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pooomba replied to the thread shipping container to Fiji on the Fiji forum on January 20, 2015:
Pheebobafet initially posted:
I am moving to Fiji in Mid April. I have spent quite a bit of time in Fiji and know how expensive export items are. So I am going to send a 20 foot shipping container from Brisbane. I have a quote so far for 4G Aus, and about 1200 Aus to clear customs on the Fijian side. Does anyone know the cheapest company I can do this with? Cheers!
pooomba replied on January 22, 2015 with:
UB Freight in Lautoka. I have used them many times. They are professional, honest by Fiji standards and good pricing
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repsteinusa posted University of the South Pacific on the Fiji forum on January 19, 2015:
I wrote this a few months ago, at the end of my first year in Fiji. I just realized that it's not doing any good sitting on my hard drive, so here goes... --------------- If you're thinking about moving to Fiji to work at USP, it might help you to know the following: 1) STUDENTS. The students are wonderful - friendly, respectful, and eager to learn. Some do have trouble writing in English, because it is their second or third language, but that is usually not a serious problem. 2) ADVERTISEMENT. Be cautious about what the job advertisement says - and doesn't say. The ad I saw said nothing about founding, heading, and teaching advanced courses in a counseling program, but that's what I was asked to do, even though I have no background in counseling. 3) CONTRACT. Be cautious about your contract. Mine turned out to be misleading. It said, for example, that I would be teaching a "maximum" of 4 courses per year. Soon after I arrived, I learned that I was supposed to teach 4 courses per year, period. Some people might call this a "bait and switch." 4) AIR CONDITIONING. If heat & humidity bother you, be cautious. Although I had been told that everything is air conditioned at USP, in fact, most classrooms and offices are not. My wife and I were charged FJ$4,000 (about US$2,000) to have three air conditioners installed in the house we were renting from the university. When I offered to pay to have an air conditioner installed in my office, as well, I was told that was "impossible" because none of the other offices in the building were air conditioned. 5) ACADEMIC FREEDOM. If you are a scholar or scientist, you should be aware that academic freedom as we know it does not exist in Fiji, in part because the universities are afraid of the government. To read more about this, Google "academic freedom in the south pacific" to read my recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education. 6) CONFERENCES. If you are used to attending academic conferences, beware. You need multiple approvals months in advance, and you might find that either money or permission to attend are denied. In April 2014, I was scheduled to present five papers (oral presentations, not posters) at a prestigious, century-old scientific conference in the US. About three weeks before the start date of the conference, I received a letter from a dean saying I could not attend, even though attending would not have interfered with any of my campus responsibilities. I learned from other staff members that this kind of thing is not uncommon at USP. 7) PAPERWORK & PERMISSIONS: For some of the expats I know at USP, this has been the hardest adjustment - an endless stream of unnecessary multi-part forms requiring multiple signatures. I was later reprimanded by an administrator when I had to leave Fiji suddenly to attend my father's funeral in Connecticut. I hadn't completed the appropriate form and gotten the required signatures. 8) GRADING/MARKING papers & exams: If you are used to have teaching assistants help you with grading, think again. If you lobby and, of course, complete forms, you might get some help, but here's the kicker: USP has a strict rule that instructors can NOT have people help them grade final exams. I thought I could I could at least save some time by using a multiple-choice exam, but it turns out that USP doesn't use scanners. Multiple choice answers must be graded by hand. 9) EXAMS. Final exams must be approved beforehand and submitted to the administration weeks before the final exam period. 10) FINAL GRADES. They must be DEFENDED. Your supervisor and a dean must approve them before they can be filed. No matter how much teaching experience you have and no matter what your credentials, USP does not trust you to give a fair grade. Bear in mind that the officials who examine your grades would almost certainly be unable to pass your course. 11) STANDARDS. Students who earn a numeric score of 85% or above in a course are given an A+, and 50% is high enough to pass with a C-. The grading standards are much lower than I have seen elsewhere, which I think is unfortunate for USP students. 12) MOSQUITOES. If you have a problem with bugs, and especially mosquitoes, be cautious. In March 2014 alone, the Fiji government reported that 11 Fijians had died from dengue fever - which is carried by mosquitoes - with 10,000 suspected cases. No matter what I tried - insecticides, repellants, electric zapper fans, vacuums, etc. - and no matter how many times USP tried to plug holes in my house, every night I worked at my desk I was surrounded by a cloud of mosquitoes and other small flying insects. Not everyone I knew there had that problem; I was told it depends on your skin. 13) RESEARCH TOPICS. To be safe, make sure your research is about the South Pacific region. Mine was not, which is why, I was told, I could not attend that April conference, even if I paid my own way. My ongoing research projects - some in progress for decades - and related publications were known to USP administrators when I was hired, of course. To my amazement, though during my first few months at the university, I was advised by two administrators to abandon my ongoing reserach – yet another violation of academic freedom, in my view. 14) SUVA. Although the outer islands in Fiji are among the most beautiful places in the world, Suva, where USP is located, is noisy and polluted, mainly because there are lots of old vehicles and no emission standards. The ocean water around Suva is also polluted. I tried swimming in it - big mistake. On the bright side, USP has a well-maintained swimming pool which is nearly Olympic size. 15) ADMINISTRATION. I had been told by USP expats I was corresponding with in the months before I went to Fiji that the USP administration is highly dysfunctional. I developed a similar impression. One indication is that USP administrators will sometimes act arbitrarily. One example: after our next-door neighbor - an expat from NZ and the deputy vice-chancellor of USP, no less - submitted a complaint about other staff members she felt were partly responsible for a murder-suicide involving a USP student - she was suddenly locked out of her office and cut off from the USP email system. Someone also came by and took away the car the university had provided for her and her husband - all this without due process of any kind. By the way, if you do run into any serious problems at USP, assuming you signed your contract while still in your home country, you probably have a right to take legal action against the university in the courts in your own country. That's about it for now. Good luck! Sincerely, Robert Epstein, PhD
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WaterSprout commented on the Expat Report Living in Nadi, Fiji
Living-in-Nadi
Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

Have been coming to Fiji for over 20 years on holidays, but have been living here for 3 years for professional reasons. Being a "white" female in Fiji is a daily challenge as women are not normally treated as in other European countries. Always get a local friend if buying or renting real estate to help you as prices triple with "whites". Underlying discrimination against "white" people in most places, particularly in one of the major local communities, much less with the other major local one.

