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Lovely Oceania women
CONGRATULATIONS to the lovely Oceania women who took part in the Miss South Pacific Pageant.
Your countries must be extremely proud of you all.
You certainly brought a different dimension with regard to presenting oneself on the catwalk - elegance, grace, charm and pizzazz.
You were like a collective breath of fresh air and the international models would do well to take note, by taking a page out of your books.
Merewalesi, Fiji and even more particularly our women, are proud of you in your achievement - you are evidently the new breed of modern woman who will paint doors and walk through them, if there are none open and available.
The world is your oyster, so go for it. Who knows, Fiji could have the pleasure of having you as our first woman prime minister.
Think about it.
Guarding marine life
NODA Gauna (FTV 30/11) featured an encouraging story of marine life conservation by the yavusa of Navakavu in Rewa.
Early this year, I had the privilege of visiting the coastal village of Waiqanake where the Navakavu people live. The people here see, hear and breathe the sea - they depend on it for food and livelihood.
Many of the world's richest and most diverse habitats are found in places where poverty is a real and pressing issue. But all too often, conservation is considered a luxury that impoverished communities like the Navakavu tribe cannot afford.
Declaring an area of their traditional fishing ground as a marine protected area (MPA) ten years ago may have made the chief unpopular to some but it was a decision that was necessary to guard and sustain marine life so that in time to come, it continues to be a daily source of sustenance for the community.
The chief has passed on and the community now enjoys the spin-offs from this endeavour.
As witnessed on Noda Gauna, fish sizes and catches have improved; varieties of eels and crabs that had not been sighted for a long time are now reappearing.
This leads to increased catches and higher income for fishermen - greater catches mean more protein intake and a perceived improvement in children's and women's health.
There is potential for new jobs, especially in eco-tourism.
Women become empowered economically because they are skilled catchers of different varieties of marine foods.
Decision-making of the MPA should give the communities a more united voice and frequently reduce conflict within the yavusa and with neighbouring communities.
I believe the relevant government ministry is already using the Navakavu initiative to harness the full benefits of marine protected areas to improve the well-being of local people while conserving marine life.
EARLIER this year I travelled from Port Vila through Nadi to the United States of America.
I had not registered myself for entrance into the USA as required and received wonderful assistance at Nadi Airport from staff member Tevita Nakulanikoro, who gave me extensive help to find my way to the terminal, going though the passport check in and out and to apply for entrance via the internet.
This took him considerable time and energy, but thanks to his invaluable help I was able to fulfill all requirements before boarding the plane to Honolulu.
With the knowledge that your airport offers such a good service, I will be very happy to travel through your wonderful airport once more on the 4th and 5th of January on my way from Honolulu via Nadi to Suva and then back via Nadi to Apia, knowing that the service is impeccable.
Dr HUGO J van REIJEN
Saving during daylight
VHAVNAL Singh (FT 11/30) should get his (or is it her?) hour back when the clock winds back at the end of daylight saving.
The "lost" hour didn't go anywhere - it's with the Government for safekeeping.
WITH reference to Vhavnal Singh's letter regarding compensation for one lost hour, the words of John F Kennedy come to mind: "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country".
DAYLIGHT saving is fascinating. On Monday it was a quarter past seven in the evening and we were still playing volleyball.
I know, we benefited, we had one whole extra hour of fun in the sun.
Some people worked an extra hour, some played sports, some spent that hour in their plantation and some people wondered what was going on.
THE experience I got after the commencement of daylight saving was indeed really rewarding.
A favourable outcome of this practice of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less was that it gave me adequate time to do a lot of physical activities which really boosted my health such as backyard gardening and exercises.
The words of Benjamin Franklin ring loud here - "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise".
Let us then make the most of this daylight saving exercise.
THANK you Fiji Times for reporting (FT 1/12) that the Consumer Council has warned people against buying the cockroach-killing powder Mie Zhang Qing.
