fiji love...

PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_1

White sand, bleached coral, palm trees, coconuts, and jungle... for six days, this was our everyday...

PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_13
PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_14
PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_16
PiaJaneBijkerk_fiji_coral_2015

Last week we decided to take a spontaneous and much needed break away to Fiji. Neither of us had ever been, and it was Laly's first overseas travel - what a wonderful first place to mark with a stamp in her passport...

PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_10

We stayed on the Coral Coast, which is the southern part of the main island of viti levu (take a look at this gorgeous illustrated map of Fiji by Kate Evans). At this time of year it was quite windy on the south coast with the seasonal trade winds, and some days there was rainfall, but the temperature was perfect for dresses and sandals.

PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_malevu_2015_6

Although resort life isn't at all a representation of life in Fiji, I thoroughly enjoyed getting a glimpse at some of the Fijian traditions that were incorporated into daily activities, including singing, story time, weaving, dance, food and language.

Not far from the resort, the guests were invited to take a village tour of Malevu, guided by the chief who showed us some of the medicinal plants they have growing which included noni and the yaqona (kava root) plant. Along with describing some of the benefits of each plant, the chief gave us a brief history of the village and traditions. Below is the village kitchen...

PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_malevu_2015_7
PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_2015_5
PiaJaneBijkerk_coralcoast_fiji_malevu_2015_8

At the end of the tour we were invited into the village meeting house for a kava ceremony where we each drank kava from a coconut bowl, and then danced to traditional songs.

PiaJaneBijkerk_fiji_vitilevu_2015_3

It was such a lovely winter break, I felt my whole body and spirit finally relax. I look forward to visiting Fiji again and having the energy to explore some of the islands and surrounding waters.

xx

Insight:

Since we had limited internet access, I took a break from email and social media and I cannot tell you how much better I feel for it. I have more clarity of thought, and I feel my sense of freedom and creativity coming back.  I have kept it up since we've been back, and I'd like to maintain a better balance that works for me - to bring blogging back as my first port stop, and then letting people know about the blog post via social media. At this stage I have decided not to engage in conversation as much on social media, and would instead like to encourage communication and community through this space, where I can write freely and share images without space limitations, as well as include links to other artists and blogs and websites as these are aspects of sharing online that I have missed. Let's see how it goes...