the beginning...

Ni Sa Bula!

Henceforth, this Blog shall serve as the less invasive, generally more picture-filled entry into my new Fijian life (I don’t want to swarm your inbox with e-mail updates). Please return and enjoy my writing and experiences, and remember to share yours with me! kaitemcnally@gmail.com.

If you haven’t already figured it out, I’m in Fiji! After a summer of researching, dreaming, and preparing, my wanderlust has taken me to another hemisphere.

Today Darcy, my travel associate and longtime best friend, started her journey home without me. Her departure marks the end of our month long and final summer “holiday” and the beginning of my “real life.” You might argue that living in Fiji is the polar opposite of real life, but I‘d beg to differ. Suva boasts nothing like those white sand, teal-watered postcards you and me all dream of—no, it’s a city with a heartbeat of people, moving in and out of shops and offices, speaking to unseen people at the other end of their cell phone, catching cabs and crossing streets. But just like any city, it holds its on mystique and majesty. It bleeds culture and individuality, mixing diverse backgrounds into a stew of everyday existence and survival.

With Darcy gone, I face the challenges of existing independently in this distant world. Though not exactly scared, I do hold some reservations about my comfort at this point. Living in any unfamiliar place is a little intimidating at first. I’m very lucky, however, to have landed in what is most likely the greatest situation a person of my temperament could stumble upon. With rent that costs less than what it would take to fill up a tank of gas in my mom’s car, I’ve found sanctuary. It comes in the form of a comfy bed, a beautiful dresser, and a funky lamp—along with 3 amazing roommates and a cornucopia of insects, I’m home.

I live with the most wonderful girls: Ronna, an artist from the Philippines, exemplifies the term “girl power” to its most correct definition. Angie holds a story straight from Bollywood, and her friends have taken on the role as my “after hours” Hindi tutors teaching me all the Indian curse words they know. Rejie is a beautiful city-raised Fijian girl who seems to know everyone in Suva and is usually found with her longtime boyfriend Lomax and his best friend, the kava preparing James. All of these women are independent working professionals who have adopted me lovingly into their lives. They’re eager to share their friends and stories with me, something that has been remarkably helpful as I get settled.

Last night was perfect—for the first time in the history of the flat, all of the roomies invited their friends over for an international food & grog extravaganza. For the US dish, Darcy and I prepared none other than layered bean dip and corn chips! Go America! It was a big hit, and it’s been requested at future parties. If you’ve never gotten the privilidge of drinking kava with a pacific islander, let me tell you—you’re missing out. Generally speaking, it’s like an infinite circle of song-singing and toasting. A great way to bond with people you hope to befriend.

Darcy and I got a chance to go to the western part of Viti Levu (the big island) and out to a group of islands called the Yasawas. In a beautiful little bure (hut) at backpackers haven, Coral View, we spent the weekend exploring the beaches, awkwardly getting in and out of hammocks, and preparing Darcy’s pale skin for her re-entry into the Pacific Northwest autumn. Most exciting was the early morning cave trip I took with a few other travelers—eerie, cool, and exotic. Also exciting but less enjoyable was when Darcy and I got chased by a renegade baby calve that stormed us halfway down a mountain. A heads up to anyone in this situation: the last thing you should do is scream and run away from the cow, especially if this action causes you to lose a sandal thereby inhibiting your ability to get away.


  1. Anonymous said...
    What a great short story to wake up to. It makes me want to be there, right now, to see and feel all that you are experiencing. The kava looks interesting. I would try it though. Can it be consumed on a shot-ski?
    We miss you.
    BrendaLou said...
    Kaite, is that your puppy? Looks like he's got a few extra legs....How big will he get when he grows up? Have a great adventure. Love, Aunt BrendaLou
    Darcie said...
    Wow, Sweetie! What an exciting adventure! I love your writing and can't wait to read/see what happens next. I miss you very much - Love, Mom

    ps Brenda's puppy comment is still making me laugh! I think Jyme may get jealous.
    Anonymous said...
    kaitsies more updates plz.

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