Lisa Salofa and her 16 year old daughter, Mini, were on the Ferris wheel at the fairground in Suva, the capital of Fiji, Viti Levu, Fiji. The Ferris wheel took them up to the top.
“Look at the view of the town” said Lisa.
“Yeah. So cool” said Mini. Off course they were speaking Fijian.
They could see the town from up there. And when the Ferris wheel took them towards the bottom they got a thrill.
“You're boyfriend needs some discipline, girl,” said Lisa “He's too smart for his own good”.
“He takes me into his room,” said Mini “Like he never cleans his room. His room is a mess”.
“Your father was like that. You have to keep them disciplined”.
And they went to the top again. And to the bottom again. And they went round a few more times. The girls were whooping and cheering, waving their arms out. Eventually the Ferris wheel stopped as they were almost at the top. It moved a bit at a time as the vendor let out his passengers.
“Nice hot day, Hun,” said Lisa “Look at that falcon up in the sky”.
“I wonder what its hunting”
“Don't know, Hun. Don't know”.
As they got to the bottom the vendor let them off. Lisa and Mini thanked the vendor for the lovely ride on the Ferris wheel.
“Now, shall we head to the fabric store,” asked Lisa “Get some materials for making that dress”.
They walked through the fairground and onto the main street.
* * *
They were at the fabric store looking at all the different fabrics that they had. There were sounds of cars coming past. One fabric was yellow with green stripes. Another had pink and blue splotches. Another was yellow with green leaves.
“Look at that one, Hun,” said Lisa “What do you think?”
She referred to the white fabric with the blue, pink, and purple flowers.
“I hate flowers. I don't want to look too flowery. What about that one?”
Lisa looked at the fabric with a disapproving look. It was black with some white stripes at one end.
“Bit plain for me, honey. This one's very bright”.
She referred to the yellow fabric with the green leaves.
“Too bright” said Mini “Would glow in the dark. And this one looks kind of sixties don't you think”.
They looked at the white fabric with the green, blue, and pink dots.
“What about the pink fabric?” said Lisa.
“Gross” replied Mini with a disgusted look on her face “What about the white fabric with the black dots?”
“The white one looks good, honey. Or do you prefer the dark green”.
“I like the blue”.
“OK. We take the blue then. 'Xcuse me, we'll take the blue fabric”.
“How much do you want?”
“Two metres of it”.
The store keeper cut the fabric to a specified length, wrapped it up and Lisa paid for the fabric with her eftpos card. Mini grabbed the fabric and they left the store.
“Let's head back on the ferry, Hun” said Lisa “It's getting late”.
* * *
Lisa Salofa drove her Ford Fiesta onto the ferry to Kadavu, which was the island they live on. Sometimes the Salofa's would go sightseeing in Suva and visit all the shops. The Fijian flag flew proudly next to the ferry terminal. The flag was sky blue with the British ensign on the top left hand corner. In the fly of the flag was the Fijian coat of arms showing ties with Britain. At the top of it was a lion holding a coconut. The shield was quartered by the cross of St George. And in the four corners were a sugar cane plant, a coconut palm, a pineapple, and a white dove bearing an olive branch.
The sailors closed up the back of the ferry and they headed out to sea back to Tavuki on Kadavu Island. The ferry bobbing up and down on the waves.
* * *
Peter Salofa and his two sons, Stephen and Tami, were at the florist in Tavuki, Kadavu Island, in Fiji. Stephen was 19 years old and living with his girlfriend. Tama was thirteen and he got into a lot of trouble. The boys were helping Peter to pick out some flowers for his wife. There were daffodils, roses, tulips, poppies, violets. Flowers of varying colours and smells. There were big white bells-shaped flowers.
“What about poppies?” said Tama. They were speaking in Fijian.
“Nah” said Peter.
“We could give her roses” suggested Stephen.
“We'll give her daffodils, son”.
“Nah. Tulips, dad. They're her favourite”.
“OK. Tulips it is. We'll have some tulips thanks”.
Peter paid the florist and they walked back to their Fiat station wagon with the boat on the trailer. They jumped in and headed home.
* * *
Peter and the boys arrived home to find that Lisa and Mini had already beaten them home. Peter drove the car and boat into the driveway, parked the car and switched off the engine. They hopped out of the car. Mini ran up to them and hugged the boys. She was so glad to see them.
“Oh flowers. For me?” said Lisa as Peter handed her the bunch of flowers he bought at the florist “Tulips. My favourite”.
Lisa hugged Peter and kissed him on the lips. The boys grabbed the chilli bin out of the car, dropped it on the ground, opened it, and said “Look what we caught”.
Mini opened her mouth in ecstasy. Peter and Lisa looked at the chilli bin and walked over to it.
“You caught some fish” said Lisa.
“Yes” replied Stephan “Two snapper, two orange roughe, and a trout”.
“Oh what delightful fish you caught, Hun” said Lisa “Aren't they big”.
“Yeah” said Mini “They look fantastic”.
“Tell you what,” said Lisa “Let's place the fish on the barby and cook us some fish”.
The family cheered and whooped and they carried the fish to the barbeque in the back yard. There was some furniture next to the neighbour's fence underneath the shelter. The barby was on the other side of the backyard that opened out onto the beach. It was getting dark so Stephan lit up the gas lamp and placed it on the outdoor table. Peter turned on the gas and bbq oven as Mini and Lisa went into the kitchen to prepare the tropical fruit. Peter placed the two snapper, orange roughes and trout on the barby and added coconut milk, garlic, and black pepper.
After a while Lisa and Mini came out of the house with some coconut, pineapple, paw paw, and mango. At that point the fish were cooked and Peter dished them out on the plates. The family helped themselves to the food and started their dinner.
“This snapper tastes good” said Stephan.
“Yeah, nice job, darling” said Lisa. And she kissed Peter on the lips.
The mango tasted sweet and juicy, the paw paw was nice, and the pineapple delicious. They drank some kava with their meal and they were laughing and chatting and having a wonderful time when Tama knocked down the gas lamp. The lamp smashed against the neighbour’s fence setting the couch on fire.
“Fire!” screamed Lisa.
“Run into the house and get me the fire extinguisher. Quickly!” ordered Peter.
Stephen did as he was told. By the time Stephen came out with the fire extinguisher it was too late. The fire had engulfed the entire couch and had spread to the other furniture and up the fence.
“Mini, call the fire brigade” ordered Peter.
Mini called the emergency number on her cell phone and said “We have a fire in the back yard. Yes. It's thirty seven Taulaula Street. It's engulfing the outdoor furniture and the fence”.
The neighbours came out to have a look and a few minutes later the fire brigade arrived. The fire had engulfed the outdoor furniture and the neighbour’s fence. The fire fighters attached the hose to the fire hydrant and started putting out the fire. Within an hour the fire was out. It had destroyed the back shed, the outdoor furniture and the neighbour’s fence. The family was devastated.
Lisa cried in Peter's arms while Stephen comforted Mini who was sobbing profusely.
“You got contents insurance?” asked the fire fighter.
Peter nodded. The fire fighter asked the family how the fire got started and they explained the incident. It was a terrible accident. The fence, the outdoor furniture, the back shed were all destroyed.