Tups in repose
Here, well past midnight, were smiling Fijians playing music in the airport in and seeming genuinely happy to see us disembark. Call me jaded by Hawaiʻi’s tourism industry, but I was perplexed, if pleased. And though I suspect the show at that hour was unusual and in honor of this first Continental flight, for a moment it seemed to be meant just for us.
Once we connected with our Fiji Me representative Tups, and my small group departed in our Fiji Tourism mini van, it was so dark outside that no land or mountains could be seen. We could be anywhere, and only knew our destination by name, Denarau Island and the breezy, open-plan Radisson Resort.
Pool view of Radisson Denarau
Thus, apart from the airport music and our effervescent guide Tups, Fiji and its aquamarine seas, burnished skies, and instant relaxing calm was enshrouded—much like the tale of Pele’s sister, Hiʻiaka, landing at Kapaʻa, Kauaʻi near the sleeping giant Nou Nou, only to find the village dark and invisible. (Fiji has a sleeping giant land formation, too, I learned later, during daylight hours while being driven back to the airport for our return to Honolulu.)
My voice could not call Fiji forth that night as Hiʻiaka’s did with the village, so I crawled into the cool white sheets under the cover of darkness, thankful to the Radisson for my clean and elegantly comfortable room, then waited for the sun to reveal Fiji to me, at her leisure—waited for the next day’s beginning to begin.
--By Christine Thomas, 2010
Read more of CT's writing at www.literarylotus.com