I had no intention of coming to Fiji, or going away to any other island. It was the season of cheat, a time of extreme heat, and the time to harvest channa. I was a farmer, all the channa in the village had been harvested except mine which for various reasons had been delayed; my channa became over-ripe and began falling off of its own accord. A Brahmin’s son from the village came to me and suggested that I should have a rest-break so I went under a tree with him.
He said: “This is very hard work. I think we ought to go abroad and seek some other type of work there.”
I replied: “What is the use of going abroad and working there. If there were no work at home then it would be necessary to go abroad to earn money to send home. But we have our own work so why should we go off to work for someone else.”
I think this man had been abroad, he was about thirty-five. I was then 16 or 17 years old. In the village we knew only our own home or that of our close blood relations and were totally ignorant of the world outside.
This man asked what I thought of this suggestion. I retorted: “I have no intention of going abroad to work, I have enough at home. If you suggest that we should go abroad to Kasi or elsewhere for the purpose of education then I am willing to accompany you but not for employment.”
He answered: “Let us then go for education.”
We had a discussion and decided to leave and made secret preparations for the purpose. I suggested to my friend that if we were going for education we would need money. He agreed. I asked how much money he had. lie answered that he had 25 rupees. I had no money because young people had none. Who could I ask? If I sought money at home my plans would be revealed and there would be the question: “Why do you need money? Where will you go with it and what will you do with it?”