Posted by: catamarantwooceans | October 19, 2010

Somosomo, Naviti island

10.10.10 – Sunday – Today’s destination is Somosomo (meaning “far away”) village in the bay of the same name on the island of Naviti. On our way we negotiate poorly charted reefs, at one time having to turn away sharply from a nasty looking one. Just before reaching the turning point into the bay I noticed that we were pulling a fish behind us on the trolling line. The reel never made a sound, perhaps because it was a small, two man meals mackerel. O.K! Finally fish for dinner. We entered the bay and anchored close to the village.  This being a Sunday, we were not surprised by the fact that the place seemed deserted. People were either resting or attending church. At 1700, when we went ashore, a man was waving us over. Wati, a big Fijian, was sitting cross-legged on a mat with his family around him. When we enquired about the chief, he said we would have to wait about an hour until the church service is finished. He is the owner of a 60 foot cargo boat which he built himself and makes a living working it between the small islands. The family was happy to have their picture taken.

somo1

                                  Volkmar with Friends

One of the small children had a harelip, a sad sight which reminds one of the hard life the villagers have here. In the village of about 300 people the only medical assistance is a nurse, who has her hands full delivering babies, judging by the great number around.

When Wati saw people coming back from church he told his teenage daughter, Serana, to take us to the chief. He prepared us to the fact that the chief here is a 72 years old woman named Andy Dawali. Serana led us through the village, locals greeting us:”Bula!” and “welcome” all along the way. We entered the chief’s home and presented the obligatory Kava. The chief donned a man’s black jacket for the occasion, accepted our offering with a long speech or blessing in Fijian, accompanied by the hand-clapping to which we joined

somo2

                             Chief Andi Dawali

She did not speak English but had a woman who translated: “You are free to walk around the island, take pictures and snorkel”.  We asked and got the permission to take her picture, while the translator went on to ask whether we could bring some diesel fuel for the village’s water pump and do we want some papaya or breadfruit. We agreed to come tomorrow to look at some necklaces and shells.

On the way back to the boat we had some more requests by Wati. Could we charge his cell phone? His charger is not working. We don’t have a suitable charger, but I promised to bring him one of my old units which he will be able to have unlocked and use. Also could we bring some cookies for the baby?

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