by Susheila Sharma
I remember a happy childhood.
The houses were so nice.
A lovely family environment.
My mum could sing beautifully.
A hardworking lady
always volunteering in the community.
The Pacific Ocean all around the island.
Pretty shells at the seaside.
I remember the sound of that ocean,
the sound of water and sea floating,
like the sound you hear when you make a long-distance call.
I remember coconuts, flowers and fruits.
How fresh everything was!
Mango, passion fruit, banana, paw paw,
Chinese cabbage and mustard greens.
A vegetable called daruka, shaped like the sugarcane,
It could be curried or roasted; put in soup.
My favourites were banana and coconut.
How I loved the sweet coconut water,
Better than any lemonade!
Nothing is sweeter.
Rice, fresh potatoes and lovely red beans.
And special dishes with prawns, crabs, yam and cassava.
I will share with you, a recipe.
The recipe for Vakalolo.
Mix together cassava, grated coconut and sugar.
Wrap it in banana leaves and steam it.
There was a small goldmine on the western side of Fiji.
Hotels were an investment in tourism.
The rugby players were very important in Fiji!
Leisure time was shows, plays and arts and crafts programmes
Park visits and school trips to the seaside.
At school we were taught that Fiji is the head of the world,
Fiji is the head of the world where the sun rises first!