Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Deanna J - Suva, Fiji - Spring 2015

Well, getting here was a pain in the butt (I’m talking over 48 hours at airports or on planes) but I was thrown into the amazing culture here immediately upon arrival. I was greeted by a trio singing a welcome song after getting off the plane, and ISA’s site manager gave me a warm hug and kiss on the cheek; there’s certainly a reason why Fiji has been dubbed as the friendliest nation. You can’t walk anywhere without a loud, “bula” and a wave from the people you walk past (even if they’re on the other side of the road on their porch). So the people here are wonderful, and so relaxed. The islanders have something called “Fiji time” where everyone just goes at a slower pace. While traveling on a different island our group went out to eat at a restaurant. We were the only people in there but it took a solid two hours to get our meals after ordering. Lateness is just very much a part of daily life here, which has been a huge change for me; it was definitely frustrating at first, but I adapted. And there’s so much beauty everywhere on the island. I’ve seen reefs, waterfalls, jungles, swimming holes, mountain tops, and so many other crazy things. But it's not all rainbows and butterflies (even though I’ve seen those too). Fiji is not America, so there are a lot of things that took some getting used to. The lack of readily-available internet anywhere you go, the lack of air conditioning, the way food is prepared/stored/eaten/etc., and the roaches/centipedes/millipedes that find their way into my flat all threw me for a loop. I think that pretty much no matter where you go things are gonna be different. But that’s sort of the point of going abroad, right? If you can move past how uncomfortable "different" can be, then you’ll be able to enjoy your experience so much more.


Blogger Kristen Rossi said...

Hi Deanna! Looks like you're have a great time. Fiji sounds like an amazing place to visit! Hope your having a great time!

12:20 PM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Hi Deanna,

I hope you're enjoying your time in Fiji! It seems so beautiful and intriguing! Aside from what you mentioned in your post, is there any other culture shock that you experienced so far while in Suva?

Natalie D.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Allen R said...

Hi Deanna! I'm not sure if you remember me, but we talked a little last semester about how you were studying abroad to Fiji! I'm really glad that everything worked out! It sounds like you're having a really great cultural experience! I have a few questions for you. Would you recommend enrolling in a class that's taught in another language? Do you have experience with that? Is it hard to manage school with your social life while abroad? Either way, I'm really happy for you that you've gotten to experience this opportunity! I hope you have a great rest of your semester!

-Allen Riquelme

11:16 PM  
Blogger Katherine Soderstrom said...

Hey Deanna! Fiji sounds beautiful and I hope one day to go visit there myself. How interesting that being late is acceptable I wish that was the case here!

-Kat S.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Deanna!

I hope you are having a great time in Fiji! It certainly sounds amazing! Reading through your blog, it seems like there is quite a bit of culture shock adjustment, so I was wondering if you could offer any tips on how you've been handling it?

Kayla S.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Maggie Bisaga said...

Hey Deanna! It's Maggie! Hope you're having an amazing time in Fiji. The picture looks absolutely beautiful. I bet you don't really miss working at the coffee shop with all of us haha. I was just curious about the differences in the learning styles over there and how they compare to here. I'm studying abroad in Nepal next semester so I would love some feedback! Was the culture shock bad for you? I feel like that is what I am most nervous about. Adapting to a different way of life.
Be safe! Take lots of pictures!
Maggie B.

2:15 PM  

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