Sunday, July 12, 2009

So in an attempt to give you more insight to life here, I am trying to load my first video on a Fijian slow internet computer. My videographer held the camera sideways and I dont quite know how to flip it, so just tilt your head! I am opening a coconut, which I will later scrape to get the white meat inside of it out to then squeeze into coconut milk (aka lolo) which they cook with almost everything.

I decided that part of today's blog will include some of the interesting fijian words I've learned since being here. Enjoy:
1) The word for EYEBALL is yaloka ni mata. Mata is the fijian word for EYE and yaloka is not the fijian word for ball, but the word for EGG. So our literal - egg of the eye. who wants breakfast!?
2) We will stay in the face region with the word for EYELASHES. It is bekebeka ni mata. Again we see the word for eye and beka is the word for BATS. So the literal translation here is face bats. Gives the phrase "batting your eyelashes" a whole new meaning, eh?
3) The word for hurricane is cagi laba. Cagi is the word for WIND and laba ... MURDER! So the literal translation for the word for hurricane or cyclone is wind of murder! Again, whole new meaning to hurricane season.
4) Lastly, this is just a strange one for me maybe. But in Fijian some words mean many things as they do in English. The word uto has two meanings: it is the word for breadfruit and the word for heart (as in, the thing in your chest that pumps your blood). I dont really see the similarity. Of course, the word gaga means both staring into space AND spicey/hot - but the stress is placed differently in the word. I dont know if that is the case for the breadfruit heart. I feel as though my heart is now edible.

I also thought you might enjoy learning some of the games that are really only played in Fiji - at least I dont remember playing them back home:
1) NAME THAT SMELL! Is it burning garbage? sewage of some kind? mold? or maybe even me?!
2) READ AS FAST AS YOU CAN! I have read 5 books in less than 3 weeks and am attempting to finish the second Eragon book before next week because Im borrowing it from a friend who will be wanting it back before we move to site.
3) WILL A FIJIAN MAKE ME CRY WITH THEIR HONESTY TODAY? No, I havent REALLY cried because of anything a Fijian has told me - but how long can you put up with people looking at pictures of you taken not that long ago and tell you how fat you are in the picture. How big your arms are now and how "levulevu" your belly is? And seriously - I look the same as I did when I left.
4) GUESS HOW MANY ANTS ARE IN MY MOUTHGAURD! Each night is a debate: will I put in my mouthgaurd tonight because if I do open the case - how many ants will be crawling around in it? And I clean it every time I take it out! Of course, Asa told me when he brushed his teeth once, there were ants all in his mouth before he realized that had been all over his toothbrush ... what is in our spit that they like? Anyone?
5) WHAT TO DO ON SUNDAYS!? Not much going on Sundays in the village because people aren't supposed to work and do much (kinda like Shabbat I guess). So it's a struggle to figure out what I can do on Sundays when technically I am supposed to do nothing more than go to church or scratch my ass. And I dont go to church.

I hope you all learned a little something in todays vuli (class). As far as event updates: went snorkeling last week, saw a seasnake, ate lunch on a small patch of sand in the middle of the ocean, cooked mexican food in Fiji in an iron chef style competition, won an honorable mention for my mexican burgers that I made in said competition!, final language proficiency interview on thursday, homestay family appreciation day on saturday, scavenger hunt in the capitol city of suva sometime this week too, move to my site next week!, continue to struggle with the language, and continuing to adapt to the culture which is very friendly. No word on the progress of my house - just that apparently there is progress. I think I will know more in a few days.

xoxo to all!


Diana said...

Hmmm Juliana with a meat cleaver? Very scary!! You look awesome! Thank you very much for the lesson today. I for some reason have heard that word gaga before, kinda the same meaning.
Keep the blogs coming!! Its great to see you!!
Much love

Jess said...

Hi Juliana,

I'm a friend of Asa's and he gave me the link to your blog - hope you don't mind! Thanks for sharing your pictures and thoughts...its really fun having a small window into what he might be doing right now (especially since he's been pretty much noncommunicado!) What an adventure y'all are on! Good luck with your house - I'll send "finished" vibes your way, along with some no-ants-in-the-mouth vibes. Yikes.

Tell Asa I said hello. Thanks again for giving me a peek into your world. :)