More recent posts about Fiji

Articles from Fiji

  1. Fiji Farewell to Fiji

    Here are some of the boys that took me on a picnic during my last days in my Fijian village on the island of Vanua Levu.  In front of the boys is the tub of seafood we enjoyed and the root crops spread in front of them.

  2. Fiji School Tour

    Hospital dietician taking height and weight of school children during the school tour on my home island of Kadavu...

  3. Fiji na veivuravura

    After completing our World Map project at Saivou District School, I wanted the kids to see themselves how much they'd learned. They'd taken a pop-quiz before the project began and few could name more than 5 countries around the world, or tell you which continent was where. After the project, I clipped up all my precious newsweeks and on each photo wrote the name of a different country where the picture was taken. The kids lined up in relay teams to see who could get rid of their stack of phot...

  4. Fiji meke ni yaqona

    This was part of a ceremony to officially honor the opening of the Ra provincial meeting house- a building that took many years to fundraise and build. cheif guest of the day was then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase (who was ousted in Fiji's 4th coup later that same year). In any case, native Fijians love a good celebration and they take their local protocal very seriously, especially with such an important guest. These local men are dressed in traditional leaf skirts and slathered in coconut ...

  5. Fiji Toothbrush Drill

    My host family sister Adi had to improvise in order to reach the water faucet during her morning brush...

  6. Fiji Open Wide Please...

    The dentist and his assistant extract a tooth from a student during a health team school tour on my home island of Kadavu.

  7. Fiji Got Milk?

    Actually Turani is teaching my husband, Matt, how to harvest coconut water - the clear liquid inside young green coconuts. (Coconut milk, lolo, is from the mature brown coconuts.) Fresh green coconuts are harvested from the tree and then husked and a hole is bored into the top. The louder your sucking noise, the more you enjoy the drink!

  8. Fiji Yaqona Ceremony

    Everything in Fiji starts, continues, and stops with a traditional yagona ceremony. Yaqona comes from the dried root of the pepper kava plant and is a tranquilizing but nonalcoholic drink served in a coconut bilo.

  9. Fiji Just throw it in the dirt until it's cooked...

    Here, our Turaqa ni Koro is preparing a lovo, earth oven, for our welcoming lunch. A traditional lovo is a fire made in a pit lined with heat resistant stones. When the stones are hot from the fire the food wrapped in banana leaves or set in coconut bilos is placed in the pit and covered with soil and leaves until ready to eat!

  10. Fiji Reef Survey

    Some of the local villagers giving an underwater thumbs-up while doing a bit of field practice during a workshop on reef surveys where they've been learning how to conduct transect lines to assess the health of nearby coral reefs.

  11. Fiji Cuvu Day

    At the annual village fundraiser, one of the family groups gathers in the center of the village green to sing a song as three children stand by and watch, all dressed in the brightly colored bula fabric often worn in Fiji.

  12. Fiji A Hike

    My parents came to visit me during my second year of service, in December 2009.  Two of the young men from a neighboring village led us on a hike to a waterfall.  It was an adventure for my parents (and me!) and we all felt successful and tired after finishing the hike.  But the water was cold, the sun felt great (my parents live in Wisconsin), and it made for a fun afternoon.  They got to see some of the challenges of my integration through this hike, which was physically demanding, and enco...

  13. Fiji A Hike, 2

    My parents, after coming out of our hike into the woods.

  14. Fiji Wedding Bliss

      We were stationed on Kioa Island in Fiji. It was a unique situation because the island was inhabited by a group of Polynesians in the midst of Melanesian Fiji. Kioa was bought in 1946 by the people of Vaitupu, an island in the nation of Tuvalu, with money earned from American Armed Forces during WWII and settled October 26, 1947 by 37 original settlers. The Tuvaluans brought with them only their culture, religion, and lifestyle - which have been preserved and are still in tact today. This i...

