Friday, December 28, 2007
While everyone was busy running away from Suva during christmas, we stayed put, and roamed around in town, watched movies, and chirstmas day had a buffet lunch at 'Raintree Lodge Resturant' which was just superb. Set in idyllic location, the resturant offers you the best of all the worlds be it food or ambience. I would recommend 'Raintree lodge' for a lazy sunday meal with jazz.
2nd Jan. 2008
Spent the 'New Years Eve' visiting 'Sigatoka Sand Dunes' near Sigatoka and clebrated New Years eve and New Years Breakfast at the 'Outriggers', both are a must visit while in Fiji. Sanddunes is Fiji's first national park and is looked after by 'National Trust of Fiji Islands', the staff is great and very friendly. Thank you to Suala Tavitani, Simon and Jason for showing us around! A walk along the wooden trail is a beautiful experience. Sigatoka Sand Dunes is a major archaelogical site, first significant clues to man's arrival in Fiji was found- a burial site in the eastern end of the park that dates his arrival to around 2,000 years ago. Also some of the potsherds are estimated to be 2,600 yrs old, finds of ceramic 'Lapita' provide an indication as to the origin of the sites former occupants, these people were the first settlers in this country. 'Outrigger' is one of the finest resorts in Fiji and we had a very good and relaxed time there on 31st dec. and 1st jan, again staff is wonderful and service excellent too. I would recommend half a day spent in Sand Dunes followed by overnight stay at Outriggers, wraps up the trip well. Will post pictures shortly.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
The money raised through this trip went to the projects carried out by Soroptimist International of Lae (I was then, a member of SI Lae)
The first diwali treat was the fundraising diwali dinner on 26th Oct. organized by 'International Women's Association', I was in the organizing committee and Ankita too helped us with the computer work as ususal. We managed to raise a good amount which will go towards the 'Light Up Village' project in Matainadoi, Vanua Levu; I am coordinating this project at IWA front and liaising with with the 'Macuata Women's Association'. Then followed Rotary Diwali dinner on 27th Oct, Atul is a rotarian and it was lovely. We then attended Fiji Hindu Association Diwali Dinner which was a fundraising activity on 3rd nov.
On 9th Nov., we invited a close Indian friend, with a few other friends from Netherlands, England, Kenya, China/ Japan and Canada while our daughter invited some 10-12 friends of hers. Ankita with her friends took charge of the barbequeue in the garden while I organized a typical Indian meal inside the house. The atmosphere in Suva was just incredible, I could not help going back to childhood memories. For our daughter, it was the first diwali in true sense , we did everything that one would do during diwali, we put ion all the efforts to make this diwali a memorable one for all our daughter especially as this was her first traditional one. We have celebrated diwali in Nairobi, Papua New Guinea and Australia too; but nothing like 'Diwali in Fiji'. Although, in Nairobi, one could buy fireworks and go to the designated areas in town to do the fireworks, in PNG we could hardly get any fireworks apart from sparklers, our daughter felt diwali more obvious in Australia as compared to Nairobi or PNG. But, one could not miss diwali in Fiji where you start hearing your neighbours doing fireworks 3-4 days prior to diwali and it con
Here in Fiji, we could easily do everything that one would do in India during diwali. So, we decided to celebrate it in a traditional way with a few exceptions.
Right from shopping to diwali preparations at home to the actual diwali night, we tried incorporate everything we could to keep it close to a traditional diwali.
It was the first time for our daughter to buy fireworks like we do in India and then do the fireworks in her own house at diwali night; made mithais; bought clay diyas in addition to electric fairy lights to light up the place at night; bought 'Ganesh-Laxmi' idol as well as a steel dish a day before diwali (which is a symbolic thing to do). So all in all, it was true diwali especially for our child!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
IWA membership is thriving with members from more than 20 different nationalities. It is an excellent mix of members. Above is the photo that an Indian friend took at the IWA meeting last week. I have made many friends through IWA. It basically targets raising funds and giving the funds out to the needy organisations/ groups etc.
The photo below shows some of the Soroptimists of Fiji.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
No function can be complete without kava ceremony. Kava is Piper methysiticum, the roots of kava are masticated and mashed further in water to squeeze out all the juice out of it, which is considered a social drink. Below is the photo that shows kava cermony being performed in the honour of chief guest Mr. Namekawa.
Mrs. Namekawa enjoying the day, standing with her in the photo are computer teacher, my friend (the chinese lady and a volunteer) and myself.
Final moments: anouncing the raffle prizes and standing with me are the Centre Manager, Sumasafu Vilisoni and Senior JICA Volunteer (who was on a 2 year attachment with the Centre), Kinji.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
We, after much thought decided that it was time to pack bags and move on to see a new place. So when Atul got this offer from Suva, Fiji, we decided to take it against all odds and now have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. Fiji, as I said is a beautiful country and people are very friendly and warm, so we are very pleased that we decided to come here.
There is so much to see and do, we are overwhelmed! Its been 3 months since we came here, we left PNG on 18th May and arrived here on 20th May, still settling down. I resigned from my job to come here with Atul and not working here as yet. But I have kept myself very busy ever since we arrived here.
After a week in Suva, I started looking around for "Soroptimists of Suva' (there are five different Soroptimist International clubs) and different women's group that engage themselves in community work. I came across 'International Women's Association' and attended their meeting the second week, It is a nice mix of women who actively fund-raise and hand out money to different groups for some project work. In that meeting, the President announced that 'Fiji Vocational and Technical Training Centre for persons with Disabilities' (FVTTCPD)wanted IWA to look for a person who could help them coordinate their 'Open Day'. After the meeting, I asked the President if she could take me to this Centre since I was interested in fullfilling their request but before I commit I wanted to see for myself what it was like and whether it was worth it. I am very pleased that I went the IWA meeting because then I went to FVTTCPD and my heart fell out for them and I took up the challenge. I got four IWA members to assist me (they came forward and expressed their willingness for which I am so grateful to them) and all the section heads, JICA volunteers and centre manager himself. Because they wanted to use the exercise to fundraise too, I asked them to call it 'The Inaugural Fete and Open Day' and we set for the task, it was to be held on 27th July. My daughter once again helped us with flyers. She made 7 different flyers and each consists of image which is actually the work done in different sections. If you look at the 7 flyers carefully (I am attaching it here), each contains an image which is adapted from work done in different sections. It was a lot of work since I was very new to the country, I had to establish a rapport with the business houses with intention that they had to be convinced to donate, and I am very pleased we did it very well. Also the media coverage was there, the centre had a very good exposure during this time. It was a very successful event with Japanese Ambassador as the chief guest and students had a good time dancing with the Ambassador. To top it all, the centre made a handsome profit. This was a good 2 months effort.