31 March, 2006
Thurston Gardens, which is on the other side of Albert Park along Victoria Parade and Queen Elizabeth Drive, is to be the site of a new war memorial. This memorial will be built in recognition of the contribution of servicemen to the country. The war memorial is expected to be an attraction for people visiting Suva and serve as an historical site for locals. The Fiji Museum is located at the other end of the gardens.
Taken from an article in the Fiji Times. Fiji will be hosting the third Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival from 2 to 10 October this year in Suva. The Melanesian Arts Festival was first hosted in the Solomon Islands in 1998. Vanuatu hosted the second arts festival. The festival was borne out of a resolution in 1995 in which it was decided that members of the Melanesian Spearhead Group come together and share the many cultures and to create new cultural processes. The MSG participants of the festival are Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia. Preparations for the hosting of the 3rd Melanesian Arts and Cultural Festival would be launched on April 3 in Suva. Note from GV : Any visitors to Suva that need accommodation during their stay in Suva can use our two bedroom rental. Please check details, photos and rates on links at the right hand side of this blog.
30 March, 2006
A cultural centre is to be constructed in Suva by the Kadavu Provincial Council. It will be bigger and better than the cultural centre at Pacific Harbour and will have the cultural centre and a shopping centre within the same complex. The centre is to be built near the Garden City area at Raiwaqa, Suva. Tourists interested in the arts and culture of Fiji would have more choice now after the opening recently of an art gallery at the same area. The Fiji Museum, the only one of its kind in Fiji, is also located in Suva.
29 March, 2006
Taken from the article, Moving On, by Scott Reeves, Forbes.com Moving your family shouldn't be just another entry on your list of things to do. A successful move must involve the family at every level, a basic point many high-level managers overlook when moving to a new city. "Executives are used to making major decisions," says Jacqui Hauser, vice president for consulting services at Cendant Mobility, soon to be known as Cartus, in Danbury, Conn. "Relocation is a family event, and executives shouldn't focus just on the tactical. Children should be involved at age-appropriate levels." That means talking to your kids about the new school, extracurricular activities and making new friends. In general, the younger the child, the easier the move will be. Don't overlook the availability of your children's special interests, such as softball, tennis, riding, swimming, community theater or the poetry club. Showing pictures of the new school and the town to the children is often helpful because it helps make the new seem more familiar. Moving may be almost routine to you, but it may be daunting to high schoolers. If you have young children, it's sometimes helpful to ask them to keep a journal of the move. The journal can include pictures and morph into a scrapbook, or it can be the private meditations of a preteen on the hope and sorrow of moving to a new city and leaving old friends. Don't overlook your spouse. Many companies will help your spouse find a new job, but you may be on your own. If you're flying solo, this is where your extensive network of contacts can help. Talk up your friends, ask around and find some referrals. If you're moving, chances are your spouse understands the opportunity to advance and supports you. Now, it's your turn to support your spouse by helping with the job search. If you're asked to sign a new employment contract, nail down the small details and don't overlook the basics. Moving isn't a back-of-the-envelope operation. Leave plenty of time to sell your current house, find and buy a new one. Setting up in the new town involves more than unpacking boxes, so leave plenty of time to enroll your kids in their new schools. "Know and communicate what your priorities are," says Hauser. "Stating the specific needs of your new community is critical. You don't like to see someone who's weeks into the process and suddenly states that they need a special school for their child or that they really want to live by a lake. Whatever your needs and desires are, make them known early." Make a time line and establish dates when key elements of the move need to be completed, such as hiring a mover and packing the last box. If your company is paying for the move, read the corporate relocation policy--even if you helped draft it. Know what's covered and what's not covered, and pay attention to all deadlines. Top executives often use a relocation service that helps them line up a reputable mover and check out towns and neighborhoods at the new location. This eases the burden, but no move is completed without glitches. Paying attention to the small details can make things easier. If you're moving on your own, establish a relationship with your mover and real estate agent. Consider working with an agent from the same company in both your old and new city. Ask friends and colleagues for recommendations and then check out the mover. If you're paying for the move, it can have tax consequences, so talk to your financial adviser and keep accurate records to substantiate your claims. Remember that moving is a family event and packing your household items in boxes is only the first step. If your son is a hockey player and you're moving to Hawaii, you've got some digging to do. If your daughter rides English or Western, finding horseback lessons in a major city probably won't be as difficult as you think. Remember: Showing an active interest in your children's concerns will make the move go a lot easier. And don't forget about your spouse's career. Note from GV : Foreign residents relocating to Suva for work or to live can stay at a two bedroom room home that I have available while they look around for a permanent place to stay. More details on the property, its amenities and photos are available on www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/Suva/8469 or on the links at the right hand side of this blog.
