Fiji isn’t all beaches and palm trees. They have giant millipedes too.

I was so excited to be landing in Melbourne that I took one look at Sarsha and we bolted for the gate. We literally ran through the airport because two weeks is far too long to be away from fluorescent lighting and my cats.
Don’t get me wrong, Fiji was AMAZING! but nothing makes you miss home like needing to drop yellow at 10pm and having to wait for your host mother to escort you to the drop dunny by the light of her phone.
I could summarise the first week of the trip by simply using the phrase “Vinaka Vakalevu” but I owe you the details.
I spent seven days in the real Fiji. The hot, sticky, raw Fiji that exists only when you really look for it. Beyond the tourist shops and western eateries, Fiji is a land of widely spread village communities. And should you ever stumble across one, you’ll find, amongst the sweat and bright red dirt, a humble and welcoming group of people living life in the most joyously simple way possible. And an abundance of frogs and millipedes that have grown scary big on the Fiji oxygen.
But if you have the guts to overlook the lack of plumbing and air-con you’ll experience something truly life changing.
And after a week ,you’ll be very, very ready to make your way back to civilization and real milk. But you’ll have grown as a person and that alone is worth it all.

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Our beautiful little family. Can you tell we were all half asleep?

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This was the home Bianca and I lived in during our stay in Nabukaluka. It was a place of heavy rain, limited privacy, good conversation and ALOT of Milo.

 

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The ‘Boys’ toilet sign Bianca and I painted by hand in the blinding sign. #worthit

 

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All of the volounteers spent their days painting and refurbishing the school in Nabukaluka. It was hot work but the place looked beautiful all purple and green.

The day we left the village was tough, it’s crazy that a week is all it takes to feel completely at ease with people and we were incredibly sad to leave our beautiful Fijian family behind. For about twenty minutes. And then the tired buzz of excitement kicked in as we made our way to the port for the ISLAND WEEK BABY!

The next seven days were spent snorkelling and napping in the sun. Taking boat rides around the Yasawa islands and generally enjoying life because tourist Fiji is a whole other world.

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By Australia day, we were ready to get on that Fiji liquor.

I can’t tell you what a life changer this trip was. I made friends I never expected and saw a way of life that I didn’t even know existed because it’s not on any postcard. And despite the sunburn and the hit to my bank account, I could not be more grateful.

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Bianca, Beth and I being cool cats on the islands.

Sarah xoxo

P.S: If you like meeting new people and think you have the love and courage to see a different way of life, check out the other trips VESA can take you on by clicking the cute globe below:

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