Pearl Farm and Ganesh Festival. Daku Resort Fiji

Wednesday Sept 18.

Can you believe it is slightly cloudy today.

We skip yoga as we don’t like to be time pressured here, and need to be at JHunter Pearl depot very soon.

There is a growing and successful young pearl business here in Fiji.

The complete process is managed by professionally trained people and employs local as well.

These are unique world wide because there are gorgeous luminous colours between the classic black and white pearls.

The beds are just out in the bay and we took a beautiful boat ride to see them tethered over the coral, and the pearl workers selecting oysters on the pearl barge.

The chance to purchase was offered afterwards.

We’re getting to know the town now so we wandered the short distance to the Copra Cafe over the water for some sketching.

In the centre are two excellent gift stores. One an Art Gallery with  great choice of  jewellery and beauty products.

Next door is a hole in the wall stacked with Fijian handcrafts.

You could hardly get in once our girls swooped on both these, proudly coming out with their purchases mainly of the freshwater pearls we’ve all suddenly gone mad on.

 I think part of our pleasure is that we are supporting the locals. Everything comes from here. Store owners often make their own line of jewellery or tableware and so on. We are finding things here we do not see elsewhere in the world which is so totally refreshing and the prices are extremely reasonable to us.

We’d been hearing that the annual Hindu Ganesh Festival was happening today and would conclude waterside in the direction of the resort.

In fact it turned out to be later than we’d heard because it does take several hours to leave the temple and wind it’s way through the town to where the boat was waiting.

The waiting was in fact a lovely reflective time amid the building excitement.

Sitting as were invited to do, with some lovely older people, under the floral decorated canopy, with beautifully dressed Hindu men women and children, waiting patiently and quietly conversing with their friends, we shared a bond.

There is no doubting that something is headed our way when we hear the beating drums and see the colours and the clothing as the crowd, particularly the women, dance laugh and sing in the parade.

As we sketch some of the children are fascinated to see grown ups sketch and paint in public. They shyly stand and gaze, fascinated with what we were doing.

At moments such as these, you realise it’s the sketching that connects you with people. We are moving amongst them in everyday situations and it’s then the little moments occur.

Karen offered a tiny 3 yr old a paintbrush to try some colours. She did what she was told and put water on the brush, mixed it around and carefully made patterns on Karen’s sketchbook.

What a delightful sharing moment between a child and adult of two entirely different cultures.

What a fantastic sight. Some of the local boys offer for us to go up higher and look down over the dancing swirling crowd.

Ganesh sits up high on a stand, decorated with flower garlands waiting to be taken aboard a barge. When they reach the spot out in the bay, he will be dropped into the sea and left to to dissolve. Going with him are bad spirits to be washed away and goodness will then prevail.

Home we dawdle after this wonderful Hindu celebration and can’t help but be thrilled to have been here when this annual event took place.

We love being part of Fiji celebrations. All of them give us a little more understanding of life here.

More sketching is happening as it does every day at tables around the pool area and courtyard.

I’m so impressed how our group will go off and spend hours in between outings sketching everything around.

Colours  are being tried, styles explored and everyone is working more quickly and getting lots done and thoroughly enjoying every moment.

We’ve just had another gorgeous day, and we are beginning to feel a little bit part of the events which go on here.

Everybody is so welcoming and open.

We don’t seem to have time to be this way with each other in the big cities anymore.

Much we are learning indeed.

Ganesh and other sketches from today

©ErinHill2013. Photos also contributed by Therese and Barb. Stories continue tomorrow.

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