26 March, 2006
The Royal Suva Yacht Club B Class Yacht Race this Sunday will be a ladies skippers' race with ladies vying for hte Stu Jones Memorial Cup. The ladies day race is an annual event. Stu Jones, the late husband of B Class president Steph Jones, was an integral member of the racing fraternity always pitching in and lending a hand. A full contingent of yachts is expected at the race on Sunday with up to 50 boats expected, including sail and power boats. Go and watch them on Suva Harbour this morning.
The charity golf tournament held at the Fiji Golf Club, Vatuwaqa, Suva, was a success according to organisers. There were around 70 golfers participating at the charity event which was organised to raise funds for the children's care unit at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva. Funds raised will be used to pay for immunization and drugs that are not easily available. The event has been held in the past and has recently been revived.
We have a new guest book for friends of Suva to put in their messages. Messages can be on anything that they had enjoyed whilst being in Suva. Other readers can post queries that they have on Suva, events being scheduled or what they would like posted on the blog. You can also put in events or attractions that you wish to be posted. Messages will be read regularly and posted to the blog. Click on the link to the right hand side of this blog under the title "Leave a comment on my guestbook - My Guestbook" to enter your message.
24 March, 2006
Take a trip to Rowell Home Entertainment, FNPF Boulevard, Suva, this weekend and take advantage of their latest releases in rental movies. The new release DVD/VCDs are renting from F$1 to F$2. There are action, comedy, thrillers, horror, animated and sports types of movies at Rowell. Are few good ones to check out include : Star Wars Episode 3, American Pie 3, Shark Boy and Lava Girl, Cinderella Man, Mr and Mrs Smith, Dark Water, The Perfect Catch, and Batman Begins. Rowell has free DVD membership. Just provide an ID with one passport size photo. Opening hours are : Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm; Saturday, 9am to 5pm; and Sunday, 11am to 2pm. Check it out!
The biggest 7s tournament of the country starts today at various grounds but centred at the FMF Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva. There are around 128 teams altogether with Auckland Marist from New Zealand, one of the overseas teams participating. The tournament was first held in 1976 during the glory days of the Hong Kong 7s tournament, the only major international 7s tournament at the time. This will be the 30th anniversary of the tournament. During the games, other events are usually held during the intervals so it should be an interesting visit for tourists here in Suva.
22 March, 2006
A walk or drive along the Suva seawall along Queen Elizabeth Drive from the Suva Bowling Club to The Post Fiji Stadium, Laucala Bay, provides pleasant scenery and a good opportunity to get fresh air along a quiet road. Although the road is bumpy at some places, you have a good view out of Suva from the Lami/Waiqanake coast at one end, to Nukulau Island as you get to the end of the drive. The place also has newly built picnic huts and seating and provides a good respite for afternoon reading, a place to sit while you have a swim, or even have a family picnic. While the huts are not busy during weekdays, most locals and tourists use them on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturdays, there are local competitions like cricket, baseball at Albert Park, touch rugby at Veiuto grounds, volleyball, soccer or rugby at the National Sporting Complex, swimming at The National Aquatic Centre, which are all along the way or close by. Take your family or friends to watch those competitions and have a picnic later at one of those huts. I'm sure it will be a good experience for you all.
