Apparently you searched for these things, so in order to divert more random people to this blog… I am going to attempt to post pictures for a lot of the more randomly searched things. Be prepared to have your boredom officially busted and you funny bone tickled….
Real rain? Is there fake rain? Do you live in Hollywood and are consistently confused
about the distinction between reality and special effects? Since I don’t know how to
answer this search term… ill just post some pictures of “real rain” here in Fiji. The
kind of rain storms that prompt everyone to go out and take rain baths
|are there mangoes in fiji
Why yes indeed there are mangoes in Fiji! Mango season is typically November to
February-ish butit really depends on the weather and type of mango. This year our
mango season was cut really short because cyclone Evan swept through and
destroyed everything. Angst.
|book donations for kids in fiji
Books are a really important thing in developing countries. Many volunteers work
at schools that would always welcome book donations. You can get in contact with
volunteers through their blogs and ask about shipping books over here. There is an
NGO based out of Philadelphia called Darien Book Aid which I got books donated
through. They go all over the world but you can specifically request they be sent to
Fiji and you don’t have to pay for international Shipping! If you do plan on shipping
directly, please indicate on the box, “USED BOOKS, NO VALUE” So hopefully we don’t
have to pay customs charges to pick up the boxes. You can also look up Ministry of
Information, Library Services of Fiji, Suva City Library, or Protective Services of Fiji.
Those would be the best places to start looking.
If you really want to donate books right this instant- send me a box. I started a
village library next to my house and we are always looking for new additions to the
library. My address is:
Samantha Russell PCV
PO Box 142
Fiji Islands, South Pacific.
If you donate, be prepared to get a thank you card in the mail from the kids that
frequent the library!
|different cultures holding hands
So Fiji is interesting on this topic. Fijian men will regularly hold hands and giggle l
ike small school girls. Fijian girls will often hold hands as they walk around. I always
get led somewhere by and old woman who holds my hand. HOWEVER, Fijian men and
women… NEVER hold hands. There is no outward sign of affection between married
couples or people who are dating here in Fiji. Its very interesting that in a country
that is very homophobic, men can hold hands with each other, but its considered
extremely tabu (taboo) for a man and woman who are married to do such.
|fiji medicine for cuts
The most popular Fijian medicine for cuts here is called wabosucu, or Mile-a-minute.
Its literally just crushed up in your hands until just the green juice exists and its
rubbed over the cut. It burns at first but heals cuts really well. I slipped up at a
waterfall (thank you astigmatism for poor depth perception) and those scars are much
less noticeable than other scars I have gotten since I began my Peace Corps service.
I have no idea how someone typed this into a search bar, but I indeed to have a
momo Tawake. Momo means uncle here. This particular old man, bless his heart I
just love him to pieces, changes his relationship with me to suit the occasion. If he
wants to joke around he will be my father and I call him Ta, if I want things from him
I call him Momo (Uncle), If I want to joke around and make the other boys jealous I
will call him my Tavale or cross-cousin.
|fijian boys drinking grog
Lordy lordy have you come to the right place for Fijian men drinking grog. My
village drinks an absurd amount of grog and all throughout Fiji, Ovalau is known to
have some of the sweetest and best tasting Kava due to our geography and soil
conditions. So here are a few pictures of those gorgeous men.
I’m assuming this search led to the picture of my armpit boil… which would in no
sense of the word be deemed sexy. However, just to make all you back home cringe
once again, here is that lovely boil!
Loloma bibi translates to, “With great love” it is typically used when writing letters
but more typically shown through the actions of people here. This is a picture of me
at my farewell feast in August 2012 before I went home for a few weeks. They spent
the entire day with me. We made a lovo (earth oven), I roamed around with my friend
s and we drank grog all night. It’s truly the actions of the people here that encompass
A Sulu Jaba (said Sulu Chamba) is the two piece top and ankle length skirt that
women wear on nice occasions. To church,to weddings, to a funeral, to meetings, to
workshops, sometimes even to town. I have like 9 of these. I wear them entirely too
frequently for my liking. The skirts are one piece of fabric with elastic at the top and
the fabric just crosses over itself. So the seam you see is replicated a little further in
on the other leg… meaning that you trip on yourself if you intend on walking at a little
faster than a crawl. Been to Fiji? Ever wonder why people walk so slow? There you
have it. Sulu Jaba’s, short cutting your stridesince the missionaries arrival.