Everything has to be bargained for. Beware of easy and quick friendships or courtships as some locals often see them as a means of financial support and not genuine friendship, no matter how deep and moving are the love words used . Beware of house help as thieving is rampant, make sure you have recommendations from other people living locally.

The positives: cheap and good fruit and vegies at the market which also financially helps market vendors (instead of buying imported and transformed goods). Laidback lifestyle to help unstress. Make sure you have genuine male and female friends, locals or expats, it will be easier for living as a woman here. Much is said and done for the status of women and I praise those who tirelessly work for it but the reality is sometimes different. We'll get there! The rule: put on your best smile but always keep an eye open and you should manage the wonderful and sometimes surprising intricacies of living here. All the best!

(Continue)
WaterSprout replied most recently with:
Thank you so much for the candid report. Too often the male gender chooses to be oblivious to female discrimination, so reports miss this crucial clarity. I admire your daily fortitude!
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A reader commented on the Expat Report Moving to Sigatoka Valley , Fiji
Moving-to-Sigatoka-Valley-
What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
Like everywhere be careful with giving away too much information. We could have easily been taken advantage of many times. Once in Fiji there seems to be a "Coconut grapevine" and if you want something or to rent somewhere somebody always knows how to get it or to arrange it for you. Anything we wanted there was a person for it. Again be careful about prices charged. Unfortunately where we were living was very disadvantaged and while we were not wealthy we did do a lot for the village and hence everyone thought we were rich. (Continue)
A2ZBULA replied most recently with:
Sigatoka Valley is in the wopwops checkout www.fijifreeholdlandestates.com our Seashell Beach Estate is secured on the main track and close to Sigatoka Town,Hospital,schools Churchs,bus service at the gate great fishing rite in front of Seashell,great surfing a 30 minute walk along the beach what else would you like? Good luck AJ
A reader replied recently with:
Hey, you can definitely buy housing and land in Fiji! We own our freehold property in Korotogo just near Sigatoka - it is greatly under valued at $180,000 as we're right on a mangrove river which locals seem to think is a bad thing!-even tho we're just minutes paddle to the ocean. Yes, I really missed good quality meat, but Fiji Meats on the road to Denarau is great - and Wahley's of Suva deliver once a week to Sigatoka area. The standard of meat available in Sigatoka supermarkets has really improved since your original listing - and local lamb is delicious....though, when it comes to frozen chicken, I prefer NZ imports as less fat. Fiji does have great coffee - but it doesnt seem to be available on the local supermarket shelves. You can buy local coffee beans at Tappoo (packaged as a tourism commodity...overpriced and not much use if you don't have a grinder and espresso machine. Still, Tappoo has a nice cafe where they serve excellent coffee, there's also the new Cafe Coco on Sunset Strip in Korotogo and one of the best espresso I've had in Fiji was from my local hairdressing salon in Sigatoka, Z STUDIO ! They deserve a big plug for excellent services and special touches...they serve green tea as well and their air conditioned salon provides a serene escape in the heart of a hot and bustling Sigatoka Town.
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smealing posted invest in yasawa resort on the Fiji forum on January 19, 2015:
Bula! My husband and I have been looking for a resort in the yasawas to invest in. One where we can vacation at each year, then put the bure/villa back into the management pool when we're not there. I've been watching realtor sites and have just contacted resorts directly as well. Does anyone have a good lead on a resort like this? We're not rich, so we're looking for something nice, yet reasonable in price. Vinaka! Sandy
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A2ZBULA replied to the thread Care taker salary comparison on the Fiji forum on January 19, 2015:
noahsarc initially posted:
Hi, I am after some idea of what expats are paying care takers to look after their home/land/business. We live on about 14 acres on the coast and provide rent free accommodation (2 bedroom house) as well as a base salary. Just wanting to benchmark against what others are paying to make sure we are in line with others so that we can manage expectations. Many thanks in advance.
