Our flight from Los Angeles to Fiji (21.8) fell exactly on the day marking the mid point of our sabbatical. There was another symbolic thing related to that. Going non-stop to Fiji we left US shortly before Sunday midnight to arrive in Fiji on Tuesday early morning, local time. In this way we lost, or rather lived through only a few hours of Monday on the plane. Such a “loss” of time was caused by crossing the so-called International Data Line (IDL), where each new calendar day begins in the world. IDL runs more or less along the 180 meridian, just on the other side of the earth opposite 0 meridian going through London. In more simple terms, for us in Poland it is the end of the world indeed.
Another trivia related to IDL is that just west of it it is exactly 24 later than than to the east. For example at 9:00 am on 31.8.2011 in Fiji, on the west side of the IDL it is 9:00 am on 30.08.2011 on the east side. In countries such as Fiji, straddling both side of 180 meridian, in theory you can celebrate New Year’s Day twice within 24 hours. To keep the whole territory of Fiji, i.e. 332 islands scattered around 1000 km in width, coherent in one time zone it is officially located in UTC +12, i.e. 10 (11 in winter) hours ahead of Warsaw time zone.
Starting our stay in Fiji we are also resuming the homeschooling. After all the school soon starts in Poland as well. Besides, here in Fiji we will have excellent conditions living in a nice place with a view of the South Pacific.
* For full version of the above slide presentation please refer to the Polish version of this post
Today, from the perspective of the past 6 months we have quite a few reflexions. First of all, wow … it has been six months of our long, joint journey. We do not feel bored at all. On the contrary, one or two-week vacations seem now an incredibly short period of time for real rejuvenation. Secondly, we learned to enjoy spending more time in one place, rather than rushing to see many places in a typical holiday. Here in Fiji, living among local people, away from touristy and very expansive hotels, we have got ideal environment. Here and now! This is such a relief after driving 12 k km in North America. We are not thinking about returning home yet.
The Fijians are extremely welcoming people, which will cover more in one of our future posts. Though it is the end of winter here and the sun sets around 6 pm, the weather is ideal. From time to time we experience torential downpours taking about 20-30 min. It is around 28-30 C and slighlty breezy here. The ocean water is superb. Unfortunately for the time being I am the only one swiming in it. The rest of the family is a bit worried you might get beaten by something lurking underwater. Unlike my pool training sessions, long distance swimming in the ocean reef is very interesting. It is so colorful and full of surprises. The kids have been curiously observing daily tides and the impact they leave behind.
Until next time.