July 5

Today Jonah and I went into Lautoka. The sugar cane fields are being harvested and there are small trains that bring the cut cane to the factory in Lautoka. It was a pretty drive, the hills were green from the rains and the sky was slightly overcast which made the landscape look almost pastoral which I think is unusual in a tropical country. Abdul was our friendly driver today. A lovely Fijian Muslim (if you call them Fijian Indians they gently correct you and say "No, I am Muslim." I can't imagine a more mellow group of Muslims in the world. They have a lot of pride in their community although sometimes they make outrageous slams against the native Fijians.

The political strife in Fiji was created in the days when Independence was being negotiated when it was decided with the blessing of the then current Indian political power that most land was declared owned by Native Fijians and a small segment of land was declared Freehold and could be bought by non-Fijians. I believe it is illegal for Fijians to sell land to non-native Fijians, including Indians. Indians have been in Fiji for over a hundred years although much Indian immigration has occurred in the later part of the 20th century.

During various political coups, native Fijian mobs abused the Indian population. The Fijian Indians say the natives are lazy - most business are owned or financed by Indians. They are similar to the Jews in 18th century Europe. The only choice for them to make a living is to do it in business and money. The values of education and improvement and strong extended families help foster an environment in which a large number of Indians can be very successful. Of course there are plenty of poor Indians but the Native Fijians say the Indians control money and material goods unfairly and that all Indians are very rich.

Oh yeah these people are destined to hate each other for what the other has. A taxi driver that Jordan met said that the Indians have a plan - the Indian boys must marry Fijian girls. A pragmatic approach to the difficulty of sharing a country. I think it wise - we should all be mixed and intertwined. I am not sure if it will work in the Middle East but hey, they should give it a try.

I washed the boat today, bashed my finger in the cupboard and had my son declare to me that he loves my butt. Tonight was half price pizza night at The First Landing, the resort next door to the marina. We attended as usual. The new gear box is here, the last one was sent back because it wasn't exactly the same and didn't fit. We might have it installed sometime next week by a mechanic. Its not a do-it-yourself thing. I sometimes feel as if I am in some strange Beckett play "Waiting for the Transmission Part 4 and on" ---- I am considering purchasing large amounts of gin as I have found that I don't get headaches when I drink it and in existential Fiji, a strong gin and tonic is greatly desired.