The same young men asked if they could come out to the boat and drink Kava that evening. I agreed and decided to pick them up at seven thirty. They brought a few friends so we had four guests and a half kilo of freshly ground Kava root. We got out La Vie's biggest "Kava" bowl" a large salad bowl and they commenced to mix the first of four very large bowls of Kava. My prior experience was that Kava was nothing more than a social drink that made your lips or tongue tinge. I can definitely say I was wrong about this. For the first bowl I was the Kava server whom decided the pace of the drinking. Upon advice from the chiefs symbolic messenger you would be given the command of "ombo" or 'pour the Kava'. As the server you would then clap your hands five times to signal the Kava was about to be distributed then the first cup would hypothetically go to the chief or in lieu of the chief the symbolic "Messenger", then subsequently to the eldest persons first and the Kava server last. The Kava server would ask Low tide or High tide? The recipient would respond and then say "Bula" clap their hands once and down the Kava in one drink. The cup would be passed back and sometimes everyone claps three times, it wasn't always consistant. This continues until the Kava is gone and the second and third bowls are emptied as well. By the third bowl I was definitely feeling the effects. Pretty much just a happy feeling with big smiles and a general feeling of sedation. Kava being a mild narcotic I guess this is about right.
Around eleven thirty, well past my bed time they said "Tevita another bowl of Kava?", I politely declined and delivered them back to shore. The next morning I couldn't really wake up and felt pretty much sedated most of the day. So the Kava "hangover" was spent ashore. At ten thirty we attending church and enjoyed a cerimony in one hundred percent Fijian with some amazing singing and harmonization. After church, to a villagers home for a wonderful tasty lunch of fried fish, boiled cassava, taro leaves with coconut cream, deep fired cassava and some other unidentified vegetables. After lunch I was asked to take photos of the entire village. I proceeded to take two hundred and thirty six photographs. Each and every member of the village was photographed numerous times and I've promised to send a big package with the printed photographs sometime in June. It was a great treat as the Fijians are very modest and humble so the opportunity to create a win win photography session was awesome. I look forward to posting these pictures on the blog.
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