An elderly gentleman and his granddaughter walked into my front yard this afternoon and asked if he might pick some leaves. Because it was raining, I assumed he was looking for large leaves to cover their heads but he was looking for a particular plant. He spoke in Fijian and although I got the main points, I did not understand him completely and told him I did not speak Fijian yet but I was learning. He smiled and then spoke in English. He was looking for a plant to relieve the pain in his elbow and ankles and remembered a healing plant of this kind being on the property. So we walked around and searched but could not find the particular plant he was looking for.
We shared a bit of general greetings before his granddaughter saw the small tree he was looking to pick some leaves from. I am sorry to say, I don’t know its name yet. He called it, what sounded like a ‘vowel tree’ but I could not find a reference in the Fijian-English dictionary. He told me when the leaves are soaked in warm water and applied to the area of discomfort, the pain goes away. He pointed to his joints, elbows, knees and ankles. I assumed he was suffering from arthritis. As his granddaughter collected some of the leaves, he asked if he could come by sometime and he would tell me of the other healing plants on the property. I look forward to his next visit and the sharing of his botanical wisdom.