Noleen Billings, Savusavu. Fiji

I met my cousin Julian Simpson today and somehow, somewhere the talanoa found a way to end on Savusavu! Tuli told me how his dad had gone to Savusavu, met up with Abraham Grant and after his experStanley Simpson has the cutest Kai Savusavu daughters you have ever seen and just as dad’s love to get pampered by their daughters (when they are little), so dad Stanley was in this sort of mood. He was lazing around while his daughters were playing around him. He called out to them, “Girls, come my daughters, come check on daddy and see what’s wrong. Doctor daddy mada.”
So the girls approach Stanley Simpson has the cutest Kai Savusavu daughters you have ever seen and just aStanley Simpson has the cutest Kai Savusavu daughters you have ever seen and just as dad’s love to get pampered by their daughters (when they are little), so dad Stanley was in this sort of mood. He was lazing around while his daughters were playing around him. He called out to them, “Girls, come my daughters, come check on daddy and see what’s wrong. Doctor daddy mada.”
So the girls approach their daddy and start pottering around.
“Well, what have you found out? What’s wrong with daddy?”
The girls poke around a bit more. Enjoying the attention and eagerly awaiting a reply, dad impatiently asks again, “Ai, what sickness you found?”
Facing her father and looking at him with the innocency of a three year old, his daughter, Claire, replied, “Daddy, you have a dirty heart!”

Noleen Billings
s dad’s love to get pampered by their daughters (when they are little), so dad Stanley was in this sort of mood. He was lazing around while his daughters were playing around him. He called out to them, “Girls, come my daughters, come check on daddy and see what’s wrong. Doctor daddy mada.”
So the girls approach their daddy and start pottering around.
“Well, what have you found out? What’s wrong with daddy?”
The girls poke around a bit more. Enjoying the attention and eagerly awaiting a reply, dad impatiently asks again, “Ai, what sickness you found?”
Facing her father and looking at him with the innocency of a three year old, his daughter, Claire, replied, “Daddy, you have a dirty heart!”

Noleen Billings
their daddy and start pottering around.
“Well, what have you found out? What’s wrong with daddy?”
The girls poke around a bit more. Enjoying the attention and eagerly awaiting a reply, dad impatiently asks again, “Ai, what sickness you found?”
Facing her father and looking at him with the innocency of a three year old, his daughter, Claire, replied, “Daddy, you have a dirty heart!”

Noleen Billings
ience with the boys, made the awesome statement that Savusavu people were truly unique. Tuli became excited at this andStanley Simpson has the cutest Kai Savusavu daughters you have ever seen and just as dad’s love to get pampered by their daughters (when they are little), so dad Stanley was in this sort of mood. He was lazing around while his daughters were playing around him. He called out to them, “Girls, come my daughters, come check on daddy and see what’s wrong. Doctor daddy mada.”
So the girls approach their daddy and start pottering around.
“Well, what have you found out? What’s wrong with daddy?”
The girls poke around a bit more. Enjoying the attention and eagerly awaiting a reply, dad impatiently asks again, “Ai, what sickness you found?”
Facing her father and looking at him with the innocency of a three year old, his daughter, Claire, replied, “Daddy, you have a dirty heart!”

Noleen Billings
exclaimed, “See, I told you! The people in Savusavu are so unique, they work opposite! If you want them not to do something, say no! If you want them to do something, tell them not to! They just think so different! That’s why we all want to retire in Savusavu!”

Noleen Billings

 

 

We took the night out last night to drive around Suva and take a look at the Diwali lights and the fIn Fiji, we are in the habit of checking what our neighbors, who are often our relatives, are eating particularly when we don’t like what we are having in our homes or if the food is not ready and we have had a hard night and are desperate for a meal! Sometimes, as with this case, it leads us into the habit of finally becoming a ‘food thief’.
My story is about four guys who became custom food thieves and used to work in pairs. If one pair had success at a particular house, they would give a report to the second pair who would give the same location a try at a later date.
This time, the mastermind pair decided to take food from an old neighbor who lived alone but also owned a rifle! So it was a trickier challenge than their normal missions!
The two managed to find their way into the house without alerting the house owner but when the sound of the clanging pots lids raised the alert, the pair heard clearly, the cock of the rifle followed by the question, “Who goes there?”
The reply came back almost instantly, “Meeeeoooowwww”
“Oi, ba bula! It’s only the cat!”
The next day, the pair told their success story to the second pair who decided that they would go that very night and hopefully have a nice meal of pork chops as well!
At the appropriate time, the second pair broke into the house and made their way to the pots. The rifle cocks!
“Who goes there?”
With searching eyes, they looked long and hard at each other,……..”The caaaaaatttttttt….”
Bang ….. Bang……
Kubou an matani rifle ya!!

Noleen Billings

irecrackers. The sights were pretty exciting after being in the bush for so long. I felt like a child all over again. Hands on window frame, peeking out and craning my neck to see the sights.
During the course of the drive, our taxi driver decided to take us down a street where he said the best lit house could be found every year. Turning the roundabout, the queue of cars lined up to see the same house had already started and there was no way in so the driver took us along the adjacent street. It was difficult to see well. We were straining to look between the houses.
Taking everything in, Simon summed up his findings, “Well, no one else can get into that street. I won’t be surprised if the owner of the house is collecting entry fees!”

Noleen Billings

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In continuation to the comments on Mr Dickson’s story, this is the same famous Mr Dickson who told the story of the day that he got caught with his wife on the high tide with their bags of vivili. Realizing they had a problem going back, Mr Dickson, the whiz that he was, picked up a loliloli, cut it in half, and he and his wife got into their own halves with their bags and paddled to shore! A loliloli, for those of you who don’t know, is a sea cucumber.


Noleen Billings

I just got off the message centre with Claire and while chatting, I was wondering what I could write about today. She became the aspiration when I recalled a story that we still tell today so today’s story is dedicated to Claire because it is her story. Time to spoil mada… I hope some of my readers don’t mind the lingo but these are real stories…and I want to tell them just as they happened.

We all understand that growing up is all about learning on the way and technical terms and jargon for everything comes at a much later date, at least for us country bums from Savusavu. Claire and her family kept piglets in a pen on the beach. We were around maybe 7 or 8 years old at the time. Every day, if its not just the kids in Claire’s household that picked leaves and chopped coconuts to feed the piglets, it would be the rest of us as well. All excited one day, we decided to march up to mum and tell her how ‘Claire and them’ have piglets in a pen on the beach and how they are so cute and all…and how we help to feed them as well. We were fascinated by the tiny creatures. Anyway, mum decided to wait for Claire to come up the hill and ask her a few questions.
Finally, up she came one day.
“So, Claire, I heard you have piglets in a pen on the beach.”
“Yes, aunty Ann.”
“So, what sex are they?”
“What, aunty Ann?”
“What sex are they, you know, are they male or female?”
“I don’t know aunty Ann, I haven’t checked their rings yet.”

