Planning your elective - Fiji
Jay Kuruvatti and Hermione Price sample the exotic islands of Fiji
Waking up on 19 May 2000 was not good. Gunmen were holding the prime minister of Fiji and his cabinet hostage in the parliament building in the capital, Suva. Civil unrest had gripped the country, and 800 000 Fijians were being subjected to the second coup in their country in under 15 years. Our elective in Fiji had been organised for nearly a year and it seemed that it was going to be thwarted with only a few months to go.
Should we reconsider our plans? We anxiously followed events on the internet and began to reconsider our plans when the Foreign Office started to advise against travelling to Fiji. But our placement was in Labasa, a town far away from Suva on a separate island. We convinced ourselves and our medical school that it was still safe for us to go.
Unfortunately, en route to Fiji we heard that