I managed to do it. After six months of experiencing, scribing, and mulling over the occurrences of my winter in Fiji, I have finally documented in true form the adventures we had in that dreamlike state of displacement. Post-vacation in the Yasawas, I took my final shower, had my final (and best) meal, and flew home to writhe until I could put it all into words. For those of you who write or express, you know it's painful to have moments go unsaid, life-changing morsels of time without a timeless matter to back them up. I can finally sleep soundly knowing it is all down on "paper," not to mention the project molded into its final form.Read More
One of the biggest factors in this sensitive equation that makes me feel better is the fact that our intentions were solely and powerfully good. Though this isn't a "get out of shame free" card, it certainly validates much more when dealing with these culturally sensitive areas. Upon first stepping foot in Fiji, we taped ourselves expressing the concerns we had for our own project, stating, "We're not even sure they want us to do what we came to do."
After explaining our purpose and receiving acceptance, we felt we were in the clear. But it would have been in our best interests to examine the culture we were penetrating before getting there and constantly ask questions to the head people in order to perfect our footing. There was a whole anthropological lesson to be learned in preparation, although this is assuming perfect preparation would have given us perfect results.Read More