2 January 2014

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HAPPY  2014  EVERYBODY !

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It’s been a crazy week.  I  traveled to Labasa, the big town on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s other large island.   I took my camera, but I did not use it very effectively.   So I am starting off this post with a photo of RED dirt from the moving bus.   The road cut in Vanua Levu had the reddest dirt I’ve ever seen, and this is a girl who travelled across Georgia (the Peanut state) many times.    Behind the tinted window is the REALLY red patch I was trying to capture.  Ah well.   I don’t know what good Red Dirt is, except for growing peanuts and staining white clothes – but Vanua Levu has got it.
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I took the Patterson bus and ferry service.  We got on the bus in Suva at 4:30 am.  That’s right – 0430 in military time.  It was PACKED.  We traveled up King’s Road, arriving at the Natovi landing a few hours later   As we waited for the ferry to arrive, there were ladies carrying basins of fresh-cut pineapple and watermelon.  I bought the pineapple – a taste of paradise.
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The ferry ride was about 3 hours, followed by another 4 hours of bus on Vanua Levu between Nabouwalu and Labasa.
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AROUND LABASA
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Once in Labasa, I thought about flora and fauna and getting some photos.   This is this little mountain across the road from Jone’s home.  It reminded me of Sokehs Rock in Pohnpei that I climbed with Akka when he was only 5.
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And I was happy to see this cypress in Jone’s yard.  It is the grandchild of a tree from the Baha’i cemetery in Haifa, Israel.   Austin inadvertently brought 2 cypress pinecones with him when we moved here in 1999.  They exploded with 42 seeds, of which 40 grew into trees.  Friends wanted cuttings and seedlings, and Austin shared.   Ta da!
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Jone’s wife Ana made a garden in front of her house using old tyres.  It is a festive way to recycle.
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HEADING HOME
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Again, i missed photo ops – the moving bus excuse.  I did not get the farmer in ankle-deep water plowing with oxen – what was he preparing for?   The middle-America looking farmhouses and then one that was painted purple and pink.
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On the return ferry I made a point to walk around and pay attention.   Here are some folks having a simple lunch on the deck.
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And other folks having a typical rest on the boat by spreading a mat or sulu and stretching out.
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And something educational.   Clouds will generally form over islands.  You can know where an island is by seeing the clouds piled up above it.
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Can you make out the two islands?
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See?
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HAPPY NEW YEAR – FIJI STYLE
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As I write, people are throwing baby powder and  water on each other – they just got me.
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*  MaY  eVeRy  DaY  oF  ThiS  YeaR   bRiNg   YoU   gReaT   jOy !  *
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