1 September 2016

Notes appeared on my dresser:  6 Aug harrowing $100, 16 Aug plowing $110, 26 Aug harrowing $120, 30 Aug plowing $150.   I remembered Austin talking about a tractor coming, but what struck me about the notes is how the price went up a bit every single time.

I finally asked him about it today, when he gleefully mentioned that the tractor was coming again.  AGAIN?!!   So I had to go look:

2016-08-31 plowed field 1  R.jpg

From the top it looked like a lot, until I realized 2/3 was not on our land.  Couldn’t get a good view from the top, so I had to go down.

The big side isn’t done yet – so here is Tractor Man.

2016-08-31 plowed field 3  R

The other side was done and was getting planted.   Ginger, eggplant (free from agriculture), tomato seeds (also free from agriculture) and peanuts.  The coconuts you see are ones that Austin planted the second or third year we were here – great trees for being just 6 or 7 years old!

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While some guests were playing at the beach, I got fascinated with the bark of (I think) mangrove trees.  Huge trees and the bark was quite different:

2016-08-29 bark at Natadola 2  R

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them” (because the bark is not definitive, for sure)

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Now for the STAR of this week –  really unexpected reader feedback to a post from 8 January 2015.   I had run this comment with the photo below:  One of the two things I had that I just couldn’t put in on New Year’s Day was this photo from our Christmas picnic trip to Natadola:  an overgrown mosque.  Such a graceful, pretty building on a lovely hill, but obviously abandoned and with a broken minaret. Also, unpainted.  So curious, so bleak.   Is it finished?   Was it used?    Did a community of Muslim cane farmers lose their leases just as the mosque was nearing completion?

2015-01-01 Abandoned mosque 2  R

Well, this week I got all the answers to those questions !

This is the comment that was posted  last Thursday afternoon:

Hi, I am Abdul Abbas Karim of Masjid Al Rahim, Zion Hill, Natadola. Fiji., would like to comment on the Mosque issue of Natadola. I had many news about it . This mosque was built by my Father Late Janab Abdul Karim of Zion Hill, Natadola. This was a land issue. In 1964 Late Mr Billy Clerk of Korolevu came to Natadola and called a meeting at Shaheb Dean’s house. many land owners attended the meeting in which i was present with my father. Mr. Clerk told every one present there to buy freehold land in which all farmers were leasing. Our land was 21 acres and Mr.Clerk said it is two thousand four hundred pounds. many people agreed to buy and paid deposit. My father paid 5 shillings for his block of 21 acres and and he also paid 5 shillings for Late Mr. Latchman’s block too. it was all paid by deducting from the bank when sugarcane was cut. My father paid all and other farmers paid too and all papers was with Mohammed Ali of Tadola. When time came to get the freehold title then Mohammed Ali din’t issue the papers/receipts and he said it was all lost. My father Janab Abdul Karim fought this land case in supreme court about freehold title for 30 years and court was dragging time. It was the first longest case held in Fiji. As soon as my father passed away the Manager of Shanghrila Hotel , (Yanuca Hotel) sent some contractors to demolish this mosque in 2007, on the old and expired court order, which was ill legal to demolish someone’s property. The hindu people saved the mosque by stopping the digger drive and by calling police. Three person died who sent them and the contractor died after doing so nasty thing and being the muslim and tried to break the mosque. I have repaired the mosque and painted and people started to pray in it . It is not a abundant Mosque I live there and look after the mosque. If any one want to contact me regarding this Masjid Al Rahim please contact me on 8677671, 0416651392 or email : aakarimtadola@gmail.com please stop saying this it a “abundant mosque”. AAKARIM Natadola.

Amazing story, isn’t it!   I love this country where people defend each other’s religions and holy places.

2016-08-29 renewed mosque  Cr

So I had to go see it. Here is the same mosque as of this week.  It has paint!  It has a sign!  It is not abandoned!  Best wishes to Abdul Abbas Karim and his community.

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Finally – our friend Joe found something at the market he thought was the best thing ever:

2016-08-29 Mango Mayo  R

Mango mayonnaise.

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Happy week, y’all.

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