Okay, If you are googling “Smelly Laundry” I don’t think I can help you… but here
is a picture of smelly laundry to satisfy your inclinations.. My suggestion. Wash your
freakin’ clothes! I smell… but I live in a village with regularly dirty water so I can’t do
much about that. Must admit I found strawberry scented laundry detergent and I went
on a cleaning rampage. I cleaned everything so it would smell like strawberries and
sunshine. Made my night sleeping in such a wonderfully smelling bed!
|how to make fiji ice blocks
Oh Ice Blocks, the only sweet relief available on an otherwise seemingly endless
series of sweltering summer days. Recipe. Take a carton of milk (or 1 liter if you don’
t buy your milk in tetra cartons…) add sugar and vanilla. Stick in a plastic cup with a
popsicle stick. Boom. Ice block. Flavored Ice blocks you ask? Well there are the juice
ones which are just frozen juice or frozen juice and milk with added sugar (because if
it doesn’t give you diabetes, it just ain’t worth drinking here). Best ice blocks?
Chocolate. BY FAR. It’s the best flavor ever. Its like chocolate ice cream. Holy cow.
One store in the village sells them and when its really hot they sell out faster than
anything you’ve ever seen. 50 cents a block. To make chocolate ones its just about
the same as the regular ice block just add cocoa powder and extra sugar.
|reef top view
The reef here is amazing. Here are a few pictures to (barely attempt to ) do it justice.
A Fijian salusalu is essentially what you think of when you hear Hawaiian Lei except
way more intricate. Here we take voivoi (the same material that is used for weaving
the mats) and make a base. To the base different flowers and leaves are attached
with ribbons, twine, or yarn depending on whats available. There are a lot of variations
and styles people choose from. Salusalu’s are given to chief guests, VIPs and the like.
Sometimes they will be given on your arrival or departure from a village.
|fiji santa claus
Oh this is a fun one. So… technically here he is referred to as “Father Christmas”
yadda yadda. There aren’t the same stories that kids have their heads filled with in
America around Christmas (Children under the age of 12 please discontinue reading…
NOW) because Fijian kids don’t get a tree at Christmas time completely obscured by
gifts, they aren’t taught at a young age to believe that a fat man in a red and white
suit comes down your chimney at night to put presents there. Because he doesn’t. It’s
your parents. They usually get one or two small gifts at lunch time on Christmas.
However…. My first christmas here I went to the next village for their school’s
christmas party. And I was terrified by what I saw. A Fijian in a Santa Claus outfit.
Complete with rubbery plastic face… that was duct taped on the side of their head.
No wonder half the children screamed when Santa made them hug him. It was one of
the more entertaining moments in my service!
|how do you say welcome in fijian
Oddly enough there is no way to say, “you’re welcome” in Fijian. If someone says
“Thank you” (Vinaka) you would just reply with the same.
|fiji card game, trump 10
Ah good old trump 10. When kids in the village say it, it really sounds like “Troop 10”
but it’s the same game. Its very fun, and passes a lot of hours at grog sessions or
just in the middle of the day when there is not much else going on.
How to play (4 player game)
The dealer shuffles and asks the person to their left to cut the deck. They then pass
out 5 cards face down to each player. Each person can look at their cards. The person
to the right of the dealer calls the trump suit. Spades= Siveti, Hearts= Ate, Diamond=
Daimani, Clubs= Kalavo. Then the dealer passes out the rest of the cards. I always
arrange my cards by suit in ascending order… but that’s just a personal choice.
Now the player who called the trump is the first to throw down a card. There are two
teams. The dealer and the player opposite him/her and then the player who called
trump and the one that cut the deck. Everyone throws down a card in a
counterclockwise motion. The object of the game is that each team works together to
get as many 10’s as possible. For example if I start the game with an Ace of Diamonds
and my partner has the 10 of Diamonds, they really want to throw that down because
in the first round, its unlikely anyone has run out of diamonds and can trump the hand
to take it for their team. So anyway. Whoever wins the hand with either the highest
card of the starting suit or with the highest trump takes the cards. If it contains a 10
the 10 is placed face up, if its just 4 other cards they are placed face down in front of
one of the two partners.
You may be asking, uh who wins? There are four 10s… so what if each pair gets 2?
Well in that case its based on the number of other “tricks” each team gets. Whichever
team with the highest number of downward facing piles of 4 wins.
And that’s how you play troop 10. If a team takes all 4 10’s then its called skunking.
AKA “We just skunked you!” called Sikoqe here… and its awesome. This is a VERY
enjoyable way to spend an evening.
|when does ringworm go away
In hot humid climates like Fiji? Seemingly never. I have had riingworm 3 times. The
first it went away in 1 week (I had caught it early). The second time took 2 weeks. I
have had my current blight of ringworm for 3 weeks now. Same spot as before and it
just looks angry. Here we are issued Tinea cream, and anti fungicide that you apply to
the rash 3x daily along with attempting to keep the area dry… not so easy when you
sweat like crazy. If ringworm persists you can take antifungal pills, I havent taken them
yet but I hear they are horse pills and you have to take them every day for quite some
|fijian babakau recipe
MMM Babakau. Fried pancakes essentially… but fluffy and airy and freakin’ delicious.
