I'm home from Fiji, grateful for the experience and to be home safe. In the end, I ran in front of Cyclone Pam, leaving Kaibu and hopping first to Suva, then Nadi and home before the bad weather hit.
Seeing the pictures from poor devastated Vanuatu, I feel for them so much. Knowing too the standard of housing in Fiji, I can imagine how little protection the houses in Vanuatu gave to those caught in the fury of the storm. Less easy to imagine is how frightening it must have been.
Feeling glad to be home, and also waiting to see if Cyclone Pam landed here in NZ made it a little hard to focus on delicious images of Kaibu. But here they are: this beautiful place and some of the dishes we created. So glad to hear all our friends there are safe!
For Kana Vinaka, being home means cataloguing photos, writing up recipes, getting print quotes and continuing the search for funding to complete the book. We're thinking one more trip to Fiji will be enough to finish trialing and photographing all of the recipes.
There are so many lessons from this project and the last 12 months. A few of the notables are:
- Be bold enough to dream and kick away from the shore.
- Trust in your abilities and give it a go (I learn this lesson over and over in my life).
- Giving is so rewarding - in more ways than one.
- We all have so much more than we think we do - and the Fijian people are a constant reminder that you don't need to have much to be happy.
- Goodness, humanity and humour is common to us all - and beauty is everywhere if we look for it. So is opportunity.
This time 12 months ago I would never have thought I would travel to Fiji to work on a book, which just goes to show, surprises and miracles are always just around the corner. Here's to living with an appetite for adventure!
This dish is one of the highlights of the trip: after working with Sandhya from FRIEND and her Mum on traditional Fijian Indian dishes, Colin created this contemporary take on a chicken curry. With the tamarind rice, crisp tender bhajia and the tamarind chutney, it was to die for!!
Step 1: Find your fish.
Step 2: Prepare it, along with complementary ingredients
Step 3: Steam gently until done, and serve.