Fiji is located in the
South Pacific Ocean. It is home to about 800,000 people. Almost half the
population are indigenous Fijians, and the other half Indians. A few percent of the
population are people of Chinese or European ancestry.
My main Peace Corps project was beekeeping, but
I also began projects on water supply, village sanitation, poultry and alternative food
Fiji is a beautiful country and has weather that
rarely exceeds 90f degrees in the summer or 60f in the winter.
The traditional housing has grass-thatched
roofs and woven bamboo or grass walls. Woven pandanas mats cover the floor.
Housing is increasingly being upgraded with
metal roofs and concrete or wood walls and floors.
The Fijians children are usually very happy,
socially well-adjusted and well-behaved. Many parents in the U.S. could learn
valuable lessons on child-rearing from Fijians.
Ratu Isikele (left) was my village chief.
He showed me where the "old" village
was on a hilltop. Before the European influence, the hilltop provided more
protection during war. The old village was near a cave where the women and children
hid during battles.