  15. Fiji Fatele Fancy Feet

    We were stationed on Kioa Island in Fiji. It was a unique situation because the island was inhabited by a group of Polynesians in the midst of Melanesian Fiji. Kioa was bought in 1946 by the people of Vaitupu, an island in the nation of Tuvalu, with money earned from American Armed Forces during WWII and settled October 26, 1947 by 37 original settlers. The Tuvaluans brought with them only their culture, religion, and lifestyle - which have been preserved and are still in tact today. This i...

  16. Fiji Test Results Are In

    Students in Fiji take standardized tests just like in America. On our island the leaders and community gather together while the students are testing. There is a service, prayer, and a feast celebrating the expected results. After the test is completed and sealed the teacher goes over the tests with the kids because they are so anxious to see how well they did!

  17. Fiji Proper Halloween Attire for PCVs in Fiji

    This depicts what is needed for a PCV to endure a yaqona (kava/grog) session - a grog dispensing hat, clappers, arm straighteners, and ankle pads for sitting on the floor for insane amounts of time. But don't forget the root! These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  18. Fiji Warrior Moves

    The men perform warrior dances during the fatele, traditional dance, as they tell their history. The traditional costume includes flowers and plants native to the island.

  19. Fiji Fakaala All the Time

    The Kioans pride themselves on celebrations and what makes the best celebration - food. The more food, the wealthier you are, the more celebrated the individual (whether a birthday or funeral or wedding). We are probably the only Peace Corps Volunteers who actually gain weight during our service!

  20. Fiji Ice Cream Soup

    The children are swarming around Filo who is dishing out melted ice cream at a church picnic. The ice cream was brought from the nearest grocery store across the Somosomo straight on a hour long fiber boat ride. By the time it reached the island it was totally melted - but the kids didn't seem to mind!

  21. Fiji Hard Work

    Each project on the island begins and ends with a celebration and dedication. Here the pastor and chief are blessing and praying for the completion of a new water tank. The Lima Malosi (strong hand) workforce is looking on and ready to begin the work.

  22. Fiji Bravo Sprays

    The children are performing a traditional Polynesian dance during the Kioa Day celebration marking the day the first settlers arrived from Tuvalu. When a spectator is pleased with the performance they spray the dancer with perfume, as Kanesa is doing here.  

  23. Fiji A Warrior's Greeting

    The Prime Minister of Tuvalu came to Kioa during the Christmas holiday celebration. He is being greeted by a canoe flotila of men and women serenading him.

  24. Fiji Man Skirt?

    Yes, men wear skirts but in Fiji they call them sulus. It is really just 3 yards of fabric. They can be colorful with flowers or more recently they are screened with a logo, bible verse, or brand.

  25. Fiji Te Ano

    Te Ano is the name of a traditional game the islander’s play every New Years. Ano is the name of the large ball they play with that is the size of a softball but is actually a stone wrapped with leaves. The game is played on a rugby pitch with two teams facing each other within large rectangular boxes running the length of the field. The two rectangles are slightly offset and the server for each team stand directly in front of the opposing teams rectangle. The entire village could probably ...

  26. Fiji Gift Presentation

    At the end of our service we attended a fatele, traditional celebration, presented by our friends on the island. After the eating, singing, and dancing the final installment was a presentation of many gifts. Rather than just hand us the gifts the women would dance and sing as they carried them to us. Everything the Kioans do is done with joy and purpose. 

  27. Fiji Grog Man Wisdom

    Yaqona (kava/grog) ceremonies or gatherings are very traditional, frequent, and often ... unsanitary. The water is often obtained from questionable sources and contains fecal matter and pathogens. The yaqona is mixed by hand - which probably has not seen soap in days or ever. All can lead to a very irritable PCV bowel system. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  28. Fiji Yes, even Santa smokes in Fiji

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  29. Fiji FCS - Fijian Cross-legged Syndrome

    There isn't much furniture in Fiji so most of your time is spent sitting cross-legged on the floor. Even if there is a chair around, the chief or elder gets it! These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  30. Fiji No Offense