Bula ! (Hello, in Fijian) to all my readers

Since this is my first entry, I wish to first and foremost, thank my ex-work colleague and friend, Mr George Eyre, for this opportunity to share my Fiji-flavored stories on his site.
I live in Savusavu, Fiji and write about actual events that happen or those that are told over a basin of grog, a glass of beer, in a close knit group. The stories I collect are ones that I feel are humorous. I believe that our experiences make life and that these unique experiences are very worth recording.
Savusavu is a very unique town found on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji. Our daily insight and understanding of our life-styles and local lingo is one that can be understood by only those of us that have grown up in Savusavu and I wish to share some of this with those of you that are interested and for those of us who have left Savusavu, I hope it will bring you closer to home!
I aim to keep you enthralled with my local-style narrations and drooling for more!

Noleen Billings

Friday 11th Jan

Today, somehow, my mind reverts to the thought of Savusavu’s infamous ‘Coconut Wireless’ and I compare it to Facebook and I have come to draw the conclusion that “No, nothing beats the Coconut Wireless”.

E dau tukuni, ‘Na nomu lawaki e tiko e na loma ni noqu lawaki’. Well, I say, “Na Facebook e tiko e na loma ni ‘Coconut Wireless’”.

This is the story I wanted to share yesterday but as we well know that in Savusavu “You can get tomorrow’s story today”.
A handful already know this story and can add to it. Its titled ‘If yes, yes, and if no, yes’
So, Savusavu’s famous, Pita matava, enters Gary Simpson’s print shop and looks at Gary and says, “Isa, Gary, my boy. It’s my grandsons birthday this weekend and I would really like to ask if you can print me some invitation cards because it will be so nice to be able to present our guests with actual cards. You know, it will look good and formal and be very fitting. BUT my boy, the truth is, uncle Pita has no money!”
Gary’s thoughts are interrupted by a second re-assurance from uncle Pita, “Isa, e, you know ga, uncle Pita is very poor. He’s just a copra cutter!”
Gary, being the big hearted person that he is replies, “Uncle Pita, don’t worry. I will see what I can do for you.”
“Isa, my boy.” And uncle Pita stops as he tries to think of his next statement and how he was going to put it in English. He was planning to say, “Ke rawa, vinaka, ke sega, vinaka talega.” So he gives Gary his best Savusavu marimari look and continues, “If yes, yes, and if no, yes.”

 

Ok Ronnie. As I promised, a story for you today that Gus told me.
Advisory teams were moving between villages and settlements on Vanua Levu giving advice on the latest Village Laws. When they got to uncle Pita’s, he was not entirely happy with what he was hearing.
“Na mataqali lawa va cava qo? This is not quite right.”
“No, uncle Pita, you have to understand that things are changing. We are being governed by new laws. No longer can we discipline like before for example.”
“Au cata.”
“Now, in villages, girls can’t wear shorts or trousers.”
“Like it!”
“You men, you will not be allowed to drink alcohol in the village.”
“Like it!”
“There may be time limits to drinking grog at night.”
“Like it!”
“And because of the latest human rights laws, you won’t be able to smack children anymore.”
“Smack it!”

Noleen Billings

Friday 11th Jan 2013

Viewers, here is my story for tomorrow, written today.
Aunty Mela Khan was in Samoa. She made a mobile call to her best friend, aunty Dimai Cox to get the latest update.
D-”Ciku, Isa Ciku, hena i vei? O bulabula iho?”
M- “Wu..ciku..o Samoa ba rairai vinaha tina. A sarasara iho hai. A gate..ciku.”
D-”Ai le…ba halougaa tina o iho ciku a gate..Mami iho ga hai i Savusavu.”
M-”A Isa..hena i vei a oso oso ni lotu?”
D-”Oso re iho ga..ciku.”
M-”Isa…hena i vei a drahi? E au iho a uca se drahi re?”
D-”Pu..ha re u..ciku.”
…………..
…………..
Suddenly, over M’s mobile..”You have 1 minute remaining.”
M-”I know, just wait.”
D-”Ai, ciku, o iho ba vosa vavalagi!”
M-”Io, ni taru alanoa iho, kai siosio mai tuga a yalewa ni valagi kai ovola mai ‘You have 1 minute remaining’ au kai vosatahi hea ‘I know, just wait’”.

Noleen Billings

I just got back from a pleasant walk to the beach.
The tide was still on the way out. I settled into a nice, shady, cozy spot to relax. Between dozes and gazing at the varying shades of blue in the lagoon, I thought about a story I had heard on the yanuyanu bulabula [Garden Island] of Taveuni.
Rosi wanted to hear a story about fishing, well this one is about trolling.
It was a heated competition, the real kailoma way! You know, like whose fish is bigger than whose?
The topic centered around trolling and some guys’ boat in the group was bigger and better! His fish was bigger and better as was his command of the English language. It was also bigger and better!
A competitive listener, realizing it was already a losing battle for him, wrecked his brains in search of his winner reply, “Boy, oi, o kemudou qori! O keitou mai Matei, ni sa qai biubiu na waqavuka mai Nausori, sa biu saraga na neitou vasavuba voleka i Toberua ya, takoso mai lomaiviti qori me yaco sara na Somosomo strait. Qai mai yavi ga i Matei. Na kena kaukauwa, the last time, ni sa kele na waqavuka, qai mai dola na katuba, sa sega ni dola rawa. Qo sa viviga tu na wa na vunimaqo nei aunty Margaret!”

