It's quite a long distance from Labasa to Navosa in Viti Levu as the map shows, even further inland than Keiyasi.
We received a lovely letter from Ateca in Labasa telling the story of how our relatives from Vatuadova and Tuatua went from Labasa, Vanua Levu to Navosa, in the interior of Viti Levu. The marriage was a week ago. The bride is our niece Pinky (Mere)the youngest daughter of Peceli's brother Irimaia and Evia. Isa, they are both gone now. I am waiting for the photos of Pinky' wedding as I really would like to see some of our relatives riding horses up and down mountains and across rivers! Peceli used to do this when he was stationed at Naikoro, Navosa, but that was a long, long time ago.
Ateca tells the story as follows:
None of us had been to Draubuta which is about 20 to 30 km from Naikoro. We left Raiwaqa (in Suva) at 9.00 oclock on Tuesday morning and reached Draubuta at 8.pm that evening. We had reached Sigatoka at 1.00, had a light lunch and then went up the Valley Road to Draubuta which was 3 hours drive dusty and gravel road up and down the mountains of Navosa. We crossed several rivers and it was very far. We saw land slides and bridge damage. We hired 2 big carriers and there were about 50 -60 people on board.
The road was really bad and we had to stop the carrier then start walking. We walked for 2 hours before reaching Draubuta. That was a trip so tiring. Some of us could not walk so rode on horses like Naukisi and Uncle Dakai.
The wedding was the next day on Wednesday with the Fijian traditional stuff, the feasting and merry making and the drinking of kava. It was a big gathering and they fed and looked after us so well. The tevutevu was on that same afternoon with the mats and gifts.
On Thursday morning we left very early in the morning so a few of us made it to Naikoro where I was born, to present some traditional gifts like Tabua. We even went and laid masi in the bulubulu, met the chief of Naikoro, and then headed back to see the rest of the guys.
We headed back to Sigatoka and back to Raiwaqa. We had a good time. Some of us stayed with George. (Mila and them)I managed to see George, Jordan, Andrew, which was good. I visited Marica on Friday night and we prayed together.
Then back home to Labasa on Saturday morning.