Friday, July 8, 2011

Fawn Harbor, Vanua Levu



We finally escaped rainy SavuSavu around the end of May.  Our first stop was Fawn Harbor Fawn Harbor is enclosed with mangroves and is a very protected bay. 
 Some of the locals use ingenious boats made from corrogated metal panels.
The extended Pickering family owns a big area of property there known as the Pickering Plantation.  There are a dozen houses or so spread out over a hillside.  Of Mr. Pickering's 8 grown sons in their 50s and 60s, only one is alive.  The rest died of either diabetes, alcohol or hypertension related illnesses.  The widows are supported by their children.  
 
Arthur (the oldest and only surviving son) and Sandra Pickering have 4 children.  Their oldest has just graduated from the University of the South Pacific with a degree in fisheries.  The younger children are in the local schools.  They also care for the 14yo retarded daughter of a niece who just left her there as an 11mo baby!  They also care for 4 nephews whose 35yo mother died suddenly of a stroke.  Their father works on a cattle ranch and visits when he can.

All this sounds like the consequences of bad western diets.  Sandra also cares for the 11mo old nephew whose mother is a school teacher.  This child is delayed developing and is not even trying to walk, and barely crawls.  He's not very playful and doesn't eat well.  There are some government clinics here with limited ability to help.

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