When we left the Suva Fiji mission home in October after our arrival, we traveled south and west on the Queen's highway across the island and then north to Ba, about 5-6 hours away. Last week, we travelled from Ba north and east and then south on the King's highway back to Suva for our Christmas mission conference. We have now circled the entire island of Viti Levu, the main island of Fiji -- and the King's highway is much prettier, less travelled, and has smoother roads which are a rarity in Fiji. Here are some of the beauties we encountered:
|Leaving the western side and headed to the east.|
Watch closely as Annie strokes the leaves of this "sensitivity" plant. They are very common and enjoyable to watch as they respond to stimulation.
As we drove along we noticed another common site - a bunch of villagers net fishing in the river. They string the net out into the river and then a number of them begin smacking the water with poles frightening the fish into the net which is then pulled together into a ever tightening circle to secure the catch. On an earlier trip, we found these net fishers in the midst of scaring the fish into the net:
On the north end of the island, the highway cuts across the interior of the island with its beautiful villages and rain forrest.
|Marking the entrance to a village.|
|The clothes lines are lifted up with bamboo poles allowing much more hanging room and the clothes are out of the way.-- So ingenious.|
|Color adds so much to these simple homes.|
|We weren't sure whether this was a mid week religious gathering, a cava gathering or something else.|
|All terrain, 2 seat, 4 legged horse power works pretty well.|
|Beautiful traditional bure|
Along the way, we stopped to to cut some bamboo to use for a curtain rod in our kitchen. This kind man was sure Tom needed his help and was very pleased to smooth out the pole for us. He said he was born here in the rain forest and that it rained most everyday. Sure enough the skies started to sprinkle on us as we talked.
|The road is still under construction and at times our 4 wheel drive came in handy.|
|We were struck with how unfazed the people were with the rainstorm. Life went on as always.|
So many smiles we encounter along the way. We wave to all and it is almost always returned with a big smile and a wave back at us.
|Even baby buns are strong here. Not sure why he was being led back home...but his mom definitely had a plan.|
Humble circumstances, but so much better than having to travel to a bigger city.
Sorry for the jiggles, but we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a picture of these joyful women zooming along in front of us. Fijians are generally happy and laugh with great enthusiasm as they pass the time together. Most everyone walks, takes busses, or "transports" like this truck when traveling from one distant place to another. 30-90 minute walks are nothing to these people who visit each other in neighboring villages regularly. We travelled to Suva on Sunday afternoon and people were all dressed up for Church walking, carrying food contributions to their destinations, and playing with children as they went. We passed banana laden trees, coconut palms and the staples of Taro and Cassava are grown everywhere there is space. It is really pretty cool.