Tag Archives: Nadi

11. Dangerous Cargo

  1. 01. Fiji…Again?
  2. 02. Fun & Games
  3. 03. Growing Indigenation
  4. 04. Coup de Grâce?
  5. 05. Friends Go Away
  6. 06. Mercy by Coup, Merci Beaucoup
  7. 07. It’s Nice to be Needed
  8. 08. Walk Like A Man
  9. 09. Extreme Retirement
  10. 10. Get a Grip
  11. 11. Dangerous Cargo
  12. 12. Drinking in the Holiday Season
  13. 13. Fit for Purpose
  14. 14. Emotion Sickness
  15. 15. New Fiji’s Eve
  16. 16. One Helluva Christmas
  17. 17. Enough is Enough

Christmas is a wonderful time of year to be a kid. I have few happier childhood memories than Christmas morning. Toys, candy, noise, laughter, food, surprises and a three-hour period when my older siblings were well enough distracted to not beat me up. Heaven.

Even the obligation of an afternoon visit to Snarky Grandma was not enough to take the shine off the day. Snarky Grandma incessantly commented on everybody else’s shortcomings, and she didn’t miss a thing. She would give a full accounting of each of us, citing the numerous debits and paltry credits in her ledger of righteousness. Her subtle yet incendiary verbal devices were a marvel to behold; genius, of a sort. Worst, she always gave us clothes for Christmas.

As compensation, the evening would include a visit with chain-smoking Salty Grandma who stretched credulity with lurid tales that would make the Brothers Grimm shudder. She spent much of her life on her boats, lending credibility to her sailor-like demeanour. From shooting skeet with Clark Gable, to piloting the largest oil tankers in the world, to proofreading an entire edition of Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, she had done it all. Best, she knew exactly what kids of all ages want for Christmas: cash.
Continue reading 11. Dangerous Cargo

10. Get a Grip

  1. 01. Fiji…Again?
  2. 02. Fun & Games
  3. 03. Growing Indigenation
  4. 04. Coup de Grâce?
  5. 05. Friends Go Away
  6. 06. Mercy by Coup, Merci Beaucoup
  7. 07. It’s Nice to be Needed
  8. 08. Walk Like A Man
  9. 09. Extreme Retirement
  10. 10. Get a Grip
  11. 11. Dangerous Cargo
  12. 12. Drinking in the Holiday Season
  13. 13. Fit for Purpose
  14. 14. Emotion Sickness
  15. 15. New Fiji’s Eve
  16. 16. One Helluva Christmas
  17. 17. Enough is Enough

The Duncan Road house where we stayed in 2012 was a two story building divided into two spacious three bedroom homes. It was in a relatively affluent part of Suva, popular with ex-pats, with plenty of well-heeled Fijians about. A common indicator of a good neighbourhood worldwide, there were several good schools run by religious sects, mostly Christian, nearby.

The organisations that place volunteers in Fiji tend to be security conscious to the point of paranoia, so our compound was surrounded by a six foot fence topped IMG_3490by decorative sharp steel fleur de lys, at the ready to impale transgressors. If that wasn’t enough to detract any would-be evildoers, the “Beware of the Dog” was intended to dissuade them, although the aging hound that lounged in the yard was quite happy to welcome strangers in hope of getting fed. Continue reading 10. Get a Grip

05. Friends Go Away

  1. 01. Fiji…Again?
  2. 02. Fun & Games
  3. 03. Growing Indigenation
  4. 04. Coup de Grâce?
  5. 05. Friends Go Away
  6. 06. Mercy by Coup, Merci Beaucoup
  7. 07. It’s Nice to be Needed
  8. 08. Walk Like A Man
  9. 09. Extreme Retirement
  10. 10. Get a Grip
  11. 11. Dangerous Cargo
  12. 12. Drinking in the Holiday Season
  13. 13. Fit for Purpose
  14. 14. Emotion Sickness
  15. 15. New Fiji’s Eve
  16. 16. One Helluva Christmas
  17. 17. Enough is Enough

One of the best things about friends is that they go away. Sometimes they go away for a holiday and I get to go with them. Sometimes they go away for extended periods, usually blaming work or business or family, and I get to go visit them. Sometimes when they go away there are phone calls or emails or letters or skype chats, but these become fewer and farther between, and eventually we describe each other to strangers as having “grown apart” — but at least we both grew. And then sometimes friends just go away, never to be heard from or seen again, raising doubt as to whether they were really friends. This may not be one of the best things about friends, but is certainly is cause for reflection, which in my experience is all for the best. Continue reading 05. Friends Go Away