I just have to speak about it some more and tell you the story of our stay in Uluibau village on Moturiki island.
We spent 3 marvelous weeks, living with these people. We mostly did not much but also participated in daily life chores. Watching the women and kids fishing on low tide was magical. They run in circle with a net, when it's together, they proceed to run in all directions hitting the water with sticks and shouting. (This scares the fish into the nets, they just have to collect them!)
We also learned how is made that wonderful smelling oil that they rub their bodies in: grate coconuts, twist it in some fiber net to extract all the milk, boil it til the oil separates from the milk, bottle the oil and add some local flowers and voilà.).
We helped serve all the chiefs from the neighbouring villages, in the village for a conference. You see, the women serve the men, then the women eat together. Patriarchical you'll say , yes, but the women can also eat when they're cooking! Later we watched a "meke", the women dancing and singing. Beautiful.
The day before our departure, they (our new extended family.) made a huge breakfast, with toasts! (we hadn't seen bread for 3 weeks!). The dinner was very plentyfull, peppered with speaches and "our" was crying and it all ended with a huge yagona (kava: a brown-looking-nasty-tasting national potion) party where most of the village attended, filled with singing and plenty laughter.
This is where we lived while on Uluibau village. A very simple hut ( with 3 doors-a Fijian house has alwas 3 doors.)which had for only furniture a rickety small shelves. The kitchen was outside and the toilet was on the other side of the house.....but the house was by the beach! We were lulled to sleep with the sound of the waves.
This is just a few things that I saw and learned while I was there....and in only one village!