summer break

Woohoo summer break! My last exam (HR) was long, but went pretty well.

The last week of exams was a blur of studying, the last cheapo pizza and beer night, watching movies, going to the student bar, swimming and beating the heat (MAN it’s been hot.. everyone keeps asking me why I am so sweaty just from sitting down).

After my last exam, we all started celebrating and went out. The clubs were realllly busy because all USP students were done.

On Friday, I hung out with the American crew as they were leaving the next day. We got hot dogs (yum) and watched a movie. It was nice.

Most people moved out on Saturday, so the people that are left have all been hanging out. It was sad.. but we have been keeping busy and it’s been pretty fun! Mal and I went to Uprising one day to hang at the beach, the other day we played Uno and Fluxx in the evening, saw Life of Pi, ate giant burgers, cooked meals together, and today we all went into town. Last night we scavenged all the fridges in 10th hall and made a giant feast of super random food. I made chickpea curry and spicy eggplant (seperate, not together..ew). We also had tuna curry, frozen veggies, chicken in gravy, lamb sausages, taro fries and orange ice cream. The night finished off with a rowdy game of telephone pictionary which was good fun. Mal leaves tomorrow and it will be veryyy lonely in 10th hall.. echo echo echo.

It’s a bit strange saying goodbye to a lot of the international students and my friends that are graduating and going home to other parts of Fiji or other places in the South Pacific. Luckily saying ‘see you next year’ is less sad.

Going on this next adventure still feels a little surreal, but I am really looking forward to it. In the first few days I will be meeting up with some friends, exploring Auckland and hopefully do some climbing (!!!). It feels way surreal.. I am a lucky girl.

Packing has been going well so far. Because of the heat and the intense humidity, a lot of my things have gone moldy or weird. The saddest thing I found so far were my climbing shoes (presently they are going through a bleaching/washing process). Other things that I have lost are: a towel, a book, two cell phones and a pair of shoes. I wonder what would make things go moldy slower…

Tomorrow I am going hiking and then Wednesday I leave for Nadi to stay at Rosi’s house for a few days. My next post will probably be in New Zealand or Australia!

twitter

I decided to get Twitter as it will be the easiest way to keep someone (anyone!) updated on where I will be for the next 2-3 months as I will be able to tweet from my cell phone (don’t want to pull a 127 hours chop-off-my-arm type dealio). I’m not bringing my computer with me to NZ/Aus so there will be less blog/Facebook updates most likely.

You can see it on the right sidebar or you can follow me @reirameso or you can look at twitter.com/reirameso.

(Please don’t mind my second tweet.. my Olympus waterproof camera is not working and Kat suggested that Twitter is the fastest way to get their attention)

Six days until I leave Fiji!

busy days as term wraps up

Busy days as I like them.

Tuesday: Was Diwali! A friend Kirti invited a bunch of us over for Diwali lunch, and it was good fun and the food was really tasty. I got fired from making roti because they kept turning out square. A bunch of us saw Flight too at the cinema (menh). Diwali is ‘the festival of lights’ and everyone sets off fireworks all day. At night it was insane, there were big fireworks everywhere being set off absolutely everywhere and it was lots of fun.

We have been having too much fun with fireworks lately because they started selling them about a month ago. You can get so many kinds of fireworks and they are all different. The best ones were the red ones with tubes.. on Diwali we set one off that had 15-25 tubes and it was reeeally big. My next favourite ones were these small fireworks called helicopters that fly up and spin around. Very dangerous. We hid behind pillars.

Damage the first day we found the fireworks stand (note: all of these were not set off in one night)

On Friday, Mary Ellen and Paul arrived in Suva and we went out to Ashiyana (sense a trend?) with a few friends from here. We had curries, vindaloo, daal, samosas and naan – all really good. That night a lot of people went out because it was a lot of the international student’s ‘last’ full weekend in Suva.

Saturday I showed MEP and Paul around USP and took them on the bus along the sea wall (scenic route!). I was suffering a bit of -ahem- dehydration all day. That evening we went to dinner at Tiko’s which is a seafood restaurant on a boat. It rocks back and forth every so slightly (romantic? no it just made me feel nauseous).

After goodbyes with them, Rosi and I went to a big live music party at Uprising Resort (about 45 minutes away) with Rosi’s cousins and friends. It was a big deal. They had live concerts and then a DJ. It was sooo much fun. We stayed overnight at her cousin’s place.

Lastly but not leastly, I went sailing Sunday and tried to learn some new tricks. Wasn’t very good at them, but hopefully I get better. My muscles are still sore. Then finished off the weekend with some yam chow (dim sum!) and crashed.

I’m done three finals and have one left later this week. Two of them went really well and one went okay (didn’t realize the stuff from pre-midterm would be on there oops.. but I know I still got at least a B). The international students have started leaving already.. I am really glad I will be here for another semester. I am 100% excited for NZ and Aus (less than two weeks to go!!!) and anticipating all the awesomeness, but am really happy I am coming back. My Fiji time is not over. I would be really upset if it was.