21 March, 2006
Anyone interested to do some fundraising can hire The National Aquatic Centre, Laucala Bay, for dive-in movies. This new form of fundraising has just been introduced by the management of the Centre and interest in it is starting to pick up slowly. This Saturday, 25 March, a dive-in movie fundraiser at the Centre is being held to send our Junior Volleyball team to Canberra in July. The event starts at 7pm and a ticket costs F$5.00. If you wish to run a similar event please contact The Fiji Sports Council on +679 3312177.
20 March, 2006
A multicultural entertainment group from Fiji was the highlight of a Fiji Islands Visitors Bureau roadshow in Australia last week. The group, which was part of the FVB Australia-Northern Islands "Talanoa Roadshows", performed in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and the Commonwealth Grames host city, Melbourne. The group featured young performers from the Shobna Chanel Dance Group, singer Laisa Vulakoro and musicians Peni Seniyasi , Waisea Rogoyawa and Sitiveni Lakolako. FVB said this year's roadshow was the first time the Bureau's Australian regional office had included multicultural entertainers.
The Fiji-Taiwan International Cooperation Development Fund Alumni Association had its first cooking demonstration on Saturday under its cultural exchange program. With the Theme : Dalo for the cooking program, members of the association showed participants the 12 types of dishes that could be prepared using dalo. Dishes such as crisp dalo cake, sesame dalo ball, stewed dalo chicken, spicy shrimp and dalo cake, dalo strips with beef, fermented bean curd with dalo and pork were prepared. Dalo was chosen because of the wide availability of the crop in Fiji. All ingredients used were available at local supermarkets. One participant said that it was a good learning experience. Other cultural activities are being planned including dancing.
18 March, 2006
This is a letter to the Editor of the Fiji Times of 18 March 2006. I refer to the article headed "Tourism feels pinch of tensions" (Fiji Times, 16 March). The article referred to New Zealand having issued a travel advisory for Fiji. I can advise that New Zealand does not have a travel advisory in place for Fiji at present. Jennifer Taylor, First Secretary, New Zealand High Commission, Suva.
17 March, 2006
The Royal Suva Yacht Club's Game Fishing Association is running a women's fishing tournament this Saturday, 18 March. While the tournament has been a low key affair in the past, the Association has decided to give this year's one a big boost after observing large ladies' fishing tournaments in NZ. There would be around 8 to 12 boats with three ladies on each. Tournament prizes include F$1,000.00, pearl jewellery, a night/dinner/breakfast for two at Pearl South Pacific, and products from Pure Fiji. Boats will leave from the Royal Suva Yacht Club at Walu Bay, Suva.
16 March, 2006
National Youth Week celebrations has been postponed to August 12 as the general elections would be on around that time. The National Youth Day public holiday which is scheduled for May 5 will still be observed but the celebrations would be held later.
Hindus around the country yesterday celebrated the third day of Holi, the festival of colours. The festival is celebrated to mark the triumph of good over evil. The three-day festival falls between February and March. During Holi, Hindus come out to the streets singing songs with their traditional musical instruments, and pouring red coloured water over each other to celebrate. The Minister for Multi-Ethnic Affairs says that the people should be proud that Fiji is a multiracial society where there is freedom to practice one's religion.
15 March, 2006
The Taketaai Gallery has opened in Suva. The Gallery which is located at the Garden City Complex, Raiwai, Suva displays handicrafted works of art by local artists. Owner Adelle Khan said the shop will display paintings, various crafts like cards made from masi, albums, belts, candles, jewellery, clothes, dolls and more. At present there is no other gallery in Suva where local artists can display their work. They can now do that from the Taketaai Gallery. The Gallery has plans for art exhibitions, fairs and is looking at ways to protect art works if they were to be exported.
14 March, 2006
The Melanesian Group's Festival of Arts will be held from 2 to 11 October in Suva. The festival is held after every few years to encourage the exchange of arts and culture between member countries of the Melanesian Group. The Melanesian Group comprises Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and other smaller island groups towards the western part of the Pacific. The festival would include of arts and crafts of the various groups together with displays and exhibitions of chants, songs and dance. Keep reading this blog for more details. Note from GV : For accommodation to any of the events planned (check our List of Upcoming Events in Suva) or if you wish to stay in Suva for a holiday or business, click on the weblinks to the right hand side of this blog for details of and contact for a two bedroom home with sea views in Suva that is available.
