Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Chewing over exams

from w...... There's a cute Letter to the Editor of the Fiji Times in today's paper. It concerns the three hour exams and the writer reckons that chewing lollies or some kind of sweets during the exam will give them energy to do the hard work. Well, that's a new one for me. I know that some students do like to have a flower on their desk to sniff at occasionally during an intense exam. I'm not sure about chocolates. Jelebi, gulab jamin, vakalolo too? I think a bottle of water would be better, but then who's gonna accompany a sweating student to the loo halfway through an exam? While on the subject of three hour written exams, I do wonder how students are going to manage today to hand write for three hours, when they use mainly computers and type in their data. Writing is different to keying in words...... Sweet surprise It came as a surprise when one of my lecturers at USP told us that we should bring sweets like chocolates to our exams. In two weeks time, USP will hold its final exams and it was nice to hear the reason behind what he said. When students think, a lot of energy is used burning up a lot of calories. He said when students think for three hours, the amount of calories lost is equal to that used for a five-kilometre run so it is important to eat sweets during a three-hour paper. He said once a student did this, he/she would see a great difference in their results. I very much support this and students should be treated fairly as their health and mentality are very important during a three-hour paper. I think all secondary schools must allow students to have sweets during a three-hour paper so their energy levels allow them to solve problems and answer questions quickly. RAVINAL PRAKASH Lautoka

Monday, May 28, 2012

Solar power the way to go

from w..... Good news for Druadrua people with solar power installed. It's the way to go for distant rural communities in Fiji. In today's Fiji Times: Villagers rejoice as solar power brings light Salaseini Vosamana Tuesday, May 29, 2012 DREAMS have come true for a group of villagers and students of a district in Macuata after they received solar-powered systems last week. Villagers of Delaivadra, Salevukoso and the students of Druadrua Primary School will not have to resort to kerosene lanterns for light. The 53 households in the two villages paid a total of $2650 as deposit. Each household paid a deposit of $50 each to the Department of Energy under the rural solar system projects for the Northern Division. Department officer-in- charge northern Waisea Cavunailoa said a tender was awarded to a local company last year for work to begin this year. Mr Cavunailoa said villagers approached them for the assistance where they were required to pay $50 each for deposit before work started. "Fifty-three systems were installed in the two villages and about five in the school,"? Mr Cavunailoa said. "This is part of our rural solar system projects this year and we aim to facilitate those rural dwellers in Cakaudrove and Bua. The villagers will now save an extra $20 to $30 from buying kerosene every month and students will be able to study in brighter lights. "Now, they will be paying $14 every month as their bills and this is very cheap compared to the high cost of kerosene they purchase for their lanterns,??? he said. Turaga ni yavusa for the two villages Tevita Rokuta said he was grateful to the company and government for the assistance. "Now, we are living in the 21st century and I can die peacefully because my dreams of improving the living standard for my people has finally come true,"? Mr Rokuta said. "Students will now study in a composed environment and the villagers don't have to struggle anymore as the bright lights shine in our villages every night."? School assistant headteacher Osea Sokomuri said 32 boarding students would benefit from the system.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

more photos from Dandenong

from w Here are some more photos of the people who gathered at Trinity Uniting Church for the 20th birthday of the Fijian congregation. A great weekend.

20 years of Fijian congregation at Dandenong

from w We've just been up to Dandenong in Melbourne for the weekend for a splendid celebration at the Trinity Uniting Church to signify twenty years of the Fijian congregation there. Abundant hospitality, great yarning with friends going back even more than twenty years, many stories and connections with Fiji - Ba, Lautoka, Rakiraki and other places. It was an excellent way to also celebrate Pentecost - we had a concert Saturday night with items from Fijian, Fiji Indian, Cook Islander and other groups. The church service this morning involved various groups singing, including bhajans, and again a delightful meal shared by more than two hundred people. One photo is of a Dilkusha girl holding a photo of Gwen Davey who will celebrate her 94th birthday next week. Happy birthday Gwen who was Mum to the Dilkusha girls for many years. I'll post
more photos tomorrow.

