This week we had two P-days! Wednesday was the Fiji National Elections and it was a national holiday. Everything, (well almost everything) was closed, thus we had a free day. As we left home at about 8am that morning the voting was in high gear down at the Samabula Primary School. People were in line and the line snaked back down the road for over one of our city blocks and that was where we lost sight of it. Everyone was anxious to get their votes in early.
We spent a short time at the office and then a few of the other couples said they were headed for the Spice Farm, so we went along. It was a bit drier this visit and we actually got to see the vanilla growing. It was very interesting to see it. They have to hand pollinate it here, and it is very labor intensive, but they get about a 7x return by doing it by hand.
We saw vanilla beans, nutmeg on the trees, ginger, and a chocolate bean. We cut it open and tried the beans inside. They are slimy little devils and are sweet, but haven’ the slightest “chocolate” taste. A lot has to be done to it before it is what we recognize it as chocolate.
And for our second P-day we went with the couples out to Mosquito Island. Mosquito Island is about a city block away from the road and the Novotel. But unless you want to wade out at low tide (which we didn’t want to do) you take a short boat ride over.
We had such a large group that it took two trips to get us all over. We went over with the second group. I got in and was standing up and the boat driver said, “Will the tall lady please sit down?” I laughed and told him that I didn’t care what he called me as long as it wasn’t the fat lady.
The island is a city park and it “well loved”, meaning it gets a lot of use. And the caretaker has about 6 mangy dogs who greet you as you land and wait patiently while you eat your picnic lunch, hoping for hand outs. We had our picnic and did a bit of swimming/wading and talked a bunch. Then it was time to head back.
As I got in the boat the driver said, “Will the fat lady please sit down?” And then he laughed and said, “See I remembered you!” Ughhhhhhhhh!