NATION

Life Back In Village: Hotel Worker Learns New Skills

Hotel front office worker, Camari Baisagale, is keeping herself busy outdoors toiling the land amid the COVID-19 economic crisis.
18 Apr 2020 14:38
Life Back In Village: Hotel Worker Learns New Skills
Camari Baisagale (far right) makes traditional sasa brooms with relatives at Sabeto Village in Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

She may have lost her job but she’s gained new skills since being laid off work three weeks ago.

Hotel front office worker, Camari Baisagale, is keeping herself busy outdoors toiling the land amid the COVID-19 economic crisis.

She and thousands more like her in the tourism industry are going back to the village and acclimatising to the day-to-day tasks, typical of village life.

This week she was making traditional brooms (sasa) from coconut leaves with those from her husband’s house in Sabeto Village, Nadi.

The other day, she was at the nearby creek to catch eels and fish for dinner.

It is a stark contrast to Ms Baisagale’s life just two months before when life was normal.

By this time, she would have made calls and arrangements to check-in and check-out guests at the Wyndham Resort Denarau Island or greeted them and bid them goodbye with the ever-so famous Bula smile.

And though it was challenging in the first week for her to adapt, Ms Baisagale, like many in her position, acknowledges that: “This is the reality we must all face.”

And changing habits and a lifestyle is a must, she said as she meticulously separated the coconut leaf from the spine that will make the sasa.

“We are not selling it now (sasa brooms) but making it for ourselves. Maybe later on we will opt to sell it to add more money or resort to a barter system,” she said.

“In the first week I find it tough as I have not been content to sit idle in the village.

“I have been working at the resort for the last five years. I did not fish or toil the land since I had a job but now it is about working together on the farm or in the river or outside.

“It (village life) brings out joy to toil the land and fish in the river. But I miss my job when I interacted with the guests. I hope that the tourism industry will rise up again and fast.”

Her husband is away in Australia.

“Despite being far apart, we call and chat to each other as part of our routine,” she added.

So what’s next post COVID-19?

Ms Baisagale hopes the tourism sector is back on track and prays she gets her job back.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: waisean@fijisun.com.fj

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