashed the PacSafe to a PVC
plumbing pipe that traverses the upper closet shelf [insert pic]: there’s
6K US in cash in there + travelers’ checks + almost $1K Fijian; my SD cards
with most of my pics and films and most of the mini-disc recordings — tea
& a little sunbreak at 2 p.m. — finally had to risk a restaurant meal:
chose a popular Indian place on the main street for chicken palau $2 then
ordered $1 worth of deep-fried chili-things (that were in the “samosa”
tray_: way too hot even for me: one little bite brought tears to my eyes:
bought a big bottle of cold Fanta pineapple $3.39 and gave the chili-things
to one of the Indian staff at the hotel: diaherra still! (day 5) so took 1
Ciprofloacin tab (thank-you, Travelers’ Clinic!) and will try not to eat
anything tomorrow — watched Zee Indian movie awards & Fiji News (mostly
flood relief efforts & one piece about how Fijian student aren’t learning
about their own history! there must be some way to glamourize/sanitize
cannibalism :) == unmoved is my depth: but it sparklith with swimming
enigmas and laughters == IMMACULATE 12hr PERCEPTION == to be happy in
gazing: with dead will, free from the grip and greed of selfishness: cold
and ashy-grey all over, but with intoxicated moon-eyes == no chicken palau
($3) left tonight so I had the spicy chicken (bones) with rice then headed
to the cinema complex to see a special screening of an Indian film (Dirty
Picture) that won numerous awards on TV the other night — less than 10
people in the theatre but we were assigned numbered seats (often in
strategic groups: an informal Indian matchmaking service?) — film starts
with a Nietzsche quote (!) about chaos within and dancing stars — up at 4
a.m. to catch the (what turned out to be 6:15 Sunbeam bus around the
island) — mongoose is the name of the little creatures that dash around
the hotel shrubbery — offered the use of the refrigerator in the kitchen:
“sorry I forgot” but just bought some canola spread for the crackers, so
that’s not a bad thing: I was thinking it would keep for a while
unrefrigerated — sore throat this morning: hopefully its just from all the
diesel bus exhaust — bought a 15% mango juice as the upscale store that
sells 100% juice wasn’t open yet — wandered down while waiting to the
shore (South Seas club) and did the Milo Mile: measured walk along the
breakwater looking over mangrove islands but really an industrial zone —
strangely Lautoka seems to have cultural potential although there’s little
here now except the internet cafes & night clubs: live entertainment seems
unlikely — clouds are piling up along the horizon — much ongoing
discussion about hotel affairs: are there two sisters?: towels, toilet
paper, this & that and I see now how predominately plants play into this ->
further animated discussion about the trimming of variety of flowering
bushes along the fence line by the water -> seems so easy to grow things
here: just snip some branches & stick ’em in the ground & voila! — plants
in pots along the inner railings, the courtyard, out front: not in the
rooms however — water is a difficult brown that shifts to green when
painted, but I’ve begun! nothing ever like this on Waya — two women wading
way out from shore fishing with floating bright yellow canola oil
containers in the murky water: Anna seems to know them, or the activity, as
she went up to the fence and looked almost eagerly in their direction:
there’s some industry in the area so I wonder how healthy it is to eat the
fish: some small kayaks farther out — solesolevaki (communal goods) —
watch (and sometime listen if the conversation level permits to the 6 p.m.
FijiOne news from the “Ministry of Information”: wonder if the Internet is
monitored/restricted at times — very still & a little humid this morning:
scarcely a ripple on the water — need a much finer point perm marker for
GIP postcards — the first (dreaded) kerri-kerri request from Anna but it
was only for an old FT newspaper to line the rubbish bins :) — finally a
slight southerly breeze around 10:30 a.m. — these 17 days in Lautoka may
cost nearly as much as 3-1/2 months Waya Island — some Catholic (Church of
Perpetual Help) special service this morning with communal blessings &
overhead projection of English song lyrics: Ash Wednesday — many walkers
on the Milo Mile this morning including a long line of marching girls: the
elderly Indian fisherman was in his usual spot, patiently, methodically
cutting fish for bait: small hooks and light line — 4 stocky Fijian ladies
with shovel and each with plastic container pass the back of hotel and
through hole in fence around the nightclub: crabs? — mustn’t be any
emission control on vehicles: insurance optional? — VAKUA DRUA
(double-hulled canoe) — counting of the towels — pigeons congregate on
the hotel & plaza roof ledge flying a tight circle back en masse when
disturbed: either fed or spilled grain from the delivery trucks — what
were the similarly mischievous Japanese birds? to the mynah here — iTaukei
language — 20% of total (non-sugar) agricultural production is ‘stolen’ —
Georges Melies (silent film pioneer) — Fiji measles epidemic 1875: 1/3 of
100,000 died — Fiji Internet through the “Southern Cross cable” — i tovo
vaka vanua (cultural inheritance) — vosa vakaviti (native language) — vei
qaraqaravi vakavanua (cultural ceremony attributes) — world’s shortest man
from Nepal 22″ tall: Chandra Bahadur Dangi — does drinking quinine in
tonic water offer any protection from malaria? — big white & green city
recycling truck plays music and pickup announcements for “a sustainable
future” — Anna again asks for an old copy of my FT to line the trash bins
— must try “aftersun” vaseline intensive care lotion instead of No-Ad
sunscreen oil & aloe vera etc: (maybe they’re just outdated/ineffective) —
still remember the incredibly thin legs of the soccer linesman on Sunday —
Sugar City < --> Sugar Land — Nietzsche: “Nothing is true; all is
permitted.” (it’s the other way around of course) — the wind blew my snack
bag over and took my blue Nadi bus ticket into the next fenced yard :( —
12hr: The purest are to be masters of the world, the least known, the
strongest, the midnight souls, who are brighter and deeper than any day.”

Nate Wasawasa (Korovou Eco Resort):

I’m still very sick (unknown bacterial infection) from staying with your
lying, thieving, greedy, hostile, feral, filthy family… all topped-off
with an obnoxious, somehow threatened, alcoholic, smoking UK cargo-cult…
the worst time of my life! (if it weren’t for most everyone else in the
villages who were open, helpful, considerate and friendly); but not a
single word of thanks or concern?… Fiji you!