Make them at home. I’m serious. Tell your significant other/children/friends that you
are going to make something awesome for breakfast and just do it. Best when topped
with peanut butter and served hot. PB is super expensive here so I usually just dip
them in tea…. Or you can put jam or butter, or another personal favorite, a little
cinnamon and honey! Pick your poison! Here is the recipe. And im not joking… try it.
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3 cups flour
1 TBSP oil
+ Oil for deep frying.
– mix warm water with yeast and sit 10 min. In another bowl mix egg, salt, oil,
sugar and flour. Add yeast to flour mixture and stir until the dough is firm. Knead 5
minutes and rise 1 hour. Roll flat and cut into triangles. Let rise again 30 minutes.
Deep fry in a skillet with 1/2 inch oil and drain on newspaper.
|you can’t kill a cockroach
You CAN! It just takes a long time. Mortein spray sold here can be used. Spray
directly on the offending critter then run for the cover of your WELL TUCKED IN
MOSQUITO NET. The spray attacks the nervous system so the cockroaches just freak
out and skitter around running into things for like 5 minutes. They fly a lot here too
which is why the mosquito net is of high importance here. Then they die.
Example two, my parents had the grand (mis)fortune of witnessing this travesty on
their visit to my village. I took out an empty wine bottle from under my sink which had
had a cork… so couldn’t be closed again. I picked it up so that I could grab something
behind it and noticed that it was moving. Well. The inside of wine bottles don’t move. So
I took a closer look and realized that there were 6 massive cockroaches inside this wine
bottle. So I slammed my palm over the opening and rummaged around until I found
my duct tape. I duct taped the top closed and wrote the date on the bottle to see how
long these buggers could last without oxygen… 8 weeks. Yes, a very disturbing 8 week
s of Cockroach survivor until the last one finally bit the dust and turned into roachy
goo along with his fellow fallen comrades .
|can tinea be mistaken for heat rash
There were multiple variations of this question… can ringworm and heat rash be
confused. Short answer, no.
Ringworm is a distinctive fungal infection. It looks like a red/pink ring with a normal
skin color inside. The edges of the infection are raised and the area is itchy. Ringworm
can be transmitted by animals and humans and is very contagious. Best treatment,
use tinea cream or another fungicide on the area 3 times a day until the infection has
cleared up and keep the area DRY! This is the most difficult part because it often show
s up in naturally moist areas… this is where the fungus thrives.
Heat rash on the other hand, while also showing up in areas that are moist (the
inside of your elbows, behind your knees, inner thighs, under your bra line, and the
nape of your neck if you have long hair) looks distinctively different. It is small raised
red bumps in an irregular pattern. Treatment of heat rash would be to keep the area
cool and dry if possible. If its on your neck, keep your hair up and use a towel to wipe
away sweat. Also using baby powder to soak up any excess sweat is not a bad idea!
Powder down before goin to sleep!
|images of fiji sea algae (lumi)
Lumi is a very common Fijian seaweed especially around Viti Levu and the Lomaiviti
group. Lumi is consumed regularly in my village in 2 ways, just the lumi covered in
coconut milk with chopped garlic, onions and chilies, or in “lumi cevata” in which the
lumi is cooked with coconut milk to release the carrageenins in the seaweed (the same
material in seaweeds that solidify your toothpaste and are put in ice cream) this makes
essentially your grandma’s jello mold. Except instead of fruit inside, you get salty
seaweed. Its disgusting and makes me want to vomit every time I see it.
Lumi is also being used more and more frequently as an income generator in rural
villages. Seaweed farms are being set up all throughout the Lomaiviti region where I
am stationed so that villages can grow the seaweed to maturity, dry it, and sell it for
export to Chinese markets where it is considered a delicacy. Great projects as they
provide an economic incentive for villages to protect their marine environment.
|tilapia fish in earthen pond photos|
| Well you just asked for the pictures, so here you go. Once again this is a great
project for villages to protect their marine environments. By obtaining fish protein
from a terrestrially based source as opposed to the marine environment there is no
impact on the reef allowing MPAs to work even better as fewer and fewer fish are
being removed from the surrounding unprotected areas for consumption. Villages
can also sell the fish and make a pretty penny! Some areas also combine chicken
coops above the fish ponds so that the chicken wastes enter the fish ponds and
fertilize it starting off the production of algaes which the tilapia will eat. Awesome
enclosed system with no monetary input necessary after the initial cost of project
start up. We hope to do that in our village but time will tell. Its involved and does
have a large start up expense but pays well in the end!