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Tag Archives: Island

An emotional, highly anticipated return to Nakavika

Returning to my first lemon leaf tea in five years, I happily settled on the grass mat with a Christmas mug. I was nearly out of the emotional woods with this favorite, sweet elixir and a few cold pancakes. I sighed and scanned the room, finally noticing two photos taped to the wall, one of my mother in the snow and another of my grandmother holding my baby niece. I should have just accepted that a breakdown was inevitable.

Reunited with the Fiji of my dreams in the markets of Suva

I reacted in amazement before the information reached my brain: Siteri was standing in front of me…at the market in Suva…spotted me the moment I arrived with no other knowledge than my flight time. I guess I could have anticipated this crossing of paths in retrospect, because we had been connecting on Facebook, little blue lines coming onto my screen from a dream I once had. Regardless of the plausibility of the chance encounter, I was now face-to-face with tangible evidence of my long and confusing stint in Fiji, a time I still chew on in my mind for more clarity and takeaways. Her name is Siteri, and she is my umbilical cord to Nakavika.

Photoblog: a gray day in the Swedish village of Landsort

After the Berlin trimester ended, I flew to Copenhagen to begin a wee Scandinavian tour. The best part of this week was being with friendly residents and visiting their homes. Yes, homes. Not houses, accommodations, hotels, hostels, or dorms. In both Copenhagen and Stockholm, I stayed in city homes and then visited vacation homes by […]

This is what the last three months in Thailand looked like

Just as in Ecuador, this is what I stared at every day of the Thailand term: my portable media HQ of two MacBook Pros, an iPad, an iPhone, and about 13 TB worth of storage power. I see pixels in my dreams. However, what wasn’t just like Ecuador was my workload. With the addition of […]

Let’s Speak Haitian Creole!

My first language post arose from a desire to document and transmit the full experience of being in a relatively unknown culture: tribal Fiji. I didn’t expect many people to find such a write-up relevant, but it dawned on me after hundreds of hits that lesser-known languages need some limelight, too. One could travel to […]

Sick as a Donkey: Day 61

Holy mackerel, Mykonos ripped my body apart and threw it to the seagulls. With every passing minute on the ferry, my head swirled against the motions of the waves and filled with pain. My cough was extreme. I went through three toilet rolls blowing my nose dry. And it’s so sad, when your body becomes […]

An Island I Can Handle: Day 57

Weee! A beach! A warm beach! Without jellyfish, sharks, or boiling outdoor temperatures! The Greek islands were calling me while I was still preparing for the trip in America. Every island the ferry passed was a tease until we finally slowed and reversed into the port for Paros. Oh, sweet breezes and salty air! We […]

That’s a Big Ol’ Island: Day 14

Chris said it right. Our descent into Sydney revealed a coastline that seemingly never ended. This is the country/continent I’ve been reading up on for the last month, and never have I been so scared of a country’s wildlife than I have coming into Australia. And after being all over East and Central Africa, I […]

Bamboo Bear Grylls: Day 8

Bui and I could only appreciate a few games of “Last Card” before one bite of breakfast had her running for school Monday morning. I took my books and journals to a mat on the patio for a little writing when Abel joined me for a quick lounge and giggle. The important thing to note […]

Kava and Waterfalls: Day 7

Bui’s knees in my back and adorable, obvious rustling in bed wake me caused a laugh to accompany my first breath of the day.  She had spotted something in my bag that she liked, so I proceeded to pull out the bag-o-tricks from my sister-in-law that included bubbles, a very high-pitched whistle, a hypnotizing hourglass, […]

What Culture Shock?

We anticipated wild animals or at least poisonous critters; there were only slightly famished mosquitoes. We were prepared for long drop squat toilets; we sat on flushing porcelain thrones. And we assumed we’d make many a cultural blunder within our first days, but honestly, living in the Fijian Highlands for a week was only culturally […]

Bumpin’ into the Interior: Day 5

Anthony Bourdain, chef and world traveler extraordinaire, is a firm believer that the best way to approach a new culture and community is to check out the marketplace. Lautoka’s market was quite a large spread of all things root vegetable and spice, and the smells within the arena brought to mind East Africa, Southeast Asia, […]

10 Things you Discover about Fiji in the First Hour

10. It’s all about finding the right immigration officer. I got a four month visa while Chris got approved for only 14 days. 9. Bula + strong handshakes = greetings from Fijian men; Bula + big smiles + kisses on the cheek = greetings from the Fijian ladies 8. It’s completely acceptable to wander through […]

Settling into Fiji: Day 4

The soles of my feet are basking in equatorial sunshine, which could either mean I’m in for one evil sunburn or that I know how to do it up right here in Fiji: feet up, book open, smile on my face. When faced with the possibility of a very long and uncomfortable flight across the […]

Can You Say Walrus? Day 45

“The stretch between Mauritius and India will be our worst waters of all.” We are cruising at a speed of 12 knots on an ocean reminiscent of cobalt blue Murano glass. Whoever scared me into thinking this would be a week spent taped to my mattress is getting their room teepeed. As Alexis and I […]