= financial disclosure =

upon hearing my condition (infected hot painful swollen sores, cough and
burst lymph gland; I could scarcely walk): clinics who wouldn’t examine me
in a timely manner insisted that I go to an emergency room immediately: but
as I repeatedly told every OOOO doctor/student who examined me, I have no
insurance and no money and as a non-citizen, no health coverage (I am a
lawful permanent resident of Oregon for over 20 years): even though many
procedures seemed frivolous to me (xrays for TB as one example), I was
repeatedly assured that they were necessary and that most fees would be
discounted or waived — I finally had to leave in light of what had to be
impossible overnight hospital fees (no one would ever tell me what anything
might cost!) — again I said, I have no money –> I still cannot go
outdoors due to persistent drainage/swelling from open wounds that still
aren’t healed, despite your new antibiotic prescription… (and by your own
admission, giving me an IV antibiotic when I first arrived, masked much
chance of determining the identity of bacteria in my system)… I’m still
sick and feel like I was a sitting duck in an emergency arcade…. I have
approximately $3000 in a BofA checking account and a 23 yr old car, rent an
apt/room that was recently burglarized; I’m single with no family and have
had no income for several years surviving on my savings. (I _do have a lot
of my artwork that I could donate to OOOO as payment; it’s not likely to
survive otherwise.) ;’;How much of that do you want? I have a perfect
credit history, always paying all bills on time all my life. Let me know
very soon please how much you need. My doctor, North Noooo MD, whom I was
advised to call about subsequent care several days later, according to
OOOO, does not exist

The doxycycline is definitely helping but reading my medical report
yesterday, I could still be at risk for other things, (which sound a little
far-fetched to me.) I should follow-up by going to a clinic somehow (if
mostly to see if my blood is still parasite-free): I’m on a waiting list
for one down the road: my name could come up in a few weeks which likely
would be OK. There’s a chain of private-pay-clinics (Zoom Care) which I
probably should have tried first, but other clinics and people kept telling
me to go to the ER right away; didn’t seem like Zoom-Care could do much (IV
treatment), but I can go there and ask — so that’s a possibility. I’d need
to deal with all these bills here first… some can be paid online but
there seems to be a cut-off date of 4/23. I think I get billed separately
from all the various doctors and there’s probably no discount. I have the
first one from the doctor who just admitted me (15 mins) for $287! This
could all add-up: I’m thinking $10K or maybe $20K…but I don’t know. I
keep wondering if I had been more diligent toward the end of my stay in
applying a dwindling supply of DEET — [ once I finally got off that
island, I felt I was home-free, and there didn’t seem to be many mosquitos
in town — or maybe I got it from Waya Island: there were many mosquitos
there but perhaps because of the limited population less chance of
disease?] –> I might have avoided this?; but that’s me: penny wise but
pound foolish — comes from being poor for so long I guess… I’m terribly

as I do everywhere I visit, I always attend the religious services out of
much usually-appreciated-respect but I’ve never witnessed such enthusiasm
for hymns anywhere!: there’d be 4 services every Sunday beginning at 4
a.m.; kerosene-lanterns at-hand (often repeatedly attended and announced by
a rung-bell on a tree next to my room by Jim-the-pastor: his dog Fanny,
would always then head into the church immediately) : usually less than 50
people, although there were popular hymn-singing competitions once-a-month
in rotating island churches: you voted with your offering); and frequent
collective/familial hymn-sings/prayers various evenings before supper:
never any musical accompaniment… someone would lead-off with a sung-note
and they’d all pretty much pick-it-up more or less successfully, and
embellish where possible: pretty cool: the acoustics in my local cement
church on Naboro were bad: the sound would slam against your ears, but in
the next village along the shore: Yamata, even though the building looked
pretty much the same, the singing sounded much better: but it was all in
the air… people that live on islands inevitably love to sing: especially
with no excuse… I made the mistake of saying, that’s an (obvious
translation of an older ) English hymn but they’d be very adamant about it
being only Fijian ;) ) Eventually I heard about an indigenous (not
imported Methodist,) Fijian church (All Nations: they wrote their own
hymns) on the next island: little open tin roof on poles (took me all
morning to walk there and over the disappearing sand-bridge between the 2
islands), very different and maybe despised by mainstream church-goers: but
still very compelling (maybe a little like old southern US Baptist?): we’d
be shuffling/dancing and clapping with the keyboard
petrol-generated-amplified music and being swept-up by the ecstatic Holy
Spirit… and after/always, you’d be guaranteed a very relaxed,
(borrowed)sulu-clad, on-the-floor, fish/pineapple/cucumber/breadfruit lunch
after ( a naked village stream bath before)… There was always one very
polished hymn that was sung at the beginning of every service: it rose
tonally in perfect increments and always made the hair on the back of my
neck stand on end… I have a photo (maybe of it), from the hymnal
somewhere, which I’ll send, but there wasn’t much written music: everyone
knew the Fijian words to many hymns, (all the children would be in church
much earlier and sing/learn), or just the shared over-the-shoulder

anoint the holy terror… octopus lady… horrifically and sadly
crude/cruel… another secret meal: I’m offered something first as a guest
maybe, but once finished the better food is eaten: usually by the women (is
this why they’re so fat?): I get the greasy little pancakes all to myself
oh honourable “Tai Biscuiti” — beginning to feel sympathy for little Jay:
poor little tyke is slapped had upside his head by Nigh for slopping some
water: he cries and goes away only be be dragged back and induced to stop
his lamentation with a package of cookies (which will only induce another
stomach ache episode) — was going to wait another week and take the bula
boast to Lautoka but I think I’m finished here: will ask for a ride to the
resort to take the Flyer to Nadi (17 days left) — Jason smokes routinely
indoors now and they blasted me all night with the music: finally gave up
and sat outside and watched them play cards (cheating is routine) until the
generator ran out of fuel: splutter darkness and near quiet (cell phone
mp3s) — everything at maximum volume — Jason Levu must be socially
outcast at home in order to crave this crude existence/relationships
(surrogate family) — but can’t imagine a more improbable couple (Jason and
Elly): is he just a distraction and cargo-cult? or is it a perverse revenge
after serving all the white tourists? — may ask Lyin’ Joe to take me
(we’ll see if he does this for free: a $2K token of friendship) early to
see the Nansoro artist at the resort and to catch the Flyer — could the
loudness of speech be due to the heavy rains falling on these tin rooves?
— apparently islanders are disturbed by the car traffic noise in Lautoka
and only stay a day or 2 (the expense is also a factor when most things are
free here) — the boys especially can identity various boats by their
sound: the engines must be tuned differently or operated uniquely as most
are the 23′? fibreglass with 40hp Yamaha engines — 50% divorce rate in
Fiji as well — surf sound experienced before birth, doesn’t bother them —
Bula Boat charter is 4 tanks @ $60 but group trip is not certain this week
as I may go on the Flyer — ZORO? old man: pic with brooms: 77 y.o. — Tai
Jerry to offered to take me on his decrepit plywood boat… have $81 cell
phone credit left — Elly plays the music 24 hrs a day so it’s just as
well… she is changing the wicks in the kerosene stove… Tai Nigh was
looking for some herbs to reduce fever — wether looking better for
tomorrow’s passage to Lautoka via the Flyer — Naivo’s brother gives me his
son’s Orro’s cell to pick me up in Denaru and then to Seabreeze Hotel

