Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Fiji Photos

So it has only taken me 4 weeks to begin posting photos of our actual trip (lol!) but here is the first installment.
If you get easily bored by people's holiday slideshows, please feel free to resume reading the blog in say another 2 weeks! Lol!

Hope you enjoy these shares of a time that is forever etched into my heart.

{The night before we left: Kids clothing/shoes etc all laid out for them to dress into bright and early the next day when they awoke}
{Family photo with Dannii at the airport when our neighbours kindly dropped us off. Our travelling party of 8! On the way down, we were so grateful for our spacious 12 seater bus; plenty of room for us AND all our luggage!}

{Marvelling at how big the aeroplanes are and spotting a rainbow as we walk through to board our first ever family flight!!!}

{Pretty happy traveller; Zeeki ate, slept and nursed on the flight}

{After arriving at Nadi Airport, Brett and Dannii got all our luggage off the turnstyle things and we waited about half an hour for our transfer to arrive.}

{When it did, we all squished into the commuter plus our luggage and were taken to the Mecure for the night. It was only a one night stay here before we flew up to the north island to visit my family for the fortnight! Dannii & I went to get some curries for dinner across the road and some water bottles. Brett & Liji, Dannii & Zippi were in one room while me & Zeeki, Stassi and Ethi took another room. This was the configuration we kept to on the north island too. They kindly 'upgraded' our room for us but this unfortunately meant carrying our luggage, yep ALL of it, up 3 flights of stairs ourself! lol. The rooms were lovely and big, quite cool too.}

{Mecure at Nadi}

{Our Zeeki slept well at the Mecure after a big day of adventure!}

{We arrived at Nadi Airport, checked in our luggage for our inter-island connecting flight to take us to Labasa and there we met my parents, my sisters, Meng and Dee and Dee's partner Kit. We all caught the same flight up to Labasa. It was lovely to see my sisters and parents whom I hadn't seen in many months}

{Boarding the smaller Air Pacific inter-island flight to take me back to my *heartland* after 14 LONG years! I was incredibly emotional at this point. I love that Ethi is actually jumping in the air in this photo. They were pretty pumped too!!}

{Waiting for and my cheeky sisters in the background!}

{Flying over the passage way between Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Can you believe that some of my adult cousins have not seen the coast before because they live quite inland and it costs alot to go on a bus trip there? Wages are so low that the little people do earn needs to go to buying food and essentials rather than taking bus trips to the coast. It just boggles my mind that you could live in Fiji and not have visited the coast. This is the reality for many villager's though.}

{My beautiful sisters. I can't believe they are here on the SAME plane as my family and our parents and my SIL and BIL!}

{The boys checking out the inflight reading material. They loved looking at the various sizes of planes and tried to spot them at the airport}

{I can't even tell you how I feel when I look at this photo above. Words can't describe how much I want to live on these plains. Not just as a romantic ideal but how much we can actually SEE ourselves living there. I have ridden on horse bareback through some of this land. As I see it for the first time in nearly a decade and a half, I weep. It means THAT much to me to be back again}

{My family; our travelling party as we arrive at Labasa Airport!}

{Check out the airport! It has windows and more walls since I've been here last. It has changed and yet is so familiar. It wasn't as hot as we had expected. Rajen from the rental car hire was there to meet us with our cars. We needed an extra truck just for all our luggage!}

{We drive to our hotel and check in. This will be home for the next 2 weeks (well at night anyway! During the day, we'll mostly be at the farm! It feels so strange to be so close to the village (about 30 mins away) and yet to not be able to see Nau (grandma) and my family until the next day. Ethi whispers excitedly as he drifts off to sleep, "Only one more sleep till we get to meet Nau Levu (Great Grandma)}

{Before we went to the village the next day, we went to the market to pick up yaqona and other bits and pieces. There we bumped into many people including dad's brother, Tata Bond. I love him and he has changed in the past 14 years. He looks more like my dad now!!! It's SO great to see him!}

{Driving to the farm, we drive on dirt road, over rickety bridges that would have been closed decades ago here! We pass a tractor and the kids think this is already an amazing adventure!!!}

{Arriving at the village, we aren't able to go straight to hug my family. Instead we must wait as my father presents the sevu sevu. There are many protocols and traditions that must be observed. Many involve waiting, clapping in a special way (called a cobo pronounced thombo) and listening. Hearts are poured out in the beautiful Fijian tongue that I love so much and don't realise how much I miss hearing until I am once again in the midst of it. We all weep as my dad shares how sad he is that my Grandfather (Pupu) is not here to meet Brett and the kids and yet how wonderful it is that Yah has brought us back again....together. My grandmother sits opposite me and weeps until the ceremony ends}

{Once finished, we are free to 'lu lulu' (cuddle, kiss, shake hands with others) and Zippi straight away takes to my first cousin 'Sisi'. Sisi engages her and plays hand games and over the next 2 weeks they form a very special bond}.

