At Home with the Fijians

It is with surprising frequency that one is invited into the home of a local when traveling through Fiji. Sharing is the name of the game out on this Pacific island group, and I have met quite a few people offering much more than just directions to the bus station. Here I will try and condense some of the good times spent in the homes of some Fijians so far, though they each deserve much more appreciation than what a mere blurb in the blogosphere can dish out. Continue reading

Ear Infections Abroad and Dealing with Them

A very slow waterslide in Pacific Harbor

My friend Alicia and I are on our own in Fiji now that my parents and sister have returned home. Lingering in Korotogo for one more night, we drank the overalcoholic local rum called Bounty (which gets more painful with each sip) and browsed two Fiji guidebooks for advice on SCUBA diving and lodging for cheapskates.

The next morning, after scraping a rough plan in the sand, we took a snazzy air conditioned bus from Korotogo to Pacific harbor with the idea that we would be doing some diving. Arriving late in the morning, we checked into the cheapest accommodation around, Tsulu apartments above the cultural center of town, and began a walking journey to the two nearby diving companies so we could compare prices.

I was worried about my ear, since I awoke that morning with a feeling of soreness in my left hand aural cavity. I just slept on it funny, I thought, but the problem persisted no matter the incident angle between skull and pillow. I expressed my concern with Alicia, saying “There is no way I am diving tomorrow if my ear is still hurting.” Diving is a game of pressure balance with your air-filled cavities, and so it is ill advised to head down unless your eyes and ears and mouth and nose are in good working order. Continue reading