Additional banking statements as requested:

Please understand, the savings account is all I have: my life savings!
Savings that I desperately need to survive and it has to somehow carry me
through maybe to pension-age. I’m 58 and have been unemployed for several
years: I’ve literally applied for several thousands of jobs but I may just
be getting too old for the labor market. (The trip I took in a bid to help
establish a new career, cost me very little as I was staying in remote

It would seem that I shouldn’t have gone into the ER but clinics that
couldn’t help me insisted that I do. I have no idea why I was “held
hostage” in the ER for over 12 hours to essentially prescribe an

I was told that financial-aid was all approved on Monday! Please show a
little compassion for my situation. I have no where else to turn.

new note taking device… good for island trips… folks drift by to see
maybe eat the fish…as usual I get the Brad eats Bread jokes as that.s how
my name is usually pronounced but one of the kava drinkers last night told
me my name was sometime like Mandrake in figian… theres a bell attached
to the breadfruit tree outside that apparently is ru ng in conjunction with
wooden drums Christmas and funerals… I seem to misunderstand a lot of
what Jo says but hopefully not his mention of a older man who may recite
the little known history of the island… some major epidemic that possibly
penicillin couldn’t reach/save?

I call the OOOO business-office (you can only get through with the
800-number), because I still hadn’t received written/promised verification
of the waived-bills: oh, they say, your application for financial aid’s
been denied! — this after three phone calls telling me “all was well!”

Turns-out someone decided maybe more bank statements could be required
because it was a ‘big-bill’ in excess of $1K: so, off to the banks
(Justy’s doing fine): that part was easier than I thought (remarkably even
in the Chase bank where I’d irritably just closed my account)… and so,
off I go to the OOOO patient-business office:1400 SW 5th downtown: the
Justy conks-out along Multnomah: I give it a long rest and miraculously it
finally starts-again but I decide not to risk a trip downtown: go home and
call Radio Cab: get to the office for $20 (no tip): the maybe Lebanese
driver is fascinated by the soaring red-tailed hawks out this way (sun’s
out briefly), or maybe just by any distraction: I cut the cab-ride short to
save a few bucks and find the address: I’m stressed-out and they all seem
very nonchalant (hey, it’s lunch time and we get pay-checks!); I never meet
the supervisor “Tammy Johnson,” (you can tell by the name, right?), who
instigated this mess, but she’s presumably happy with the bank statements:
(I won’t rest until I see a confirmation letter but maybe that doesn’t even
really matter once they have your SSN): don’t want to spend another $20
getting home and the bus drivers don’t know which bus I should catch
(“they’ve changed all the route numbers”) and I don’t have the correct
change ($2.40) anyway (just a $100 bill left over from my trip), so I
figure the exercise couldn’t hurt much: walk home (6.2 miles), stopping at
the horrid-new Burlingame Fred Meyer to buy band-aids (replaced them 3X
along the way,) and fresh antiseptic for my still-big gaping ankle wound
(someone stole the tube from the first box in the store),… only to find a
OOOO medical faculty bill at home that I wasn’t supposed to ever see…
called Grooooo, at OOOO faculty again (503-494-8000 *2), left a message,
end of their day: more sleepless nights for me…

“I’m so distraught that it never ever stops…”

marble tree .. big one out front bird… lailai spent over
an hour in the hot sun recording the back.surge by the sand bridge. only to
have the MD machine say cant…probably too hot for it even though it was
in the new light box cum windsreen… made some clips of a boat stuck on
the low tide sand…I guess lifting the prop they try to run over it which
doesn’t always work… grocery.fuel delivery by Fijian boat… lunch on a
mat by the beach… noodles. beans. fried eggs with small packets of HP
sauce. they keep calling.naming me [perhaps this enforced familiarity is
what keeps the structure if there really is one intact] and casting
dispersions about what I wear when there many shorter shorts worn in the
village and its too exasperating trying to keep a makeshift sarong wrapped
around and over my knees.. so screw it… maybe because Im so different to
begin with… got dumped in the water after a brief loop around the
island…interesting to see Joe’s extended family all encamped in woven
structures with yam. cassava. banana gardens… some form of solitaire with
cards shuffled vertically… difficult to get a moments peace let alone
chair to sit in… Jo keeps asking me how things are and what Im doing…
its becoming annoying. like they’re all fishing for the biggest
payoff…the usual bread.brad joke {madrai} but this time Bread and
Butter… some sleep would improve my mood… too much appeasing hot tea
and I can never figure out where the flipping water is stored …I guess
theres a gravityfed big cistern up the hill but the pipes get
broken.plugged…my clothes disappeared. were washed… all the bedding in
town is being aired… my watch is reading Sunday my neck is stiff and my
ankle hurts from the boat… Jason and Jo just came back with octopi and
red snapper… declined tea…Mr Brad. just relax .Im just tired… two
villagers feel asleep in the middle of a conversation yesterday so perhaps
I can claim some space that way…after..

I call the OOOO business-office (you can only get through with the
800-number), because I still hadn’t received written/promised verification
of the waived-bills: oh, they say, your application for financial aid’s
been denied! — this after three phone calls telling me “all was well!”

Turns-out someone decided maybe more bank statements could be required
because it was a ‘big-bill’ in excess of $1K: so, off to the banks
(Justy’s doing fine): that part was easier than I thought (remarkably even
in the Chase bank where I’d irritably just closed my account)… and so,
off I go to the OOOO patient-business office:1400 SW 5th downtown: the
Justy conks-out along Multnomah: I give it a long rest and miraculously it
finally starts-again but I decide not to risk a trip downtown: go home and
call Radio Cab: get to the office for $20 (no tip): the maybe Lebanese
driver is fascinated by the soaring red-tailed hawks out this way (sun’s
out briefly), or maybe just by any distraction: I cut the cab-ride short to
save a few bucks and find the address: I’m stressed-out and they all seem
very nonchalant (hey, it’s lunch time and we get pay-checks!); I never meet
the supervisor “Tammy Joooooo,” (you can tell by the name, right?), who
instigated this mess, but she’s presumably happy with the bank statements:
(I won’t rest until I see a confirmation letter but maybe that doesn’t even
really matter once they have your SSN): don’t want to spend another $20
getting home and the bus drivers don’t know which bus I should catch
(“they’ve changed all the route numbers”) and I don’t have the correct
change ($2.40) anyway, (just a $100 bill left over from my trip), so I
figure the exercise couldn’t hurt much: walk home (6.2 miles), stopping at
the horrid-new Burlingame Fred Meyer to buy band-aids (replaced them 3X
along the way,) and fresh antiseptic for my still-big gaping ankle wound
(someone stole the tube from the first box in the store),… only to find a
OOOO medical faculty bill at home that I wasn’t supposed to ever see…
called Gracoooo at OOOO faculty again (503-494-8000 *2), left a message,
end of their day: more sleepless nights for me…

