Raintrees Lovos and Birthdays. Another Day at Daku Resort Fiji.

Tuesday September 17

Another glorious day.

Breakfast is the best meal of the day as many of us agree. Have I said that before!

Mereoni did a bowl of mashed egg for putting on our toast. Yum.

Karen is our yoga leader today as was revealed at dinner last night – she’s  trained in body balancing which is a combo of yoga, and pilates.

For us it is wonderful.

At least she knows what she’s doing, and we all follow and feel fabulous at the end, which is what it’s all about.

Into the cars we hop ( thanks Raj) and our drivers deliver us to Raintree Beach with its  white sand and cerulean water.

Oh and fringed with palm trees and the most giant Raintree you’ve ever seen.

It’s how you imagine a South Pacific beach to be.

George is staying with us just to be sure we don’t get lost – or run away!

It is so lovely sitting and sketching the long wharf we can see beyond the palms, with the beach curving towards us and the gently lapping waves.

Especially nice is when when the boys and girls from the resort arrive with the teapot and freshly baked little cakes, and a table to put it all on.

We see Jacquie wandering towards us with Arthur and Martha, just to say hello and see what we’re up to.

They live right above here and could even have looked down to see us as tiny figures below – sketching.

Raintree Beach sketches

We have time for a swim and head back to Daku for some fruit, before we’re  out again, this time to the home of Brenda, a long term Savusavu family friend of our sketchers, Jenny C and Betty, all originally born here in Fiji.

Brenda has invited us to a Lovo. A good half hour drive past villages, churches, and beaches, always with brightly coloured vegetation and flowers on either side of the road,  we arrive at a circle of chairs beachside.

We are greeted warmly by Brenda our host and Monica the smiling cook and her team.

The boys take us along to see the opening of the fire pit where the meats and veggies have been cooking underground all day. Mostly one doesn’t get to see where it all happens so it was really interesting to see food prepared in the earth and not in a commercial kitchen. This is the lovely part – cooking with nature’s materials.

The layers of leaves with all of the wrapped food deeply within are brought out ready to present.

Then it is set out on a waist high table for the guests to help themselves.

What a feast. What flavours. We are all in heaven.

One of the young women was so taken with seeing Jan sketch, she wanted to know how to start. They brought her over to me and we talked about looking and seeing the shapes of what you want to sketch.

Jan pulled out the page from her own sketchbook and handed it to the young woman. She gasped and held it to her heart, so overwhelmed to receive a simple sketch from a stranger.

She said she will try to sketch at home herself. She had tears in her eyes.

As we are about to leave, the family sing to us a farewell song and the same young woman takes up the the guitar and plays.

We feel the connection between ourselves and the village people,  but must make our farewells and head back to the resort and ready ourselves for a birthday dinner.

Brenda's Lovo sketches

Drinks of coconut juice with a little vodka go down well on the balcony of our villa as the sun goes down. No lights but candles set the mood.

Meantime I’m having the most glorious body massage by Melanie, so make my entrance a little late, but with a body gleaming with coconut oil and feeling a million dollars. With the lighting so low it could have been Cleopatra making her entrance.

Dinner tonight is 3 different curries and so delicious once again. Great for a very different and memorable birthday.

Suddenly the lights go out and something is being carried around the pool towards us.

A birthday cake for Jacquie.

Wow. Can this get any better.

We have certainly eaten well today and in between, some great sketches of life as we are seeing it in this utterly captivating little Fijian town.

©ErinHill2013. Photos also contributed by Jenny C, Toni. Still more wonderful days to go.

One comment

  1. Susan Player

    Fiji and the Daku Resort was wonderful, relaxed, welcoming, great accommodation with excellent food, what else would you want? Yes, we had it, a great teacher who imparted her knowledge so freely and with so much fun!! Thank you Erin you are “tops” and that delightful man of yours, Milton for his care and support. I had a wonderful holiday and looking forward to doing it again…Oops!! and the lovely group of “girls” a fun bunch of people..


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