Taken from an article in the Fiji Times. Fijian crafted materials always have a unique look. With the modern era advancing, a wide range of choices are available for consumers in the likes of jewellery, albums, cars, mirrors, clothing and many more. Akanisi Smith is a designer of such crafts and runs her business under the name of Unik Craft. She designs wedding and birthday attire, flowers, vases, mobile hangings, mirrors, wall hangings and even dolls. All her work is made from traditional materials such as masi (tapa), magimagi (coconut sinet), vau, seeds and shells. At first, Akanisi started off with making flowers and then expanded slowly to other craft. Her biggest order for flowers was for the opening of the Sheraton hotels in Nadi where some were taken to be exhibited and sold. Orders for flowers also came from Wakaya Island Resort, Jack's Handicrafts and the Fiji Museum. Akanisi says that most of her orders are for flowers or mobile hangings and come from the Western Division because of the tourist market. She also makes about 4 wedding attires a year with an equivalent order for birthday attire. For flowers, she uses masi and voivoi (pandanus leaves) to make the flower and a short stalk to go with it. For the vulo mobile hanging, she uses sasa (the stalk of coconut leaves), vaivai seeds for the eyes, apart from the vulo (another part of the coconut tree). Akanisi also makes mirrors in her spare time in between orders. While most of her orders were from hotels, her flowers made an appearance at the 2003 South Pacific Games in Suva. Akanisi operates her business from home and says moving to Suva this year has made running her business much easier. She hopes to open up her own shop next year and export some of her crafts as well as she expands. Akanisi is now gearing up for the Pacific Arts Festival to be held later this year in Suva.
11 March, 2006
The reggae band, UB40, had a sellout crowd at the FMF Dome, Laucala Bay, Suva, last night. About 7,000 music lovers screamed and stomped their feet during the band's performance. The band sand most of their hits including, Ivory Madonna and Reasons. It was an exciting performance with a power failure while the band was singing the song, Reasons. People had to wait for a while before the band completed singing the song after power was restored. About 100 people who did not have tickets stood outside in the rain listening to the band. The second and final performance will be in Lautoka tomorrow.
The first National School Swimming Association meet of the year will take place at the National Aquatic Centre, National Sporting Complex, Laucala Bay, Suva, this weekend. More than 130 students from 26 schools have registered for the short one day meet, designed to help athletes prepare for the bigger championships to be held in early June.
10 March, 2006
The popular reggae band UB40 arrived in Fiji yesterday on a chartered flight from Tonga. A good number of fans were at the airport to greet the band members as they arrived at around 2pm yesterday. The band will have two performances in Fiji: one in Suva today, 10 March, starting at 8pm at the FMF Dome, National Sporting Complex, Laucala Bay; and the second one in Lautoka on 12 March. For tickets, please contact any South Pacific Recording outlets in Suva. For accommodation, try out our two bedroom home. Details, photos and contact are on the links at the right hand side of this blog page.
Queen Elizabeth II will be invited to open the new Great Council of Chiefs complex at Draiba, Suva, next year. The new complex would be completed at the end of the year and will be opened in February 2007. Two monuments will be placed in front of the new complex to commemorate Fiji's Deed of Cession and the arrival of Christianity. The chiefs have agreed in their recent meeting that a commemorative stone of the Deed of Cession Document and a stylish reproduction of the tablet of the ten commandments are to be built in front of the complex. The chief's also agreed that important information about Fiji be engraved inside the complex including the country's motto, "Fear the Lord and Respect the Queen". The complex will be decorated with traditional artifacts and proper landscaping. As a source of revenue, the new complex's meeting house and the members lounge will be hired out for regional and international meetings at F$2,500 a day.
