Archive | September, 2010


Making friends

We spent several days anchored off a village at the south end of Waya island. It’s stunning, and we found a warm welcome from the residents. One of my favorite memories is from this particular evening: Our children had spent the morning at the school village: helping with English lessons, sharing experiences, making friends. That […]


Visiting school: Yalobi village

We spent two days visiting the school in Yalobi village. Children come here from all four villages on Waya island. Because of the distance between villages (and, oh, probably something about the mountains between them), they begin boarding here at age 6. With an enrollment of 150, it nearly doubles the size of the village. […]


Fiji’s Yasawa islands

It’s been a few busy weeks on Totem. For most of September, we wound our way through beautiful islands at the northwest end of Fiji- the Yasawa island group. These islands are so dramatically different from the lush green of the windward side of Vanua Levu. It’s extremely dry- not only are we at the […]

What about recyclables?

I'm still ruminating about garbage- specifically, recycling. I'm We haven't had access to the internet in a couple of weeks, so I can't see if we have any comments on the garbage post below- my musing is posted through our high frequency radio. I confess to being curious what people think about it and am […]

That stinks!

We've been thinking dirty thoughts lately… specifically, about waste. We wrote about it in a more organized / for-the-public manner for the August issue of 48 North magazine (downloadable from This is more of an unvarnished stream of consciousness. There's no doubt that living on a boat puts you more in tune with the […]


Local treats

Considering how food obsessed I am, related discussion has been pretty absent here. That stops now! Food in Fiji has been a treat for the senses. My favorite finds are usually in the public “farmer’s” market. Vendor in the Savusavu market, arranging her wares The prettiest of all: this seaweed, called sea grapes. I love […]


The real “Friendly Islands”

I’m going to make a gross generalization: Fijians are the friendliest people in the world. A few days ago, we went with Mike and Hyo (of IO) to look for a path up to the ridge behind the creek where we’re moored. There is a radio tower up there, and we saw power lines, so […]



“Bula!” is the greeting in Fiji, and we hear it dozens of times each day. “Bula vinaka”- hello, how are you? We are bowled over by the gregarious friendliness here. Listen close, and you’ll also hear greetings of “namaste” and “salaam aleikum.” Signs and pictures in the public market – Lambasa, Vanua Levu, Fiji We […]

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