by Peter Nelson 

Litia, the village teacher, speaks English, as does Koroi, of course, so once again, communication is not much of a problem.  Anyway, in this blissful spot, language is a minor concern.  We just wander around grinning at everything.  You rarely need to open your mouth, except to put food in it.  Just as in the other South Pacific islands we visited, by the second day here, we feel as if we’ve lived in Verevere most of our lives.

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Emosi, his son, Koroi and me. Getting water at the little freshwater stream with the tide out.

Litia did teach us one very useful phrase: “Vinaka na kakana, Serena.”  Translates as: “Thank you for the food, Serena.”  We also learned “yes” and “no”, but sadly, never learned “I love you.”

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Village kids looking at a book we brought. Notice the floor mat of woven bamboo.

One day we went on a day-long hike up into the interior hills to Naivoco, (pronounced Ni-VO-tho) to visit somebody’s cousin.  The only way to get there was by hiking along this narrow beach.  While we were up there, the tide came in, so we had to stay up there overnight.

Niavoco looking towards the South Pacxfic
Naivoco looking towards the South Pacxfic
After supper in Naivoco
After supper in Naivoco

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A hike through the jungle with Sina

 Sadly, eventually, the time came to leave this paradise, and almost the entire village came out to say goodbye.

Farewell to our wonderful and generous Fijian family.  Verevere is on the point to the far right of the photo.
Farewell to our wonderful and generous Fijian family. Verevere is on the point to the far right of the photo.

A bus ride along the coast.  After the lovely and peaceful villages of Verevere and Naivoco, the Fijian capital of Suva was just noisy and dirty and full of tourists.  So we got out of there.

leaving Fiji
leaving Fiji

Next stop, New Zealand.