Friday 18th June –
With it being the last day in their Fijian village for our May 10 gapyear team this morning, Anasa, Joe and Vakatawa took Graham, Ronan, Benjy, Poppy, Lucy L, Cassie, James, and Lucy P out snorkelling to watch them spear fish for this evenings feast, a fantastic experience for the team. Ronana also headed out line fishing with the Turaga ni Koro and caught 7 big tuna fish for the farewell dinner.
The afternoon was then spent packing and playing cards in the village, and was also a chance to give pressies to the families that have looked after them so so well. At 6.30pm the team and community then attended a farewell church service, and after very humbling thanks from the Ratu of Moturiki Inoke, and from other village members, Lucy Price and James stood to say their thanks on behalf of the team. It is impossible to describe the emotions of expedition life, and both Lucy and James, and all those in the Church, were feeling those emotions. Tim also said a few words, with this being his first expedition, and Benjy said some emotional farewells, as after spending a year with us as expedition leader he will return to the UK next week.
After Church the team and villagers headed into the community hall for an unbelievable feast prepared by the ladies, with fresh fish, crabs, roro, stir fry, dalo and cassava and lots more! And then of course it was time for the grog party, and with the band in full voice, and with the guys from Caqalai over and visitors from Navuti, Nasauvuki and Daku, it was quite the party! Tradition is now that the party goes until morning, and Lucy Price and Anna were still drinking and enjoying the “hop hop” at 6am as our “survivors”! It was however then time to load up the bags and say our goodbyes, the toughest moment of any gapyear expedition, and with the villagers all following us out into the sea as we made our way to Caqalai you could see just how special the last 5 weeks has been for both the gapyear team, but also the community of Niubasaga, and how much the whole experience of living and working together will be missed. There really is no place in the world like a Fijian village, it absolutely blows me away every time!
Saturday 19th June –
With the day on Caqalai to relax Jason, Nathan, Cassie, Anna, Graham, Ronan and Lulu headed out deep sea snorkelling, and saw some spectacular stuff including turtles and reef sharks! In the evening the Caqalai guys got a beach bonfire lit to sit around and tell stories of the village!
Sunday 20th June –
This morning our Fiji gapyear team loaded onto the boats to head for the mainland, with a few of the villagers from Niubasaga arriving to see them off before they waved goodbye to Moturiki…for now! Back on the mainland we were onto the bus and across to Club Oceanus in Pacific Harbour, stopping in Suva to grab some food along the way. And with the sun shining the afternoon was spent in the pool, jumping off the bridge and enjoying a beer by the river!