My big thing this week is that I spent a night in the neighboring village. First time. There were two reasons: (1) I try to spend a night every few months at some friend’s home when they will only let me speak Fijian (shock therapy for my language learning), and (2) we have a guest coming who’d like to spend a night in the village, and I needed to go check it out first.
So I went to the home of Lutu, the lady who works here and also hosts the village visit activity. She is a beautiful soul. Her husband Rupeni is a cheerful and outgoing fellow (who was out going to play rugby and then to a team meeting that night, so I didn’t see much of him this time). I didn’t see her two daughters who are away for summer holiday with grandmother. But her son, 8 year old Rupeni Junior, was home and was my best buddy there. What a sweetie.
I had a grand time. It was like being back in Micronesia when we were living off the grid. Lutu and family aren’t as off-grid, having electricity and thus two tube lights and a refrigerator, a small washer, and an electric frypan. Plus a flush toilet. Luxuries we did not enjoy. But still it was more off-grid than home and I was happy.
I smelled the happy smell of a kerosene stove. Turned out that that belonged to a neighbor: Lutu was cooking on wood. I showered in my skirt under the pipe outside, guarded on three sides by walls made of black garbage bags. I sat on a mat, ate at a tablecloth on the floor, and listened to the quiet. The village is sooooooo peaceful.
A few chickens walked around the yard. All the dogs were quiet.
The village drum was beaten in a rhythm for about a minute. I checked my clock, it was 7 pm.
Lutu gave me a private room with a bed for sleeping, and put up a mosquito net for me since my lungs object to mosquito coils. I slept so well. It was a wonderful experience.
(You’d think I’d have thought to takes photos of Lutu and Junior … Here’s one of Lutu, I’m stealing from my daughter-in-law’s facebook page)
Vinaka vakalevu, Lutu!
Shelling that corn.
I said “fun fun” because I remembered loving to do it. I forgot that I have repetitive stress injuries in my hands from shelling mountains of corn before. But I’m doing it again. And every time I tell myself, “I’m only going to take out two rows so the corn dries – I won’t finish shelling it til later,” I shell it anyway because I can’t NOT shell it. Oh my poor hands!
FIJIAN WORD of the WEEK
Koro means “village”
Korolevu, which is the name of a village between here and Suva, means “Big village”
Korotogo (ko-ro-tong-oh), which is the name of a village beside Sigatoka, means “[something] village” – I don’t know what togo means yet. Ha ha.
Vinaka vakalevu na nomu veiciqomi ki na koro oqo.
Thank you very much for your accepting me to this village.
I’m leaving on holiday for 3 weeks and may not post while I’m gone …. will have to see. So just in case: Happy three weeks, Everybody.