June 27, 2019
Bula Bula everyone!! So crazy to think that our time here in Fiji has already come to a close, but what an incredible adventure it was. We left off at Fiji Beachouse the night before our first surf lesson, where Grande caught some huge swells the next morning bright and early. Campbell and Allison also showed us all up catching every wave they could and laughing the whole time. It’s also so worth noting that Fiji beach house is the most beautiful spot with the coolest sunsets we have ever seen. We even woke up for a sunrise the first morning and reflected on how thankful we were to be in the company of such good friends on the other side of the world.
After surfing we had a big lunch with chicken sandwiches, more delicious fries, authentic roti wraps, and your good old fashion burger. Then, we all posted up on the beach together for an incredibly relaxing day of soaking up the sun and talking about everyone’s favorite parts of the trip so far. Between the beach walks, swinging on the swing, and taking naps in the hammocks, everyone had a much-needed rest day after our thrilling rafting trip. The sunset later that day was spectacular, and the pictures that Camille captured on her camera were absolutely wild. We had Moonup on the beach that night and then took an hour or so to appreciate the beauty of the thousands of stars above us, not wanting to miss a chance to see one of the shooting stars in the night sky.
The next day everyone jumped on the boat tour ride where we got to see a different side of the big island of Fiji -> Veti Levu. Faye and Sarah Beth were cracking us up the entire boat ride while they sat in the very front relaxing and having a wonderful time. We think the coolest part of the day was boating in circles trying to bait the thirty dolphins following our boat wake. Sydney totally enjoyed the dolphin show the most and everyone, including the guides, thought that it would be impossible to watch dolphins playing without smiling. On the way back to the beach house Ethan kept us all laughing – of course – with his impressions. We were fortunate enough to have killer weather again so Molly and Lily soaked in the sun on the bamboo raft a little ways offshore. Carter killed it with surfing that afternoon and we could barely get him back to shore he was having so much fun!
That night we settled in to our last Moonup which was one full of stars again, and we reflection on the trip we were coming close to completing. We went to bed that night excited to return home but also so unbelievably sad that we weren’t going to be together when tomorrow night came around. We woke up that next morning, packed our bags, and boarded the bus for the trip back to Nadi, stopping to buy souvenirs on the way. After dumping our bags at the hotel across the street from the airport, we piled into a bus and made our way to our sunset banquet dinner in town, singing songs the entire ride there and the entire ride back. We then picked up our belongings and made our way to the airport, where we were forced to say goodbye to such an incredible group of people that had grown so close in only a short amount of time. We can confidently say that we look forward to keeping in touch with each and every one of your kids and are so excited to hear about all of their future adventures and accomplishments. We would like to personally thank you all for sending you kids on this eye-opening trip and know that they had as incredible of a two weeks as we did. Thank you all again, these kids had a strong impact on us and made the trip an experience that we will never forget!!
Best and thanks again,
Molly and Jack
June 23, 2019
“Venaka” for checking in! A lot has happened on the beautiful island of Fiji since the last trip update, but the big smiles and positive attitudes have yet to change!!
We are all here taking in the pristine beaches and taking some well-deserved showers after one of the most incredible weeks any of us have ever experienced. We ended SCUBA to jump right into not one but two rural villages a couple hours away from our hostel. After singing songs for the entire bus ride (Taylor Swift and Jonas Brothers on repeat) we unpacked and headed to the school grounds of Nambukelevu village to challenge the locals to an intense game of various sports and outdoor activities. We would not have won the volleyball matches without Sarah Beth’s serving ability and Faye’s killer spikes. Sydney and Allison quickly became fans of the popular Fijian sport of rugby!!
Afterwards we all got to go for a swim in the river behind the village with all of the kids – which was Campbell’s favorite activity with the children who seemed to never want to leave her side. Along with the rest of the group, all the village kids would pile on a bamboo raft and play for the entire afternoon. That night we ate a delicious meal of spaghetti and fresh fruit, played some cards, and eventually hit the hay after Moonup for the first time in our new temporary home in the village.
