July 29, 2019
We are so sad to be closing out the final section of our trip but are excited to announce that Fiji 3B has 11 newly certified scuba divers! Over the past week, we have been scuba diving in Pacific Harbor, an area that is world-renowned for its incredible diving with vibrant coral reefs, amazing blue water, and the oceans biggest predators! Everyone challenged themselves, learned new skills, and explored the beautiful reefs of the Pacific Ocean. On our first day of dive certification training, Kate lead our group by example since she had previously been certified. She comforted the group and got everyone excited for the amazing adventure to come. Emma was a natural when it came to diving, and showed everyone how exciting learning to dive in a pool can be. We laughed as she wouldn’t come out of the water when it was time! Our instructor Illi kept everyone interested with his incredible diving stories and made everyone feel comfortable as he explained that no one is born a diver, that you have to learn from experience. The next day, we set up our gear and got on the boat for everyone’s first dive in the ocean! Everyone practiced their skills and even dove to 45 feet deep! After the first dive, Lillie surfaced from the water and screamed at the top of her lungs “this is the coolest thing that I have ever done!” Mikah and Chloe also conquered their fears and ended up loving it!
After closing out our adventurous first day of diving, we cooked a family dinner of quesadillas, refried beans, and Scarr’s famous Mexican dip. Sophie helped chef up the delicious quesadillas with her secret ingredient: “too much butter.” Ginny and Lillie generously offered to help clean up dishes after we quickly demolished our dinner. For Moonup that evening, Gracie and Kate asked the group to imagine what they see the future has in store for the members of our group. The group loved this question as it made us reflect on what we most want out of live such as friendship, happiness, and experiences.
The following days were full of excitement once our group members got their scuba certification. Our first dive after being certified was nothing short of incredible. We dove 60 feet and witnessed a shipwreck and swam with the sharks. The group saw tons of bull sharks, nurse sharks, and black tip sharks. Shruti was so proud of herself for learning her scuba skills and diving with sharks. The next day was rainy and the swells were too big to go diving. Everyone was bummed, but quickly became excited as we decided to explore the capital city of Suva as our plan B. Everyone had an awesome time visiting a new place and went souvenir shopping for friends and family. Margaret was excited about buying her funny Fiji t-shirts. The rain kept coming as we traveled back to Pacific Harbor, but that didn’t lower our groups spirits. Lucy lead the group in an evening game of mafia, which has become one of our group’s favorite games.
Love you all, Next stop:LA!
Will and Scarr
July 23, 2019
Wow what a quick couple of days it’s been!
We’ve had the best few days of surfing and island fun on the south side of the island! Our first morning started out slowly, as we caught up in some much-needed rest from our rafting days. We gathered at the beach late morning to begin our surfing lessons with our favorite surfing instructor Semi! Every had their own board and learned the proper way to paddle and stand up on the surfboard. Kate lead the charge having surfed before and helped the other girls with their form. Everyone was excited as we could see the waves breaking over the soft coral reef in the distance. After our beach lesson, we grabbed our boards and got on the skiff called “surfer buoy” and headed out to the reef for some fun in the waves. Lillie was a natural when it came to surfing and caught many waves. Mikah also quickly excelled at surfing and didn’t want it to be over.
After surfing, the group played games, and Lucy showed everyone her magic trick. It was so impressive that some of the kids offered to pay money to know the answer. The world may never know. The group hung out in hammocks, played volleyball, and finished the day by watching a beautiful sunset. For Moonup that night, our leaders of the day, Chloe and Margaret, had us reflect on some of our weaknesses and areas we would like to grow in. We all acknowledged that as human beings we are constantly changing and growing, and that experiences like Moondance push us to grow.
The following day, after breakfast (where Mikah had 9 pieces of toast) we put our surfing skills to the test. Ginny, Sophie, and Gracie were quick to catch a wave and loved our morning surf. After surfing, our group hopped on a giant catamaran, and headed out to our island boat tour for the rest of the day. The island was beautiful with the clearest blue water some of us have ever seen, white sandy beaches, and amazing coral reefs to explore. Emma hardly came onto shore because she was having so much fun snorkeling around the vibrant reef. Others sunbathed and shell hunted on the beach. We enjoyed a freshly prepared bbq lunch. Our boat ride back was far from smooth, as big swells and high winds were in the area, but that didn’t stop us from having a jam session on our “rocking boat.” Shruti knew every word to most of the songs we played, and Mikah showed us her moves.
We closed out the day by having some delicious dinner and a Moonup reflecting on some of our favorite Moondance memories thus far. We are loving how close our group has become and we cannot wait for the new adventurous in store! Next stop: scuba diving!
Bula for now,
Scarr and will
July 20, 2019
Bula friends and family!
We are out of the jungle of Fiji, and back in civilization for our next adventure. The past few days spent in Nambukelevu village have been an absolute blast. Our group has really gotten a taste of what simple living looks like. Each day in the village, we woke up to the rising sun and the sound of roosters. During the first day in the village, we had a group volleyball tournament where Mikah and Kate showed us their moves. The girls learned quickly that Fijians do not mess around when it comes to volleyball. During the afternoon, we rewarded our hot and sweaty volleyball game with a dip in the cool river. Gracie, Margaret, and Chloe all swam with the village children, and they even invited the girls to play with them on their homemade raft made from bamboo. The rest of the girls jumped off the rocky cliff, swam in the water, and laid out enjoying the sun on the rocky shoreline. For dinner, we had spaghetti and garlic bread which very quickly turned out to be a crowd favorite.
The next day, we began our service day where we painted the inside of the village community hall. The hall is used for many things such as community gatherings, wedding receptions, and church services. For most of the day we sang songs, worked on beautifying the community hall and getting to know one another. Lucy and Emma told the group many riddles and tripped us all up while we were painting. The inside of the hall was painted a beautiful light green and Mikah’s height really helped our group when painting parts of the ceiling that needed to be reached. After another evening full of swimming, playing with children and enjoying village life, we enjoyed a delicious meal of chicken curry and fresh cassava. That night during Moonup, which is a time where we self-reflect and close the day, Ginny asked our group to give examples of beauty in the mundane. We all loved this question and took time to thoughtfully respond. Lillie said she loved rainbows after a storm, and Mikah said she loved watching how happy the children in the village were, despite their simple and non-materialistic lifestyle.
During our last morning in the village, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to tour the local school while the children were in class. We loved getting to see the different classrooms and see what curriculum each grade was learning. We saw many students hard at their studies and we played with the kindergarteners. This experience really opened our eyes to how similar we all are, despite being across the world.
The following day, we packed up and said goodbye to our new friends in the village and set out to raft the Navua river. We geared up and were briefed about the upcoming days and set off down the river. Our guide Abraham, kept Shruti laughing the whole way down with all of his pranks and jokes. Our other hilarious guide, Petero kept Sophie on her toes with his mischievous pranks. Sorry Soph, sometimes we all get thrown out of the boat- ya gotta paddle! The next day down the river, we hiked through the mud to a beautiful waterfall where we all swam. The water pounded our backs as we went under it. It was an incredible day.
On to our next adventure now, looking forward to getting kids paddling around as we learn to surf. Till next time-
Will & Scarr
July 14, 2019
All students have safely arrived in Fiji.
More to come soon!