09 March, 2006
The cost of removing 50 derelict vessels from Suva Harbour could amount to F$500,000 according to the Fiji Ports Corporation. The Corporation confirmed the cost of removing one boat would be close to F$10,000 - a bill that would have to be footed by vessel owners. Owners of the boats have been given notices and action would be taken after discussions with them. The Corporation said that most of the boats were used as fishing vessels but were abandoned by their owners who faced problems getting fishing licences. Most of the owners were bankrupt businessmen who could not afford to remove the vessels. The Department of Environment said derelict vessels in the harbour were responsible for releasing heavy metals into the sea which harmed marine life and people who consumed seafood from the area.
07 March, 2006
Taken from an article in the Fiji Times. The Pacific Harbour Cultural Centre has always been a major attraction for tourists between Suva and Sigatoka. Since coming under new ownership, the centre - now called the Arts Village - has been undergoing changes that are expected to enhance the cultural shows it has on offer. Unlike previously, tours now include walks on the man-made island where boat building, tapa printing and the likes are done. There is also a "bure kalou" - a tall thatched bure used by priests for ancient Fijian spiritual practices. The height of the bure kalou is six storeys high. The burekalou has thick wooden pillars with inside walls made of little reedlike stalks, similar to bamboo. Magimagi, made from coconut fibre, is used prominently inside. To one side of the three doors, hung a long piece of masi that stretched all the way down from the ceiling. The "bete" or priest puts the masi on and it was said to be the line of communication from the "kalou vu" (Fijian god) to him (the priest) and he passes on the message that is relayed to him. There is also a "Bure ni Turaga". This has four doors with the one at the head of the house for the "Turaga" or chief while the two on the side are for the "Komai" (the chief's spokesman). The Turaga faces down from where he sits with his back to his door and the Komai faces the sides with his back to the doors where he enters from. The fourth door is for the "tawavanua" or commoner. Just near the top of the bure is where the turaga has his sleeping place or "loqi tabu". The area also has his "kali" or headrest, his "saqa" or water container and some weapons. For more information, visit the Arts Village at Pacific Harbour, which is an hour's drive from Suva towards Nadi.
06 March, 2006
A "pay 5 nights and stay 2 free nights" accommodation is available for visitors to Suva for the UB40 performance scheduled for Friday, 10 March, 2006. The stay should include the 10th of March. At the rate of FJD95.00 a night, you will enjoy a beautiful and newly built two bedroom home that enjoys sea views, with self catering. The home is fully furnished with Sky TV and telephone. For more details, check out our advertisement on www.greatrentals.com/Fiji/15225.html, or by clicking on the links at the right hand side of this blog. Check out new photos posted on the advertisement or on www.holidaylettings.co.uk/rentals/Suva/8469.
05 March, 2006
Optimism is good for the heart, a study said. The most optimistic among a group of 545 Dutch men age 64 to 84 had a roughly 50 percent lower risk of cardiovascular death over 15 years of follow-up, according to the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Previous research has suggested being optimistic boosts overall physical health and lowers the risk of death from all causes. A positive attitude also has been shown to help patients who suffer from heart disease caused by narrowed arteries. The new study measured participants' level of optimism about their lives by having them respond to statements such as "I do not look forward to what lies ahead for me in the years to come" and "My days seem to be passing by slowly," or "I am still full of plans." "Optimism can be estimated easily and is stable over long periods," though it does tend to decrease with age, said lead researcher Erik Giltay of the Institute of Mental Health in Deft, the Netherlands. On a scale of zero to three, with three being most optimistic, the average scores in the study fell from 1.5 in 1985 to 1.3 in 2000. Higher scores were associated with being younger, being better educated, living with others, having better health, and doing more physical activity. "It is yet to be established whether interventions aimed at improving an older individual's level of optimism may reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality," he added.
