Monday, August 18, 2008

Hibiscus Festival and the Museum

from w

Today it was a bit rainy but rather than the kids stay in the flat at Namadi to play video games and cards, I offered to take them to the Hibiscus Festival - each of us wearing raincoats and carrying a big brown umbrella. Not that it was raining heavy. The $5 taxi ride seemed reasonable to as far as Government Buildings where we had arranged to wait for my son’s lunch break. We waited outside the Suva Court with the nicely dressed people coming and going and my grandkids lolling about. (Two actual grandsons, the others children of my niece so I was Grandma to all of them – Mereoni, 13, Elijah, 10, Jordan 11, Andrew 9. We bought roti and curry parcels and hamburgers for lunch. The stalls looked very elegant as blue and white (I think) strong tents and of course the kids wanted to quickly go on the rides – ferris wheel – there were at least three of them, octopus, sizzler, roller-coaster, etc. $2 a ride and a few free ones. They were allowed only one ride each. Albert Park looked neat and tidy and there was a small crowd.

My plan was mainly to take them to the Museum (the old teacher streak in me surfacing) and I found a neat clean toilet at the entrance to Thurston Gardens. The kids were well-behaved and attentive in the Museum and very talkative about the historical and cultural items. I went into ‘know-all’ teacher mode. The kids had only been there once before they told me. Some other time I’ll try and go back to draw some of the items. There was also a room full of contemporary women’s costumes made from masi and art exhibition of watercolours was interesting. The Museum has a website.

Then we returned to Albert Park for another ride and the crowd was getting bigger. By 3 p.m. Grandma was tired so we got taxi back to our ‘home’. The Fiji Museum has an excellent website.

Meanwhile Peceli spent the morning at the Methodist Conference at Centenary Church then Furnival Park with the choir competition and stalls, meeting many old friends and some new ones. One group generously gave him some cultural artifacts from Nadroga which is a precious gift.


nzm said...

Wow - the Hibiscus Festival rides sound a lot more sophisticated than they were over 30 years ago.

I think that then, the big deals were a ferris wheel and a chair-o-plane. The latter being a big merry-go-round with single metal seats attached with long chains to an overhead wheel. We used to grab each other's seats and when the ride was up to speed would push off each other in order to get extra height!

Do they still have the Hibiscus Festival neon sign with the big flashing hibiscus on it?

The museum is an old haunt. Say hello to the big coconut crab in the middle of the crab display if he's still there. The bugger chased me when he was still alove!

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

It has been going a long time. Didn't see the neon sign though or the huge crab at the museum. Last night on TV several of the Miss Hibiscus entrants danced - strange kind of tauoluga, a Fijian girl doing bangra and dressed as a man, a mish-mash of styles with gangling guys ogling the girls and dancing rather stupidly alongside! It's a fine day today (Wednesday) which is good for choirs and festivals.

Um Naief said...

The festival sounds fun... I always loved that kind of stuff as a child. Rides have gotten a bit expensive! $2 for a ride!! phew!

Glad they all behaved themselves... that's always nice.