Kava Ceremony

The decision about Ali’s guitar has been made and Joe has offered us a free nights accommodation and food, a bottle of wine, the guitar is going to the mainland on Monday for repair which they will pay for and Ali is going to have some wake boarding lessons with Malley. We’re happy with this and think its fair compensation and as much as we can reasonably expect.

I expected it to be really quiet here this morning but there are lots of people around. At lunchtime a group of around 50 American students arrive. We knew they were coming so although it does turn this peaceful place into more of a party island we don’t mind. We sit talking to a couple of French girls, Caroline and Lydiane, they are at the end of their RTW trip and spent 7 months in Australia working and touring around. As they didn’t go to the East Coast its interesting listening to them chatting about the places they visited including Ayers Rock (Uluru).

In the afternoon Caroline takes Ali out in a kayak for some snorkelling just off the reef. Maisie plays in the pool with Appi and I lie frazzling in the sun. Simon has been playing volleyball and table tennis with the boys who work here but I haven’t so far been able to persuade my legs to do anything so energetic. I have got so brown since we’ve been here and I think it because it isn’t any hotter than around 30 it’s easy to lie there all day reading and listening to my MP3.

By 4pm my tooth is really hurting again. I have been managing the pain ok with 2 paracetamol in the morning and a couple of beers each evening but today it’s so painful and makes me feel miserable. I go and have a shower and as soon as it reaches a decent time- 5.30 head for the bar. Paul makes me a Malolo Slide (The best cocktail I have ever had and everyone here loves them) by 7.30 the pain is forgotten and we have a lovely evening with the other people staying here. A good mix, a drunken Aussie couple Warrick and Amy, Mairi and Kevin, Caroline and Lydiane, an American couple called Terence and Sarah, an English girl Michelle and us. Everyone has a lot to drink and I call home and chat to mum for half an hour in between.

At 9pm it’s the Kava Drinking Ceremony. It’s famous in Fiji and we have heard loads about it, the Kava roots are ground up and mixed with water to make what looks like muddy water which you then drink. It has a mildly narcotic effect and once Malley and Sunny have got all the American students sat on the floor I go over to have a look at what the Kava Ceremony entails. Apparently you should clap your hands once, say bula, drink a coconut shell worth and then clap 3 times. Well it tastes fairly non descript and only has the effect of making my tongue feel slightly anaesthetised. I’m surprised when Maisie says she want to have some but not surprised when Ali gulps his down. I tell Malley that Ali isn’t to have too much but despite this hear later he had 4 cups. I guess he’ll sleep well tonight.