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Nestled amongst the coconut palms on the foreshore, the village is home to 85 indigenous Fijians. Life on Buliya is simple.
There are no cars or roads. The only shop is run by Metui Coriakula and his charming wife Koro. It is a small shop annexed onto their house and is well stocked with basic supplies for the islands residents.They are delightful people (like all the Buliya people). Urban comforts such as we are used to in Australia are scarce. But after living with the people for a month I quickly realised that I didn't miss anything. Several people have T.V's and DVD players that run on generator, however, I rarely saw them being used. These wonderful people have a more communal set of values, and will sit down as a group singing and laughing rather than sit in front of a T.V. for hours on end. I have enjoyed many great nights with Nemani, the Chief of Buliya, Tuni, Ulita, Jone, and many others. I really look forward to meal times with Virisila, her father Jone, mother Rigi, and her two delightful children Litia and Semisi. Often her husband Semisi Snr, and her brother Jone Jnr will be there as well. It is a time when we share stories of our different cultures and they teach me about the Fijian language. Mid 2010 saw the completion of a Vodaphone tower on neighbouring Ono Island. This has now given excellent mobile reception and I am now able to keep in constant contact with my wonderful friends on Buliya. Slowly but surely technology is reaching to the four corners of the globe.
There is limited income available to the people of Buliya. Income is derived by way of vendor stalls at nearby Dravuni Island when cruise ships stop off several times a year, or by diving for Bech-de-mer (sea cucumber). Recently, Virisila Vosawale & Semisi Tamanivalu have been producing honey for the Tamanivalu family business and selling it to neighbouring islands. The small income earned is very quickly swallowed up by the high cost of fuel for their sole form of transport...long boats.
|The only power available comes from a small generator operated for only three hours a night giving light for the evening meal preparations. Prior to the generator the only source of light was from kerosene lamps. There are no showers. To wash, you walk to the fresh water lagoon to have a bath !! At the same time as having a bath you wash your clothes. No such luxury of washing machines or ensuites on this tropical island.|