Friday, May 25, 2012

At lastl!

from w At last there has been approval for the Methodist Church in Fiji to hold their conference after - is it - four years of being banned. But will the Police Commissioner and co change their minds once again at the last minute? Church starts preparations May 26, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom By MAIKA BOLATIKI The Methodist Church in Fiji has started its preparation for the annual conference, (Bose ko Viti) scheduled for August. Church assistant general secretary, Reverend Tevita Nawadra, said they had started preparations after receiving a reply from the Commissioner of Police, Brigadier-General Ioane Naivalurua. He said church divisions had already carried out their annual meetings in preparation for the August meeting. Rev Nawadra said the church was thankful to the Fiji Police Force for approving the permit. The Bose Ko Viti will be held in Suva. One of the main agenda of this year’s meeting would be the election of a new president. Rev Nawadra said the church would adhere to all police requirements on the agenda of the conference.

The real heroes

from w The real heroes of Fiji are often the young men and women, professionals in their fields, rather than the ones kitted out in nice uniforms or suits and have their photos taken almost every day. Good on you Doctor Mesulame!
It's no glamour job Solomoni Biumaiono Saturday, May 26, 2012 AT 27 years of age, he is possibly one of the youngest doctors in charge of a divisional medical centre or hospital in the country. Meet Doctor Mesulame Namedre, the acting sub-divisional medical officer (SDMO) for Taveuni and Qamea. He is in charge of three doctors, 26 nurses in three health centres and two nursing stations, and laboratory, dental and X-ray technicians apart from the other general staff. He also has to look after the whole islands of Taveuni and Qamea aside from the other smaller islands like Yanuca. With an estimated population of 16,400 to look after, this is certainly a big task to undertake with all the administrative responsibilities that come with it. Dr Mesulame was confirmed to the acting SDMO post this year but has held the position for quite some time when he was first posted to Taveuni in 2010. His predecessor had to go on leave and most of the time, he was left in charge of daily operations. The former Natabua High School student had just graduated from the Fiji School of Medicine in 2008 after a five-year term as a student and intern. Growing up in his village of Nakalavo in Nadroga and Lautoka, Dr Mesulame first started out wanting to be a teacher like his father but later changed his mind as he grew up. "Doctors have always been perceived as heroes on television and in movies and are always glamorised," he said. "As I went through medical school, that is exactly the opposite as most times we have to work with whatever resources that we have and that takes a whole lot more from you. "It challenges you but since you're passionate about it, of course there is job satisfaction because you have to love your job first and that is one thing that young people should learn first and foremost. "You have to look for something that you like doing, yes it's a job but you will have to like it first," Dr Mesulame says. Taveuni was his second posting, his first ever since leaving med-school was to Labasa where he thought he would only stay for a year. At a time when many doctors are leaving for greener pastures abroad or entering the area of private practice, Dr Mesulame says this is a a move far from from his mind. "The area of public health is very different from other areas of the medical profession. In this field you have to be a people's person because you interact with communities," Dr Mesulame says. "I think no two challenges are the same where you come across so many different people and different cases. "When I was younger, people used to be afraid of doctors and usually take their word as gospel. "Now people challenge what you say and this is something that we have to deal with, to ensure they receive the best treatment and care that we can possibly give them." When The Fiji Times crossed paths with the young doctor, he was treating a boy who had been bitten by a shark while spear fishing. Despite the anxiousness of relatives of the patients and all the drama that usually occurs in the Emergency Room, Dr Mesulame handled the situation with ease ù first while treating him and the second, reaching a compromise with his patient, who did not want to be admitted and opted to leave for his village straightaway. The man received two stitches for the shark bite and it seemed his injuries were not that serious. This kind of situation often keeps Dr Mesulame and others like him on their toes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

