Thursday, June 30, 2011

Levuka, Fiji

Levuka church

Levuka hospital

A missionary school

The former Mason Hall, Levuka

The former Mason Hall, Levuka


Town water supply, Levuka

Hillside above Levuka
Levuka is pretty little town; old storefronts with facades like something out of the American West.  A surprising number of stores, given the size of the town, though there are 8000 inhabitants on the island as a whole.  Tuna canning factory seems quiet but apparently employs 1/10 people here.  Cpt warns not to swim here because of sharks.  Amusingly, Water Sports Levuka does dives around the pier and harbor entrance- guess there are some fun nasties down there to swim with!  Saw some juvenile blue starfish under there.    I’m all set with swimming here.
Had an afternoon beer at the Ovuala Club after accidentally walking in on a regional chiefs meeting at the town hall and shaking hands.  Next door was the burnt-out remains of Fiji’s first mason hall.  All the rituals with skulls and stuff had the locals believing the masons were practicing witchcraft.  After some local Methodist ministers got them worked up in 2000, they burned it down.  Doesn’t look like the FD even tried to do anything about it, naturally.
FD had two adorable lil fire engines that I wanted to put in my pocket and take home with me.  From Japan, where they did 15yrs service, then 15 yrs Suva, and new here apparently.  They seem to sit out in the ocean breeze every day, so that won’t last.  Nice paint anyway.  The guys said the one in house when we stopped carries 2000L.  Nice NZ snap-connnections, and pre-connected hard suction.  Not sure where on the thing they had room for any equipment or pre-connects or supply line.  Couple guys in blue overalls manning the station.  15k to other side island to respond, only one station, but talk about getting lots of substations. 
Hospital was pretty run down looking from outside, really in need of paint etc.  Landscaping OK though, as in most places.  Went in for some seasick pills.  Chemist gave me some meds free, which later turned out to be anti-emitic/anti-psychotics…think I will toss those!  Inside the hospital was better than tonga- baseboards intact, floor cleanish, etc.  But hard to believe the place was built in 2002.  New teeth cost $175.  Embalming $200 Fiji, morgue costs $50/day after 3 days, and $100 day after 6!
Just gorgeous backdrop here of steep basalt cliffs with veg clinging.  The center of the island is an extinct crater with a village in it. 

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