Finally, I will share with you something that happened today that really illustrates how life is easy here. I am in the process of deciding where to live next semester and was hoping I could renew my residence agreement as a back-up plan. I talked to one of the halls managers and was asking him if there was a cancellation fee if I decided I didn’t want it. He proceeded to stare at me blankly and said that there wasn’t a cancellation fee. Then he asked me why they would have one. Fiji life is easy here, sega na lega (no worries). Why worry when you don’t have to?

savusavu

On the Tuesday of the semester break, I met up with Mary Ellen and Paul in Savusavu. It was nice seeing people from home.. I hadn’t seen them since June!

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The week was a blur of snorkeling, beach trips, games, touring Savusavu, eating delicious food, and relaxing. It was really nice! We stayed at Daku Resort – they chose it because there was an Elder Hostel snorkeling-themed group there at the same time they were. I knew they would be there but I didn’t realize it was an elder group haha. We joined in with them on some of their activities including snorkeling and their themed talks. Some parts were cool, but we did have to play lifeguard a few times and MAN they could really talk.. and talk.. and talk. Haha. The evening lectures were pretty interesting.. especially learning about the pearl farming they do in Savusavu (pearls are expensive, yo!).

While were snorkeling we saw lots of black tip and white tip reef sharks (I like chasing them around), cuttlefish (six all at the same time (I like chasing them around too and watching them change colour) and I saw a barracuda.

The food we ate in Savusavu was really good… prawn and snapper ravioli, spicy fish, and fish curry. They also had lovo one night, so I finally got to try that.

On the way back, I took a plane instead of the boat. It was a teeny weeny airplane and you could see in the cockpit (…awesome). It was pretty scary actually. The views were beautiful though and I can now say I saw Fiji from air (check!).

vaniara bay

On November 2nd, I left on a big trip (my biggest trip so far!) to Vanua Levu. That day was quite busy because during the day the international students helped with a food day where we all made food from our countries to show the local students. It was a feast! There are three Canadian students (all from SFU) but two of them had class, so Megan (from the US) helped us out. We made poutine (yum!). They gave us a big budget, but man oh man gravy and cheese are expensive here. Everyone really liked the poutine (how could you not??).

I left that evening on the ferry around 6pm. I was a bit nervous because the ferry is really long. Funnily enough when I got on the boat, a friend texted me saying that her cousin was on the same boat and I should meet up with her. So I texted Maren (the girl on the boat) and I decided to go sit with her. Turns out that we were going to the same resort! Haha, oh Fiji you are such a small world.

I had heard so many stories about the ferry.. but it really wasn’t that bad. It was actually an old BC Ferries boat. I took some Gravol and slept through most of it (ear plugs saved me with that). Travelling here has really made me better at falling asleep… anywhere.

I stayed for three nights at Dolphin Bay Divers Resort. It was really great because the people were really nice. There were about 15 guests, and I hung out mostly with an American guy doing his dive masters, one of the local workers and Maren. The couples and families there were really nice too. And especially the local family and friends that worked there. I spent a lot of time getting to know them and socialized with them every evening. They were so welcoming and invited us right into their home. I would really like to go back…

I stayed in this!

I spent the days snorkelling, hiking, studying, and getting slaughtered at chess. I also snorkeled a teeny tiny portion of the Rainbow Reef which is supposed to be one of the world’s best dive sites. Unfortunately my underwater camera has been having some mood swings lately so I don’t have many fishie shots. From the shore I saw a little baby black tip reef shark and a couple of turtles. In the water I saw massive schools of fish and lots of Christmas tree worms.

at the top

my kind of footsteps in sand

stingray

After Dolphin Bay, I decided to be adventurous and take the small ferry and bus back to Savusavu because I wanted to see more of Vanua Levu. It was quite the trek. First, Dolphin Bay dropped me off at the port in Taveuni, which took about half an hour to get there. Then I took the ferry to Buca Bay, which took over an hour. Then I took a local bus for 2-3 hours to Savusavu. It was a really beautiful drive, but you could really tell that it was a very poor area. I saw the most poverty during that bus ride than anywhere else so far.

I realllly like Dolphin Bay and I would love to do go back.. maybe even do my dive course there, but I really didn’t like the way that the owner ran the resort. It didn’t seem like the local workers were treated very nicely and that bothered me a bunch. I’d really like to visit though…. we shall see!

I have finished three exams so far and have one left on Thursday. So far so good.

helenka visits suva!

Helenka was in town for one night the day I flew back from Savusavu. I met her after my flight on Sunday morning. We had a nice visit. First we decided to go to the Colo-I-Suva forest park to explore. The weather was cloudy in Suva but not too bad. Chris, Jonah and us two toughed it out and hopped in a cab to get there. When we got there it was POURING!! Torrential downpour. Nevertheless, we had tons of fun (except for my massive belly flop, ow).

Here are two of Helenka’s pictures:

Helenka, me and Jonah

We concluded the day with Ashiyana (best Indian food ever mmmmmmm).

solar eclipse

Yesterday we could see the solar eclipse from Suva. We knew it was coming but no one thought we’d see it because it was mega cloudy. It was so bright though that you could see it through the clouds. It hurt my eyes.

the picture I took

the awesome awesome picture Dillon took!