Once we informed our hosts, Joe, Tara, Teddie, and Ma, that we were leaving Fulaga in a few days, we were immediately invited to their home for a Kava Party. Why not?
Plus, we wanted to say good-bye to all of the Villagers that we met during our stay - very sweet people.
So, we loaded up the dinghy with gifts, food, and Kava (of course) and headed to the village for the last time.
We delivered the Kava and they started pounding the roots into powder. It was quite a process and lots of muscle required.
While the prep work was happening, Teddy volunteered to take us to the caves above the village. It isn't far, but it is almost straight up the hill and very rugged. This is the site of the old village - you can still see some of the old foundations - the old Fijians were very tough.
It is a very protected spot, plus there is a great view of the coast line so they could watch boats approaching. Like the visitors from Tonga whose bones are in the cave. After the villagers conquered them, they ate them, and piled their bones in the caves - yikes!
Then we went back to the house for the Kava Party, where we were showered with beautiful handmade gifts. Tara and Ma had woven two beautiful baskets (tali tali). Joe carved a Fiji drum (lali) and Teddy carved a small Kava bowl - amazing craftsmanship.
Then Teddy brought in the big Kava bowl and the party got started. Someone must have turned on the Kava sign, because the Villagers started filing in. Even today, the Kava ceremony is a very formal process. Teddy (the youngest) mixes the Kava and serves it in a coconut drinking bowl (bilo) Guests are served first, then the Elders, then Joe, Tara, and the rest of the gang. Before the next round is served, Doug had to say Taka - another round please.
We sat around and talked about Fulaga, sailing, and thanked the village for their hospitality and kindness. When we left, the party was still going. Apparently, the village is out of Kava, so everyone was happy to share.
It is always hard to say good-bye - we are truly going to miss our hosts and Fulaga - what a wonderful experience!
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