Friday 11th Jan 2013
It was a quiet, relaxing Sunday at Rava. Kiniwa rushed from house to house, his stomach almost touching his backbone. He couldn’t quite remember when he was last as hungry as today.
As he approached each house in the small settlement, he timidly and politely greeted the household members before doing the Savusavu-style creep to the kitchen [Sort of like a cat stalking its prey]. Once in the target zone, he would zoom in on the main target, the pots on the stove. “Waci!”
“Kiniwa, you hungry boy?”
“No, aunty! Thank you. I just go and see uncle ah…….”
To which, he moved to the next house and to his dismay, “Waci tale! Ai, vaka sa sigatabu ga ni waci nikua”
He finally got to the last house. Surely, this house must be having something other than ‘waci’!.
“Kiniwa, kana, boy? Mai va sigalevu.”
“Oi, io, what you people have?”
“Roast chicken, curry chicken, salad and nice sticky dalo. Just go into the kitchen and help yourself boy. We’ve already eaten. Sa maroroi tale na kakana so just serve from the pots.”
Unbelievable! Yes!
He almost tripped into the kitchen and threw himself at the stove. Hand on the pot lid, ….lifted….
“WACI!! Ma…qe asi!”Noleen Billings

Here’s a story that will sort of bring back memories to some of us of our up-bringing. This is what Pita Matava remembers.
“Kila, o ira na gone na gauna qo, e ra sa bau gone ca dina. Da rawa ni kaci va vica…e ra sega ni via rogo.”
“Io, dina sara.”
“O keimami, na neimami gauna, e vosa ga va dua o ta. Ke kaci va rua, o sa kila na nomu cala. Io, nai vakavuvuli ya, au se muria tu ga qo. Vei ira na makubuqu qo, au kaci ga vadua. Jovesa… io, me sauma mai. Ke sa Jovesa,…..Jovesa,….. ya, sa tau saraga nai roba. Io, o kemudou ni veiroba va qo [His arm goes up and he holds out his hand, fingers together and the palm of his hand, flat]. O au, niu sa veiroba, e va saraga qo [He holds his hand up again, fingers together, the palm of his hand, curved into a nice, deep cup]. Ni sa tau nai roba qo, na gone ya e dudu saraga me rauta e tolu na macawa.”

Noleen Billings

Hello again readers!! A very famous Cox uncle of mine, who still works for the Ministry of Agriculture, spent about 15 years up in the never never’s somewhere in the highlands of Viti Levu where the nearest roads seemed miles and miles away. The only means of transport for him to use to visit farmers within his work area was on horse back. His sacrifice finally paid off when his superiors miraculously noticed his hard work and he was promoted. For the first time in his career, he found out that he could claim allowances for various means of transportation involving his work including ‘horse allowance’. However, these allowances needed to be claimed on an annual basis. Claiming ignorance, he decided to make moves in documenting his 15 years of struggles which he transferred onto the pages of a strongly worded first letter of claim for 15 years’ ‘horse allowance’ and sent to his superiors. The claim amounted to quite a fair amount.
His reply came back asking him to elaborate on his use of the horse and how, after calculations, his claim was much higher than expected.
He wrote a second letter explaining that some areas he used to visit were very difficult to get to. He had to trek through mountainous areas and cross streams and rivers and in such cases he had to ride 2 horses which was why his claim was higher than expected.
His reply came again. “Can you please explain to us how you managed to ride 2 horses at the same time.”
He wrote again. “Dear Sir, I don’t ride 2 horses at the same time. How can I ride 2 horses at the same time? As I mentioned in an earlier letter, some places I visit are extremely challenging to get to and I have to use 2 horses. One is the spare. When one gets tired, I ride the second one and then change when the second one gets tired. That’s why my claim is high. I hope you will take this into consideration. I look forward to a favorable reply, Yours sincerely, John Cox.”

Noleen Billings

I thought to write my next short story of my second memory of part of uncle Freddy Ah-Kee’s advice to us.

There we were after school, on the famous Friday afternoon shopping spree with mum, perched on our sacks of potatoes again. Aunty Sera, her all-too-familiar smiling self, was pottering around the shop as usual. Uncle Freddy was being himself again…chatty, forever shifting in his chair, his head turning almost 360 degrees, every now and then, his gaze falling on the driveway ahead of him surveying the passers-by on the street next to Pa Ping’s shop. This was his way of keeping an eye out for his next customers. He would call out to them well before they spotted him. You see, he’s not very tall and his head appeared just above his table, which was conveniently situated right next to the door of his shop where he had a birds-eye-view of everything and everyone approaching his shop and passing on the street. Uncle Freddy was always a step ahead!
At this point, we were into the drinks, lollies, fruit and bubble gum, blowing big bubbles that would often burst in our faces and stick all over it. Uncle Freddy, in the midst of all his business (Which, to name a few, included a lengthy and lively greeting of his customers, answering the phone (which was very amusing), taking orders (phone orders and verbal orders), giving orders (to his staff), telling us stories, yarning with his customers, supervising deliveries, keeping an eye on his staff movements, giving the occasional kaila to those passing on the street) would never miss a detail ……
Out of the blues …..
“HEY, you KIDS better watch out for those bubble gums!”
Looking intently at us, he paused, to get our attention…and didnt’t he have a talent for doing this! He continued….
“When you chew bubble gum, make sure… you don’t swallow it!”
“Why, uncle Freddy? Why?”
We were desperate to know the answer because he had told us just a couple of Friday’s earlier that the apple seeds we had swallowed would grow in our stomachs.
“No, don’t bluff, uncle Freddy”, we insisted.
“Yes, I’m telling you, they WILL grow!”
So, uncle Freddy went on to elaborate what would happen if we swallowed bubble gum.
Wide-eyed, we listened intently to the answer. In fact, the whole shop was waiting for the answer!
“You know, if you swallow bubble gum, when you go to the toilet… you have to check the back… cause you will blow bubbles down there too.”
“Bo…uncle Freddy, you can bluff!”
But you know, we were really checking for a while after that, just like how we waited for the apple tree roots to come out of our stomachs.
Noleen Billings

I thought of uncle Freddy Ah-Kee today and how we used to shop with him every single Friday, without a miss! We were young and growing up and I recall quite clearly that we used to be so entertained by this man. He kept us enthralled with his stories. We’d be perched on bags of potato or cartons of goods in his shop and he’d keep us captivated with his lifelong adventures.
There was this particular Friday that he thought to open the topic of dating. I guess he was noticing how quickly we were growing up and he felt it was his way of introducing us to and advising us on the subject.
“Kids, you know, when I was growing up, I used to look at girls, eh! Man, I used to get so excited, I didn’t know what to do!”
“Hahahaha, hehehehe, hihihihi……” [We were all very shy...new topic you know...and at that age!...]
“You know, you are all growing up and will soon be dating. When you make a date with a girl, you have to set a time and you have to get all dressed up and smelling nice and all…!”
“Hahahaha….hehehehehe…hihihihi…”
“And when you say 8 o’clock, well, you should be there at 5 to 8. Never be late.”
“Hahahaha…hehehehehe…hihihihihi…”
“Me, well, once I got a date at 8 o’clock at night. Uncle Freddy was so excited, full suit, vaboi and all, waiting at the corner, peeping around it and sweating like crazy eating dust and all….from 2 o’clock!”