Over the next two days, we began our service in the village community center after monster breakfasts that consisted of eggs, cereal, toast, and a variety of fresh fruits. We focused mainly on helping improve the village’s community center, painting new boards to be used as the inside walls of the center as well as nailing in those walls. Everyone really enjoyed the colorful pink paint that we were using for the inside while Carter and Grande learned how to use a hammer to put all the walls into place. The village locals, as well as both of us, were also extremely grateful to have a group that jumps at the opportunity to serve, is not afraid to get their hands dirty, and has a blast the entire time. After a few hours of service, the group would eat lunches consisting of sandwiches as well as chips and fresh tomatoes and cucumbers, followed by more volleyball, rugby games, and finally a jump in the river with the village locals in order to cool off. On the second to last night, we were even invited to attend a village celebration for a different group of visitors, which included lots of dancing and singing! Our final night of service concluded with a farewell celebration thrown in the community center after dinner and Moonup, which was attended by the majority of the village locals who were sad to see their new friends depart the next morning. We all sat around in a big circle and talked with one another, with Ethan and Camille dancing to the town favorite “taki taki” song.
The next morning we packed up our things and set out on a hike through a jungle in order to get to the put-in spot for the start of our rafting trip. After splitting into three separate rafts, each with their own river guide, we set off on one of the coolest days of the trip so far. The rock walls surrounding both sides of the river were massive, and it also became clear that there was a very intense competition between the three rafts to see who could be tackled into the water the least amount of times, a game that everyone seemed to end up losing. We stopped for lunch halfway through the trip on the side of the river, consisting of sandwiches, fruit, and an orange drink called “Tang.” Afterwards, we continued down the river and eventually arrived at a new village where we were to stay the night. We were quickly met at the river by the smiles and cheers of Molly and Lily, who were followed closely by an army of the village children who they quickly befriended in their short time in the village. After settling in, we ate dinner, had Moonup, and then quickly fell asleep after the exhausting adventure we had all just had.
This morning we woke up to a hearty breakfast and quickly made our way back out to the river to our inflatable kayaks after saying goodbye and thank you to the family who hosted our group for the night in the village. We then paddled even farther down the river, stopping at one point for a quick hike to a beautiful waterfall as well as to eat lunch. We then continued our journey, arriving at a point in the river where we met up with river boat guides who helped us finish up the river journey in motorboats. After being picked up by a bus, we finally made our way to the beautiful Fiji Beachouse and got checked in, just in time for a gorgeous sunset (after taking some much-needed hot showers) and had an awesome dinner and Moonup on the beach and under thousands of stars. Tomorrow, we begin our surf lessons as well as go on an island excursion, and we will be sure to send another update afterwards. Below are some shoutouts from your kiddos!!
Camille: hey mom and dad! having so much fun in Fiji scuba diving and working in the village! See y’all soon
Faye: Hey family! I’m having so much fun here! Can’t wait to see you guys soon!
Carter: wazzam mom and dad! Fiji has been extraordinary. Living the past 2 weeks with no phone has been a blast. See y’all in a little!
Campbell: hey mom and dad!! I’m having the most AMAZING time! I have met the most AMAZING friends! Thank you sooooooo much for letting me spend these last few weeks in the most beautiful place everrr! I can’t wait to see y’all soon. I LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!!!!!
Grande: whatup parentals. Having a great time!! Love y’all!
Sydney: hey fam! I’m having so much fun in Fiji and I’ve made the best friends. Give love to the cat for me !!! I love and miss y’all so much. See you soon !
Sarah Beth: hey family, Fiji is amazing ! I’ve made such good friends and I’m having the best time! Miss and love y’all so much :)))
Ethan: Hey everyone I’m having such a good time here and I’ve made the best friends that I’ll have to meet up with this summer. Bye love you guys!
Lily Allen: Hey Mom, Dad, and Olivia!!! I’m having the best time!!! I miss y’all so much and can’t wait to see y’all.????
Ally: hey fam and friends. Having a BLAST can’t wait to tell you all about it!!
Until next time!!
