Monday night was spent in Suva with a family whose father, Joave, works for Mai Dive. Joana, the wife, lives with her mother, 2 sisters, brother in law, 3 daughters, and 2 sons. The apartment has two bedrooms, a sitting room, one bathroom, and a kitchen. The TV only gets 4 stations and the shower only spits out cold water. The clothes are washed by hand and hung to dry. The food is cooked on two small gas burning stoves 1 foot off of the ground.
That night, Joana slept with her mother and youngest son in one room. Her sister and brother in law in the other. I slept in the sitting room with her second sister, 2 daughters, and son. I know this is a bleak picture to paint, but their attitude was nothing but genuinely nice. They welcomed me into their house on short notice after having met me once before. Fed me. Gave me a place to stay. And never once asked me for anything in return. A true testament to the Fijian people and their kindness. To thank them, I went out and bought two chickens and some potatoes for dinner.
The next day, we were all watching a TV show about people from rural China. People were being murdered, mutilated, beaten, and starved. One girl turned to me and said, “We watch these shows sometimes and think how lucky we must be here in Fiji.”
They considered themselves lucky.
10 people in 1 house.