My friend, Timothy, works as a tour guide at times. On one of the resorts where he worked, he was taught that the tadruku was called the ‘chiton’ in English. I’m sure we’ve all had those days when we forget the simplest of things.
On this particular day, Timothy was out on a seashore excursion doing what he does best, talking and explaining and pointing things out to his interested guests. Realizing he had forgotten the English term for the tadruku, Timoci tried to keep his guests away from the areas where the chitons could be found. Much to his dismay, one of the guests singled out the tadruku and enquired as to what it was.
“Oh, that’s the….ah…ah….’Rock Gripper’!”

Noleen Billings

Here’s a story my brother shared with me.
The kids’ sermon was coming along fine. Jesus was making his way slowly down the street surrounded by a multitude of people, mostly the sick looking to be healed, the lost seeking to be found, the unsaved wanting to be saved and of course there were the politicians, thinking that the Lord came to form an earthly kingdom of his own and they were looking to lobby for the high positions.
Zachaeus had heard a lot about this miracle worker. He too was trying to see the Lord but then you already know how the story goes… He was too short and had to climb a tree.
“O Sakiusa e saga tiko me raici Jisu. Io e tamata lailai ga o koya. E tamata lekaleka o koya. Sa mani kabata cake o koya e dua na vuni tavola me qai rawa kina ni raici Jisu.”
A wide-awake kid in the front row commented, “Mmmmhhhh, a sega talatala, o iko sa cala! O Lasarusa e sega ni kabata na vuni tavola. O koya e kabata na vuni lolo.”
“Io, au kila. O koya ma kabata cake e liu e dua na vuni tavola, oti ya, ma qai dewa ki na vuni lolo!”

Noleen Billings

Simon had just returned from Labasa Hospital. He had taken his dad in for the day for a medical check up. On his way back to Rava, Ezra Lanyon stopped the car at Naivita. He was all business-like and being the blunt guy that we know him to be, Ezra poked his head into the passenger side of the cab and addressed Mr Robert Hazelman, snr.
“Uncle Robert, hello”
“Hello Ezra”
“I heard you dying and you’ll be leaving us soon. I have one request. When you go, and you meet Jesus, I want you to tell him that Ezra Lanyon will be down here for a very long time!”

Noleen Billings

Do you all remember how we used to equate color to something as a technique to help us remember our colours. Well, there was this teacher who was doing the same with his class on a particular day. The kids called out the color and the teacher the description.
“Blue”
“Blue is for beauty”
“Red”
“Good, Red is for danger”
“Green”
“Green is for Greedy”
“White”
“White is for Skite”
“Yellow”
Sa guilecava beka o qasenivuli na balebale ni Yellow
“Very good! Yellow is for …. Pink”

Noleen Billings

Mr X booked into the Plantation Resort in the Mamanuca’s. Guitar’s and ukulele’s strumming in harmony to the voices of the Resorts local serenader’s was the norm for each evening and this tourist loved it so much that each night he would throw from $10-$30 for extra kava and serenading to which the singing group would exclaim, without fail, “Man, this kaivalagi can really drink kava!”
During one of his days of stay, X joined the group at the Activities Centre. The theme for that day at the Centre was ‘the coconut tree’. After the theoretical presentation, the guests were introduced to the practical side of things and were challenged to climb a coconut tree. To everyone’s surprise, X got to the top of the tree before the guide. The comment this time was “Ye, in all the history of this Resort, we haven’t come across another kaivalagi that can climb a coconut tree as quick and as nimble as this kaivalagi!”
The time finally came for Mr X to leave and it was a pretty sad hour. The staff had thoroughly enjoyed his company and vice-versa. After the ‘Isa Lei’ was sung, X was shown to the plane. Just before he boarded, X turned to the staff, lifted his hands high above his head and hollowed in a booming voice, “Dou moce na wekaqu. Au sa lako. Au na qai kauta na nomudou loloma i Savusavu.”

A very hardworking man in Savusavu owned quite a large cassava patch. He was a planner this man and he planted so that each month, a part of his crop would be ready for harvest. One morning, he arrived at his garden all ready to pull his first crop. To his dismay, he noticed that a section had already been harvested from the lot towards the top of the slope that was not mature yet. He was very upset indeed and decided to give the self-invited harvester a message. He tore a square piece of cardboard off a carton he had taken to his garden and with a piece of qilaiso (coal) he wrote, ‘Au kerekere, me daru tekivu cavucavu mai ra.’ Driving a decent-sized stick through the end of the cardboard, the owner of the garden stuck the message in the ground.
The next morning, he was flabbergasted to find the same thing had happened only this time the intruder had left with a message scribbled on the back part of the same sign, ‘Au kerekere, me daru dui lewa ga na vanua daru cavucavu mai kina’.

Noleen Billings

Uncle Dan McCaig used to look after a grand daughter of his while her mother was at work. Each day, it was just the two of them. Quite a lonely affair! At the time, this particular grand daughter was around 2 years old.
Deep in thought one morning, uncle Dan turned to his little girl, ‘Isa, my grand daughter, one day, it will be just the two of us, alone like this and Pa will kick the bucket.’
His grand daughter was confused. At her age, I guess she had all sorts of thoughts as to what bucket her grand father was referring to. She did know what a bucket was used for. She turned to her grandfather. With creases in her brow, in her sweet little girl voice she asked, ‘Kick what bucket Pa?’

Noleen Billings

October 10, 2012
This morning of Fiji Day, I have decided to go back to the memory of the kavika tree. This story has no link to Fiji Day, by the way!
It all happened on a day that us cousins chose to be monkeys in the tall kavika tree across the creek from home. In the past, we had always stood around the base of the tree when the kavika’s were ready and would try to knock down the fruit with pieces of stick, stones or with inedible kavika’s that had fallen to the ground. This day we chose a different strategy! Maybe I should say, a ‘want to be smart’ strategy. I guess we weren’t satisfied with this plan of standing safely on the ground and the whole battalion of cousins decided we’d get more kavika’s if we climbed instead. So up we went. And the picking turned into a mighty game of ‘he’.
The next thing I knew, was the sound of breaking branches and my cousin, Michelle flying past me on her way to the ground. I knew, when she hit the ground, slid down the slope along the side of the creek and landed on her back with her head turned over in the water that our fun had come to an end.
“Wooeeee, help, help”
The screams started coming from all over the tree like bats competing for food. I knew everyone was panicking and the only one on the ground at the time was Claire.
I called out to her, “Claire, pull Michelle’s head out of the water. Claire, pull her out or she will die. I can’t get to her. You’re the only one on the ground. Pull her out! Claire!”
Claire was gone, “Help, help, o Michelle sa mate.”
“Claire! Pull her out!”
By then I had scrambled half way down. Claire suddenly got a grip of herself and yanking the front of Michelle’s uniform, she managed to pull Michelle’s head out of the water. I was by Michelle’s side now.
“Claire, watch her. Ay, you people, watch her. I’m going to get help.”
I ran up our hill towards home. Nanna, grand aunt Caroline and aunty Mena were at home. Their yarning and laughing came to an abrupt halt when they saw my pale, panicking face.
“What’s wrong? Na cava e leqa? Va cava?”
“O Michelle e lutu mai na vuni kavika.”
“Ha??? Woilei, Mena, my girl, run down and see what happened!”
E leqa tu na durui nanna, qai mai mataboko tu yani o aunt Caroline and aunty Mena, well, duru ca levu talega o koya!
Aunty Mena and I made our way down the slope as fast as she could go which worked out to be much faster than I imagined. When we got down, the battalion were crowded around the patient.
“Dou toso yani, ye, dou yavu maqe” aunty Mena ordered.
Placing her arm under Michelle, with one heave, she had Michelle on her back and vava’d her up the hill.
By the time we got up, nanna had called for Gopen to take Michelle to hospital.
Well, the story ends with the 2 nanna’s having to be attended to first because my nanna’s blood pressure had sky-rocketed and aunt Caroline had panicked to breaking point! So, our patient had to wait, the kavika tree was punished and got chopped down (although it grew again of course), aunt Mena had to have her knees rubbed and we were all warned never to be seen up the kavika tree again. So we chose to go up the mango trees instead but that’s another story….Oh, by the way, Claire became a good nurse and I turned out to be a gifted naturopath.
Have a nice Fiji Day the Fiji Way!!

