Wednesday, September 14, 2005

It's my Birthday - gonna party like it's my Fiji!!!

September 14, 2005 – Birthday in Fiji!!!
South Sea Island, Fiji

Brought to you by 50 cent and UB40 – together at last….Go Shorty, it’s your birthday, we gonna party like it’s your birthday…

BULA!!! The treat of a lifetime – sitting on a beautiful beach, not a cloud in the sky, sipping on the free wine from the bar (free if you don’t count the fact that we had to pay $95 a head to get out here…) and relaxing having received a set of beautiful silver hoop earings from my dream boy …and believe it or not, I need the break!!! Hee hee…hanging out here in Fiji has been tough, I’ll give you the short run down.

Chris and I boarded the jumbo 747 in LA at about 11:30 at night and I was prepared for an UGLY night of half sleep….luckily the plane was pretty empty and we each got a bench seat – a sleeping pill and a glass of wine later I was out for the count…best sleep I’ve ever had on a plane!!! So yeah, arriving in Fiji we were both far better rested than anticipated and besides waking up super early every day (which appeared to be the regular routine for everyone in the country anyways) the effects of jet lag were actually rather minimal. We spent the first day exploring the strip between our hotel and the airport on foot…at the time we didn’t realize that it went nowhere!

Day two had us out on a day cruise to Malamala island, a small uninhabited island about an hour boat ride away. The snorkelling was fabulous and we got to soak up a few rays while we were at it – definitely a good way to get it started prior to heading out on our 4 day excursion with Feejee Experience the next day.

We boarded a bright green bus the next morning to start a pretty phenomenal trip. During the route around the main island of Vitu Levu we visited two Fijian villages (in one there were 8 month old puppies….SOOO cute!), played volleyball on the beach, bartered our way to some mean deals (or so I was lead to believe), participated in a kava ceremony (everyone wants to drink muddy water that makes your mouth numb – it’s great!), sand boarded on a sand dune, did a 3 hour trek through rain forest (1/3 of which was through a stream), went out on the town to an authentic Irish Fijian pub, swam at a waterfall, tubed down a river, raced river rafts, eat Indian curry, bathed in natural hot springs (on the hottest day we were in Fiji), ate sugarcane, were almost killed multiple times as we tripped on the world’s first off road bus – all the time being thoroughly educated about Fijian culture by super knowledgeable and great guides. It was an amazing experience – super people, learning and sun (except when there was rain in Suva, but I’m brushing over that)…just enough to get me intrigued to go back again. We wished we had had a few more days in Fiji so that we could have stayed and help teach English in one of the towns as two of the girls on our trip did – much to my surprise (why it was surprising I’m not entirely sure, but it was) Fiji is still very much a developing nation and for the first time in my life I truly understood what made people want to participate in international aid.

Which brings me to the beach on my birthday. I still have wonderful Fijian music rolling around my brain – think In Da Club remixed with the refrain from Red Red Wine by UB40 – classic! Or perhaps a remix of Country Roads…I think we must have listened to the same CD 9 or 10 times in 4 days – it was AWESOME… I’m a little disappointed to be leaving Fiji, but at the same time Australia awaits and I’ve been wanting to go there since I was a little girlie – almost as long as I’ve wanted to see the Backstreet Boys in concert!!!!

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