While Americans could be forgiven for missing it, a lot of the rest of the world has been in the grips of world cup fever, even those trying to ignore it. Rugby here in Fiji is a game that is taken seriously, even Treasure Island has it own rugby team, complete with uniforms and matching bula shirts. They practice weekly around the island including game strategies practised on the beach in the evening, and tour to NZ each year, kava bowl going on the plane with them as unusual carry-on.
Yes I suspect the one on the wing does get wet. Below the team are back home- but having dinner with some of their hosts from Otorohonga (AGGAC gals- see I do sometimes practice using the SB800! and you may wonder if Henry's head has been distorted by the wide lens. The answer is no, it really is that shape). The waipiro in the wooden bowl (for you non NZ'ers this is a maori term and literally means dirty water, though it has a colloquial meaning...) is kava. Looks yummy huh?
Yes I suspect the one on the wing does get wet... So while the Fijian team didn't have near the financial support the All Blacks had, infact possibly not even a hundreth (is that a word?!), they had the support of the heart of their people from top politicians, chiefs and businessmen right down to the man in the canefield. Patriotic advertising and songs broke out in the media; our favourite was the "Cibi". The Cibi, pronounced "thimbi" (yeah I know, apparently you can blame the missionaries for the spelling) is the Fijian version of the NZ Haka. It as been argued the FMF (flour mills of Fiji) ad is a copy of the NZ gingerbread man haka, but what the hey. We enjoyed immensely seeing the biscuits we have grown to love over here doing their cibi... have a look.
Before the news everynight the new patriotic song played too- it maust be noted that parts of it come directly from the national anthem- here's a copy embedded from u-tube as well. We all hummed along. So all of Fiji is outrageously proud of the performance of the Fijians at the world cup- sure they were ousted in the quarter finals, but then so were Australia and NZ!
In typical classic local reporting everything that happens at the moment is somehow related to the rugby. Here's an exerpt from tuesday's Fiji Times where the military discuss the intensifying of Australian travel warnings...
"Colonel Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara yesterday attributed Australia's concerns on Fiji's political situation to the Wallabies loss at the Rugby World Cup saying the only threat Fiji could face was an invasion from Australia." (I kid you not! that's what it said) and also the quote..."It is very irresponsible of them and shows what the commander earlier said that (sic) they don't understand the Fiji situation. They're the biggest liars. They said they'd win the rugby world cup" he said". The Fijian Rubgy Team arrive home tomorrow- you can guarantee there will be a hero's welcome for them.
I see I have been tagged! and tagged! and tagged again! I will get onto that soon as I slowly start to catch back up with real life after our trip. We also went away last week to Heavens Edge at Vaturu Dam, so I will post about that too. Just to tease you all in the meantime a couple of watery shots, and with those a big shout out to TR Little the agents for Pentax in Christchurch, NZ for their exemplary after sales service (they are the agents- we of course bought our camera from www.photo.co.nz). Our family know from our pictures (especially this post from february ) what fun we had with the first optio WPi. Well we are now the proud owners of the Pentax Optio W30 and it is just such a cool little camera. Firstly given it cost 1/10 of my other camera it performs very well. This shot here is just point and shoot in P with no adjustment beyond sharpening a bit more for uploading to this web...Note that he is trying to splash me. One of the many situations where it pays to have a waterproof model.
This camera goes to 3m underwater. What only 3 metres? Well unless you are in the habit of dropping yor camera off the side of boats you really don't need deeper. Remember all the photos taken with the previous WPi were taken at 1m but usually less- lets face it you can't take it diving as there's simply not enough light- that's why the good underwater photographers like the amazing Ann Worthy have those wonderful strobe lights. And if you're snorkelling and photographing the easiest way not to move too much is to be floating on the top, which is how all of our W30 and Wpi photos were taken... This camera is also great if you have a leaky water bottle in your bag, or get caught out in the rain- the kiss of death for many more expensive models. And so much fun at swimming lessons...
Its definitley summer here now, it seemed just a couple of weeks ago the temperature and humidty abruptly jumped up, the mangoes (yum!) came into season, then last week the water temperature came up too, from around 27C to real warm bath stuff. We swam with friends from Suva out to the swimming pontoon at Treasure Island before school holidays ended two days ago, and were mobbed by fish which seemed to fly up to us to see what the silver thing was in my hand... Good thing they weren't piranhas eh!
The final word for this week goes to one of the kids talking about coming home from school "When we got off the bus the policeman at the police post passed us mangoes over the fence. They were so good we ate them walking down the driveway- skin and all!"