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The Fiji Times Journal

From Wynn: Great Day

Friday, January 4, 2008


It was a great day today.

We woke up, had breakfast, and went to shoot Jean on the beach near the hotel. The hotel is at Korelevu, which is where Jean lived 60 years ago as a young mother. We hoped to find the small house on the beach where she had lived. However, the beach did not seem familiar to Jean. We did find a row of handicraft shops built out of corrugated metal at the far end of the beach. There we talked to some wonderful Fijian women who welcomed Jean like a long-lost relative. Jean mentioned the ‘Clark house’ to them, which was the house next to where she had lived. One of the women remembered the Clarks, but told us that they had passed away. We realized from talking to them that the house was not on the beach which we were on, but instead was on a beach a couple miles back.

So in the afternoon, we piled in the van (new car), and drove back to the village of Korelevu. We had no idea where the right place would be. But after asking a couple of people about the Clark house, we got pointed down an overgrown and flooded dirt road. It seemed to lead to nowhere, or to the end of the world, or into the past. After getting lost and redirected, we finally found an abandoned house. We thought it may have been the Clark house but weren’t sure. But walking down the beach near the house, we couldn’t find any remains of the house were Jean had lived. Not being sure if we were in the right place, and feeling frustrated, we were ready to go back to the hotel. But then we were joined on the beach by three young people fishing. Saying hello, we soon find out that one of them was named Clark. Turns out, he is the grandson of Jean’s old neighbor. Anyway, he is a gentle and handsome young man of mixed ethnicity (his grandparents the Clarks were white, but his mother is Fijian (she’s a singer with several albums!). Unfortunately, his grandmother had just died the year before, and he was the only Clark left in town. But Jean was able to talk to him at length about his family and the history of that isolated little spot. Jean was thrilled to have found him and we got great footage.

That’s all for now.

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