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The Fiji Times Journal

From Wynn: my last blog

Thursday, January 17, 2008

This may be my last blog. I will be flying home tomorrow night, while Alexi, Jean, and Smith will be staying a few more days. Most of the shooting is finished now. We spent a large part of the last couple of days in Levuka, on the island of Ovalau. Levuka was the original capital of Fiji. It is a sleepy little colonial town, wonderfully untouched, and somewhat musty and dusty. It has great atmosphere. Also, Jean’s great-grandfather,
G.H. Lee (whose story is part of Jean’s novel and may also be part of the film) spent time in Levuka back in the early days of colonial Fiji. Jean visited there a few times in the past. We stayed at the oldest hotel in Fiji, the Royal Hotel, a fantastic ghost of a hotel, somewhat surreal, like something out of a dream or hallucination. There’s not much to do there, and only three places to eat in the whole town. But it was very picturesque and we did get a little closer to old colonial Fiji (which has almost disappeared from Suva.)

After returning to the main island, Viti Levu (on a plane with a cabin space equivalent to that of the Ford Everest we are driving now), we did a little more shooting in Suva—the botanical gardens, the old Regal Theatre (now housing a Chinese restaurant), and the old Catholic church. We also finally found Jean’s grandparent’s house by walking around the area where she remembered it being with an old photograph. The house is still there, but it has been totally changed with a number of additions and remodeling jobs over the years. It seems to house a wealthy family now, but Jean would have been happier if it was left as it was, even if that meant that it was abandoned ruins like her own house.

Anyway, tomorrow morning we are planning to go to the cemetery to try to find the graves of Jean’s grandparents. After that we will drive back to Nadi with an extended stop at the old Lee estate at Deuba. Hopefully we won’t be rained out again there.

That might be all for me, but look out for at least one more blog from Alexi before they all return to the States.


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