    Fijians are very humble and courteous. "Tulou" means excuse me to the highest degree. You whisper it as you pass people, as you enter a room, as you leave a room, and as you sit down in a room - just to name a few examples. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  31. Fiji Bad PCV Project Ideas

    Most villages do not have a generator, much less running electricity... but it is hotter than anything you can imagine so it can lead to delirium. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  32. Fiji The many uses of a PFD

    Peace Corps takes volunteer safety very seriously. A PCV can get kicked out of service if caught on a boat without a Personal Flotation Device. In Fiji, there is lots of water transport and once we were on a bamboo hand-made raft and the water was 2 feet deep but we still had to wear our PFDs.   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  33. Fiji Traditional Moves

    This is our friend Filo performing the fatele, traditional dance. The Kioans record their history only in songs - nothing is written down. So they pass their stories to their children during holidays, funerals, and celebrations by singing and dancing.

  34. Fiji First Night in the Village

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  35. Fiji Library of PC Policy & Procedures

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  36. Fiji PC World Map Project

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  37. Fiji The Language of Eyebrows

    As we all know, body language and facial expressions are the key to any communication. In Fiji, they take it to a new level. Entire conversations can take place with only facial twitches, leaving a PCV speechless.   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  38. Fiji Bucket Uses

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  39. Fiji Lost in Translation

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  40. Fiji Safety & Security Man

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.  Peace Corps takes a volunteers safety very seriously ... very.  

  41. Fiji What's Yours is Mine

    Kerekere is the mentality that what's yours is mine and what's mine is yours. Villagers don't see it as stealing but rather borrowing. But it is often hard to borrow your items back!   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  42. Fiji Acronyms

    Peace Corps, like all government entities, loves acronyms. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.       

  43. Fiji Fire Walking

    An annual Hindi fire walking celebration at a rural Hindu Temple in Fiji

  1. Fiji Farewell to Fiji

    Fijians love to eat.  Fijians also love to farewell.  It was only natural that the two would be combined as my close of service neared.  For the last two weeks I was in my village I did nothing but eat my way around the tikina (district).  One of the most memorable feasts came on my last Wednesday, a day I had hoped would find us in the deep ocean, under a bright hot sun, gazing into water so blue it made the sky pale in comparison.  Instead, as happens to all good plans during Peace Corps, ...

  2. Fiji Lessons Learned

        1. Always wear a sports bra when riding the bus. 2. Hiking for an hour burns 500 calories. 3. Your dream needs to become a reality when it haunts you like a nightmare. 4. Powdered milk ain't so bad. 5. In Fiji, I am more likely to die from a falling coconut than a shark attack. 6. When traveling to the big city concentrate on the 3 C's ... cheese, chocolate, and cold beer! 7. You know you go to bed too early when your neighbor asks if you have problems with your electricity. 8. M...

  3. Fiji My two families

    My father huffed and puffed, my mother “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed, keeping her scrapes and scratches to herself.  We filed in line, one village boy leading my father, my mother, me, followed by a second village boy as our guide.  We traipsed through the rainforest on a barely worn and overgrown trail.  We were bound for a hidden waterfall. I was fortunate to have my parents visit me in Fiji.  I was fortunate to have them visit me when I studied abroad in Rome.  That was my father’s first trip out o...

  4. Fiji First Visit to Site

    We made it back from our site visit yesterday and are recouping from a whirlwind travel experience. It is hard to recall everything as it seemed like we experienced so much during the short time we where there. It is all very exhausting trying to soak in the details of your future home for the next two years in addition to learning the logistics of how the heck to get there. That was an adventure in itself.   If you have ever traversed a third world country using more than one type of transp...

  5. Fiji Peace Corps Volunteer's Unite!

    This year being Peace Corps' 50th anniversary, and most PCVs being somewhat famous in the communities they serve, there is an initiative underway by PCVs and RPCVs to have a current PCV appear on this season's TV show "Dancing with the Stars".  Most PCVs are famous in the communities they serve, so we think if fitting to push for this - Also it would not only shed light on Peace Corps but hopefully inspire others to volunteer in general! We ask for your support by watching ...

