Recalling four years ago today and more…

In Fiji, as we slowed down to take photos of the sea, my eyes caught something black moving at a distance. Getting out of the car where there was no fence to keep these piglets contained, we squealed with delight, as did this little white piglet who seemed happy to see us.

Fascinating Fact of the Day about Devon: 
From this site:

Devon is home to the UK’s oldest humans:
No, not those people who constantly walk in front of you down High Street. A fragment of jaw bone was discovered in Kent’s Cavern in Torquay in 1927, and carbon dating followed by studies in 2011 say it could date from 44,200BC and is Homo Sapiens – making it the oldest modern human remains found in northwest Europe. Not all scientists agree with the dating, mainly the ones from Cornwall.
Due to a photo shortage resulting from inclement weather, today we’re reflecting on a time four years ago when we had a fantastic time in the cultural village of Savusavu, Fiji, on the island of Vanua Levu.

(To see the post with some of today’s photos, please click here.  If you search our archives from September 7, 2015, to January 4, 2016, you’ll have an opportunity to read and see photos from our memorable experiences during four months in Fiji).

Most tourists, when visiting Fiji, tend to travel to the main island of Viti Levu, the largest of 330 islands in the archipelago. Vanua Levu would typically be the next choice, as the smaller islands’ second-largest and most populated island (135,961).
It appears there were no less than five piglets. The mom was contained within this wood structure, but the piglets could easily wander about.
Overall, we spent a total of four months in Fiji, three in Vanua Levu in Savusavu, and one month in another single-family home on Viti Levu (population 600,000) in the more remote area of Pacific Harbour.

Pacific Harbour, an hour’s drive from Suva, the capital and less desirable place to stay, is a popular residential area for ex-pats, locals, and tourists. It’s also a known area for adventure seekers with its exciting canals with white water rafting, bungee jumping, scuba diving, snorkeling, and more. See this link for more details.

But, the gem of our experience was the three months we spent in a tiny house overlooking the sea in the highly cultural and fascinating village of Savusavu. So few tourists visit Savusavu, I was unable to find stats as to the number of tourists that visit the village.

This diminutive aspect and the estimated 90% of the population are native Fijians, with 45% of which are Indofijians, those with ancestors from India born in Fiji.  
The ferry that was awaiting passengers for its daily run to the main island of Viti Levu took several hours.
The accents of the Indofijians still indicate a strong influence from India, acquired through their parents and grandparents, interlaced with the typical Fijian accent.  

Our wonderful neighbor, Sewak, educated us on the influence and culture of the people of India on the Fijian culture. As for the native Fijians and Indofijeans, we had the glorious experience of learning about their culture, rituals, and lifestyles, so different from our own.

It was Sewak’s dog Badal, who visited us every night for dinner. We always made him a plate with meat and vegetables. Sewak had permitted us to feed Badal meat when he and his wife were vegetarians.  

Each night Badal appeared on our veranda, folding over his front paws and waiting patiently for his plate of food. Through this friendly dog, we had an opportunity to get our “animal fix.” See his photo below:
Badal visited us almost every day in Fiji, checking out what may be on the evening’s menu.  We never failed to give him a plate of something delicious. After his meal, he’d sit cross-legged on the veranda looking at me, hoping for second helpings. For more photos, please click here.

There are dogs, farm animals, birds, along with an endless array of sea creatures seen by scuba divers and snorkelers.  We loved every moment, particularly in Savusavu.  

Only on a few occasions did we see any tourists in the tiny village. But, we frequently engaged with the locals, the native Fijian and Indofijeans, while very little with our landlord, an ex-pat from Germany who lived nearby.

We didn’t have a TV in Savusavu and were unable to get a WiFi signal in the house, which had been stated in the listing as being available. It never worked. Subsequently, we purchased two dongles and data at the local Vodacom kiosk in the village. The SIM expires every 30 days.  

The Wifi situation was an inconvenience, and the signal was poor, but we didn’t complain. As long as we could post, we were content and managed to busy ourselves on outings with our designated driver, Rashnesh. We’d never rented a car in Savusavu.
The beach is seen on the short drive to the village.
The house was located up a long steep hill inaccessible with a regular car. We would have had to rent a four-wheeled vehicle at a prohibitive cost. Instead, Ratnesh drove us wherever we chose to go for sightseeing, dining out, and shopping.

During our last month in Fiji while living in Pacific Harbour, again, we didn’t rent a car when taxi fare was inexpensive, and we still were able to explore surrounding areas, dine out and shop. The house had a pool and a TV we watched on rainy days, mainly endless episodes of Nat Geo, which is not available in most holiday homes. 

Fiji left us with many great memories we still cherish today as we continue our long-term world journey.

Hopefully, the weather improves for the ten remaining days we’ll be in Witheridge. When it does, we plan to get out to take photos, which we’ll undoubtedly share here.

Be well. Be happy. Be safe.

Photo from one year ago today, October 1, 2018:

It has become commonplace for us to see lions across the Crocodile River. However, we never will take these sightings for granted.  For more photos, please click here.

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