Ricky Kresslein

Cobwebs In My Pots And Pans


There are cobwebs in my pots and pans. This may sound like a bad thing, but it is actually quite the opposite. Recently, a hurricane passed through the South Pacific, missing Fiji by about 900 kilometers, but still bringing high winds and torrential downpour. I had to take my pots and pans down from their hooks for the first time in two months in order to catch the rain leaking from my roof. In other words, I haven’t cooked in two months.

The first week of February I was invited to eat breakfast with my Turaga ni Koro (village headman), Taniela. I was explaining to him that I had lost twenty pounds in the six months I had been in Fiji and I just wasn’t used to the diet or way of life here. I was used to having grocery stores a few minutes down the road and a refrigerator where I could store meats and other perishables—things that would help fatten me up. I was not familiar with the daily fishing and farming lifestyle.

I told Taniela that I had been considering paying a family in the village on a weekly basis in exchange for three meals a day. He told me that as the Turaga ni Koro it is his job to make sure I am taken care of. He would certainly feed me. I had to push before he would accept any money from me, but we finally agreed on ten dollars per week (US$5). That may sound like nothing in America, and it is very affordable for me here in Fiji, but it is decent side-income for him.

Hence, my pots and pans have cobwebs.