Monday, October 15, 2007

Our Last Night in Fiji or Getting Lei-ed in Fiji

Our last night in Fiji began with a long dip in the pool and a stroll over to Gisella’s and Rafi’s (we now have learned that Rafi’s nickname is Tingo) so —Gisella’s and Tingo’s bure. As the sun was setting, we sat on their front porch swinging on their hammocks. Tingo had been saving a bottle of champagne that he bought in the duty-free shop. He poured the glasses of Moet & Chandon with a chaser of African chocolates. As if this moment was not special enough, Joel showed up with a big box. What happened next took us all by surprise! Would you believe that we got lei-ed by Joel! Yes, Joel placed beautiful flower leis around our necks. He had arranged for the wife of the taxi driver to make flower leis for all of us. How incredibly sweet is that! The necklaces were made from the most fragrant flowers ever. We found out the flowers are called Frangipani. I think we call them plumeria in America. The smell is unforgettable. The look on Joel’s face when we said that we were going to tell all of you that we got lei-ed by him was priceless. Even better was Mary Alice’s comment that she got lei-ed in her room when Joel was chivalrous enough to deliver the lei directly to her room. Snicker. Snicker.

Our digestive tracts managed to take in one more meal. We even topped off the night with a special chocolate soufflé—a house specialty. It was delicious. Knowing our adventure was nearing an end, we took turns commenting on our favorite moments of our trip (Caloundra, Cairns, Sydney, & Fiji. All of our memories are so special. We can’t wait to share the stories with you. When we finally got up to go, we realized that we were the last of the diners in the restaurant. The waitstaff asked if this was our last night. We said it was and they asked us to sit back down. They soon assembled all of the waitstaff and offered up a special farewell song for us. The song was so beautiful. It expressed the best wishes for safe travel and happy life . . . until we make our way back to Fiji to be part of their family here again. Their voices blended so beautifully. I am sure that they sing this song night after night but they made us believe that they were singing this especially for us.

We took a photo of us all together with the waitstaff. Each and every server hugged and kissed us goodbye. When was the last time that this happened to you? We then took a photo of just them. They mugged and laughed for the cameras. They clearly loved it! We are going to send the photos to them and hope that they get copies. I know that we will forever remember this kind and gentle people.


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