So over the weekend I had the pleasure of getting a taste of Fiji from two Peace Corps Volunteers, Josh and Pravin. Nivtali ( I'm sorry if I botched your name) was also there for the ride, all these things being new to her also.I was happliy surprised to be presented with my first sulu. This garment which is basically a wrap that people in fiji wear is very comfy and I can definitely see myself wearing them all day everyday and possibly swearing off jeans or any other garment for my lower body.After we all got into our sulus we had a grog session. Sitting on an imbe (floor mat) my hosts walked me through a traditional grog session and were pointed out the do's and donts.I guess the highlight was the actual drink.I thought it would taste just how it looked, like muddy water, but somehow it managed to taste a little worse than that.I didn't expect the tingly feeling in my tongue and the subsequent numbness of it.
Afterwards I was treated to a wonderful meal of cassava, fried fish, fish in coconut milk, indian rice and some spicy dahl.The food was wonderful and it really helped in taking away the taste of the grog.Many compliments to the chefs.
I am happy to say that these Peace Corps volunteers were very warm and welcoming and so open to sharing their experiences with me.It truly makes me 100 times more excited to experience Fiji and form bonds with my fellow FRE 8's and most importantly with the Fijian people that I will meet.
One story that I feel compelled to tell is that of the PCV and the rat. Josh I hope I to tell this story even as half as good as you told it.
Our PCV was coming back from a training session in the city and needless to say after about a 6 hour trip back by foot and bus he was exhasuted and ready to take a much deserved rest.Upon arriving home he is greeted to a rat scurrying all over his bed which has a mosquito net covering it.Unfortunately for the rat which was a bit longer than the distantce from your elbow to the tips of your finger was not aware of the rule that if any animal gets inside the perimeter of the mosquito net it must die.So he takes a pillow case, covers the rat with it and holds it down with his hands and then smashes it to death with his fist.He then picks up the half dead rat( with his bare hands) and throws it outside into the yard.I hope one day I can have nerves of steel like you, or I could settle for a neighbor who would come and do that for me.
BTY- he threw away the pillow case.