Noleen Billings

When Papa (my great grandfather) died, my grandmother and one of her partners in crime sisters-in-law, grand aunt Emily, were instructed after a family meeting to go into town and check on the progress of the coffin at Anderson Fong’s shop.
As usual, Gopen was called for the job to drive the excited ladies down. They were free at last and ready to roam! Turning the junction into Savusavu town, the ladies completely lost sight of their mission and, by-passing Anderson Fong’s, they decided to disembark at Chhaganlal’s store and check out the latest stock of paco and calico fabric for quilting, new scissors, cotton and other little things. Falling in love with the sympathy cards in the card rack, they decided to get a few. By the time the ladies finally walked out, they had also bought themselves new pairs of scissors, and a couple of other goodies. The pair were like two kids sent on an errand to buy a bag of lollies. Hopping back into Gopen’s car they gave the order, “Gopen, home. Take us home, my boy!”
As they were getting out, their excited looks turned into masks of despair as they recalled the reason they were sent into town.
“Wete, Emily, the coffin!”
“Don’t worry, Mary! You don’t say anything. Let me do all the talking!”
The ladies strolled innocently down the drive towards aunt Jemima’s place where the others were waiting eagerly for the news of the coffin.
“So, Mary and Emily, how did everything go? What does the coffin look like? You two satisfied?”
“Oh, the coffin is lovely! Its lined with lace on the inside and it even has a little lace pillow too. And on the top of the coffin its written clearly, ‘Peace in Rest’.”
“Ha? Tobo, drau sega ni lai raica na kisi ni mate, e?”

Noleen Billings
We called the FDB Manager at the time, uncle Kali. He was an asthmatic and would take his ventolin pump with him everywhere. One night, he decided to go diving with John Heritage and a couple of others at Lisiaceva.
On one of his dives, uncle Kali kind of ran out of steam. Hauling himself into the boat, he searched high and low for his pump but it was nowhere to be seen. Deciding to brave the cold night, Mr Heritage dived overboard to check on his hunch that the pump had fallen overboard.
He surfaced a while later announcing his find, “Well, I went down and found the pump alright.”
“You did?”
“Yes, when I went down, I saw a big moray eel pumping away.”

Noleen Billings

I gazed upon the face of the only man that I ever really loved. Running my fingers gently over his face, I traced every line as I always did. I knew each one by heart. I studied his broad forehead, thick eyebrows, wide eyelids, strong nose, pronounced lips and elegant chin. I took it all in. The smell of him lingered on my breath. His Chest rose and fell evenly. I ran my fingers through his silky hair and stroked his short, greying beard.
My hand fell onto the exposed part of his upper chest. His body felt comfortably warm. I loved the way the hair on his chest tickled my palm. I ran my hand down his long arm and stroked each finger. I adored his fingers particularly when he was behind his work desk tapping on the keys of his computer or when he was holding a pen and writing. His fingers, so long and slender and very sensual.
I drifted over his tummy and navel. His thighs were the most memorable. When they touched mine, I could never find the right words to describe the elation I felt. The intimacy, the romance overwhelmed me and consumed me so completely that my mind was beyond thinking. 
Inching my way past his knee I stroked his shin, ankle and finally his foot. I could spend hours watching him sleep. I clutched his toes and glanced back at his peaceful face. The passion I felt was so strong it was suffocating while the lump in my throat was becoming more difficult to suppress. My chest heaved in pain, breathing was difficult. My hands and lips trembled like never before. The muscles around my mouth, cheek bones and eyes twitched uncontrollably. My head throbbed to bursting point. My knees grew weak and I struggled to take my gaze off his face. I had never fought such a battle and I was so glad that he was not awake to witness the breaking of my heart.
I squeezed his toes, feeling the warmth and softness of his flesh. With one last long and painful sigh, I finally let him go. Facing the hallway, I dragged my heavy, writhing and unstable body along, the bright light at the end luring me on. 
“I’m so sorry, babe. I did my best. I gave you my all. You gave me all you could for my comfort but I cannot live without your complete love. I cannot live with just the half of you. I need all of your love. All the comforts means nothing without love. Life is so empty and senseless without complete love.”

Noleen Billings

Tonight our topic of discussion centered around relationships between couples and how some of us can be sort of possessive, jealous, etc over our partners so as the custom is, mum had to bring up a blast from the past story that her cousin, Betty told her.
Uncle Isoa and Aunty Betty Underwood had been invited to a party. As usual, uncle Isoa was the first to appear all dressed to kill. When Aunty Betty came out a while later looking equally lovely, Uncle Isoa took one glance at her and said, “You go, I’m not going.”

Noleen Billings

Here’s a cool court story that was told to me.
Magistrate – Why did you punch your wife?
Accused – It was like a devil got into me and I punched her.
Magistrate vigorously writing – Well, that same devil is telling me to put you behind bars!

Noleen Billings

During one of the census’, a worker stopped by Aunty Gladis’ place. As with any census, there were questions to answer.
“Aunty, your name please”
“Gladis Jackson”
“Your address?”
“Past Rava”
“Any children?”
“Yes”
“Can you give me the date of birth of the eldest?”
“Oilei, gauna cava na karua ni valu levu?”
Isa, Aunty Gladis!

