11 (Thu) July 2019
Mission to Fiji, Day 3 of 8.
In Nadi. Here to conduct a series of planning meetings and ocular inspections – Wednesday to Friday in and around Nadi, Monday and Tuesday in Suva – in preparation for the Fifth Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentarian Forum on Global Health, which will be held in Fiji in August 2019. This is the fourth such mission in advance of the Fifth Meeting (see previously 10.118 Awhi Farms…), which will highlight the role of parliamentarians in addressing the health impacts of climate change.
FIELD VISIT, Part 1: Namoli Village
Happy to report that we’ve succeeded in identifying the sites for the field visit that will be organized as part of the Fifth Meeting.
The day will begin at Namoli Village, the oldest coastal settlement in the Western Division that is now vulnerable to rising sea-levels.
FIELD VISIT, Part 2: Tukuni Restaurant
However, finding an appropriate venue with environmentally friendly practices, cultural relevance, great food, and capacity to seat over 100 participants seemed impossible. That would be a challenge in any country. In Fiji, restaurants in general are rare, especially traditional Fijian restaurants – Fijians would prefer to eat Fijian food at home and go out for Chinese, Indian, American, Italian – even in the cities.
Tukuni is a Fijian restaurant. Ingredients are locally sourced, organic. No salt, no sugar, no additives used. To promote responsible consumption, the place mats, napkins, menus, even business cards are made from tree bark “paper” produced on the premises. The profits are used to support various social development and health promotion activities through their Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development (FRIEND). Seats 120 persons.
Quite likely the only establishment of its kind anywhere in Fiji – anywhere in the Pacific, in the world, perhaps – and it just so happens to be on a gorgeous hilltop overlooking the ocean, 15 minutes from Namoli Village. Fortunately, they’re available on 21 August.
And most important, the food is awesome. Lots of seafoods, simply prepared, seasoned with coconut milk, lemon juice, chilies, spices. Plus a wide range of steamed root vegetables, such as cassava, bread fruit, taro. And taro leaves as soup, taro stems as salad. All fresh, all healthy, all tasty, all traditional.
This will be the highlight of the Fifth Meeting.
FIELD VISIT, Part 3: Koroipita Village
And finally, Koroipita Village. A housing community for vulnerable peoples. Frankly, I have some concerns about this site, but I’ll reserve comment for afterwards.
Apparently, this is what kids everywhere do these days, gather around mobile phones – DJ and IZ would feel right at home here.