A2ZBULA replied on January 19, 2015 with:
Bula Mate, I replied to yours came back twice so try ajseashell@hotmail.com
A2ZBULA replied on January 18, 2015 with:
I suggest you don't worry about what others are getting if you are not happy talk it over with the owner if you are still not happy go find another job..good luck AJ
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A2ZBULA replied to the thread invest on property or business?? on the Fiji forum:
diiva initially posted:
im thinking if i should invest on property and buy more houses in fiji and rent it out or should a start a business but what business is fiji lacking in and what business will make money. i have two properties there and by the time the money from the rent gets converted into NZD it becomes less
A2ZBULA replied on January 19, 2015 with:
It sure is interesting reading the various replies/experiences. Can I suggest for anyone thinking of buying a Vacation Bure or wish to build a permanent home in Fiji check out our Seashell Beach Estate at Malaqereqere on the Coral Coast not to far from Sigatoka town where we have every shop super markets vege market, Drs, Dentists Hospital,schools church's you name it we have it well almost all plus if you like fishing and eating fresh shellfish you will find this rite in front of our property and if you are a surfer well one of the best surfing spots in Fiji is a 20-30 minute walk along the beach Now if you wish to rent you Bure when not using it yourself our staff will take care of that for you plus we would have the best secured property with even a public bus service rite at the gate.. checkout www.fijifreeholdlandestates.com let me know if we can help you.. Cheers AJ
Vini replied on January 05, 2015 with:
Hi. Saw your 2013 post about not being able to rent your home in Savusavu. Do you still have it? Is it for rent? Going to SVSV for the first time in January. Looking to rent a place for one week, may be longer if I like the place. May be stay there as well as I live in Nadi and would like to get out of it. Many thanks. Margret. Tel: 8628162
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beechduke replied to the thread Moving to Fiji on the Fiji forum on January 18, 2015:
beechduke initially posted:
Hi all, My wife and I with our 8 months old daughter are considering to move to Fiji within the next few months. Could anyone please giver me some more information on Fiji itself, healthcare system and availability of doctors and paediatricians, cost of living and housing. Can one buy a house or are you only allowed to rent? Any feed back would be greatly appreciated!! Regards, Werner
beechduke replied on January 21, 2015 with:
Awesome, thanks! We are looking at renting a furnished apartment. Also want to make some new friends in the expat community in Fiji. Thanks again to everyone for their input!
vrj1 replied on January 20, 2015 with:
I have done exactly the same from Mel with the freight AU$3600 Try seaway logistic 0408 720 743 Will give you details in Fiji contact when my container arrives Thanks
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Vini replied to the thread Finding a suitable place to live in Nadi on the Fiji forum:
Vini initially posted:
Looking for a 2 bdr apartment around Namaka in a quiet area (hard to find in Namaka but I'm sure exists) or elsewhere if worth it. Looking out to mountains or some sort of nature but not the road or other houses, secured and safe. Prepared to pay a max of 1000 F$ all inclusive, per month. Long term rent and insured income for owner. Tel: 8628162. Thanks to anyone for their help.
Vini replied on January 18, 2015 with:
A 2 or 3 bedr secured and quiet flat or house in/or around Namaka, Namaka park, Nasoso, Martintar, upstairs preferabley, up to 800 $ monthly, furnished or unfurnished, for up to a year, perhaps more. Vinaka.
Vini replied on January 18, 2015 with:
Thanks, I'm looking at something to rent in Nadi. Have a nice day.
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A2ZBULA replied to the thread relocating with toddlers on the Fiji forum on January 18, 2015:
2big2small initially posted:
My boyfriend will be moving to Nadi in a month or so for employment and I have to consider moving over as well, with my one year old and three year old daughters. We are from New Zealand. Has anyone relocated with similar aged children? Would you care to share your experiences? I'm interested in things along the lines of childcare, adjustment to culture and temperature, attitude towards expats, quality of living, ease of finding suitable accommodation and anything else I've missed that has direct relevance to young children and how they would handle the move. Thank you for reading.
A2ZBULA replied on January 18, 2015 with:
Nice reply from those other folks. Been a Kiwi or from NZ one would have thought you would know all about Fiji especially as some of us Fijians have propped up your All Black team from as far back as 1967 I am sure once there you will figure things out if you decide to stay and live there permanently check out www.fijifreeholdlandestates.com we will be happy to help you. Good luck AJ
sandinmycrack replied on January 16, 2015 with:
we spent five months in fiji last year with our 3 and 5 year old boys. The only problem with it is were back in the states now and miss fiji awesome place. Yes dec-may are really hot and humid but the kids will be fine just make morning and evening beach time. very cheap fresh fruits and veggies. I could go on and on but if you have the opportunity to live in fiji for a year with your kids jump on it. Oh i forgot to mention the people fijians are the nicest people on the planet and love kids. Have fun!
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