The information that this powder is used in restaurants around the country is extremely worrying. Surely it should be banned outright; and all existing stocks properly disposed of.
Perhaps the Fiji Times might investigate further and inform us accordingly.
For now, I imagine that Fiji's restaurants and takeaways will experience a sharp decline in sales.
FUNNY how every time we end our carnivals, the chairman always closes with two-hour long speeches.
Is there such a thing as death by boredom?
THE district of Wainunu in Bua has followed Wailevu Village in Tunuloa, Cakaudrove in exiling any villager found with or selling marijuana (FT 30/11).
With all due respect to the chiefs of the above districts, I believe that exiling these druggies is passing the buck for someone else to take care of our responsibility.
It is ironic that if the exiled drug offenders do not reform and end up in prison, they, through the Yellow Ribbon program, would be escorted back to the two districts on release and handed over to their families to take responsibility.
Our sports people
REGARDING FASANOC rues CHOGM decision (FT 1/12), can someone clarify my confusion?
How come sports people can't participate in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi but government leaders are allowed to take part in the verbal gymnastics in the United Nations in New York?
How is the "Commonwealth brand" of democratic ideals and values different from the United Nations?
Something doesn't seem to be right here in the banning of sports people.
AS a strong advocate of Fiji rugby, l along with many others hope the IRB votes in favour of allowing former players of Tier One Nations like NZ and Australia to play for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
Whilst Tonga and Samoa will benefit the most, it would also be a boost for the Flying Fijians.
We could have players in the calibre of Radike Samo, Jone Tawake, Sam Higginbotham (backrower QLD Reds) and Jerry Yalayalatawa to lift our forwards and adding Lote Tuqiri or Joe Rokocoko to our backline would be every coach's dream.
Hopefully, the IRB wont turn a blind eye as the Pacific Islands have for too long been a nursery for the All Blacks and Wallabies.
RESPECTFULLY, the cibi is an age-old standard practice of 70 long years.
Seventy years of toil by many of our very respected and loved statesmen; leaders; captains and "warriors" who represented Fiji faithfully, with distinction, if I may add.
Suddenly, like a bad dream, Johnny-come-lately, coach-designate Samu Domoni obliterates this standard practice through his own wisdom.
The rugby lovers of this country are craving for an honest answer.
Was his decision based on new-found ideologies?
I firmly believe the board of the Fiji Rugby Union must incorporate into its Operations Manual (if I call it that) that the cibi is part and parcel of every test match we shall encounter forthwith.
Everyone engaged with Fiji Rugby Union test matches must toe the line - that's final.
Sadly, I have had this niggling suspicion some newer interpretation of scripture may have been allowed to also creep in to Fiji test rugby history.
Is this the way to go?
I think not.
Do the cibi
I SUGGEST that those who do not want to do the cibi move out from the Fiji team including those management who support them.
We have many players who can be trained to replace them and lots of good people to run Rugby House.
THE win in Bucharest should prompt the FRU to focus on upgrading players' skills, players' physical preparedness and ability to see the causes and effects that contribute to the outcome.
The FRU should identify as many players as possible to vie for positions and cause a healthy player contest.
The Romanian game was useful because it showed Fiji playing two different styles in the two halves. The FRU should cut a DVD of the game with commentaries pointing out causes and effects.
For instance, Romania's tries resulted from two instances of holding by our players, giving the opposition penalty kicks to the corner where they executed two push-over tries. Besides, a player needs to analyse why one defies the law and holds on to a tackled ball. It's interesting.
Roko's aimless run and holding was infuriating because it gave the hosts a try to close the gap minutes from the end. The effect would be different if he'd kicked the ball out. Why didn't he?
The DVD narration should be bilingual - Fijian/English - with English subtitles, and distributed widely so players can be conscious, that every action always has a positive consequence; if not to your side, then to the opposition.
I think Ella is correct when he plans on (FT 30/11) "getting the players to the next level."
That you need, physically and mentally. Congratulations, boys.