- 26.0 meters
We consider this to be our first real anchorage in Fiji as, after weeks of repair, we finally are on our way to visit the islands, reefs and people we came so far to see. While this particular island (Wayasewa) is only about 25 nm from Vuda Marina, it's a world away from the 'mainland'.
Upon arrival, we donned our appropriate clothing (no knees showing, no visible shoulders, no sunglasses, no hats!) to visit the chief of the main village. We were met on shore by the delightful Elenoa and her two children. Not knowing if they spoke english I tried the phrase I learned Bula! Na yacaqu o Arthur. Toranga ni koro sevusevu? Elena responded in perfect english, ‘Hi Arthur, you want to visit the village chief to do the ceremony to accept you to our village?’.
So off we go clutching our bundle of yagona (kava root) along with some small gifts. The first chief was on the mainland for the day so we visited the second chief in his home. We sat in front of him and I offered our bundle of yagona along with the phrase noqu sevusevu gor which means ‘we bring you a gift and ask permission to join your village’. The old chief perked up when I said this (as he spoke no english), clapped his hands once then made a speech in Fijian and clapped three times signifying his acceptance of us.
At this point, we were truly members of this village and could go anywhere, fish, swim, walk the beaches, stop by to talk with any other villager, etc. It was so nice! We walked down the road between the houses and everyone welcomed us with ‘Bula Bula!’. Most spoke english and invited us to stop and sit on a mat in front of their house to talk and share some tea. The children mobbed us and wanted to play with Andrea climbing all over him and otherwise hold hands with us while we walked around their village.
We were all struck by the emotion of having these kind people take us in as their own and treat us so nicely. It’s something that will stay in your mind forever. Over the next 3-4 days we were in the area, we visited the village every day and all the people remembered our names and treated us with kindness. The children were so excited to see us and ask questions about our boat, our travels and our adventures.
There are three villages on this island and they all use one school complex for their children. There are about 70 students from kindergarten through 8th grade. Each classroom has two years of students so grades 3 & 4 share a classroom and teacher as do grades 7 & 8, etc. The classrooms are precious as are the students. Anticipating their needs (especially after enduring Cyclone Winston, a Cat 5 storm this past February), we purchased school supplies in New Zealand to bring along. I presented a bag of ‘goodies’ to the administration office of the school who said they would happily distribute them for us.
This was a lovely re-introduction to Fiji (Tracy and I visited in 2004 and had really fond memories) and we are so happy to be here!
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