It’s highly likely that some of you have heard this story. It’s a great one and amongst one of my favorites to date. This is the story as my brother, Gus, told it.
Our cousin, Robert May, had just got back from a long trip overseas. After completing his official duties at home, he decided to be a good husband and go into town to settle the bills. At Courts Homecentres, according to him, he found a very long queue and apparently, he did not have the patience to wait that long. It was around about that time that he thought of a brilliant idea! The Sofi was leaving for Savusavu that afternoon and he knew for a fact that there wouldn’t be a queue at the Courts, Savusavu branch. So, without telling anyone, Robert took the 10 hour journey on the ferry to Savusavu, got there at about 6am and had to wait until 9am before he could pay his bill.
Right after he paid his bill, he bumped into Gus. With both his hands in the air, he gave a big kaila and exclaimed, 
“THE DOG IS FREE!”
He pulled out his phone and called his wife.
“Honey, guess what! I paid the Courts bill and the best news is, I didn’t have to stand in a queue.”
“Robert, where are you? You didn’t come home last night!”
“Honey, I’m in Savusavu. Its the only place that doesn’t have a queue in Courts!”
“What? Robert, I’m coming over there. Just you wait!”
The call disconnected and Robert turned to Gus, his high spirit more or less sublimed,
“THE CHAIN IS GETTING VERY SHORT!”


Noleen Billings

As I reiterated in an earlier writing, my aim is to put down the stories that are told or that happen, as they actually do without any intention to hurt or offend any of my readers. If you don’t like the language in some of the stories, please do not read any further. I am about to tell you of an event that actually happened as witnessed by Freddy and told by him to me for the record. 
Amongst others, Freddy used to enjoy watching Paula Qareti’s TV programme called ‘Talanoa’.
During a session, Paula used to read letters written by his listeners, asking questions that they wanted Paula to answer on TV.
On the particular session that Freddy referred to, it was the third letter that caught Paula’s attention and seemed to throw him off guard! First, he began reading the letter then stopped and read the rest to himself. Then he hesitated, not knowing how to continue. He cleared his throat once, twice, ….. “Ah… e dua nai vola qo…. e taroga tiko na …..ah…..nacava na balebale ni ….ah…na cava na balebale ni ci.”
He clears his throat again.
“Io, vei kemudou na vakarorogo kei na sarasara tiko, na ci, sa I Koya o ya na ‘macedru ni sona’.”
Tini saraga I kea na Sara TV na bogi ya!

Noleen Billings

Grahame and Kiniwa were having a drink at Grahame’s place. They asked each other if either of them knew what the time was. Just about then, they heard the 10pm Cousteau bus approaching. Quick as lightning, Kiniwa disappeared. The next thing Grahame heard was the bus stopping.
“Well, qo, e tarova saraga o Gin na basi! All the Cousteau gang’s heads were peeping over the side wondering what was going on. O Kiniwa should know ga that the bus comes past after 10. Sega qo qai tarova saraga o koya na basi just to ask the driver the time. Well…”

Noleen Billings

Everyone was drunk, celebrating the approaching new year. The gang decided to move to the Planters Club from Rava. Aunty Ana, was a little too drunk to move so one of the crew decided to take her hand and make an attempt to get her on her feet.
“Come on Ana we are going to the Planters Club whether you like it or not.”
“I don’t care about the weather. Good weather or bad weather!”

Noleen Billings

It was late at night. Aunty Nuki was shocked to see three year old Julie appear at Pa Raiasi’s home, all alone, looking for her. 
“Well, Julie, how you come?”
“I come by flip flop.”

Noleen Billings

Lai Dickson’s party spree’s were frequented with the young folks of Savusavu who used to take turns driving his car at times. One day, the party reached the beach at Naqaqa where Lai knocked out! He awoke to see a line of street lights that certainly didn’t look like the Savusavu ones.
“Boy, qo sa sega ni Savusavu, qo sa vaka o Labasa!”
Pushing his head back down to sleep, the boys said, “O iko moce ga!”

Two old kailoma’s went on a trip into Suva. While there, they decided to experience the night life.
“Brother, Keirau qai curcuma na Birdland! Qai roro Mai neirau teveli na birds! Keirau valailai ga …. (He puts up his hands holding seven fingers up). Valailai ga …. (He repeats the gesture). Keirau qai ququva neirau taga, yaco saraga I duruikeirau, lalavakadua neirau taga!”
[For those that don't know Suva, Birdland is a night club]

Noleen Billings

Grahame and Kiniwa went on a fishing trip with Stanley Simpson and Herbert Hazelman. As it happened, most of the conversation was between Stanley and Herbert and focused on business topics. Naturally, the two country bums were bored out of their wits! It just wasn’t their kind of topic and the language was a little out of their league! Like a miracle, somewhere in the course of the conversation, there happened to be a break of silence and Kiniwa decided to take the opportunity to add something with the intention to kind of fit in. Casually, he remarked, “That’s what business all about!”

Noleen Billings

Re:New Years Eve – We have 2 cats roaming around here that are strays, I think! Fed up, Simon tries the boys out, “Boys, I’ll get you another carton if you can get rid of these cats.”
“Boys, Mai! I vei o rau na pusi qo? Puss! Puss!”

Noleen Billings

Finding himself in the middle of a verbal disagreement with a pal, Qase Dada was having trouble keeping calm! He clenched his left fist and raised it, holding it up right in the face of his adversary and said, “Brother, ke tau vei iko qo, na taroga o vuniwai ‘Basi cava e qaqi iko?’”

In Fiji, we are in the habit of checking what our neighbors, who are often our relatives, are eating particularly when we don’t like what we are having in our homes or if the food is not ready and we have had a hard night and are desperate for a meal! Sometimes, as with this case, it leads us into the habit of finally becoming a ‘food thief’.
My story is about four guys who became custom food thieves and used to work in pairs. If one pair had success at a particular house, they would give a report to the second pair who would give the same location a try at a later date.
This time, the mastermind pair decided to take food from an old neighbor who lived alone but also owned a rifle! So it was a trickier challenge than their normal missions!
The two managed to find their way into the house without alerting the house owner but when the sound of the clanging pots lids raised the alert, the pair heard clearly, the cock of the rifle followed by the question, “Who goes there?”
The reply came back almost instantly, “Meeeeoooowwww”
“Oi, ba bula! It’s only the cat!”
The next day, the pair told their success story to the second pair who decided that they would go that very night and hopefully have a nice meal of pork chops as well!
At the appropriate time, the second pair broke into the house and made their way to the pots. The rifle cocks! 
“Who goes there?”
With searching eyes, they looked long and hard at each other,……..”The caaaaaatttttttt….”
Bang ….. Bang…… 
Kubou an matani rifle ya!!

