Good time to enjoy

The Fiji Museum has a School Holiday program for students at the Thurston Gardens in Suva. Picture: FT FILE

SCHOOL holidays and no election yet.

I thought we might get them both over at once, but now people are betting on October 10.

Come to think of it, might have been a bit hard to deal with the politicking at the same time as the Methodist conferencing and out of town Hibiscus festivities.

So this fortnight, I am polishing up my art and craft skills and getting hot on phonics with the resident kindy kid, who is home on school break.

I suppose, we can still go down to Albert Park to kick a ball around and admire the lone baka tree left on the corner.

It’s also a good time to enjoy Thurston Gardens, which are looking lovely and are comparatively dry in this cool weather.

Then you can end up on the museum verandah for coffee, from where children can still run around while under parental eyes.

I’m always on the prowl for places where you can park and take rambunctious children without them ending under the wheels of passing vehicles or you being banned for life/until they are 21.

I don’t go into the city so often these days unless it is 3am on a Sunday because of the traffic and dire parking problems.

I’ve done my time on public transport and walking to town, let younger persons do that now.

There are also some places — I don’t go into on principle.

I and many others have wondered how an overseas religious organisation was able to start up so many different businesses of the sort that put them in direct competition with locals.

Things Fiji people are good at, such as small cafes and growing local produce, even though they mostly can’t afford the sort of start-up outfit and equipment these guys have.

Never mind the bonkers beliefs and allegations of slave labour, why were they given permits to set up such an extensive operation using overseas individuals for jobs such as planting and waitressing?

Who thought that was a good idea?

It makes me curious about the suggestion to bring in foreign labour for the seasonal work of cane-cutting.

This is historically and notoriously the worst work, worst paying of all jobs.

Understandably, those doing it have pushed for better condition and more money and some farmers simply can’t pay.

The situation is changing, farmers who may have had a team of strong sons and daughters to pitch in when the cane blooms now spend whatever they have to get their children the best education possible so they can leave the farm for better employment opportunities.

There’s been a lot of heartbreak in the sugar industry, but there are those who still try to hang on and want to see the younger generations work the farm and land to which they have a deep attachment.

Apparently, foreign workers are the economic answer.


How much is this idea really going to cost us in the end?

Lest, I seem racist or, heaven forbid, bigoted, like the signs urging us to godliness tell us this week, let me say, I have just had a very affirming experience with a foreign high commission which has made me feel most warmly towards the country concerned.

I got involved in getting a rushed visitor visa for a Fijian friend, who was already en route to go on a walking safari in a distant land, and discovered she didn’t have a visa.

She’s not a total idiot, apart from wanting to walk with elephants and hyenas, the visa is a relatively new requirement.

She then proceeded to fill out the wrong form, which I duly submitted for her, while another friend rushed with her passport from Sydney to Suva.

She also filled in part of the form incorrectly — but then the form was wrong anyway.

This country had a public holiday, which was also observed by the high commission in Fiji.

In short, they were as obliging as possible within their regulations and requirements and my friend is now on her way to walk with lions and hippopotami.

Meanwhile, my small holidaying schoolgirl can have fun with signboard phonics: B for bigotry, b for blunder, etc.

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