John Hunt translation

from w In today's Fiji Sun - an article about the publishing of the John Hunt translation of the New Testament. I've already posted something about this. Thank you Dr Thornley. I still don't know why blogspot won't stay with the paragraphs! Now Methodists to celebrate mission May 25, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom By Dr Andrew Thornley, Visiting Lecturer, Davuilevu Theological College. Wednesday June 13 2012 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Rev. John Hunt, who was born in England on June 13 1812. He was one of the pioneer Wesleyan missionaries to Fiji, arriving at the beginning of 1839 and serving at Rewa, Somosomo and Viwa. He died in 1848, at only 36 years of age, and is buried on the island of Viwa. He was Qase Levu (President) for the last four years of his life. The people of Viwa will be celebrating the life and ministry of John Hunt and his wife Hannah on their island on June 13. An important part of these celebrations will be the launching of John Hunt’s original Fijian (iTaukei) translation of the New Testament. John Hunt is known as the “Apostle of Fiji” for his successful endeavours among the iTaukei. Four of his achievements deserve to be highlighted: Firstly, his missionary efforts on the island of Viwa brought about the conversion of the whole island, including Adi Litia Vatea, the principal wife of the high chief Namosimalua and Ratu Ravisa (Ilaitia Varani), nephew to Namosimalua. The evangelical efforts and influence of these two converts brought many other iTaukei women and men to Christianity. Secondly, Hunt’s warm, genuine and intelligent personality came to the attention of Ratu Seru Cakobau on the neighbouring island of Bau. While he remained loyal to the iTaukei gods throughout Hunt’s life, Cakobau was nevertheless strongly impressed by Hunt’s preaching, beliefs and actions, and converted soon after the missionary’s death; the conversion of Cakobau began a large-scale Christian movement among the iTaukei. Thirdly, Hunt was the first Christian missionary to introduce theological education among the early iTaukei converts, thus laying the foundation for a celebrated tradition of indigenous ministry, both within Fiji and in missionary work overseas. The bi-centennial celebration on Viwa also provides an opportunity to launch a republication of the first iTaukei New Testament. This beautiful work of translation was the fourth major achievement of Hunt’s ministry. While on Viwa, Hunt translated the New Testament from Greek into iTaukei; he did so with the assistance of a young iTaukei from Viwa – Noa Koroinavugona. Hunt translated all the New Testament books except for the gospel of John which was translated by the missionary printer, Thomas Jaggar, while he was at Rewa. 1000 copies of the New Testament were printed on Viwa in 1847 and distributed among the Wesleyan converts. This original translation became the accepted version on which all subsequent revisions were based. The republication of Hunt’s New Testament has been jointly edited by Dr Andrew Thornley and Tauga Vulaono. Also included as part of the republished version is a commentary on each of the books of the New Testament by iTaukei ministers and laypeople.

Monday, May 21, 2012

'I won't give my crown back!'

from w I don't regard it as a tantrum, after all the lass is only sixteen and she did win first place in the Fiji beauty contest and was crowned. However there's been quite a hoo-hah ever since - someone reckons she doesn't look 'Fijian' enough, another said she's too young, another said it was rigged and a foregone conclusion. Anyway when they gave the runner-up the honour or representing Fiji in the bigger game, the little miss had a hissy fit and said 'No, I won't give my crown back.' Good on you Torika.......

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Vinaka Dr Thornley

from w And from today's Fiji Sun, good news about John Hunt's translation of the New Testament into Fijian. Thank you Dr Thornley for the initiative and great work done. Headline 'ITaukei' ought to be 'Fijian' of course as has been customary for describing Fiji's indigenous people for the general public. iTaukei New Testament republished May 18, 2012 | Filed under: Fiji News | Posted by: newsroom By MORVEN SIDAL (*Morven Sidal holds a Bachelor of Divinity degree from the Pacific Theological College in Suva.) The earliest translation of the New Testament in the iTaukei language, published on the island of Viwa in 1847, will be republished in Fiji next month. The Reverend John Hunt, Wesleyan missionary to Fiji from 1839-1848, prepared the original translation, working directly from Greek into iTaukei vernacular. Reverend Hunt was helped by missionary colleagues, with iTaukei first-generation converts providing linguistic assistance. Among these early iTaukei Methodists three were known to have given considerable help to Reverend Hunt: Ratu Ravisa (Ilaitia Varani), Adi Litia Vatea, and Noa Koroivugona. The latter, after a period of theological training, made the most significant contribution. Reverend Hunt said of Mr Koroivugona: “He understands so much of the general meaning of Scripture that his assistance in the work of translating is very valuable.” Mr Koroivugona’s Fijian associates referred to him as ‘the salt of the language’ and ‘a master of words’. Reverend Hunt spared no pains to secure for the people of Fiji ‘the pure precious and incorruptible word of the Living God,’ and his translation was described as ‘a most excellent version.’ He used the Bau dialect in his translation as it was more generally known throughout Fiji. One thousand copies of Reverend Hunt’s translation were printed at Viwa. Very few of those original copies remain. Reverend Hunt died in 1848 and in the years that followed many corrections and alterations were made to his translation. James Calvert went to England in 1855 and worked on a new version of the New Testament with the British and Foreign Bible Society, changing many words that Reverend Hunt had used and adopting a more literal method of translation. This ‘London Edition’, completed in 1858, was considered unsatisfactory by senior missionaries and Fijian converts. Some corrections and alterations were then made by Reverend Calvert in an edition published in 1866. In 1902, another revision was prepared for the Bible Society by retired Qase Levu Frederick Langham. Some 70 years later, the Bible Society in the South Pacific commissioned a further New Testament revision which largely accepted the 1902 New Testament and produced the copy used in today’s churches. Thus the iTaukei New Testament has undergone many changes from the original language and style used by Reverend Hunt. The re-publication of the Reverend John Hunt New Testament, under the guidance of church historian Dr Andrew Thornley, is taken directly from the copy held in the Mitchell Library, Sydney. Dr Thornley said he is “motivated not by an endeavour to replace the more recent editions but by the desire to make available to modern readers of Fijian the particular idiomatic language and beauty of Hunt’s original New Testament.” The publication date of June 13, 2012 is exactly 200 years since the birth of Reverend John Hunt; hence his New Testament also commemorates the years of significant service that he and his wife, Hannah, gave to Fiji from 1839 to 1848. Dr Thornley has engaged the assistance of Tauga Vulaono as editor, and many Fijian ministers and lay people who have provided commentaries on words of particular interest in this New Testament. (This article originally appeared this month in Touchstone, the national newspaper of the Methodist Church of New Zealand.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