Noleen Billings

A quick one for the new year! Freddy remembers partying at the Planters Club a few years back, awaiting the new year. That night, the party was so feverish that by the time Kinon realized, it was after midnight and he had missed the countdown! So he made a quick announcent, “Ok, wawa, wawa!” He wound back the hands of the clock then continued, “10, 9, 8, ….”

Noleen Billings

December 31, 2012 
The phone was getting passed from hand to hand. Kiniwa was on the line, calling from the Sugar City of Fiji. There was a lot of joking around and there were comments passed like,
“Cut the long story short!” and
“Don’t come here. We don’t want you here!”
before Simon enquired, “When you coming to Rava?”
The reply came, “Maybe this year or next year!”
“But Boy, today is the New Year!”
“Ai eve!!!! A Dina!!!”

Noleen Billings

This morning, Junior Lepper and I had a quick reminisce of uncle Mervyn Lepper (snr). As kids we spent most or almost all of our weekends either at Wina or at home. If at Wina, we’d always get a blast from the past by uncle Mervyn’s booming voice every morning. And I mean, BOOMING!! He would never allow us an extra minute to sleep in. His early morning announcement, without fail, would be, “Come on you lazy buggers! Get out of bed! Wake up! Plenty of work to do! You can sleep when you are dead!”

Noleen Billings

I met my cousin Julian Simpson today and somehow, somewhere the talanoa found a way to end on Savusavu! Tuli told me how his dad had gone to Savusavu, met up with Abraham Grant and after his experience with the boys, made the awesome statement that Savusavu people were truly unique. Tuli became excited at this and exclaimed, “See, I told you! The people in Savusavu are so unique, they work opposite! If you want them not to do something, say no! If you want them to do something, tell them not to! They just think so different! That’s why we all want to retire in Savusavu!”

Noleen Billings

We took the night out last night to drive around Suva and take a look at the Diwali lights and the firecrackers. The sights were pretty exciting after being in the bush for so long. I felt like a child all over again. Hands on window frame, peeking out and craning my neck to see the sights. 
During the course of the drive, our taxi driver decided to take us down a street where he said the best lit house could be found every year. Turning the roundabout, the queue of cars lined up to see the same house had already started and there was no way in so the driver took us along the adjacent street. It was difficult to see well. We were straining to look between the houses. 
Taking everything in, Simon summed up his findings, “Well, no one else can get into that street. I won’t be surprised if the owner of the house is collecting entry fees!”

Noleen Billings

After 37 years of travelling into Suva and driving around in taxi’s, I finally met a brain whiz of a taxi driver who proved to be quite the entertainer! We passed a quieter section of road where a couple of men were working and the driver said, “See this! There’s been a lot of work in these kind of areas. It’s quiet in these areas so there’s a lot of relaxing going on. You see, they start to earn medals under their chins that is got from leaning against the handles of their spades and talanoaing. You can tell the long-serving ones. They have bigger holes.”

Noleen Billings

Stanley Simpson has the cutest Kai Savusavu daughters you have ever seen and just as dad’s love to get pampered by their daughters (when they are little), so dad Stanley was in this sort of mood. He was lazing around while his daughters were playing around him. He called out to them, “Girls, come my daughters, come check on daddy and see what’s wrong. Doctor daddy mada.”
So the girls approach their daddy and start pottering around.
“Well, what have you found out? What’s wrong with daddy?”
The girls poke around a bit more. Enjoying the attention and eagerly awaiting a reply, dad impatiently asks again, “Ai, what sickness you found?”
Facing her father and looking at him with the innocency of a three year old, his daughter, Claire, replied, “Daddy, you have a dirty heart!”

Noleen Billings

For those of us that know uncle Joe and aunty Fanny Brown well, we know how much they loved to smoke. One morning they sent Joe Brown (jnr) to the shop to buy more cigarettes. Jnr must have got carried away somewhere and finally strolled back in the late afternoon. When you are addicted to something…..imagine the anger that these two old folks were harboring! They were boiling! While 14 year old Joe jnr was still approaching from a distance, Mr Brown snr called out, “Boy, is that you coming up the driveway? Well, you’ve grown! The last time I saw you, you was this small (and he held his hand out to the level of his knee).

Noleen Billings

Tonight I recall some of old Mr Dickson’s stories of when he was allegedly in the army and it brings to mind one where he said he had been an engineer in the army. In his story he said he served in very rural areas and he had to use his skills to modify and come up with brilliant ideas to create machinery that was needed. He had to assemble something from nothing more or less. As he puts it, 
“O au dau soqona na parts ni motor mower, so na gacagaca ni motoka ca kei na parts ni dakai kei na so tale na ka au qai bulia kina e dua na misini vou!”

Noleen Billings

Simon and his friend Ilaisa were looking for jobs in Australia. As they approached a motel they saw a BIG sign that read ‘VACANCY’. Excitedly, they stepped inside and almost in unison enquired, “You have a vacancy?”
“Yes, which room you want? Twin or double?”

Noleen Billings

Today I will share with you a Savusavu story that Ronnie Simpson shared with me and of course, the star of our story is none other than our famous Pita matava:

‘When uncle Fred was alive, we were all sitting in their home one day with the uncles. Pita (code name Raca) was with us. The discussions that day centered around everything that was happening in general before focussing on the latest…Finally, discussions zeroed in on the land and how uncle Joe and uncle Robert from Walu were always squabbling about the boundaries and the cattle, etc.
The talanoa was getting pretty serious around issues on the Simpson properties and we were listening to the wisdom and perspective of the elders.
The climax of the discussions came to centre entirely on Robert and Joe because it was the most recent happening. Everyone either wanted to or had to have something to say about it. Right at the most solemn moment, out of the blues our dear Raca shared his wisdom, “Well, sa dina ga na ka era dau tukuna tu na qase….birds of a feather…PLUCK it together eh!”‘

Noleen Billings

We had some maintenance work going on at my work place by contractors so the place was pretty messy and it was a little difficult to work. I’d been looking at options for the boys to keep them busy. Looking over at one of our boys I asked if he could hose down the windows to wash off the salt that had accumulated and was making the windows somewhat blurry.

Before he could answer, one of the contractors’ boys blurted out, “Io, Io, vinaka sara. Qori e din maro tiko. Lako boy, sa sivia nomu din maro. Qo e tara saratokaga na kena i vola. O iko sa na soli tale vei iko e dua na rate vou, ya na 3 for 99!”
“De bongo!”

