My Semester Abroad: Learning to Live Like a Kiwi! travel blog


I will start where I ended my night last night.. dinner and kava! I did not get to do the kava ceremony.. but was promised we would do it tomorrow (today). Yesterday we got two new dorm mates.. Shane from England and Paco from Germany. Shane is 24 and has traveled through America (NY and Cali) and to here.. where he will then go to NZ and Aussie… Paco has been in about 40 different countries and has been traveling for 4 and a half years. He has incredible stories about his travels and they are so interesting to hear about!! The reason he is traveling is because he was in a horrible car accident where he was in the hospital for 3 months. We don’t know what happened exactly.. because he kind of avoids the topic.. but he said when he woke up he realized life is too short… so off he went on his travels around the world!

.. But anyways.. enough about these amazing people I met.. lets talk about the night!

We had a delicious dinner of STEAK! YUM. And great conversation, of course. The sunset was absolutely gorgeous.. filled with orange and yellow and red and purples. We all ordered a fancy cocktail and walked along the beach and watched it. The resort is so great and small.. its like your own private beach! I am SO glad I decided to come here!

After dinner, Shane and I walked along the beach and saw these little fluorescent blue speckles in the sand. We had NO idea what they are.. but they are literally like neon blue lights that just glow along where the waves crash. It was really neat!

They did not do the kava ceremony last night.. but promised to do it today.. so… onto today!

In the morning we had breakfast… fresh fruit.. muffins.. cereal.. bacon.. coffee.. etc…. Paco, Shane, Sabine and I decided to go snorkeling together! We all grabbed snorkeling gear and swam out pretty far along the reef! It was so neat!

Sabine left after lunch for another resort.. but we exchanged emails so we can keep in contact. We then got a bundle of new people at the resort.. but only two were staying in the dorms with us. Rebecca and Nicole! They are studying abroad in Aussie.. but are from Maryland! I love meeting new people!!

We all ate lunch together and then around 2 were taken to the blue lagoon! So this is how that went down…. We all get in a boat.. pull up to this island.. and the Joe (the boat driver) goes… “Okay.. get out and walk down there till you find it” So we are snorkeling around in grass.. and we are like… what the hell? BUT eventually we find the reef and it was SO much better than the one by our resort (and that is amazing.. so just image this).. and literally you are swimming and there are just hundreds of little colorful fish surrounding you! It was really really cool and totally worth the $30 Fijian dollars it cost… which isn’t even expensive. HAHA.

After snorkeling we wondered around the beach.. swam.. napped in hammocks.. whatever… then came dinner!

Everyone else had fish.. but I had steak again.. (but hey.. I don’t mind!) We got to chat some more about life and its origins (just kidding).. and then we did the kava ceremony.

Kava is the root of this plant found in Fiji.. they grind it up to where it is a powder.. put it in a cloth bag.. and dip it in the water.. (kinda like a tea bag).. in a huge bowl. They use coconut shells to drink it.. and before they hand you the shell you clap once as a sign of respect. Then after you drink it (all in one gulp) you clap three times as a thank you. Drinking kava is the Fijians way to unwind. Apparently if you drink enough of it, it kinda gives you a high/ drunk feeling. But I only drank three cups.. and I felt nothing. All throughout the making and drinking of the kava they played music (ukuleles and guitar) and sang and clapped and just sat around laughing and talking. It was really fun to partake in!

After that we walked along the beach.. ordered a few cocktails.. and sat around talking. Nicole and I are both involved in greek life (she is an alpha xi).. so Shane asked us how it worked and just in general what it is all about.. so we had a good time explaining the different terms (big/ little/ twin/ bid day/ rush) and the different things we do to him. He was actually really interested to hear about it because it is something they don’t do anywhere else.

After that we headed up to bed.. it had been an exhausting day!

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