Molly and Jack
June 20, 2019
Molly and Jack are back to give a massive congratulations to all our Advanced and Open Water Certified SCUBA divers this week!! We are SO excited to say that we have had the most fun SCUBA diving in the soft coral reef capital of the world! I think Grande spoke for all of us when he said, “I want to live down there”-at the Fiji ocean floor that is! Aside from taking in all the otherworldly colors of the housed sized coral reefs, this group sure can laugh underwater. Ethan and Campbell buddied up and found just about every sea slug they possibly could, and Camille swam, enjoying all the colors. She wins the underwater photography title! Faye and Carter were the most adventurous as they spotted and chased just about every fish they could during our time underwater. Lily took it all in and enjoyed the nurse sharks the most!
When we weren’t underwater a few minutes from our home base- y’all could find us enjoying each other’s company playing volley ball, hanging on the beach, playing cards, or cooking up some fantastic family style meals. Sydney dominated on the volleyball court when we decided to play a friendly game one morning and Kate totally got some crazy aces! Each night, after getting schooled in card games by Sarah Beth, we settle into bed in our hostel and wait for papaya and pancakes in the morning!
We strolled down to the beach and turned on some tunes that everyone loved one beautiful afternoon and soaked in all the sun and salty air. No other group could have as much fun dancing on the beach as we did! Carter and Grande showed their extensive knowledge of music and kept us all entertained with their stellar dance moves. Our new favorite group game in the evenings has been fishbowl- a rendition of catch phrase and charades that keeps everyone laughing well into the evening!
After asking the group, I think their favorite meals this trip were the family style meals where we cook and eat together in our hostel. Some fan favorites were the spaghetti that Allison happily prepared after a long day of SCUBA, and also Sarah Beth’s and Lily’s mean grilled cheeses!
I know we are all still in shock about how much fun we have had on our SCUBA adventure because we just can’t seem to stop talking about it! We are worn out in the best way and thankful to have had such an exhilarating time this week. We are off to river rafting and community service tomorrow morning and are so looking forward to filling you all in after this other amazing opportunity!
Molly and Jack
June 14, 2019
BULA BULA from the beautiful island of Fiji! This is Molly and Jack letting y’all know how excited we are to be your kids’ leaders. They handled traveling internationally so well and it is safe to say we have a great feeling about how special this group is judging from all the laughter and good times we’ve already had!
The group arrived in Fiji at 5:30 in the morning to meet Jack Edwards who welcomed us with a huge smile! After a quick ride to the hotel we all sat down at breakfast where we all had the best chocolate muffins ever and everyone continued to tell stories and get to know each other even more. The group then strolled out to enjoy the morning sun by the pool where Grande and Carter played on the water slide and Sydney embraced “island time” with others by the pool! Before we went to go on the sailboat ride for the afternoon, we established Ethan as the comedian of the group who kept us all smiling throughout the whole day.
The boat ride was stunning and the kids were immediately pumped to be out on the water and exploring the island. Kate and Allison quickly made their way to the front, determined to get some awesome views of the island, while Camille began to capture awesome footage of the group and our surroundings. We ate lunch while sailing through the beautiful waters, everyone in shock at how jaw dropping the views were. We then stopped and jumped in the water with our gear on, ready to snorkel! Campbell led the charge, jumping in first and leading the way for the majority of snorkeling. We saw tons of wildly colorful fish, coral, jellyfish, and even a tiny shark! Afterwards, we got back on the boat and ate fresh fruit for snacks as the crew members began to weave Faye and Sarah Beth crowns made of bamboo branches as well as other awesome knick-knacks that kept the whole group entertained for the trip back to the port.
After our van ride back to the hotel, everyone cleaned up in their newly assigned rooms and met back outside for dinner at the hotel. Everyone ate meals ranging from burgers to stir fry. We also drank from the world-famous Fiji water bottles, which we were all equally stoked about! Afterwards, we met for Moonup outside under the stars and quickly went to bed afterwards, as everyone was nice and tired after the travel and the time change. Tomorrow we get up early and head to our location for SCUBA diving, which everyone is SO pumped for! Talk to y’all soon with another trip update about diving in the soft coral capital of the world!!!
Best,Molly and Jack
June 12, 2019
Hello Fiji Families!
The group has arrived safely in Fiji and is ready to start their adventure!