Laughter was drifting along the breeze, the happiness of Christmas filled the air, echoing off the huge rugged mountains that surrounded us, cows and horses grazed freely on the land, while the chickens pecked about. AK sat in her new best friend Lavenias lap, Beany was focused on the huge feast that lay out in front of us. Bowls of curried chicken, plates piled high of kasava and dalo, jugs of juice, several beef stews,a couple of fresh fruit platters, and lots of fish tantalised our eyes. We all sat along side a table cloth layed out on the ground, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face
The girls and I were finally having a big family Christmas. It had been several years since we celebrated Christmas with lots of people. I always miss my family at this time of year, isolation fills my heart, but to be welcomed into someone elses family and made to feel like wewere loved, made the Christmas loneliness dissapear. Everybody filled there plates and began to eat while chattering away. Although I couldn’t understand a single thing they said, their happiness was infectious. They constantly giggled and made fun of each other. How could they be anything but happy, they had all their family surrounding them to share the Christmas spirit.
Christmas was simple. The root crops were harvested from the family plantation, the fish caught from one of the many creeks and streams that ran through the property. Everybody chipped in to cook and prepare the feast in big pots over a fire. Once everybody had full tummies, it was all hands on deck to clean up before having the all important Fijian Nanna nap.
The Fijian Nanna nap last several hours and often happens several times a day. For those who love a good nanna nap you should move to fiji were having a sleep anywhere, any time is excepted with open arms. If you get tired when your halfway across a bridge, no drama, just lay down and have a rest till you are ready to keep going. Tired of grocery shopping, just find the closest pole and slide on down till your comfortable. The midday heat is getting a little too much for you, go slump under the closest tree. Need some added comfort for your nap, raid the closest bin for some cardboard and you now have a deluxe bed for your nap.
I am not very good at napping, neither are the girls, so we rustled up the restless kids and headed for the creek. The water was crystal clear. I taught some of the kids to do front somersaults and back somersaults off the rocks into the water. AK splashed about, squealing with happiness, swimming with all the kids. Beany dived down to the bottom and made a rock castle under the water with her new friends. Once we all started to get cold, we hunted for prawns under the rocks in the shallows.
When we returned it was time for the grog session. Bilo after bilo of kava got passed around, my stomach churned at each drink, till finally midnight came around and it was time to dance. Well it was time for me to dance and for everybody to watch and laugh ! I danced with Serelli, the next door neighbour, while everybody clapped and yahooed.
Christmas was over and what an incredible experience the girls and I had had. We had be truly blessed to of been able to witness and enjoy a Fijian Christmas. Merry Christmas to all