Location: Denarau, Fiji
Today started off absolutely amazing! We woke up with the delicious aroma of powdered sugar and beignets for breakfast (All thanks to our head chef, Kylie!) Plus, Tim and Lolo surprised us with some freshly baked pastries from the local market. After we stuffed ourselves with all the amazing treats, we then moved on to Boat Appreciation! This is the day when we give back to Argo and make her all shiny and clean and smelling oh so very nice. All of us were split into different stations. Some were in charge of cleaning the chart house, the salon, and the galley, and others were in charge of cleaning the heads, the Laz, and the deck. This isn’t your typical cleaning day. We all had to put in a hundred and ten percent into cleaning up Argo and scrubbing every nook and cranny, making sure she is all ready for passage. Boat Appreciation (BA) is also amazing because we all got freshly clean sheets and most people sent their laundry off for cleaning. After BA, we had a fabulous lunch in the hot blazing sun. We ate some pineapple fried rice with Hawaiian rolls. After lunch, we were given the most wonderful, most amazing, and incredible surprise ever: that we were able to get off the boat and partake in a traditional kava ceremony! Everyone was excited to dress up and put on anything but boat clothes. Most of the boys wore the traditional clothing for kava, a button-down shirt and a sulu, while the girls wore dresses. The ceremony was incredible! We all sat around in a circle, watching and listening to our new Fijian friends as they mix kava and water into a wooden bowl. The ceremony is called sevusevu, and it is a tradition in Fijian culture. It is performed to welcome outsiders onto the islands when they first arrive. In honor of Gabe’s birthday, Gabe acted as the chief of our “tribe” and shared the first drink of kava with their chief. In a traditional sevusevu celebration, three claps are exchanged before Gabe sipped his bowl of kava, followed by the phrase “math,” which means I am done! After Gabe, everyone was able to have some kava! One of our Fijian friends would say “high tide” or “low tide,” meaning “do you want a lot or a little,” and it was very funny 😉 Once the ceremony was over, we all gathered around in a circle for “squeeze.” This was a special squeeze because our new friends were able to join us! After the squeeze, some people played pool, darts, and foosball, while others got their last-minute kava. Overall, today was an absolutely amazing day!!!