Serua


2009-06-08

Thank you Monica for hosting us on our visit to Serua! We had a
relaxing weekend learning about the small village and volunteer life
after training. Our group included Gloria, Kara, Kelly and I.

Serua is small village on an island about 2.5 hours west of Suva. A
large reef protects the vast shallow bay surrounding the island. The
trade winds made it very pleasant and the only rain we received was at
night. Monica’s house was really big so we had plenty of room to
spread out and enjoy the few days. The villagers speak a completely
different dialect than the one we are learning. The difference is so
great it is technically a different language. However, they still
knew the standard bula vinaka’s and moce’s so we conversed a little.

Grog was banned this month by the Methodist so we weren’t really sure
how to present the isevusevu, gift to the chief, as this is a big root
of grog that we hauled from Nausori. Everything went well, though,
and he allowed us to pound the root and consume it until 12:00 A.M..
The ladies aren’t big fans of the stuff and I am slowly developing a
taste so we just made it through a few bilos (bowls) and then
retired. We did however enjoy the last few scenes of Hidalgo and the
opening moments of a rugby match before leaving the drinking venue.

The sounds of Serua are somewhat different from Naila so my ears
weren’t prepared for the convention of roosters outside our door
holding session from about 5 A.M. to 7 A.M.. Good grief, can’t they
tell when the sun is out! The next night I firmly planted the ear
plugs and slept great.

Monica graciously showed us how to prepare several comfort foods we
had all started craving. These included brownies, chocolate chip
cookies, biscuits (my favorite dish of the trip), and last but not
least burritos! All this was done on a single burner gas stove top in
a huge aluminum pot. I was definitely impressed with the ingenuity of
the contraption and the speed in which the oven produced our American
concoctions. She also had real coffee which was a welcome treat to my
tea weary tasted buds.

Monday we ventured out closer to the reef to check out the small coral
farm and giant clam breeding ground. We saw a stingray, a variety of
reef fish, and a bunch of coral. The coral farm was really simple and
sustainable, but it takes about 5 years to produce large enough
specimens to sell. The clams where huge and seemed to be doing well.
I think I counted three or four groupings.

Tuesday we headed back to Suva to grab pizza at the Pizza Place, which
by the way has nothing on the “Pizza Place” in Weatherford, and toured
the PC offices. After the tour we caught a cab to “Cost-U-Less”, the
Fijian version of Cost Co or Sams. The prices weren’t as high as we
had heard and their selection was very extensive. For some reason zip
lock bags where $21 Fijian per 200. That seemed weird. All the other
items where what you would expect them to be if you shipped them half
way around the world from America. The bigger and bulkier an item
was, the more it cost. I got a large bag of ground coffee for $10 and
we headed back to Naursori and finally on to Naila.

It was good returning ‘home’ and seeing the friendly faces of the
village again.

Thanks again to Monica for showing us the ropes and giving great
advice for life after training.

-Matt

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