  6. Fiji This is a Blog

    Everyone knows somebody who is consistently stating the obvious. Most people will do it time to time, but there are those with a special talent at maintaining a constant focus on verbalizing all that is happening around them even if it isn’t necessary. Those people would be masterful artisans of Fijian conversation etiquette and probably elected to a high office, if there were elections here of course. At first I found it a little strange, but I didn’t dwell too much on it. It does help in ...

  7. Fiji The Boat Ride

    Making a quick trip to the grocery store back home is rather simple. In Fiji, like most things, it isn’t quite so simple. Our opportunities for  shopping come once a week when the community’s fiber boat makes its weekly trip across the straight for some shopping on Taveuni. We can hire a boat but this gets very expensive. It hadn’t rained since we arrived and then a big storm rolled through Thursday. Friday some of the remnants still remained but the seas didn’t look too bad. We were suppose...

  8. Fiji To Duplex or Not Duplex

    As we were walking to the office Fakaofo was at Fanny’s sitting in her umu chatting. He yelled, “Talofa” and said he needed to talk to me but would come to the office. When we arrived at the office the head teacher, Malipa, showed up with a panic look on her face.   She frantically informed me the toner on the copier had gone out and they didn’t know how to load the new cartridge. They were in the middle of final exams and had to delay them due to the lack of exam papers. “Didn’t Fakaofo com...

  9. Fiji Indy Car in a Go-Cart World

    Being a Peace Corps volunteer is a lot like driving an Indy Car in rush hour traffic all the time, not just some of the time, all the time. As US Citizens we are trained at an early age to go full bore and not let up. It is engrained in our brains from day one and it hasn’t been until Generation Z (or whatever we are currently at) that people have started rebelling against this hair on fire mentality. My profession prior to joining the Peace Corps as a project manager in the construction ind...

  10. Fiji Cyclone Aftermath

    In ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world’s nuclear weapons combined.   I returned to Kioa on Thursday afternoon. After waiting at the bus stand from 6:45 to 8:00 am and learning there were no buses to Buca Bay and possibly wouldn’t be until next week I searched for alternatives. The Suliven Ferry had pulled into port as well as the Westland, a smaller ferry. The Westland was making a trip to Taveuni. I called our Country Director to see if the all clear had been...

  11. Fiji The Package

    Often it is hard to describe to Westerners why it is sometimes so frustrating doing work, or sometimes anything productive, in third world countries and especially Fiji. I like describing these events not as a way to bash Fiji or the developing world but to help give perspective to those who have never experienced life without all the conveniences the West takes for granted. These conveniences are not just in water, electricity, infrastructure, and food but also relate to a more general sens...

  12. Fiji Aid

      Kelly and I were in Suva to assist with training the FRE-8s (Fiji Re-Entry #8 since coup #1) and decided to check out the movie Prince of Persia. I typically try and avoid the movie theater as it is prime territory for personal space invaders. This time was no exception. Behind us sat five young men most likely in their 20’s. During the entire movie they tap danced on the back of our seats, made jokes at all the sexual references or shots of women scantly clad, and snickered every time a ch...

  13. Fiji Dodging Machetes: How I Survived Forbidden Love, Bad Behavior, and the Peace Corps in Fiji: Chapter One

        Coconut palms swayed in the trade winds like tipsy hula dancers. Turquoise waves nibbled the virginal seashore. A flock of multi-hued parrots landed in unison on a nearby baka tree. They opened their beaks as if chirping their songs for me and me alone. How fortunate I felt to be working in that pristine, primitive paradise, untouched by television and fast-food joints. Then again, island life was hard. People lived in rat-infested thatched huts with no indoor plumbing or electricity. But...

Fiji

Fiji

Map of Fiji
status
Open
program dates
1968-1998; 2003-Present
current volunteers
62
cumulative volunteers
2,231

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.