“I’m so distraught that it never ever stops…”

found a weak cell signal on the hill by the school facing the main
island…tried some text messages which seemed to go through…no
absolution possible but attended church wearing a borrowed twopocket sulu
in neighbouring Disney village…little children would hold your hand along
the way… amazing choirs…but created some unstated faux pas by later a
ways down the beach a) painting my waterscolours on Sunday b) wearing
shorts c) cursing at a dog that kicked sand over my paints d) something
else… as santcjmonious Jo effectively told me to stay down by the
hammock…WTF…amazed by Jasons determination to meld with all things
Fijian and to move here permanently in a few years… asked how much I
should pay but his arrangement is different as he fishes. helps out with
the many children and buys some groceries when needed… things Im not
privy too… very violent DVD playing over the clanking of the kava
drums… not too much sleep again tonight… oh fuck it Ill just stay til
Im asked to leave… assuming someone will boat me over to catch the ferry
back back where I cant afford to stay… seemingly everyone has a cough…
the MD recorder is not autosaving a fully recorded disk… ran the head and
lens cleaners…but seems to work OK if recordings are manually
ended…perhaps recordings from the room are best… fried eggs with HP
packets again and french fries. the same smoked fish head reappears… gave
my most of my fries to the children sitting farther the mat… Jo aimed a
torch at me in the middle of the night during a sudden downpour resounding
on the corrugated iron roof… there are issues…. a big exam today…
Jason was helping them futilely study alphabets at the last moment…
visibly sitting out front on stack of lumber exchanging the occasional
yandra.good morning… the chickens are savouring puddled rainwater… bug
in the bed… may spray lower rotted foam as I imagine the sheets will get
washed often…with permethin… asked the wife… usually better idea than
the alphamale…if i could give her [FJ$100] some money each week for
groceries… Lilly now calls my name… she was peeping over my shoulder
during yesterdays waterscolours… out to the site of a future new village
where an underground dam stream is being laboriously constructed up high in
the mountains by some quite large villagers and not thai madrai me… dahl
rice fiery wild peppers tinned tuna and wild lemon tea lunch in the hot
bush… a few film clips of the very rapid incoming bay tide…Jo is quite
proud of the various expansions to his house over the years… some little
extra flourish to my room… a deluge of mangos on the metal roof… must
start the pinholes soon… FijiTime… endless cups of tea but no sugar for
me… wahoo fish. eggs. chips. and special bottle of green pop presumably
in recognition..meals and prayers often establishing status… bell and
drum went off this morning and I thought I heard distant singing…
apparently this was a church celebration of an historic asteroids
passing… finished a couple of waterscolours…

I guess what no one usually understands: I’ve been working much of my life
with little chance of being paid: lately, with less than zero chance of
being paid ever: you hit me with a $3K bill and it’s like bullets…

escaping a hawk predator. a chicken shot through the front door flying
through the rear window slots…the older sneaky cynical son who works at
the resorts read some of these notes and may have relayed his idea of them
to Jo who after spearfishing with Jason went with a boatload of villagers
to the mainland to return tomorrow after staying with Nate… the young
daughter has asked me twice now if Im alright..sure dont have the usual
sunny island disposition…breakfast cornbread with a bright yellow jelly
toping clouds made the watercolours rather murky marched up to the
schoolyard corner rise to unsuccessfully send text saw that D had called
though… lunch was brilo greens grown outside with canned tuna. instant
noodles..later tea with little pancakes… watched a couple of boats
unloading supplies and children frolicking in unusually high surf….
fish.malt vinegar.eggs.cassava.cucumber salt. swig of Pops
cola… close to full moon last night lit up the entire village…
biscuits. spooned margarine. papaya.tea for breakfast… will try the cell
phone again from the schoolyard and enter Naboro Vllage as my cell phone
greeting. photograph the caged pigs on the beach. perhaps more
waterscolours. ..may have found a good spot/log at the other end of this
beach where I can expose a little more skin and have a quick dip…but as I
already know the village has eyes everywhere… several schoolchildren came
by to see what I was doing… the girls wear nearly shapeless blue frocks.
the boys severe grey sulus…bula accompanied by a stare can also mean n
ok. lunch seems to happen about 12:30 and teatime at 5:30… today we had
baked buns and a neighbour brought over some cake for me…it.s always
disconcerting to be fed first/better food while others wait to see if there
will be any left for them… the Kindle attracts some frequent/brief
interest not all that intriguing…a traditional bure is being constructed
across the way so that should be very interesting to observe… quick cold
water rinse. which Im beginning to enjoy… are there more flies when it.s
windy? seems the Navy has delayed the return of FijiTime and Jo . Jason
etal ….apparently there are yellow FJ$100 as a villager asked me if I had
$50s to change… I didn.t want to unlock my stash so I lied… changing
the outgoing cell phone prefix to 011 seems to have helped but I cant
cancel the earlier Caribbean call forwarding which may be an issue… Aunt
M died from cancer this morning she told me everyone had a predetermined
time but this didn’t have to be hers…most of the older coloured MDs seem
be defective …wished Id brought the radio now somehow as there is
reception but no set here… which is maybe just as well as it would
undoubtedly be on all the time…

