Trevor! You Push The Button
13 July 2017
I guess bringing your "western" values to out of the way places like Fulaga leads you to make assumptions. some right, some wrong. Some embarrassing.
Trevor asked if he could use "the facilities" and was duly directed to the outhouse. Pleased to find a porcelain loo he had a quick pee and then, assuming the bucket of water was for flushing he picked up the clanking pail....at which point his host, hearing the clanking and imagining his precious water getting poured down the loo, realised what Trevor was doing and shouted, "Trevor, you push the button". We all fell about laughing. Unsaid was "we're really operating in the same world as you guys".
Yesterday afternoon we landed in Namuka-i-lau. The entry was a, now typical, wiggle thought the gap in the reef through which we proceeded at a careful, eyeball navigation, 1-2 knots. (If you're going to hit something, best do it slowly). When we were well into the pass, the Pacific Circuit Rally, who the previous day had screamed at us across the anchorage on Yagasa to effect that this was their bay and we should not anchor but go elsewhere, continued their run of "attitude" by choosing to exit the pass exactly as we three of us were negotiating it, led out by their leader passing us in the confines of the reef at around 6 - 7 knots. Charming. Much as we've enjoyed rallies, we're glad to see the back of the Pacific Circuit Rally.
Anyway, stress over, we anchored for the night in a beautiful sheltered bay and today hiked the one hour jungle path, perhaps known as the N1, to the village. Once again we were welcomed with open arms, the English teacher being given a couple of hours off by the Head to show us around the village and introduce us to the men, women and children. 300 people including 65 school age kids live here on their well kept lawn village complete with their all weather artificial grass cricket runway, or whatever you call it and tidy corrugated huts in which the ladies were making printed tapa cloth for the tourists in Suva. The men were in the jungle collecting cocunuts to dry for Copra and fish had the three giant chest freezers full to the brim, all for the markets of Suva.
The supply boat is due in tomorrow so it was all hands to the pumps to get the exports ready. Us, we bought some tapa, some tapioca, chased the squealing kids and had a thoroughly enjoyable day.....other than lugging 5 kilos each of tapioca back to the boats. If only we knew what to do with it.