Fiji Life and Going Public

I wanted to give you a glimpse as to the way the Fijians live.  It was a little bit of a culture shock for me, because I assumed since it was a tourist destination that it would be a little more established.  Man was I wrong.  It was very humbling to see and made me appreciate all the simple things we take for granted (i.e. plumbing, indoor bathrooms, carpet, cars, etc.)  
There is one main road that goes around the entire island (horribly maintained, BTW - huge potholes everywhere) and on both sides of the road you will see fruit, veggie, fish and flower stands.  This one is pretty nice compared to most of them.  Usually it's a few boards with a plank across to put the food on.  Sometimes the merchandise is just on the side of the road.  In some areas there is a stand probably every kilometer. 
Most of these pictures were taken as we were driving, so the quality is sub-par, but I wanted to show you how they live.  This is one of the houses.  Almost all of the houses are made out of sheet metal.  Most have a small camping stove indoors for when it rains, but the cooking is usually done outdoors.  The bathrooms are usually outside, also a very small tin outhouse.

Some very colorful tin in some villages. 

Clothes are washed by hand and hung up to dry.  Everyone hangs their clothes outside on a clothesline.  Funny thing is, it rains all the time there, so I don't think the clothes actually every dry. 

One of the days we drove to Suva (the capital).  It is the largest cities in Fiji.  In the city it is definitely more established with concrete houses, cars, high rises, restaurants, congested streets, etc.  There are 180,000 people that live in Suva and 850,000 people in all of Fiji, so most people still live in villages.   This is a picture of some shacks along the river in Suva.  I couldn't believe the houses that have ocean front property.  In the states it would cost you millions for a view like what most of these people have. 

There is a temple in Fiji, and it is located in Suva.  We were planning on doing a session, but found out they don't rent clothes, so we just went and walked around it for awhile.  Remember in the last post, I mentioned a missionary couple just starting their mission in Fiji?  Well, while we were at the temple we saw them again, so we talked with the for awhile and learned a little about the mission there.  Most of the Fiji mission is made up of very remote outer islands.  We learned that most of the missionaries that serve in these places come from Papa New Guinea, where their living conditions are similar or worse than what they will experience on the mission.  The missionaries that serve on these islands do not have running water or plumbing.  What a different mission experience that would be.  It brought back so many memories of our branch on Guam, and made me so excited to go on missions with my hubby someday.   

At the temple, overlooking part of Suva.

We went to the museum in Suva and learned about Fiji. 

Isn't this tree huge?  Adam stood there for comparison.
We went to the farmers market in Suva as well.  Holy Cow!! It was huge.  Pineapples stacked a few feet high for sale. 

Lots of eggs.   The Fijian dollar is just about double US currency, so it was pretty easy to figure out the currency conversions.  We also went to the handicraft market and bought a ceremonial Kava bowl and a black pearl necklace.  Sorry, no picture. I'm too lazy to take out my SD card and go over and take a picture of it.  Maybe later. 

Some old ladies fishing off the side of the road.  Rarely did we see people fishing with fishing poles.  Most people just have some fishing string that they throw in the water, and then wind it around their hand to reel it in.   It was not unusual to see a little kid out in the ocean throwing out his line, and obviously the old still do it as well.

FROGS!!  Oh my goodness, there are frogs EVERYWHERE.  I thought this picture turned out cool.  Anyway, as soon as the sun goes down hundreds, no thousands, of frogs appear on the ground.  I got a little 'jumpy' (nervous) when I had to walk across the grass at night.  Adam thought it was funny.  I just didn't want to feel that squish under my feet.  I tried to get a video of us walking across the grass and frogs jumping everywhere, but it was too dark. 

A few arrows to point out some of the frogs


We also had geckos in the hallways.  When we lived in Guam we had a baby gecko that lived on top of our front door, and every time I opened the door it would fall on my chest (sick little critter).  It freaked me out every time.  I've since learned to accept these little fellas since they eat the bugs. 

One of the Bure's (houses) and fruit stand.

Some baby pigs playing near the road.

About 5:00 every evening, next to their fruit stands, you will see a big pot getting hot, ready to cook some dinner. 
Some little boys riding bareback along the side of the road.  
Well, I'm about 1/2 way through my Fiji pictures.  Sorry if you're sick of the already.  Maybe I'll interject a Halloween post in between them. 


Also, I've decided to make my blog public.  I've reached the max invitations I can send out, and I have some more people that would like invites, so instead of kicking you all off for never commenting, I've decided to just go public. I may change my mind in a few weeks and go private again, but we'll give this a try.  I guess my kids are going to have to start wearing clothes, so they can be published on the blog.  This might prove to be more than they (yes, it's them - I dress them everyday, but somehow by the end of the day their clothes are missing) can handle.  If you want this blog to update on your blog roll, you'll have to delete the old one and re-add this blog address.


Amy said...

Oh I am so glad to see your blog pop up on my reader. It's wonderful to see your family so easily.

Fiji is close to my heart - I've been there with my Mom. She and Dad served a mission there. We have great friends that live in that beautiful place. Glad you got to spend some time there.


The Lemmon's said...

Rand and I went to San Antonio last year for our 10-year anniversary and I thought we'd try to go the temple too, only to find out you have to schedule a session and no rentals. How we take things for granted in Utah! I love your pictures!! What a fun experience you both had and I too look forward to missions with my husband! Thanks for sharing!

Jeff said...

nice! all of a sudden all your posts are in google reader again. glad you guys had a great time in fiji

The Yoder's Four said...

That tree is insane! And HOLY pineapples and frogs!! This post reminds me of a trip another friend of mine took to Tonga this summer. Very beautiful but poor. I bet the people are super nice, though!

Ty * April said...

I love the picture of that frog too. It turned out awesome! These pictures remind me of Dominica, a little island we stopped at on our cruise we took years ago.

Jen said...

I am just getting caught up on some of your posts, I was wondering how you were all doing.

I love the Fiji pics - what a great anniversary present!

Your kids are beautiful, as always

Meg & Josh said...

Keep the pics coming! Especially now, when it is 42 outside at my house. :(