I’ve been in Fiji exactly three weeks now, which feels incredibly bizarre. It won’t be long until I can say this is the most extensive amount of time I’ve ever spent abroad at once. Woohoo!

Even more bizarre, though, was the moderately-fierce storm that appeared to be brewing outside all day yesterday, at first resulting in nothing more than a sweltering, gusty wind ominously increasing momentum throughout the afternoon, accompanied by a noticeably stark increase in humidity.

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It was muggy. And brutally hot. Hot enough to transform the most minor hangover from the previous night’s casual ‘talanoa’ into a feverish, plague-like condition, reminiscent of last year’s experience at Beachcomber Island, which will forever be remembered as one of the most harrowing nights in my life.

Rest assured, once I get around to writing that story, it’ll be a fine read…

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Not even an absurd amount of time spent hanging out by the open freezer door with a pouch of frozen vegetables over my face could possibly emulate the soothing bliss one’d gain from a nice, chilly blast of air conditioning…

Oh, to feel the cold again…

I knew going into this trip there would be moments I’d miss the luxury of air conditioning, but I never realized just how much I’d learn to appreciate temperate weather.

LautokaNeighborhoodViews

Neighborhood views… Always something burning nearby

When I visited Fiji about a year ago, I distinctly remember the temperatures being unexpectedly mild. To my surprise, I found myself wishing I’d packed extra long-sleeve shirts, or even a pair of jeans. At the very least, jeans would have been a preferable attire choice during my lengthy Coral Coast horseback riding adventure…

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This time around, I made a point to bring along a variety of clothing options appropriate for cooler-weather, but I’m pretty sure no jeans or coats will be used anytime soon. I’m also almost entirely certain my fuzzy hooded North Face fleece jacket and Patagonia parka (otherwise known as the “Pata-Gucci”) will remain inside my suitcase for the duration of my stay in Fiji.

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To my knowledge, no noteworthy precipitation actually occurred in the vicinity yesterday. While a suffocatingly warm, stickiness continually lingers in the air, I awoke this morning to a glorious sound – rain!

Apparently Lautoka hasn’t received a true rain storm like this in several months, which is highly unusual for the region, especially combined with the incessant heat wave.

LautokaSunsetClouds

Others grumbled slightly about the rain, appearing distraught at the absence of sunshine. I adore the sun – don’t get me wrong – but I honestly love an overcast day every now and then. Overcast weather always seems to make bright colors brighter.

Fingers crossed this storm brings a much-needed cool front over to Viti Levu’s Western Division… It is technically winter here, after all!

WailoaloaHammockSunsetFunAtWailoaloaBeach