To get to Ambaca (pronounced Ambatha), a guy in a mini-van with a busted rear windshield picks you up at your Nadi hotel and takes you to his pad in Lautoka. Then you hop in the bed of a covered 4x4 pickup and some other dude, who is always late I might add, drives like a maniac up a dirt road, across a river and into the mountains for about 40 minutes while you carom off the roof and quarter panels. On the way back (last photo) some of the villagers who want to go into Lautoka, one of which is a toddler whom they sit on a plastic bucket, hitch a ride with you. It’s safe, in the sense that you’re not going to get mugged or get eaten by a lion.
We stayed at the home of the village chief’s brother, which was basically one big room with a curtain dividing it in half (like a loft but on the ground). Inside the home, one chicken was motionless in the corner as she waited for her eggs to hatch, while another hung out inside a crate with her own chicks not more than a few hours old.
At night I was not invited to church at 7PM. The day we were there it was the men’s day to attend mass and then afterwards they stayed up till 5AM drinking Cava and bonding. I wasn't invited to that either. I was however, in attendance when the women of the village came over. We had our own Cava ceremony.
In the morning we took a shower in a concrete closet located about 40 yards from the house and filled with spiders on webs. The water was diverted from the nearby river and was of the unheated variety.
Needless to say it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.