When will this court case ever end?

from w It's years now it seems since those four talatalas were at an ordinary Standing Committee meeting at a time when all such meetings were banned and the court case goes on and on and on. Surely they can wind it up even if two elderly gentlemen are not well at present. Get over it! It was an ordinary church meeting, nothing to panic over......... Lawyer seeks separate case for preachers Mary Rauto Tuesday, May 15, 2012 A DEFENCE lawyer in a case involving four Methodist Church executives has asked the court to consider separating the cases. Lawyer Filimone Vosarogo said his clients, church president Reverend Ame Tugaue and general secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu, would like the trial to proceed. This came after lawyer Aseri Vakaloloma submitted an affidavit calling for the hearing scheduled for yesterday to be vacated because his clients, former church presidents Reverend Tomasi Kanailagi and Reverend Manasa Lasaro, were not well. Attached to the affidavit presented to Suva Magistrate Thushara Rajasinghe were the medical report from a cardiologist on his clients' heart problems. Mr Kanailagi was not present in court and Mr Vakaloloma said his client fell ill on Saturday. The four have been charged with organising and participating in a meeting in contravention of the Public Emergency Regulations in 2009. Mr Rajasinghe asked deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Mosese Korovou if he had any objections to the affidavits so that they could be recorded. Mr Korovou said while he objected to the affidavit because the State wanted to proceed with the matter, they could not proceed in the absence of Mr Kanailagi. He also said he could not rebut medical evidence (report). Mr Rajasinghe said while the doctor mentions the medical conditions of Mr Lasaro and Mr Kanailagi, there was no explanation as to why they could not participate in the hearing. He said the same situation had come up at every hearing date and sought prosecution's view on the issue. Mr Rajasinghe vacated the hearing. Mr Vakaloloma said he had made representation to the DPPs' office with regards to the seriousness of the offence, the age of the accused men and their medical conditions. The matter has been adjourned to June 14.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Preaching the charter?

from w In the Fiji Times we read that the Charter promotion group is having police protection squads as they visit villages in Macuata and even the island of Cikobia. Such a nice peace0
loving group with such fine ideas and ideals surely doesn't need any protection from the mild and affable Vanua Levu people? Security for charter team Serafina Silaitoga Wednesday, May 09, 2012 A TEAM of police officers is providing security for the visiting Peoples Charter for Change, Peace and Progress team in Vanua Levu. Police media officer north Constable Luke Rawalai said officers from the National Intelligence Bureau in Labasa was accompanying the team to the communities. "As part of our security duties, the team has accompanied the charter group as they continue to preach the charter and its 11 pillars which are the foundation of the country's progress towards democracy," Constable Rawalai said. "The team has started their awareness program in Labasa area and they will branch out within Macuata Province. "We do understand that the communities already visited have been very receptive to the team showing support towards the charter. "It is also a good experience and exposure for our officers to work with a retired officer, Kisoko Cagituevei, in laying the roadmap for the future of our country," said Constable Rawalai. The charter team is expected to visit Cikobia island next week.