OOOO struggles resume Monday: eventually sunny this afternoon: sat outside
for a bit and looked at my new 12hr b&w photo-prints (from a processing
place in San Clemente, CA: very nice work, by hand); unfortunately, it
looks like the vindictive thief also took a box of 12hr prints and the
hand-scanner I use… by far, the worst time of my crappy life ;)… made V
a “burrito bowl” for dinner: rice, my turkey-chili, tomato, avocado,
mushroom, canned corn…

pvc water supply piping is supposedly flammable and can spread fire over
the island… another waterscolours in the eventual afternoon heat… fried
eggs on buns. pineapple… walked up the hill behind the school overlooking
the sandbridge so I could see the plantation on the otherside of the
schoolyard… two cows… will try and climb up from behind the house
tomorrow… daughter gave me string of small shells… I taught some how to
play chess…delicious wahloo cooked in cocoanut with onion ..
breadfruit… pretty quiet this evening. Jo is out
nightfishing/diving…apparently he then headed to lautoka to pickup N and
J… my travel playing cards are a big hit and a Suva radio station…
calypso? computer voices… has suddenly materialized… hope this want my
doing… trekked to the top of the mountain with Kalis help… J and J have
returned at night over choppy seas but no fish for dinner as they were on
the mainland… Maggi instant chicken noodles over eggs. breadfruit.
PickMeUp Worchester sauce. Pops Raspberry soda… cocoanut buns for
breakfast… watercolours and watched/filmed a fishing boat skipped lunch
which caused some alarm… got the hardluck pitch from M who said J bought
them the launch and motor so Im being groomed as a second benefactor…
Lilly was prenamed by a Japanese benefactor? so perhaps this is why her
clothes look current… yet more children on the mainland needing school
fees… why so many? told M that when I go outside my house theres nothing
to eat but here theres mangoes.breadfruit.cassava.papaya.lots of fish…
she made it seem like the profits from the ecoresorts didnt help the
villages much other than to build a few houses… their electricity bill is
only $5/mo…went out night fishing with J and J and onto a decrepit boat
with a few more… amazing colours on the water… turquoise. yellow.
green. red and a bright moon… boat starts with a crank…only a few
barracuda which Ill be loathe to eat due to possibility of fish poisoning
from this predator high up the food chain… fastest fish in the ocean…
only half of one came up once… loud for J. excellent
fish stew on board.beautiful sunset and moon…dont know what the password
is to receive voice messages…

breadfruit season is november/december. cassava all year round. anoint the
little holy terror J with cooking oil…shorter church service in town. the
first sunday of each month is a collective for all the villages/choirs.
made some clips of the singing. lovely lunch after of curried fish. walloo.
curried beef. Pops cola… a nap with my swollen ankles up which helped…
sat in the sun… more walloo for dinner… reef encounters captn cook
cruise ship arrives every sunday night with entertainment provided by
school children and local crafts sold the next day… tried some pinholes
of the ship through the trees… better to sit outside at night and avoid
the DVD player…setup new voicemail PIN so to retrieve Vs message about
BofA messing with my CC again! searched through my luggage again but the
Canadian flag and loose change are definitely missing… still havent got
my loaned pen back…locked up my money and ID more securely…gave M the
Monday Money and said Id skip lunch so as to not bother resetting the
painting stuff… sure wish I could take a long walk through the villages
and beyond in the morning…getting a little urked with the too frequent
“where are you going question”… reminded of The Prisoner TV show…there
were only biscuits and tea for breakfast. whatever happened to the mountain
of food from Sunday?..may encorporate half submerged heads in the
watercolours which don’t seem nearly as lively as Japans… difficult to
concentrate with children continuously popping up beside me and keeping
somewhat covered up… light drizzle across the bay turning to fairly heavy
rain this afternoon… my ankles itch… apparently our night fishing boat
which is still anchored a little offshore with a few nearly identical
brethren. has a leaking threaded PVC fuel valve that a Canadian engineer
yachty nearby can fix/replace by drilling out the core of a bolt…a little
meat with onions. banana. breadfruit for dinner… rain continues prompting
DVD gathering of about 20 villagers at one point in front of my room…
fortunately the power cutsout early… an insistence in speech with names
repeated few times… pancakes and lemon leaf tea… picked my way South
along the shore … tourists. pigs and garbage are relegated to the
shoreline but at one point I was escorted through the neighbouring village
then down to the beach where an elderly villager showed me the track up
past the pig fence and around and down to the third beach… had to wait
for the tide to go down in order to reach the fourth beach but by that time
I had to head back… Lecky offered me some ripe mango and the walk back
was much easier… more panorama shots…J has begun building the house
extension… posts set in concrete… V the grandfather across the way is
still building his Christmas temporary bure… winding vines around
crosspoles… lemon leaf tea and fried cakes with him. cat and radio… he
described a little of the Christmas kava celebrations .. all houses have
names? ankles itchy again…kava= shit all night sleep all day… soumds as
if hundreds of bowls

noodles over eggs… night village pinholes…some fat villager came into
my room at four a.m. [just hanging fabric over doorway] shone a very bright
LED light in my eyes and asked if I was still sleeping… bursts of rain
this morning… hoping for more waterscolours…the third beach would be
better but its quite a hike… signed up cell to Twitter.. instant coffee
and donutlike things… think J and J caught one fish last night… not
much chance of that for breakfast I suppose… my pen has rematerialized
and then reloaned to Lolo for her exams today… I saw two pens on the
table yesterday but theyre gone this morning… Jay told me that some
visitor once visited all four villages on the much larger Waya Island in
one day! so called pancakes rackup a variety of forms/names with coffee
for breakfast as Lily spills hot water on my leg…Yasawa ferries are
operated by a NZ company…locals pay half fare…as Ive said before this
dual pricing system is unjust.. despite slathering sunblock on my right
painting forearm I have small sun blisters… met Jim the local informal
pastor on the second beach..said I didnt re without his tie… apparently
there was a tsunami alert here a little after the Japanese one which
prompted some villagers to head up the hills… the basic frameworks of the
house addition and holiday bure complete…Jason et al are attending a
local entertainment performance at the resort… lovo. dancing.singing…
potatoes and chickens are purchased from the mainland… the numerous very
freerange village chickens are too tough…hope to film the school morning
commencement tomorrow… curious how often the big tupperware sugar
container is used as a headrest… possibly I was awakened last might by
someone looking for Sol the sneaky son for early fishing…I wonder if ve
taken over his room… may use my mosquito net as this one though larger
has many holes… some have fancy lacelike trim at the top…had a
barracuda head. someone likely already had some of the fish without
incident. chips which I shared with Lolo. egg. coffee with powdered milk
and a little sugar “which will make me strong”…more hour long pinholes of
the village at night

