On my recent sailing holiday in Fiji, we visited the remote island of Vanua Baluva (see map below). We dropped anchor off the town of Daliconi, where we were warmly welcomed ashore and guided around the village. Our visit began with a welcome ceremony with the elders of the village’s five clans — interrupted by a woman, bolder than her friends, who begged us for seedlings and garden tools for the Mothers’ Club Vegetable Garden. Sadly, that’s not the sort of supplies generally carried these days on a tall ship full of tourists, and the most we could give was cash. But with nowhere to buy supplies, even cash was of little use to these dedicated women.
Daliconi is so small that Google Maps couldn’t find it! Here is the island, though.
The Mothers’ Club tends a vegetable garden for the school, and what is not used for children’s meals is sold to other villagers. Wandering around, I took one look and thought, “aha! Edible Garden theme!” and got snapping.
The village was ravaged by Cyclone Winston on 20 February this year, hit by winds of up to 300km/h. If the palm trees and the hillside (first photo) look stripped and bare to you, that’s why. The school was one of the buildings destroyed that day. One classroom has been rebuilt, but this UNICEF tent serves for other classes.
The vegetables were all neatly labelled, if not correctly spelled.