When Fiji was “The Cannibal Isles”

The Fijian Islands are celebrated as a lovely vacation paradise with a friendly population, and it is difficult to imagine that they were once known as the Cannibal Isles. In the 1700 and 1800’s, sea captains sailed far away from the Cannibal Isles for fear of being shipwrecked and therefore victims of the locals who actively practiced cannibalism.

My visit to two islands in Fiji in October 2017 allowed me to meet locals who were amongst the kindest and most hospitable I have met in my travels. Our taxi driver, a very kind young man from Lautoka, invited us to his home for tea and dessert. The next day in Suva we were treated as honored guests of the native Fijian congregation at the Centenary Methodist Church for Sunday services.* Today, the Christian faith of Fijians is strong and fervent, and Sundays are sacred, but their ancestors less than two hundred years ago certainly would not have greeted me in such a hospitable manner.

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Hobbiton in New Zealand

We Went on an Adventure!  (to quote Bilbo Baggins)

Hobbiton is a real place in New Zealand, and we went there on an adventure in October 2017.  Hobbiton is outside of Matamata and is the permanent movie set where parts of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies were filmed. It is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist attractions. You don’t need to be a Hobbit fan to think a  day in the Shire is a pretty wonderful adventure!

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