surprised to see little Lilly in the next village…she ran out to see me
with coral coloured nails…theres a cheap F$30 cell phone that can
possibly work from the village… the ox gall medium bottle is broken/empty
despite original bubblewrap…suspect it may have been this way when
delivered as the interior of luggage is dry… much birdsong in the morning
along with churning surf sounds… woodpecker like bird with vibrant blue
markings on the small beach the other side of the sand bridge where I was
able to stare out at the sea and watch a few fishermen in their tin roofing
boats mostly undisturbed except for a machete wielding disapproving Waya
villager who claimed to have descended on a track spotting a white man
laying in the sun where I was told there were none…do what you can…
beat a hasty retreat to the schoolyard for the second time as the tin
roofing was being hammered from plain actual pancakes and coffee earlier
for breakfast… had to return for a lens cleaning cloth for my little
Xactii movie camera as my clothes were too greasy… nice portrait of two
schoolboys… ll try to get more early morning clips hopefully of the
singing… between the first and second trips Sami must have heard about
Joe or all tourists are similarly tapped as he asked me for a pain relief
pill…unfortunately Im not able to fulfill the role of mobile apothecary
for the entire village .. so I later returned with a Penguin cinnamon Mint
that I gave to his parents in his stead haha…islanders and tourists alike
get the placebo… kerre kerre kara pen has still not been returned…roti
and bunnie and instant coffee from thailand only with sugar as the children
have gobbled up all the instant milk powder as quickly as possible…made a
SEGA TARA sign for the pinhole… will try some more tonight…another
placebo for Sami. Im bad… J and J have boated into town so no fish for
dinner just eggs and half cooked chips with malt vinegar…took some
evening shots of what turns out to be Sunset Beach.. saw the wooden drum in
front of the church and Kali cautiously… or maybe it was just the
cellular porn? being perused on the sidelines… took me over to see the
ringing kava bell. big metal pestle which seems to be intentionally struck
on the side of the brakedrum? pestle…definitely some secret ceremonial
rites and melodic singing involved… and all the coughing may be due to
all the wood cooking fires…the little round pancakes. coffee for
breakfast… why no fruit…unfortunately school starts at about the same
time as the sandbridge is most passable… quite windy today so the waves
made it tricky to gst back around 4:30… encountered a Waya village couple
and dog foraging for crabs…not much progress with the
watercolours…photographed the pitted rock formations between the
villages…the screaming children and mosquitoes are getting to me… town
crier last night repeatedly announcing something… a meeting? someone
always sees you and names you passing this info around… may leave the
watercolour stuff behind tomorrow and try walking to the

the first Waya village Natawa… M says its three hills… need to get my
walking staff fixed…saw the blue birds with white collar and breasts
nesting in an old cocoanut trunk and the raptors again… rough pine house
beams are first brushed with used motor oil and wrapped in plastic before
being set in hand mixed cement with coral filled holes…side overhang roof
finished and with a tarp and mat over the dirt used for kava drinking last
night. I actually dont mind the taste. mildly intoxicating as I had the low
tide” … no water for a couple of days as somethings wrong with the
delivery pipe again. food supplies must be low. no fish. as I had eggs and
Maggi noodles swimming in oil with homemade chips most of which I
distributed… dispensed another sugar pill… big song circle with guitar
that I attempted to record over the DVD movie soundtrack…glad I have the
hand sanitizer. a big jug of bleach would go a long way here… noticed
that Lily has a few ugly large growths on the back of her head… the spent
batteries from the MD recorder still seem able to power my red Maglite
torch… much sheet lightning last night which may turnup in the pinhole
and a light rain this morning…perhaps Lolo is the thief.. how did she
know that I had a pen unless shed been through my pockets…also of some
concern is a possibly missing foreign exchange receipt which indicates how
much cash I have… does squalor displace culture? still raining this slow
Saturday still no sign of breakfast. wet firewood?.. the older girl who
plopped down beside me when I was trying to paint and started to fan me may
live nextdoor at the “Canada house”…seem more organized. perhaps they are
a different clan… finally clumps of dough with margarine. which I gave to
the children. and warm cassava with salt and coffee for breakfast as the
rain continues…must remember to recharge my cell phone.. sent another
Tweet…endless rain uca…fish ikka breadfruit kulu peppers boro for
lunch… brief sunbreak… Patimo was stripping pliable bark from some
special tree to lash the braided palm leaves on the bure…Holga ultrawide
pinholes from the louvered windows and more Nikon panorama sets… wonder
if the movie South Pacific was an early cinemascope production… the wide
vista/towering craggy running mountain profile is certainly prevalent…
just as bula is a kind of challenge. “come and sit” really means wait and
well see if you can proceed… trying to get the wary folks at the next
village accustomed to me… everyone wants to know where Im going. have
been…sega gade ga nowhere special… Bill caught a giant blue barracuda
from his kayak using handline and a piece of crab for bait… was asked to
take a picture and invited by sometime… fish and breadfruit for supper..I
ate the two offered pieces of fish which meant that little Norman to my
left got tinned tuna..recharged the cell sappy Thai soap opera episodes on
DVD… the Canada household attend the first four a.m. church service.
curiously our dogs barked/growled at them as they returned with pastor
Jim… another Tweet..

the rain came down and the crops came up…church this morning followed by
fish. cassava and ota greens… big blue tarp lunch assembly in middle of
village pathway… tea with Bill. birthday wife. later pastor Jim et al…
very sweet bananas. pancakes… walk through next village with Lolo. Lily.
Norman.. hat off. see the family pig… meet Joe Joes brother? and family
eating pancakes… more panoramas…evening church service sounds more
vibrant…its another little girl not Lily that has the head growths…my
coins have reappeared in my jacket pocket… more fish.. Captain Cook
arrived last night… another FJ$100 to M…triangular pancakes for
breakfast… very low tide at the sandbridge stayed passable til 11…
advance Cook brigade cleans up the beach…a few more waterscolours/film
clips… want to photograph more of the lowtide 12hr lava rocks… villager
out scavenging something… tide still wasnt down by high tea time…
Norman motored over to get me… think the water eventually went down
more…J and J back with chocolate chip cookies~keke and a copy of the Fiji
Times… “flood strands villagers”… found my pen on the floor of the
bathroom… eggs and noodles. distributed chips for dinner… sea cucumbers
may sell for over FJ$100 middlemen Asian buyers but require a tank to
reach their depth…trekked over the mountain with Nigh. Sarah and despite
everyones objections little bare foot Lily who had no trouble reaching the
Ecolodge… more great panoramas… the Three Sisters. Wobbling Rock and a
towering view down on the village… I not good at heights especially
descending on these old joints…one of the villagers asked if I was Jasons
father… Nigh is from Nuie… the girls put island ferns in their hair…
they tricked me into taking a nap after a small taro cassava lunch while
they possibly visited the old village…noticed the barbed wire fencing at
the back of the resort for keeping the villagers out. the tourists in. or
the wild cows and pigs out? took a boat back with cynical Sow son. a
couple from the resort and the painfully albino boat driver… skin on my
arms is pealing… front posts and rafters in place… barracuda fish head.
kulu. raspberry soda for second lunch…plastic buckle on my shorts seems
to have suffered no longer staying fastened from the vigorous plunged PVC
pipe in bucket washing method…eggs noodles chips again for supper… the
dreaded lumps of dough for breakfast then made about six recordings in the
schoolyard of the voices. surf. palm tree rustlings drifting across using
the new portable light box… really seems to cut the strong wind noise…
practise underway for the big rugby netball and school fundraising event.
although its hard to imagine how another weed wacker and fencing can cost
4000$… seems to be more games and singing than scholastics… more small
groups of visitors from the resorts…viago were formed from floating
congealed Tonga volanic ash… scans of them may serve as this books
folios… hadnt expected to be living in the village play yard and movie
house… Joe doesnt

