Embracing the Fiji Way

In Fiji, as in all our travels, our goal is to really get to know the local culture rather than just visit as a tourist. Bridge the Gap shares this same vision and it was very welcoming to be able to participate with real people in a real village. We made friends, learned about their traditions and respectfully followed these traditions as guests. There were no natives serving us drinks on platters or other resort/Disney-inspired representations of their culture. We were there and worked along side them to prepare meals, wear their traditional clothing and learn their phrases. We were able to help in a couple construction projects, learn about the medicinal uses of the plants, fish with them and more. We also laughed a lot with them, played games and volleyball and spent many hours on the kava mat.

Kava

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Crushing the kava root. Inside the steel cup is the root, and we’re pounding it with a steel pipe (used to be a car axel). You lift it and pound it down onto the root repeatedly.
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Here’s the kava mat in the Grand BurĂ©. The Tanoa between the guards with the kava being mixed. The chief is just to the left at the head of the mat.
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Here is the Tanoa and the drinking/mixing bowls/cups. The cloth is used as a strainer to get anything that hasn’t dissolved into the drink as they mix the crushed powder. There is a certain ceremonial way to do all of this too.

As I mentioned before, in Fiji we spend a lot of time on the Kava mat. The time is well used to visit and join in music together. There is a lot of tradition and ritual surrounding Kava.

Sevusevu

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Here’s the helpful sign we have to guide newcomers in what to do during a sevusevu ceremony.

Music

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We played music with kava most nights on the guitar and uke. They had a spoon and a string they’d wind around the neck of the guitar to act as a capo.

Church

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Since there was no church on Vorovoro, Tui Mali usually goes to church in one of the other villages over which he is chief. We rode boats to church.
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Saying goodbye to new friends after church.
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Special meals we all ate together, this was our Sunday Dinner and it was amazing!

School

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The school of Lengalevu
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The students introducing themselves to their visitors.

Projects

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Building a shed for storing the wood chips.
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Taking the building down from the top down.
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Lovo

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Preparing food for the Lovo
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Snapping beans
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Opening the underground oven up after everything has cooked

And More

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Mateo (or affectionately called Potato by the kids) the undisputed coconut king
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We got up early to watch some of the world cup in Tui Mali’s home!
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Composting toilet
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Composting Bins

Island Time

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Saying goodbye to our Fiji family

1+1=1

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We hope to return soon!

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