Pooja in Labasa

from w There are many fine musicians in Labasa including those who sing devotional songs and qawali accompanied by tabla, dholak and other instruments. Here's such a group at the opening of new steps at a temple in Waiqele, Labasa. New steps for temple and its devotees Salaseini Vosamana Monday, May 14, 2012
A group of Fijians of Indian descent devoted singers at the laying of the 180 steps celebration in Waiqele outside Labasa Town yesterday. Picture: SALASEINI VOSAMANA A NINETY-NINE-year-old temple in Waiqele outside Labasa Town will soon have a new look with the construction of 216 steps from a nearby river to the temple. Yesterday, the devotees gathered at the Shree Mahadeo Shiuwala Mandir to witness Indian High Commissioner Vinod Kumar officially lay the foundation of the concrete steps. Mandir secretary Kamal Datt said they decided to construct the steps so devotees would have a proper walkway when collecting water for their prayers or pooja. "This is basically an act of worship because most devotees visit the temple first and walk to the river subsequently for pooja," Mr Datt said. "Devotees collect water from the river to sprinkle it in the temple and we believe it's only proper they are well facilitated. "This is part of our sacrifice and belief as we whole-heartedly serve our god and its imperative we upgrade the temple." Mr Kamal said the construction of the steps was significant because it represented their reverence for their god. "We collected the material ourselves and construction work will start right away," he said.

