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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Visiting Fiji after Cyclone Evan

I have been out of town with the boys travelling to Fiji for a summer holiday. It was nice to get away from everything and switch off my mind for a while. I also crossed off an item on my life list "Travel on a plane with Robert" - done!


Fiji has recently experienced one of the worst cyclones in their history when Cyclone Evan passed through. We weren't sure what to expect when we arrived however the place we stayed at was luckily relatively untouched except for a few trees that had lost their tops and a pergola that was destroyed.
Other areas weren't as lucky. As we drove through the towns we saw large trees uprooted, roofs lost, trees tilted permanently at unnatural angles from the strong winds. 
We also came across a major bridge that had been partly damaged however we learnt it was damaged in the floods Fiji experienced earlier in the year.
The people are beautiful souls, warmly greeting us with 'Bula' as they walk past, stopping to chat or to help us open coconuts. There is something so peaceful and kind about their nature.

The more I write about my own home the more I have become interested in the way other people live. From what we saw in the Fijian villages homes are small built in timber or strong concrete structures (I assume to survive their regular cyclones). Homes are painted in all colours of the rainbow. We heard stories of people with no jobs who survive off the land, of traditions that tie a village together and the recent cyclone was never too far from conversation.
We visited a small island for the day that is inhabited by the island caretakers. They hid in their traditional underground oven as the cyclone swept past. We had to leave the island earlier than planned as a storm was a approaching and we would have been stranded for the night otherwise.
The next few weeks are busy. I'm heading to Alt Summit in a few weeks time to speak at the conference. I'm nervous because I will be travelling alone but hoping to keep myself occupied listening to the other talks at the event, working and hopefully also sneaking in some shopping while I'm there.

The boys and I are fortunate to be heading back to the US for Modernism Week in Palm Springs and visiting a few cities. It is going to be a manic few weeks but one that I'm very excited about and have been saving a long time for. I'm interested in seeing the architecture and learning as much I can about design during this trip and spending time David and Robbie.

I'm looking forward to the year ahead. Happy New Year, friends!


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