Surviving the Tropics

Living anywhere that isn’t home can be a bit scary at times. Luckily for me, the things I have to look out for above all else is the inexplicable bus fires and the feared bite of the Dengue carrying mosquito. Just today I found out that one of my more recently acquired friend is suffering from the latter. But those fears are getting lost in the sea of opportunity vastly surrounding the island that is Me.

I knock on wood about 10 times a day as I relate the good fortune I’ve been continuously stumbling across since setting down in Suva. Now surviving an entire week sans-darcy, I’m proud to say I’m getting the hang of flying solo.

The weekend was chock full of outings. Thursday Ronna convinced me to take a hula class with her at the University, so with my game face on I made a complete idiot of myselfa trying to shake my hips as the Polynesians do. But with the encouragement and laughter of my colleagues, I slowly got the hang of it. I guess if graphic design fails I can always make a living working at a Hawaiian resort telling well-paying guests what not to do.

Still recovering from the hilarity of my hula, Ronna and I went downtown to attend a Women of Power poetry reading, much evocative of Eugene. Ronna both recited a few personal pieces and played a song. Once the feminist crowd dispersed, it became a late-night dance party where once again, my dance moves were encouraged and ridiculed. Apparently people don’t know raw talent when they see them (for those of you that haven’t had the pleasure of seeing me dance recently, think a drunk zombie/Frankenstein that is being pulled by marionette stings.) The night was capped with roadside BBQ—reminding me that I made the right choice in shedding my vegetarian-ness upon entering the country.

Friday I was invited to a meeting for FAWG, the Fiji Association of Women Graduates, which seems like a cool organization for educated women to get together and put on events and programs for the community. I think I’ll get more involved in that in the coming months, as it sounds like a fun outreach as well as a great way to meet other people. After the meetings we headed to USP for a peace concert, which hosted a number of amazing local artists. It’s refreshing seeing how much young talent there is in this city!

I also met with Jon, the CEO of the advertising company I was interested in working at. Though I’m without work visa, we’ve worked out a way of appeasing the government and at the same time allowing me time off when the mood strikes. I start in the office on Monday, and my first assignment is creating the website for Bulaccino, which happens to be my favorite coffee joint in the country! I’ll keep you updated with the progress of that. I’ll also be doing a site for Clean Up Fiji, an organization created to help keep Fiji beautiful. Though a very conservative place in terms of creativity, I think this will be a great opportunity to get the feel of working at a real office.

Last night Angie took me to my first wine tasting! In a room where I’m convinced every expat in Fiji was gathered, we raised our glasses over and over again and thanked our lucky stars that we all ended up on this island. Tonight, with the launch of Digicel—a new cell phone company—there’s a Shawn Kingston concert in the city park, said to be the biggest musical extravaganza Fiji has ever seen. I’ve been lead to believe that Shawn Kingston is one of the 10 crap-rap artists that have made it to Fiji, and am happy to report after relentless exposure, I’m pretty sure I can sing every one of his songs by heart. Sadly, his music sucks.

I think I’m starting to make friends, and am getting into the swing of living here. We’re planning a huge Halloween party at my request, which is discussed almost daily. It’s only late at night after the activities have all died down and I have time to reflect that I start getting homesick, but skype and email have been a big help with that (hooray technology!). October brings exciting things, including Diwali (indian christmas type celebration) and Fiji's independence day- so look forward to more exciting times in upcoming entries!


Post a Comment