Better think twice before soothing those aching muscles in a whirlpool bath or hot tub. A new study shows that whirlpool bathtubs can be a breeding ground for a host of disease-causing bacteria. Dr. Rita B. Moyes a microbiologist at Texas A & M University tested 43 water samples from both private and public whirlpool bathtubs. "Every tub tested had some kind of microbial growth," she told Reuters Health. "And I was just getting the few organisms I was testing for, so it is probably just the tip of the iceberg as far as what is really present. Also, I did no viral testing," Moyes emphasized. In 95 percent of the tubs, bacteria derived from feces were present, while 81 percent had fungi and 34 percent contained potentially deadly staphylococcus bacteria. Moyes explained that a teaspoon of normal tap water contains about 138 bacteria and many samples are bacteria-free. A teaspoon of whirlpool tub water, on the other hand, contains an average of more than 2 million bacteria. The interior pipes of whirlpool baths that are not filtered or chemically treated, and non-maintained hot tubs, are prime areas for potentially infectious microbes to congregate and grow, Moyes noted. These organisms often form a biofilm -- a community of organisms, which work together and are more resistant to cleaners. When the jets are switched on, the bacteria-packed water gets blown into the tub. "Due to the movement of the water, an aerosol is created that carries these organisms down into your lungs or other orifices -- something that doesn't happen in a regular tub," Moyes explained. The bacteria found in whirlpool baths can lead to a number of diseases, including urinary tract infections, skin infections, and pneumonia. So who is most at risk? "Of course the young and the old and the immunocompromised should not be exposed, including breathing in the aerosol from outside the tub," Moyes said. "A chemically maintained hot tub should not be a problem to a healthy person but if you are having recurring infections, consider the tub as a potential source," she added. Moyes' research is published in an online journal called PM Engineer.
04 March, 2006
Swimmers from Queensland and New South Wales have confirmed their participation at the National Swimming Championships to be held in Suva on April 28 and 29. The presence of strong overseas swimmers is sure to challenge our local swimmers. Note from GV : Those attending any events in Suva, can book a two bedroom home for accommodation (at very affordable rates) by clicking on the links at the right hand side of this page. Otherwise, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
The Arts Village at Pacific Harbour, close to Suva, expects to enjoy a resurgence in business as a result of several capital projects about to open by the end of this month. The Village was formerly a cultural centre before Australian businessman Eric Roberts bought the property two years ago and renovated the centre as a tourist attraction. The Arts Village dance group performs traditional games, meke and enactment of tribal wars daily for tourists and guests. Sometimes they perform twice a day if there are a lot of tourists. Other activities on display include pottery making, plaiting of mats and other traditional gifts made from pandanus.
01 March, 2006
This article talks about one of our villages in the Ba province that has maintained the past with all houses in the village built in the traditional Fijian bure style. "Navala" can be visited by tourists who are staying in Suva as part of their Fiji experience. Navala is nestled between lush green vegetation high in the mountains. It is about 25 km from Ba town or 45 minutes drive up winding roads by van, truck or four-wheel-drive. Navala is unique. It is the only village in Fiji where all houses are thatched. They retained the setting of a Fijian village, how Fijians built their house and the layout. The village's forefathers started the tradition and the present day villagers have kept it. There is a legend to it. It says villagers' ancestors predicted if they continued to build their houses their way, money would flow through the homes and that there would be so much money that people would run away from it. The forefathers also said that their village would become famous. Seen from the air, the houses form a cross. It is a reminder of when Navala accepted Christianity back in the 1800s. The cross format was the idea of a son of Navala who was the first get formal education. Navala is predominantly Catholic. Navala is a national heritage. As mentioned above, it is full of history and legends. One of these is about the caves overlooking the village. The caves, halfway up a steep mountain, were a refuge during tribal wars in the dark ages of Fiji's history. The caves are near the old village. It was whether the women and children hid while their men guarded outside. The caves are in a strategic position that makes anyone approaching the village clearly seen. When the village was moved to its present location, the caves became empty and became taboo ground. The only time the villages would go up the mountains was to take tourists to a big waterfall. Navala is full of ancient artifacts which were kept by the villagers down the line from their ancestors. These relics would be displayed to tourists. Among the artifacts is an old musket, two spears, a fly swish and a small club. June to December is the time to plant, host visitors and fulfill their obligations. Navala was the first village in Ba to showcase community tourism.