Mike Jenkins: The well travelled singer/songwriter visits Fiji

Saturday 8th October 2005

Singer/songwriter and renowned world traveller MIKE JENKINS filed this account of his recent experiences in Fiji.

Mike Jenkins: The well travelled singer/songwriter visits Fiji

I'm back in civilization again after a week in a tiny village on the north coast. I'd met a guy on the street the day I'd gone to do a radio show. He turned out to be one of the chiefs of this little village and wanted me to come, stay and advise him about his ideas to start an eco tourist business. We have been moving rocks, cutting jungle and talking to all the other chiefs about not being frightened by the foreigners. The last time someone tried to start a tourist business here, someone died and they are superstitious and fearful of the ancestral spirits. My friend (Tomany) has a strong faith but needs more help to get his life on the road. He still lives with the woman that broke his marriage 10 years ago and knows that he must deal with this. We climbed the mountain to an ancient burial site where the skulls and bones of the old chiefs were hidden, looking out over the bay. He prayed, as a representative of the new spiritual chief, and asked to break all the curses on the land that the previous chiefs had made. There were tears and much spiritual release.

Being back in very basic living conditions took a few days to get used to with the rustic plumbing (non) and a tap direct from the spring. The spring and the location were breathtaking and hopefully the Lord will bless this village so that they can have some of the benefits of electricity and medical help. There were no phones, computers, TVs, tape players, just a radio or two. Bliss for the back to nature ,eco-type. For myself it was wonderful to be included in real Fiji life. I planted yams with all the men and drank kava (traditional plonk) just once. It was bitter and quite strong. The rest of the guys continued to get plastered as their after work ritual together. They asked me to play and tell them some stories of other countries and then I left before it got too strange. The women were waiting for me to play songs to them in the chief's shack and the peace of the Lord was there.

I swam in the bay and sat on the hard floor of the Methodist church on Sunday (I had to wear a skirt not to offend the pastor. I think I flashed him a few times, not being used to changing position on the floor in a skirt! The kids were more interested in me than the sermon. I will be trying to see if the door to more TV or radio opens today so please pray that the right doors will open. There is a need for more Spirit filled believers. I haven't met many so far.

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