Noleen Billings

Simon has worked in the hospitality industry almost all his life. He related a story to me today that happened while he was at the Sheraton and the staff went on strike. 
The strike resulted in the merging of departments due to major shortages in the work force so for example engineering had to join activities and so on. 
In those days men were not housekeepers but due to the merging…..
So this gay guy who worked for Concierge now had to also be a housekeeper and he had to make a call on a guest room. He knocked on the door and the guest replied from within, “Yes?”
In a bright, cheerful tone the answer is returned, “It’s Housekeeing and Concierge joined together!”

Noleen Billings

Ok. Here comes a story! However, it hails from the Garden Island of Fiji, another place that has become part of my top list of favourite places in Fiji.
This is the story of a very famous diver who goes by the name of Hiram. He has a fascinating way of figuring things out!
This particular day, Hiram had had a little too much kava the night before. Figuring the arithmetic, he took enough diving staff with him to accompany his guests to free himself so that he could be responsible for ‘catching up with his sleep’. Well, I must say, I have to commend him for thinking of the safety and well-being of his guests!
Dive briefing all done, Hiram sent his divers on a memorable one hour dive. He set the alarm on his watch and sinking slowly to the sea bed, found himself a good-sized puga (brain coral). Hugging himself close to it, he fell asleep. Precisely on the hour, just as his divers were on their way back, Hiram’s hand started to vibrate signaling it was time for the Chief to act as if he had been performing an official survey of the ocean bed! Yawning into his regulator, Hiram signaled for the divers to approach him. After doing the safety stop, they surfaced. 
Seating his passengers comfortably in the boat, Hiram’s attempts to start the engines fail. He gives the order for everyone to hold on tight! Turning his head in the direction of the approaching waves, he studies them carefully, then he catches the biggest wave!
I will end the story with his own words, “Au qai time taka e dua na ua levu, au qai roll start, Boy!”

Noleen Billings

The Planters Club was holding its AGM. On the agenda was a vote of thanks to LICI for their assistance towards the development of the Club that year.
Tucake o uncle Robby. Baci on tu o koya. Facial expressions and all! 
“And we would like to thank ahhh…C…I…C…I…….”
Before he could continue…, from the back row, X exclaimed in the typical Savusavu way… and the Savusavuan’s will understand this…[the volume, the shriek, the automated reply, the body language]
“A cici!!”
And that adjourned the meeting!
This is not meant to be an insult to anyone, its real life Savusavu memories I’m talking about here!

Most homes today were busy watching the uprising 7′s. Pang recalled a match between Fiji and Tonga a few years back. The grog was going full swing as usual. 
Someone asked uncle Ben,
“Fiji or Tonga?”
“Tonga”
“Fiji or Tonga?”
“Tonga”
Sa laki kau mai na bilo levu.
“Fiji or Tonga?”
“Both!”

Noleen Billings

Herks has told this story for the fourth time so I better put it in. He told it after he read of the passing of our renown rugby player, Senivalati Laulau :
The rugby tournament was held at Nuku’alofa Park in Tonga and the game was being commentated by a Tongan who was trying to explain to the listeners what a fabulous player Laulau was.
“Where the pall is, Laulau is! I think Laulau was porn with the pall! And the final score today at Nuku’alofa Park is Fiji – 27, Tonga – F..all!”



Noleen Billings
This story happened before mobile phones came to Fiji and here in the country, there were land lines then and it was a pretty special thing when someone received a call. In those days the grog sessions were famous on uncle Ben’s verandah. All the guys in the settlement used to congregate there every night. On this particular night, Henry received a call. He ran to the house where the call was received. Quite some time passed before he returned. There were many questioning eyes focussed on him. 
“What? Good news or bad news?”
“Bad and good! The bad news is that that was a call to inform us there is a tsunami warning.”
“And the good news?”
“The good news is, it’s not coming now! It’s expected to come at 1am! Se toso mada na gunu yaqona.”


Noleen Billings

Grahame yarned about how he and Small went to buy more beer one day. They weren’t members of the Planters Club so they took Maureen along with them. Grahame and Small were quite drunk. At the Club, Maureen got out of the taxi and asked the two boys whether they wanted stubbies or long neck. The boys started arguing,
Grahame, “Stubbies”
Small, “Long”
Grahame, “Stubbies”
Small, “Long”
Fed up with the disagreement, Small concluded, “Long Stubbies.”

Noleen Billings

When Simon was at Namale, he gave Kiniwa a job. On one occasion, Simon noticed Kiniwa had not shown up to work for two days. Simon drove to Rava and found Kiniwa cutting copra with Grahame. The copra drier was smoking away with the two boys sitting not too far off going through their next lot of nuts.
Simon wound down the window his car.
“Kiniwa, why you not at work?”
“Well, I’m helping Grahame cut his copra and…..” 
He continued to argue his point.
“But the point is Kiniwa, you shouldn’t be here. You should be at work!”
“Ahhhhbbbbbnnnn…… At least I’m doing something!!!”

Noleen Billings
Simon showed the boys an app on his phone that identifies the stars when you point the phone at it. Facing the brightest star above us, the app identified the star as the planet Jupiter. One of the boys asked, “Where is Mercury?”
Naturally, one doce had to follow with, “And where is Yamaha?”
“De engine.”

Noleen Billings

We’ve been commenting on how Grahame has been putting on a lot of weight. Apparently, he took it quite seriously and last week he set his alarm at 4am to start his early morning exercises. After the first morning, Grahame had second thoughts as to what the occupants of Rava would think of him roaming around so early.
“A cava qo? Dara, se cava?”
He decided not to get out of bed but re-set his alarm for 5am. His alarm went off every morning only to wake him and turn it off before he crawled back into bed. On one of the mornings, his partner asked him what the point was of him setting his alarm when he couldn’t get out to exercise. He replied, “The thing is, the first week, I set aside as an exercise to help me get used to the alarm first.”

Noleen Billings

We were visited by Henry (Pang) today who had many entertaining stories for us. Amongst my choicest was the one featuring him and his friend, Vito.
Vito’s house, at the time, was situated close to the creek where the occupants of the settlement used to bath. The pair’s favorite hobbie was to peep at the women bathers through the holes in the bamboo wall that was rotting at it’s base.
One day, deeply focused on their view and leaning heavily against the wall, the pair weren’t aware that the wall was caving. They came to their senses when they found themselves on the ground with the wall under them and the girls all yelling at them. Tobo va dua o rau na Van Damme! According to the story teller, the ladies made sure to wear their suluvakatoga’s after that.
“Next time sa va suluvatoga na girls!”

Noleen Billings

2 thoughts on “Noleen Billings, Savusavu. Fiji

  1. The hidden paradise is Savusavu. The local style narrations shall be entertaining . Very unique , from my understanding. What a privilege readers will have over their reading experiences in scrolling what you scribble . Many thnx

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