Joes headed to the mainland again [to buy prizes certificates for the
school presentation picnic tomorrow] leaving us fishless… rice and very
mild curry potato with tuna… the new house addition may include lockable
storage as the tanks fins snorkels spearguns are often permanently borrowed
sometimes ending up on the mainland… this bit of news adds concern for my
photo audio painting gear when we go to the Manumancas next month for some
party… tambu taboo abstinence from grog kava smoke drink for 100 days is
in effect for funerals etc but for some reason next week is slated…
watched the school boys mark the field with coconut tuff brushes and used
motor oil for rugby but many players sport expensive Nike shoes… cloudy
mornings and rain now but some good sun by waterscolours time… Sivo the
eldest daughter arrives with Joe from mainland so good wahloo sausage onion
tomato salad pineapple and cucumber slices… another Holga pinhole out my
window… sat on the old refrigerator [useful with only two hrs power?]
carcass and caught the cool evening breeze… rugby and netball teams out
practising in the early mornings… Joe has a hard time waking 11 yr old
Lolo and resorts to a stick…attended trad Fijian childrens picnic took a
few photos of the feast… not much sun today. Joe Jason and Sow went out
fish diving in the rain… one fish and colourful lobster…jolly chase of
an escaped piglet…life in the open…watched more rugby training
including hauling a massive rope across the field… another wayward
floating coconut film… dispensed more Penguin Mints for a toothache..if
id known Id have brought a big bottle of aspirin…little bright green bird
with bright red markings and maybe green herons along the shore… more
rugby players have arrived staying at the school and community
centre…have begun morning walks around the school compound several times
in lieu of circum the island… heavy mist obscures the mountain peaks…
yesterdays radio announced that all of Fiji was now theoretically covered
bt TV broadcast… mountains obscure much reception of cell radio TV…
there are a few portable petrol generators in the village… new black
piglet named after Lolo in the old refrigerator from the big sow Emily on
the beach…dull colours for the watercolours… a bird sings “pay per
view” Nate arrives with singing smoking grog event.. probably some good
recordings just from my room with *filipino* DVD soundtrack “Spot on DVD
hut. The best in Tonga” mixed with subtitles… share curry fish rice
supper with Auntie… avocado pea? at breakfast with Bill Rachel and their
son John… Bill is also 57 living here all his life except to visit Viti W
where the family will go while John goes to school there Sava Sava… cups
of hot fish broth with lunch…Lily was found unconscious in the water when
she was one or two and miraculously saved but some seem to wonder about her
faculties…the mayor who wears red told me the story of the 1918 measles

a minister Samual Jackson was forewarned by a message written in the
sand…with plenty of prayer fasting and pentinence the epidemic was heard
passing Waya and Wayaliaia by like a hurricane that killed over 40 thousand
everywhere else in Fiji… no written history of the islands exist .. the
mayor is very busy and went home to have a shower… rain tonight Monday
money tomorrow… the church collection plate is a resonating wooden
drum… the 12hr photos are a unique denial of all personal vision…
several laps around the school compound and after several attempts tweeted
“cup of hot unpronounceable fish broth” Captain Cook arrived last night
amid spectacular evening skies… a familys new piglets are given as prizes
gifts between their children and their friends… seventeen children in the
main room watching a Filipino DVD Way Back Home… UK Jay was quite pleased
to be appointed manager of the womens netball team but perhaps less so
after he was informed that hed be given fabric to be made into uniforms at
home… islanders often calculate what you can do for them while much else
falls under the rubric of island time or just plain indifference… night
fishing again but no or little fish…hmmm…maybe its more about the
reggae pot and fish curry… guessing that the half buried tyres by the
sides of houses are to anchor roof tiedowns… the stocky rugby team was
again practising this morning with high pitched squeals of delight
…Margarets not feeling well… lemon tea with Red Cow powdered milk
breakfast crackers roti… off to mainland again for Jasons beer ice and
cement for the floor…no Kindle 3G from the island maybe mainland.. tried
about 20 times to send a tweet… M tried to hit me up for FJ$50 for the
houses school contribution to raise $4K for a fence weedwacker maybe a
solar panel… wore the sulu to attend the childrens awards ceremony…
long speeches long prayers…Lily graduates from preschool… always
attempts to restrict access to events unless being charged double for a
lunch which I refused…villagers were all eating drinking all around me
but nothing offered…watched some enthusiastic rugby and netball. . some
nice footage of the tall wavering bamboo goal posts… and adjacent kava
songs from the exclusive chiefs enclosure…I can stand the weight loss
now… probably down at least ten lbs this month.. but not sure how long I
can subsist on so few mostly unhealthy calories and little sleep…the
little tube of Shoegoo was a good idea as the sole on my Reef shoes is
becoming detached… small petrol generators run at night.. ice cream?
second day of rugby tournament many players in village… breakfast
crackers roti lemon tea.. shoe repair did not hold… tweets again
failed…Joe has cut his beard… newspaper announces rising taxi fares
local fashion shows and crime and restricting childrens access to
kava…grocery prices seem quite reasonable… screaming children… day
two of rugby and netball..much enthusiasm again with women occasionally
doing a little dance on the sidelines or even rushing the field to kiss the
players… again Im asked repeatedly about my double priced lunch… looked
pretty good actually…big pots of sausages chicken fish breadfruit rice…
small processions of singing women delivering money to the school fund…
more kava clans singing… some wave at me but it doesnt seem like an
invitation…I must try and ask what the songs are about and whether they
are specific to various villages… as the event concludes very overloaded
boats have left some singing…may try another ultrawide pinhole sunset
from the beach… in Fiji visitors are charged double – so Fiji-you…
Jason Cotton the one man continuously drunk smoking cargo cult from the UK
was making a racket all night so I did my Bangladesh act and took the
pillow and sheet way out to the end of the schoolyard by the beach… the
rest of the village was pretty noisy too… curiously X and Sarah popped up
and sat beside me whispering but it got too cold I should have brought the
woven mat with me… there was enough of a breeze to keep the mosquitos at
bay and many stars… perhaps Ill sleep there every night… the village
bigshots were cleaning up this morning but resumed their kava drinking…
the “some tea” phrase is often said after youve past and just as easily may
mean “what can you do for me”… shards of mirror circulate amongst the
islanders… walked down our beach and deliberately up past the white
stucco house that seems to be mostly populated with ten or so women girls
who did offer me tea roti and rice and asked where Jason was… nice breezy
house with nicer furniture… I thanked them for the kakanna and headed
past the grandmothers place where I was repeatedly offered tea and accepted
only there wasnt any ready and M came and said Joe wanted me back for
tea…word travels incredibly fast… perhaps theyre able to send txt msgs
that Ive been unable to for the last three days… and not only tea but
fried rice with onions and maybe tinned tuna breadfruit and eggs! …UK
Jason came in and began to smoke I abruptly left and that was the end of
the staged reconciliatory breakfast… sunbathing on the school side beach
using this Kindle through a Ziplock bag to protect against salt spray…
school is out now but this seems to be the poop beach but thankfully mostly
in the water… while looking for water met a lovely smiling lady and her
son Neal in her modest little room at the back of one of the teachers
apts… would much rather be supporting someone like that rather than my
druggy household… nice barracuda and breadfruit dinner but on the whole M
seems artless and slovenly…another panorama sunset exposure of about 25
mins.. may make this a routine as its always a good way to also meet people
on the beach…dont think there could be much to gain from using the film
masks and I should probably switch to negative film and wider latitude
since I can now easily scan it… Joe built a door for their room possibly
in preparation for their trip to the Mamanucas… watched rugby on the
DVD… Joe and Jay were up drinking their respective intoxicants so

