Location: Navatu, Vanua Levu, Fiji
Sorry for the delay, everyone. It has been a busy, fun-filled couple of days. On Sunday the 21st, we met with the conservation group, GreenForce, and were able to experience the raw Fijian culture. We woke up earlier than usual to some exquisite breakfast burritos. By 10, we were in the village of Navatu for their Sunday church service dressed in our finest Sunday clothes (the traditional clothing items are Hawaiian style shirts and sulas for the men and colorful sarongs or dresses for the women). As most of the sermon was in Fijian, it was hard to follow what was occurring, but it was enjoyable, and hearing the beautiful church hymns in the Fijian language was a treat. When it was time to take donations for the collection plate, the church elders asked GreenForce and us to sing a song each. Of course, this is not the kind of opportunity we at Seamester would turn down; we sang Amazing Grace lead by the amazing Alex, Lindsey, and Grace! GreenForce followed up with a rousing rendition of Kumbaya. It wasn’t any type of competition, but we won with the best singing and the most donations, despite what GreenForce says. We earned a cake for our efforts, but being the good sportsmen we are, we decided to share it with our new friends. After the service, the locals in the village treated us to a feast, which included some local delicacies, breads, teas, and cakes. Then, after a bit of R and R, we were invited to a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The village lifted a two-week ban on their ceremonial drink of Kava. This Kava ceremony was the village’s way of accepting us into their homes. Having lasted a few hours with numb tongues and tingling lips, we shuttled back to Argo, where we managed to make room for more dinner and sat in for Oceanography, where we learned about the Gaia Hypothesis. A lively discussion of the theories validity ensued, which was a good end to a great day.