A fun-filled day in Fiji
EDITOR'S NOTE: Throughout the summer, ASU students studying abroad will be writing back to the states about their overseas adventures. Fostering international student experiences is just one part of ASU's commitment to making a global impact.
This last week has been crazy busy. Not only did we wrap up our time in New Zealand, but we also hopped on a plane to start a whole new program in ... Fiji!
Now, I am by no means saying that New Zealand was anything other than amazing, but it is really awesome to be able to leave my room without multiple layers of clothing. We’ve only been here one full day, but we have already done so much. The morning started with the obligatory program orientation. From there, our group hopped on the bus and headed for lunch. After lunch, adventure time began.
First, we went to the local hospital for a tour around the facilities. The staff was gracious and very kind, and it was a real adjustment to see facilities so unlike those at home. I volunteer in the operating rooms at an Arizona hospital, and seeing the Fijian operating theater was almost surreal. Especially interesting (and awesome) was the on-site dentistry clinic. No dental procedure – and they offered a pretty full range of services – cost more than $10 Fiji dollars, which equates to about $20 U.S dollars. Everyone in our group was shocked at the low costs.
After the hospital, we briefly toured a local farm. Hearing the farmer speak was interesting, but watching his son ride around on a horse was far more engaging. The kid could be in the circus, what with the standing up and riding backwards as he did.
Our final stop for the day was at a vegetable mart next to a craft mart. I bought half a prepared pineapple, shared a roasted chestnut and bought a bag of starfruit. The vendors were all super helpful in explaining to me and my fellow classmates where they got their produce, how much they generally made each day, and anything else we wanted to know about their wares. The craft mart was also an experience, and I came away with some souvenirs for family members.
Tomorrow, we are going on an island tour and will be snorkeling. I am definitely excited for this! Another thing that I'm really excited about is our required service learning activity. We will be helping to restore local reefs by planting coral. It will be an awesome way to earn credits, help the environment and spend some time in the ocean.
Marie Manning, a global health major, will be a senior this fall. She is studying abroad in New Zealand, Fiji and London this summer.