Welcome to my global village!

Sharing with the readers my experiences through my travel, interaction with different cultures and my involvement through community work! Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Celebrated christmas and New Years Fiji-Pacific style in Fiji

We celebrated christmas and new Year Fiji- Pacific style this year. We did not travel overseas during this christmas since we have just moved to Fiji, and already done a lot of travelling this year plus some other committments. So, we decided to make the most during this festive season by celebrating it pacific way. We did not travel to any tourist crowded spots because then you don't get the true local feel. Instead we decided to just blend in.
While everyone was busy running away from Suva during christmas, we stayed put, and roamed around in town, watched movies, and chirstmas day had a buffet lunch at 'Raintree Lodge Resturant' which was just superb. Set in idyllic location, the resturant offers you the best of all the worlds be it food or ambience. I would recommend 'Raintree lodge' for a lazy sunday meal with jazz.

2nd Jan. 2008
Spent the 'New Years Eve' visiting 'Sigatoka Sand Dunes' near Sigatoka and clebrated New Years eve and New Years Breakfast at the 'Outriggers', both are a must visit while in Fiji. Sanddunes is Fiji's first national park and is looked after by 'National Trust of Fiji Islands', the staff is great and very friendly. Thank you to Suala Tavitani, Simon and Jason for showing us around! A walk along the wooden trail is a beautiful experience. Sigatoka Sand Dunes is a major archaelogical site, first significant clues to man's arrival in Fiji was found- a burial site in the eastern end of the park that dates his arrival to around 2,000 years ago. Also some of the potsherds are estimated to be 2,600 yrs old, finds of ceramic 'Lapita' provide an indication as to the origin of the sites former occupants, these people were the first settlers in this country. 'Outrigger' is one of the finest resorts in Fiji and we had a very good and relaxed time there on 31st dec. and 1st jan, again staff is wonderful and service excellent too. I would recommend half a day spent in Sand Dunes followed by overnight stay at Outriggers, wraps up the trip well. Will post pictures shortly.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

We still miss Papua New Guinea

While we are having a good time in Fiji surrounded by natural beauty and lovely people, we still miss Papua New Guinea. People often ask me whats there in PNG, and they only have negative opinion on PNG. Agreed PNG has its fair share of problem but we had a good time there and enjoyed the place. I was working too thus very busy and quite satisfied.
In the last few months in PNG, I organised a charity trip to 'Salamua' , its an isthmus, it has a small but beautiful and pristine beach. WE managed to raise a good amount with this trip and everyone enjoyed the trip thoroughly. We hired the boat from Karen Quinn and Mike Quinn, they were very cooperative and forthcoming. Karen was enthusiastic about taking us to all the good spots! Pictures can speak more than words, so let me post a few photos:

The money raised through this trip went to the projects carried out by Soroptimist International of Lae (I was then, a member of SI Lae)

Diwali in Suva

Diwali in Suva brought back the memories from childhood. We left India in 87 and ever since we have not celebrated diwali the way we do it in India and finally we did it Indian way right here in Suva. I must have put on extra 5 kilos with all the the goodies that we have been enjoying for the whole of november.
The first diwali treat was the fundraising diwali dinner on 26th Oct. organized by 'International Women's Association', I was in the organizing committee and Ankita too helped us with the computer work as ususal. We managed to raise a good amount which will go towards the 'Light Up Village' project in Matainadoi, Vanua Levu; I am coordinating this project at IWA front and liaising with with the 'Macuata Women's Association'. Then followed Rotary Diwali dinner on 27th Oct, Atul is a rotarian and it was lovely. We then attended Fiji Hindu Association Diwali Dinner which was a fundraising activity on 3rd nov.
On 9th Nov., we invited a close Indian friend, with a few other friends from Netherlands, England, Kenya, China/ Japan and Canada while our daughter invited some 10-12 friends of hers. Ankita with her friends took charge of the barbequeue in the garden while I organized a typical Indian meal inside the house. The atmosphere in Suva was just incredible, I could not help going back to childhood memories. For our daughter, it was the first diwali in true sense , we did everything that one would do during diwali, we put ion all the efforts to make this diwali a memorable one for all our daughter especially as this was her first traditional one. We have celebrated diwali in Nairobi, Papua New Guinea and Australia too; but nothing like 'Diwali in Fiji'. Although, in Nairobi, one could buy fireworks and go to the designated areas in town to do the fireworks, in PNG we could hardly get any fireworks apart from sparklers, our daughter felt diwali more obvious in Australia as compared to Nairobi or PNG. But, one could not miss diwali in Fiji where you start hearing your neighbours doing fireworks 3-4 days prior to diwali and it con
Here in Fiji, we could easily do everything that one would do in India during diwali. So, we decided to celebrate it in a traditional way with a few exceptions.
Right from shopping to diwali preparations at home to the actual diwali night, we tried incorporate everything we could to keep it close to a traditional diwali.
It was the first time for our daughter to buy fireworks like we do in India and then do the fireworks in her own house at diwali night; made mithais; bought clay diyas in addition to electric fairy lights to light up the place at night; bought 'Ganesh-Laxmi' idol as well as a steel dish a day before diwali (which is a symbolic thing to do). So all in all, it was true diwali especially for our child!