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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!

9 comments:

  1. This post is such good timing as I was planning a trip to Fiji before the cyclone. I was starting to look at other countries to visit but you have changed my mind and Fiji is back on the agenda. Can you tell me what area you stayed in? Thanks, Bec

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  2. Looks like you had a great family holiday. So often its the people that make an impact on you when you travel isnt it, not the huge shopping centres or flashy buildings (although they are cool too!) but how different cultures are and just how spoilt we are to live in Australia and have what we have.
    Sounds like lots of fun adventures coming up for you and Im sure you'll be great at the public speaking x

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  3. Wow, gorgeous pics of Fiji and life is certainly getting busy for you! Looking forward to following your travels - Palm Springs has some very interesting mid-century architecture as I'm sure you are aware, so you will love it. It is snowing right now in Downeast Maine and quite chilly - this past week has seen cold in the single digits, but we will be warming up next week! ;-))

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  4. Anna (My Design Ethos)January 7, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    I've been to Fiji twice and it has always been so lovely. Fijians are some of the friendliest people I know! You're lucky you have visited after the cyclone - last time I went we were stuck inside our cabin for a day and night while a Cat 3 cyclone raged around out heads. That was a strange holiday experience :) xx

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  5. I can't wait to visit Palm Springs. I have tours booked to see a few of the mid century homes. Really looking forward to it. Wishing you warmer weather soon!

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  6. Thanks Michelle. I'm definitely drawn to the people and the way they live when I visit other countries. It opens my mind to other possibilities. I feel the Fijian people are far more connected to the earth than what we are in Australia and it's so interesting to me to see how they live of the land. I panic when my local shopping centre is closed for a public holiday :\

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  7. I stayed in Sigatoka. It's about 1 hour drive from Nadi.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment, Viv xx


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