Above is a video of my friend Courtney (gorgeous, I know) showing a bit of a the small patch of beach (gorgeous I know) that we went to for lunch after a day of snorkeling. Wild right?! The video quality is subpar since I minimized the file size in order to try and upload it faster. And to see if I could actually upload several in one session!
The above video is of 3 of the other trainees in my host village with some of the young men in our host village performing the taivovo - the war chant done by the Fijians before rugby games, much like the haka done by the New Zealanders before their rugby games. I am not sure of the translation of what they are saying, but I believe it goes along the lines of "watch out because im going to **** your **** up" or something like it. On the left you will see Brian, then Monte in the middle, and Asa is on the end. Girls were not allowed/encouraged to do the taivovo and after watching it I can kind of see why - it may look rediculous. :) This took place at a home stay family appreciation day that our village put on. There were different performances put on by all the other villages that hosted trainees. Besides the taivovo, our village did a relay race. We each picked a partner (10 year old kid or younger in the village) and had to crack the coconut, then we each scraped a half while our partner did the other half. My partner and I smoked everyone!! I have video of that as well, but its hard to choose what to post - this one was more entertaining to me.
The final video I am going to try and upload is of my itatau. Cultural sidebar: when you enter a village you have to bring a gift called an isevusevu, which is basically a bundle of yaqona roots and there is a ceremonial giving of this gift to the village mayor (taraga ni koro/TNK). When you leave you do the itatau which is the reverse of the isevusevu. We did a village wide one with all the volunteers in my host village, and we also did individual ones with our families. My Ta (dad) here had our family come over and celebrate with me. The guy sitting on the far left leaning against the chair singing with his back is the chief of the village and also my ta levu (or uncle/big brother of my dad). Also present are several other uncles, aunts, and family. The little girl is Salote who helped me win the coconut scraping competition at our farewell ceremony. The little boy is Manasa and he is totally cute and dances with me often. The guy in the middle is the one mixing the yaqona that we are drinking. The song they are singing is called Isa Isa Lei and it is the goodbye song in which the Fijians lament the departure of their visitor and friend and hope for their return back to the village. I love it and think its amazing so I wanted to share it with you.
SCARY NEWS HERE: There has been a slight change in plans lately in terms of my site. I was informed over a week ago that it was completed. I was then told yesterday that ... NO - it's not done. It was decided after some discussion with Peace Corps staff that I would not move to my site yet and will give them a week to finish up my new home. For now I am stranded in Suva and will possibly be heading to a resort to relax at tomorrow and then Monday - Wednesday attend a marine management workshop of sorts. I do feel a little sick, though so I hope that clears up before I had to Ovalau.