The optimistic visitor

from w That's how is is for the first time for most visitors to Fiji - the allure of the tropical islands, the beauty of place, culture and people, but that's the surface. There's a delight and optimism as noticed in this article, and that's the way it should be because Fiji OUGHT to be a splendid place. The crud, mud, broken bottles, discarded plastic underneath the water is not noticed at first. Anyway, good luck to visitors such as this girl. (I still don't know why blogger forgets the paragraphing!) Paradise in the middle of nowhere May 13, 2012 | Filed under: Entertainment,Travel News | Posted by: newsroom By HANNAH WARDALL Hannah Wardall of Southampton, England, is a volunteer journalist here at the Fiji Sun. Ms Hannah and many young people like her are part of a group of volunteers sent in by Frontier – a non-profit conservation and development non-governmental organisation (NGO) – based in the United Kingdom. Bula! After a long and stressful journey being stuck near Los Angeles Airport for three days, involving a night in the airport and queuing outside check-in desks for hours on end, I believed I had already experienced a taste of Fiji as the cyclone held my fellow Frontier volunteers and I back. I think I should have expected the unexpected! By the time I got off the plane, full of anticipation, yet weary from the journey, the first thing to hit me was the humidity, It was a surreal experience to be soaked by rainfall, yet be so hot at 5am. However, feeling different being literally from the other side of the world filled me with excitement of the possibilities that lay ahead (as cliché as it sounds). Having never travelled alone before, I could hardly believe I had actually arrived. My first day was spent with other Frontier volunteers who were going out to dive on the island of Gau, who I’d made good friends with through our experience of being stranded in America, at Nadi Bay Resort. It was great to finally relax with cocktails under the sun! Later, some other volunteers arrived with stories about their travels so far, and I think it was that day I was infected with the travel bug, as I felt I too had been to the places they had been as they told me. I actually managed to sleep later that night on the crazy bus ride to Suva, (as someone said it would be four hours, the driver was quick to say, three hours!) to wake up disorientated at Colonial Lodge, where I would be staying for the next five weeks. I was immediately made to feel at home by the wonderful Suzie Shaw who owns the Lodge, her children, Josh and Colin, her father Mossie and the tiny kitten! I felt a little disappointed when the other volunteers left for their island, but I was quick to find out throughout my journey that when a friend leaves, you are quick to make a new friend! My favourite thing about the whole travel experience is the spontaneity of constantly making new friends who always have new stories. Later that week, I went to my project leader, Natasha and Alex’s homestays, and the families were extremely welcoming; it was really exciting to see how differently people could live to how I do, yet I loved the way they lived all the same. Being an outdoorsy person, I was happy to join their outdoor meal, and the kava ceremony. Tonight I am hoping to go see the sunset from the houses. I chose Fiji as I loved the idea of being away from everything, and this is a perfect place to do this. I finally joined my work placement at the Fiji Sun, where I received a warm welcome from everyone present. Within a few hours, I was going out to interview people who were packing supplies for ‘The One Fiji Flood Appeal’, where I realised I was lucky to have such a hands-on placement, whereas in the United Kingdom it would probably involve making cups of tea in an office, if I was lucky. Plus I was in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, what more could I ask for? My favourite article I have completed so far was about the graduations, as the ceremony had many traditional Fijian dancing performances. Everyone I interviewed appreciated their education so much more than in the UK, where pretty much every student takes their student loan for granted. The people…where have I met such a happy, optimistic and friendly population of people before? I find walking down the street you can’t go far without several conversations being struck up. If you started talking to someone on Southampton high street or anywhere at home, you would probably be seen as fairly crazy…this is something I don’t miss about home. On my weekends off, I travel around the island, with the first weekend I had, I went to Beach House resort on the Coral Coast, to a downpour of rain, yet I still had an amazing time, kayaking, paddle boarding and horse riding, which I soon ducked out of as the horse made its way up a really steep mountain. I met some interesting people, including a group who lived in Pacific Harbour who I partied with from dusk till dawn. They were a great bunch of friends who I met up with the next weekend at Uprising Resort. As I write this, I really wish I had kept a journal now as so much has happened I am forgetting half of what has happened. About a week ago I met the previous journalist, Matt who to a strange coincidence also lived in Southampton where I am from and went to school five minutes away from me. I took the opportunity to go with him and his friends to Volivoli Beach Resort, Rakiraki. I found out as soon as I travelled somewhere spontaneously, the weather would be amazing. If I planned it I was guaranteed days of rain. We kayaked out to Malake (I think) and found a tiny beach. This is the first point that I felt I was in the middle of nowhere…well I was. I have no idea why I was so worried about leaving home in the first place, Fiji is so carefree, I am pretty sure I will return walking at a snails pace, without a care in the world. Having snorkeled at Volivoli I am now excited to start my open water scuba diving course in a few days, which initially I thought I would not be able to afford, then realised I couldn’t leave one of the best dive spots in the world without, well diving. Well, two types of diving anyway…I’ll be going scuba diving and skydiving both in the space of a week. A few weeks ago I would never have dreamed of this and now I’m in a country like this. I think I have definitely become more adventurous. I think it’s a good thing. Depending on the outcome of the skydive. In two weeks I’m heading out to Waya Island in the Yasawa Group, which I have been waiting for all along! I really can’t wait to be in the middle of nowhere, again. My stay here has really opened my eyes to a different world, and after four weeks here, I feel like I have lived here for much, much longer. Next week I hope to be interviewing a woman who was struggling to make ends meet when she won the lottery, which I am excited to cover as it is interesting to see how other people live. I have loved my time working as an intern at the Fiji Sun, partly from the warm welcome I have received and the freedom I have been given to do my writing. I wouldn’t change anything about my whole experience in Fiji, except perhaps the mosquitoes! And I have never been happier than on my travels. I really hope someday I will come back to this amazing country, and see the friends I have made again.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Fiji's love of letters

from w A great letter in today's Fiji Times spells out the confusion that can arise in Fiji because of the love of shortening titles to just letters. Looking all over I came to Fiji after 45 years of sojourn overseas. With no car, no relatives and no friends in Fiji, finding a flat to rent and setting up everything is a bummer. I had to go to SCC to meet someone who had a flat near CWMH for rent but mistakenly I went to PSC. The PS said I was at PSC which wasn't the right place and I should go to SCC but it was raining cats and dogs and I could not hear very well. Half an hour later I found myself at FSC but someone there said it was a place for sports matters and I was probably looking for the other FSC. I stopped a taxi and asked the driver to take me to FSC that is other than the sports one. He gave me a broad smile and said, "FSC sugar mill, Lautoka, Oh sure". I quickly decided to walk and let the taxi go. Minutes later I interrupted a young lady who was walking by with her mobile phone glued to her ear and asked her where SCC might be. She pointed at a dark-blue building and kept right on walking and talking. At that dark-blue building a rather good-looking girl said I was at FBC and she pointed at a larger building across the street which turned out to be TLTB. During the next two hours, I remember I knocked on the doors at FNPF, FWCC, FCOSS, FEA, FNU, FICAC, FMF, QEB, APCO and ASCO. Someone said try USP but I told him I knew USP couldn't be SCC. I think I saw ANZ, ATH, FHL, DHL and AFL along the way to MHCC where I stopped to catch my breath. At MHCC I heard two boys incessantly talking about having to go to see a Mr SS and MBSS and a Ms M at MGM after seeing a Mr N at NZPTC. We have only 26 letters in our alphabet and with everyone trying to shorten everything on their mobile phones and everywhere else, life is quickly becoming a real bummer. S. CHANDRA Suva

