Two stories from the Fiji papers are of interest to babasiga watchers. One - Tui Macuata's gratitude for a sudden burst of sea-slugs - to make money before the conference. (I think the Great Sea Reef was rested for a while so.... and I won't say what I think about turtles. Shhhh.) And the second story: now that Survivor has been shown in Australia and the winner known to us, it's nice to know the guy wants a holiday house for his Mum on the Coral Coast - hey, why not take her all the way to Vunivutu in Macuata?
Sea slug a God send, Tui Macuata says1853 FJT
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
The paramount chief of Macuata has described as a God send the appearance of a mystery sea slug hree weeks before the annual Methodist church conference. Ratu Aisea Katonivere said the sea slug appeared in the marine protected area of the Macuata coast was a mircale as it brought in much needed cash for the hosts of the meeting.
He said a Chinese man appeared and 'bought it from us as it happened to be a Chinese delicacy' so it filled in their coffers as they waited for Government funds to help them prepare for the meeting. "Our church members and villagers have been saying the slug was a God send," he said. "And with the Men of God about to come to our shores with the appearance of the slug which we called the caterpillar, this is more than a coincidence.
"I can say that it was a miracle as a Chinese man came along at the same time and started paying $6000 a day for harvesting of this slug which helped our people a lot.
"With that money we could buy curtains, improve homes which were to be used for accommodation and buy things four our preparations. This happened 3-4 weeks before the conference happened," he said. Ratu Aisea had ordered they stop harvesting a week before the conference so that they could concentrate on their preparations.
The province had suffered heavy losses to plantations and their economy early this year with widespread flooding, raising doubts over their capability to host the conference. Ratu Aisea said they had applied for funds with Government but the processing of these funds was not fast enough for its desired purpose. He said in that light the slugs were considered a God send.
And as mysteriously as they appeared, they disappeared from the area they were harvested from - as soon as the church conference ended two weeks ago.
From yesterday’s fiji times
Survivor winner promises to promote Fiji
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Vasemaca Driso, left, and Rusila Halofaki with Earl Cole at Fiji Visitors Bureau office in Nadi yesterday
SURVIVOR Fiji winner Earl Cole promises to promote Fiji overseas, saying it is a very pure place given that it's a Christian country. Mr Cole who came back to Fiji, this time as a millionaire after being named the winner of the CBS series Survivor Fiji said he would buy a house on the Coral Coast and get his mother to live there."We are Christians and I really like her to come and stay here," he said. "This is God's country and it is a great place," Mr Cole said. "There's going to be a way I can help Fiji. There's a lot to do for this country." Mr Cole of Santa Monica, California said the world needed to know more about Fiji and he was willing to promote it everywhere he went.
Mr Cole who flew out of the country last night after holidaying here for a few days said this was a beautiful place with a unique culture and very friendly people.
He said though he was in the country in December, he did not feel the effects of the military takeover, as the filming was done in Vunivutu, Vanua Levu but he did not get to experience the life which the rest of the country had to offer.
"So I took this opportunity to come back and go to some parts that I have not been to.I didn't get to know about Fiji, until I came here and was learning more about it during my stay."
With the money he won from Survivor, Mr Cole is launching his own multi-media company, A-Frame productions that will produce music, television series, documentaries and films. He was the first African Americxan to win the series and won by unanimous vote-the first time in 14 seasons.
Fiji Visitors Bureau chief executive Patrick Wong said Mr Cole agreeing to be Fiji's ambassador would increase publicity given that the Survivor series was viewed by 21 million people around the world.