Last weekend, I was lucky enough to go on a weekend field trip to Naloto Village in Tailevu. The field trip was organized by the Psychology Student Association and was mainly a community service/team bonding field trip. It is nice having classes all across the school (this semester I am taking classes in the Management & Public Admin, Psychology and Marine Science/Biology departments).
Here is a picture of where we went. Look how many places I have been already! I have been doing very well.
It should have taken us just over an hour to get there, but we ended up getting lost and it took us about 3 hours. But as always, you will eventually get there… as we did! We took a truck with a covered canvas back on it, which was lots of fun and also very dusty. You can’t fall asleep in those cars because you will either fall off the bench or hit your head on the wire cage behind you. Ow.
When we woke up the next morning we could see where we were and it was absolutely beautiful. The village was a little peninsula and was surrounded by the ocean on all sides. In the morning, my group did a bit of a clean-up but most of the time was just spent getting to know the other students. I was happy about this because I had a pretty killer cold and called it a night both nights before many of the other students.
There was two other international students on the trip, Katelin and Saffron (Saf is from Georgia). It was a bit awkward because the village would not let us sleep in the houses with the other students because they wanted us to have the nicest accommodation out of everyone. We stayed in a house owned by a lovely lady and had mattresses, pillows and blankets on the floor to share. We were all ready and brought blankets and pillows, and hoping to stay with all the other students but if someone invites us in and is so gracious, it is pretty rude to refuse.
As it was special occasion to have so many visitors, the people in the village went into the ocean flat and collected kaikoso (reef clams). The last time they took them in was 7 years ago, and I learned that they are a Fijian delicacy. I learned how to open the clams, how to scrape them out and make them into kaikoso kokoda (kai-ko-so cuh-kun-dah) which was the raw clams with their juices mixed with a small amount of diced onion, chilies and limes. I am lucky to have tried them, but I didn’t really like them that much. I managed to eat quite a lot of them, but it got harder and harder as the meals progressed into more and more kaikoso. We just have popped open at least 200 clams and that only made about 3L of soup. Over the weekend, I’d say there was 100 L of soup that I saw being made. Would that wipe out the entire clam population?
I was able to experience going to a village church on the Sunday as we were there during the Methodist service. The service was 99% in Fijian so I am not sure what they were saying, but the hymns sounded very nice.
We ended up getting back in the evening, and since we all had no food in our kitchens, we decided to grab food and then head home. That evening two of my classmates came over for my ethics class and we studied as we had a test the next morning (A+!!). I got in the top 2 of the class, not sure which of us got the highest mark.