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Meanwhile back on the farm

from w The Vatuadova village new church is going up steadily with a lot of volunteer labour from the younger relatives. Way to go! They have to build a new church because there are just too many people every Sunday that have to stand or sit outside.


from w Though it's a horrible cold day and raining, the renovations are still going on in our house in Geelong
as the family do a job on fixing the lounge room floor, not everyone helping all the time. Andrew watching TV after winning a ribbon in the interschool aths today in pouring rain. Others in the family out buying more and more timber and I'm just reading a book to get out of the way!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Visit by Oz PM and others to Fiji

from w Fiji Village reported on a meeting with Qarase, Chaudrey and Beddoes. (Hey, why doesn't blogger allow me to use paragraphs these days?) I wonder if Carr will be a happy little vegemite after these meetings? Qarase, Chaudhry and Beddoes want 1997 constitution to remain Publish date/time: 01/05/2012 [17:11] SDL Leader Laisenia Qarase, Fiji Labour Party Leader, Mahendra Chaudhry and United Peoples Party Leader, Mick Beddoes have told the Forum Ministerial Contact Group that they want the 1997 constitution to remain and any amendments to be made through an inclusive process. In a joint statement, Qarase, Chaudhry and Beddoes say they prefer a National Referendum to seek the endorsement from the people for an amended or new constitution in the absence of a parliament. There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen. Chaudhry said they also told the Contact Group that they want a civillian caretaker government to lead the process forward. There is an audio file attached to this story. Please login to listen. Chaudhry, Qarase and Beddoes also urged the Contact Group to insist on the revocation of all decrees that restrict certain freedoms of people. The Contact Group will have a press conference this evening. Story by: Vijay Narayan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- And on Wednesday May 3 Fijilive The visiting Pacific Islands Forum ministerial contact group says they are encouraged by the commitments given by the Fiji government on the consultation process for the 2014 election, but hopes these will be met by action. Forum ministerial contact group chairperson and New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully told the media the process must be accompanied by freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom for the media. McCully said they have been assured by the Fiji government that the consultation process for the 2014 election is to start soon. He said the public consultation process leading to the establishment of a new constitution will be closely observed by the international community. McCully said interim Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum and several officials have asserted it will be inclusive, fair and open. “We have made a point in our communiqué that we want to observe closely, as the international community would want to observe, and if we can be satisfied that those assertions are met with action,” he said. This, McCully said, would allow Fiji to participate in some Forum meetings. The group will provide a report to Forum leaders in the coming weeks on the positive progress Fiji has made and the further steps they believe are required. Based on their continuing engagement, the ministers will provide a further update to leaders at their meeting in Rarotonga. "Very worthwhile visit because we haven't had one to Suva in three years and it has been useful to talk to people on the ground. We have had an exhaustive series of discussions with the people involved in the administration and critics of the administration in the space of 1 day." This visit is a snapshot of where things are today and to take account the old statements made about where things will be in a few months," he said. The members of the Forum group are Senator Bob Carr, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia, Murray McCully, Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand, Ano Pala, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade & Immigration of Papua New Guinea, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa, Minister of Justice of Samoa, Apisai Ielemia, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade, Tourism, Environment and Labour of Tuvalu, and Alfred Carlot, Minister for Foreign Affairs & External Trade of Vanuatu. The Forum group last visited Fiji in 2008. Since then, they have met five times to discuss developments in Fiji and avenues for Forum engagement. The last meeting was held in Vanuatu in February 2011. By Farzana Nisha Read more at: Copyright 2012 ©