Stand still

Little by little I experience the culture here, and I learn to recognize things. The contact with the people here on the street is increasing. The Fijian in particular also live more on the streets and they also appeal to you more. It starts with where you from .. where you stay and then that word volunteer comes around the corner.

Hands are then shaken and you are thanked for the work you do for their country, their future. And the conversation, exchanging things can not be stopped anymore. More and more I leave the reference to the west behind me. It is as a blessing that I am not a local and do not understand the language and customs. It ensures me that I am not limited by any knowledge and thus no expectation. I can only receive everything embrace everything with open arms.

I realize that learning is a moment of standing still. Stop to absorb what you see and experience. And again I question the Dutch saying “standing still is deterioration” and its meaning.

I have been here for 3 weeks now, met many people, experience culture, see children, parents, and have been able to enjoy white beaches.

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs

And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,

Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,

Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,

And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can

Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

José asked me what the area looks like, where I live, what do I see every day? Fiji is still a development country. You will notice this by the infrastructure, the waist, the buildings.

Walking to my work or when I go to Nadi town, a picture draws what I recognize from Denpasar. Crowds, lots of shops, buildings with corrugated plates, dogs and stench here and there. Everything seems unfinished.

On the other hand, there are pieces that are beautiful and neat in appearance. Spacious, green, grass and the houses finished. No big villas but just nice well-kept homes.

The school where I work is near the airport. It is very green there. And it strikes me that there is nearly no or little disturbance of air traffic.

I have been told that the villages (rural areas) are totally different from the larger towns such as Lautoka, Nadi and Suva. I also understand that the Fijian in particular live in the villages. The Indian population live mainly in the cities.

Maika, a staff member of PA, invited me to go to his village with him. I’m going to plan a weekend for that. For that, permission must be given by the village elders. I would also like to go into the mountains. There is still a lot to discover in Fiji and hope to see it all