A peculiar event in time…Approaching our three year anniversary of traveling the world…Tomorrow, stats and expenses for first three years…

A friendly man on his horse after a hard morning’s work took time to say, “Bula!”

What we’re sharing today is somewhat hard to believe. If we hadn’t been caught up in this situation along with the rest of the digital-savvy population of Savusavu (the majority have cell phones), we have thought this story was pure folly.

Beautiful scenery on a cloudy day.

Sunday, the first in November, is designated in Fiji is the time to change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time. In this part of the world, it’s not a case of “fall back” as many parts of the world do when changing their clocks back one hour.

(Ironically, the first post we wrote on March 15, 2012, was regarding changing clocks. Please click here for that first post).

But, instead, in this part of the world, it’s “spring ahead” one hour. It’s spring here in the Southern Hemisphere where some things are opposite or different than those in the Northern Hemisphere, including the day of the week.

A horse turns our way as we drive down a narrow road.

This website clearly explains time changes in the Southern Hemisphere:

“Across the southern hemisphere, where summer and winter are reversed, countries that observe daylight saving time (DST) move time in the opposite direction.”

So is the case, here in Fiji. On Sunday, we’ll turn our digital clocks and watches forward one hour. OK, no big deal, right. Well, this past Sunday, one week early, Vodafone, the local cell carrier, turned the clock forward by one hour on all cell phones throughout the area.

A baby pig nursing.

THIS WAS AN ERROR.  Done on the wrong Sunday and left for everyone throughout Savusavu to figure out. We didn’t have a clue. Our phones, without a cell service contract and only a phone SIM card in mine, still showed the “real-time” yet to be changed.

Honestly, we didn’t know a time change was coming. We have no TV, no local news, and no way we’d be notified of this fact. As written in yesterdays’ post, we pay little attention to the time when only a few times of the week, we walk to the road to meet Rasnesh for a sightseeing or shopping trip.

Locals use bamboo to make these fishing rafts.

We’d planned to meet Rasnesh at 11 am to head to the village for our usual Thursday visits to the Vodafone kiosk, the Farmer’s Market, New World Market, and Fiji Meats. At 10:55, we walked to the road to meet Rasnesh, carrying the huge insulated Costco beach bag, the cloth Africa bag, and the smaller insulated bag. 

At 11:05 he still hadn’t arrived.  He’s always early, never late. Standing in the hot sun, sweating in the humid air, we decided to call him. Had something happened? Should we go back inside and wait until his usual call to let us know he’s arrived?

View across Savusavu Bay from opposite our home.

Ratnesh laughed when he heard my voice and realized why we were calling, “Oh, Jessica, you didn’t know about the time change thing, did you?” We did not. We didn’t even know a time change was coming on November 1st when in many countries DST isn’t observed.

Apparently, the entire village in their beautiful easy-going spirit decided to go along with the new time, changed in error, one week early, by cell phone provider Vodafone. We laughed out loud over the unique charm of these people, their gentle acceptance, their laissez-faire attitudes, of “what will be, will be.” 

A small makeshift hut along the highway.

There was no drama, no angry accusations, no requests for compensation, and no threats to cancel contracts.  They simply “went with the flow” and the “new time” one week early. No questions asked. Many of us throughout the world can learn a lot from these gentle people.

If this happened in many other countries all hell would break loose until it was corrected and in part, we’d expect this response: What about the stock market, airline flights, bus schedules, and the times banks and businesses would open? It would be total chaos, affecting literally every citizen, every business, and every entity in some manner.

These handmade rafts are ideal for hauling as well as fishing.

We asked Rasnesh if he wanted to come to get us in another hour? He explained he was available and would be here soon. We laughed over this peculiar situation. Our only concern was our upcoming appointment for Saturday, our three year anniversary, to be at Namale at noon to tour their facility, take photos, and then celebrate our anniversary with a lunch in their gourmet restaurant.

We arranged it with Rasnesh to pick us up at 11:15 “old-time,” not new Vodafone time, in order for us to make our 12:00 pm appointment. By Sunday, the time should be correct, providing Vodafone doesn’t accidentally change it one more time.

The views are lovely driving along the Hibiscus Highway.

Frequently, based on our travels and GPS on our phones and computers, our clocks often automatically change to the wrong date and time. Over the next several days, we’ll update everything digital to ensure we have the correct time after the “official” time change. 

Tomorrow, we’ll be back with the “numbers” of our three years of world travel, past anniversary photos of us, and links to our early posts. We hope you’ll share this special day with us.

Photo from one year ago today, October 30, 2014:

A colorful smoothie truck at the Farmer’s Market in Maui. Unfortunately, smoothies contain carbs, fruit, and sugar preventing us from partaking in these tasty treats. For more details and photos in Maui on this date, please click here.