I glance at the flight plan and notice that it passes over Navakai, I'll get to see the Dau's one last time (although from 10,000 feet). If this plane goes over Natawa I think I’m going to lose it. A world away but still first and foremost at heart. Should I be back in the village or should I be doing what I’m doing; I'm feeling more immobile by the minute. Feels way too comfortable here, like home after only three months, village life will stake a hold in my brain. At the moment said brain is rushing way too fast for my pen.
Cyclone Gene solidified everything I was looking to experience. The way the village rallied around each other and no one even thought to complain when their crops were destroyed, even when the government's supplies were delayed by rough weather they found other ways to source food.
Outside of the village environment I can already see myself falling prey to the apathy associated with home life. No more hour long walks uphill to pull cassava or 6 hours in a kayak to catch one meal of fish for the family. Sourcing food is as easy as going to the shop.
One idea that I’m holding onto is that it is similar. We work for money to buy food; whereas they work to source the food. In a way they’re simply skipping a step.
Put this way it sounds easy, in reality it’s anything but. Sure there are days of sitting under a tree counting hours with passing clouds, maybe the wind’s too strong to fish or maybe they’re happy with rice and curry for the nights meal. Fiji time definitely found a home in my heart.
I could have easily stayed for 6 months. If I didn’t have my background, if I wasn’t eternally searching for this elusive something more I think I’d still be in the village.
Accepted by dozens of families I found the most caring and content people I’ve ever encountered, where they don’t have much for themselves but they’re happy to give whatever they own to a stranger.
My offer of money and supplies was met by disbelief, Semi said he won’t accept anything I buy for them even if I hide it in the back room. At night Lina happily serves me the largest plate when I know it means she'll go hungry, I see her plucking the scraps from Maritha's plate long after we've finished. When I object she insists it’s how it’s going to be; "we’re family". Accepted as family when I knew the Sivo's for a total of 10 weeks. Still, I'd love to see Lina's face when they receive the parcel I just sent.
Seriously can’t even to start to document this experience on paper; writing alone won’t do it justice. I wonder if they can turn the plane around.