{Ethi wears the beautiful floral garlands that have been made especially for our coming. My family here have very little. When I say very little, I mean next to nothing material wise. And yet the love they have abounds immeasurably.}

{My Grandmother's Pupu Samu meets Zeeki}

{And here is one of my most favourite people on the face of the Nau. She and I have a very special bond and I would give anything to be near her daily. I am so thankful she looks so healthy and well. I last saw her 10 years ago when she visited the south island and Brett and I took Stass there to meet her. Flights to the north island were too expensive for us then but it was wonderful for her to meet Stass as a baby.}

{Now that Stassi is more grown up, Nau is so happy to cuddle and kiss her namesake again.}

{They laugh together alot and communicate the best ways they know how despite the language barriers. It is something that even now as I type this, my heart is so thankful for!}

{Day 1 and Brett assumes a spot near my cousins as the prepare yaqona for the other men. These are not just some Brett, these men are family even after a few minutes. He would lay down his life for them.}

{Nau meets Zeeki boy boy!}

{He seems happy here but he unfortunately settled only a very few times with anyone other than me or my mum from time to time. His anxiety levels were very high for the most part of the trip. We did the best we could though and it was lovely to get this shot of him not screaming with Nau}

{I adore this. Brett with Pupu Samu. I love how Pupu is holding his arm.
So intimate an embrace.}

{Oh my heart is so happy when I see my love with my family whom I have loved for so many years throughout my childhood. Even when I was 9, my heart always wanted to be right here with my family in our land.}

{So to see my Brett with Pupu Samu was incredibly special. The man I love definitely loves Fiji just as much as I do which of course means the WORLD to me!}

{Another of my dad's brothers...Tata Mesa. So lovely to meet with him again!}

{Lunch is prepared for our family. We eat at a runner on the floor. This is the custom in Fiji. While the rest of those in the village eat kasava and tea, we are treated to curry of many kinds, fresh juice, root crops like suli and yams. While we feel bad that we are the ones eating like this, we know that to not accept this meal would be a huge insult.We bring things to share for other meals. There are many, many mouths to feed and we are SO thankful for the incredible love and hospitality of our family}.

{After lunch, Nana Tor tries to entertain Zeeki and Zippi but Zeek doesn't last long there. He practically lived in the Ergo carrier during this holiday.}

{Brett learns how to pound the yaqona crop with the boys}

{Zeeki tries his first snack of kawai - a yam that i LOVE!!!!!}

{The boys find a coconut and are mad keen to have it opened!}

{The kids love drinking the 'bu' or pure coconut water inside}

{The view looking north from our village}

Uploading these photos and captions has taken me over a week!
I'm wondering if I'll get to share more before the year is out!!! lol
In other news....I have set myself a blogging goal. Blog Zeeki's birth story for his first birthday post on here. That gives me about 6 weeks ;)
Surely I can do it...???!!!! lol!

No seriously, more to come soon.
Lus x


singing mama said...

Oh Lusi, I have tears reading this, you can feel the love pouring thru these posts and just your beautiful heart here. So much to say but I can't find the suitable words. Just so precious. Looking forward to more posts. Luv Donna

lusi said...

Thanks Donna. You are such a beautiful friend to me; you always seem my heart x

Sumara said...

aaaah, sobbing like a crazy lady. This is so beautiful Lus. Wonderful to see your love for Fiji and the incredibly special time your family had.

lusi said...

Aaawwww thanks beautiful Sumi! Love you muchly mate. Was so wonderful to catch up on the weekend. Thanks for your love as always x

Anonymous said...

tears of joy, and a slightly sore heart, along with you, for not being able to stay. thank you for sharing! x DonnainBris

lusi said...

Thanks so much Donna. So glad for the experience but so sad at the same time. Love to you guys x


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