they were still asleep at 9 so no breakfast for me as I had talked with
Abel about his school graduation speech… happiness in education…
changing the mindset from grog preoccupation and working together which is
usually administrative double speak for “support my position/livelihood”
especially as he spent the last few days in the grog circle…but he asked
the tea question and I sat on the sofa but there was none produced only
that they were going to the school which I misunderstood as a more
substantial invitation than walking with them… really enjoying the JV
Mysterious Island ebook which implies that the essence of civilization is
transferable and that you really can begin again without starting
over…same tinroofing boat fisherman on the beach finger prodding for
crabs bait… witnessed the cruel assault of a small girl with a stick
broom by her father…such a look of pleading abject terror…what terrible
sin could she have committed.. knocked over the sugar jar? children rounded
the point on the school beach at low tide returning with mangos papayas…
theres another small beach there I may try to access with the aid of my
walking stick over the slick volcanic rocks… thinking the ultrawide
pinholes might need 2 1\2 frames .. should be interesting as the evening
clouds slowly slide by in layers… and some rubbery skinned but tasty
fish ,”cabbage” cassava for dinner … being the first Sunday of the month
church is at the Old Village… hope we go… yes finally left by boat
nearly running out of fuel… village looks more cohesive but I was whisked
out of there promptly after church where I filmed all the singing…
collection is taken counted after each village choir performs… some
European visitors from the adjoining eco resort… probably unnecessarily
left my slides by the door with the others and worried as Id be effectively
crippled if they were “borrowed”… recalling similar Bangladesh
incident… [insert Noah bible chapter] Jay and Sow adopted the ruse of
bringing a sulu and appearing as the congregation exited… borrowed some
gas from a moored boat at second village and transferred some passengers
from an overloaded boat returning home…lovely Sunday lunch on the tarp
out front as did other families… like the curried fish papaya…quite hot
today…bootleg DVDs and hopefully mp3 discs are FJ$2 in Lautoka..the
mountain directly across the bay is named Namara? meaning stone and
resembles a sleeping giant… others are said to resemble a camel and a
cobra… curiously the new door bolts from the inside… does this imply
that M is staying?… read more JV on the beach still full from lunch but
was talked into trying a banana pancakey…Captain Cook arrived last
night… more sunset pinholes up to 30 minutes…strange how theres
francais on NZ packages unless its for export to former French island
colonies…Joe is digging out an 20 yr old very deeply sunk housepost…I
wonder if artifacts bones were deposited there as in olden days…

no water again no toilet paper noodles and eggs cassava again… where does
the money go? the sand bridge has risen with the especially low tide and
belies the presense of the ten headed devil… stale plain store biscuits
lemon leaf tea at the grandmothers and the dreaded greasy dough lumps at
home…where does all the money go? why so little fish? there was a huge
bag of pineapples which is suddenly gone…some young lads have headed to
the plantation with implements… was shown some tapa bark paintings but
they seemed poor quality with heavy multiple folds as if theyd been
repeatedly opened perhaps for the weekly CC visitors… stenciled embossed
inked geometric designs…white and dark versions used to make wedding
sulus or for grieving… Sarah? showed me a young version of the tree used
behind the preschool… she told someones little girl to walk back with me
holding my finger…told Tai Patimo that the congregation seemed to enjoy
his sermon… about internalized xmas bethlehem story… no room in your
hotel heart follow the one star soldier… TP was clearing rubbish to be
burned…some several month old cut frangipani branches still
bloom…perhaps I can smuggle a cutting home although he seemed to think it
necessary to plant the entire branch… big overloaded boat discharged
milling villagers on other side of sb … firewood? or perhaps they were
gathering coconuts to mark their volleyball court as two more boatloads
came…saw Jay go over with beers in hand but must have been picked up
later by boat as the sandbridge was underwater…watched Bill and Rachels
new house addition being built… was tempted to suggest that they would
use less wood if the interlocking pine siding was run end to end across the
entire length of the structure rather than fitting one section at a time…
another pinhole sunset..Fijian village or simple slum? despite all the
disclaimers such as no butter no milk no jam no ceylon tea the villagers
have more discretionary income than it may seem… five year old children
came over to charge and watch a Disney cartoon on a Dell laptop last
night… more instant noodles ricey salty canned meat for dinner.. coconut
roti lemon tea and papaya for breakfast… learned the village is on the
site of the bankrupt Sunset Resort…missed recording the kava bells and a
loud family hymn sing nearby as M had decided to fill the house where my
equipment was with smoke to deter the mosquitos… used the particle mask
to sleep but still coughing in the morning… lemon tea dry pancakes.but
some little fishes in a bucket outside…Jays supply of beer for the week
and a small box of groceries that apparently my money paid for arrived…
probably packages of cookies that will be devoured in one frenzied
session…breadfruit is peeled using sharp opened can edges…M had I think
expected to hear that food is more expensive in Fiji and so solicit more
funds but even with the weak dollar its not the case… but of course wages
are likely different…”we are one big hap-py family…” more foraging
villagers headed around the slippery rocks

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