July 30, 2022
Hello Friends and Family! At this point, we are on the way home back to the USA and cannot wait to recap our time together. Here are our last few moments together!
We have arrived at Fiji Beachhouse, our home for the rest of our time in Fiji. Within minutes of arriving we set down our things and got changed for our first surf session during the golden hour right before sunset. After practicing our pop-ups on the beach, we got amongst it and started surfing waves. Caitlin and Jackson were early standouts catching waves no problem. Emme, Nate and Hudson stayed out in the water to watch the sunset and take in the natural splendor Fiji had to offer.
The next day we did an island boat trip where we had a whole beach to ourselves. Nate, Hudson, JJ, Henry, Emerson and Alexandra played volleyball with a Fijian friend, John, trading games back and forth in a competitive series. Afterward some of the group departed to go on a steep and winding hike with the promise of an exquisite hike. Marley, Emerson and Nate confirmed that the view was in fact exquisite and worth negotiating the jungle terrain on the way up and down. Meanwhile Louise, Eliza, Reeves, Anna Holt and Cate tanned on the roof of the boat wading out in the water just off the beach. The boys also tried there hand at spear fishing; they came back empty handed but enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. In the evening, Henry and Hudson decided they wanted some more exercise and joined JJ for another sunset surf session, eventually making their way back to shore under the peaceful cover of a starry night.
The next two successive days was early wake up calls to take advantage of the high-tide surf window. Everyone was catching waves and laughing once the sun warmed up the air and water, making idyllic surf conditions. Emme got her best wave of the whole summer, perhaps finally understanding JJ obsession with the sport. The rest of the day was spent playing games, laughing, tanning, and enjoying delicious meals on the beach. Our final Moonup was one of the best of the trip with everyone sharing their favorite moments and takeaways from the trip.
This group of friends is now officially on their way back to the United States. Thank you all parents for allowing Emme and JJ (John) the opportunity to spend time with your amazing children.
See you soon!
JJ (John) and EMme
July 11, 2022
Bula from Fiji!
We have arrived at Fiji Beach house in time for a delicious dinner and view of the ocean. The group was quick to hit the beach and do some stargazing, with Layne taking the lead pointing out constellations to the group. The next day the group slept in a little before taking some time in the morning to relax in the hammocks. Sophie, TJ (Tanner James), Ella and Layne took time to read their books to the soothing ambiance of waves crashing ashore and running up the sand. In no time, it was hightide and high time to get back in the ocean for our inaugural surf lesson. A gang of gifted goofy footers Miles, T-Bone (Tanner Murphy), Bella, Hampton, Thomas and Ella were cruising confidently on the gentle peelers coming through the lineup. The following day the group split off into two groups, one fishing and one surfing. Mack and Burke had high hopes of bringing in a Marlin, but were equally pleased with two smaller reef fish being speared by the group. Carson however, was more impressed by the pod of wild dolphins that swam alongside the boat for a stretch of the trip. Kate and the rest of the girls hung back with Jesus (John) to get some more waves. Everyone was getting long rides and feeling physically depleted by the end of the day. On our final full day, we boated offshore as a group to a remote private island. We hiked a steep trail to the highest peak of the island to soak in the turquoise water and scale of the pacific. After descending the green-filled hillside, we had a barbecue lunch and played on the beach. Upon returning, we quickly went back to the waves for one last sunset surf session and caught a bunch of fun ones. Then we watched the sunset over the mountains from an anchored raft just offshore. Afterward, we had our final Moonup with a feeling of gratitude and melancholy. Already feeling the weight of the impending departure and distance between one another. Though I am confident many of the bonds formed will be lasting ones! Thank you again for sharing your wonderful children with us this summer!
All the best,
John and Emme
July 9, 2022
We have entered the Fijian rainforest via a serpentine gravel road cut out of the the heart of the jungle. Our new home in the Nambukalevu village is positioned in a flat gully surrounded by dense vegetation and rolling mountains, made visible from our favorite hillside perch. The sheer expanse of the greenery and wilderness left the whole group in a persistent state of awe and wonderment. We were officially welcomed into the village during our opening Kava ceremony, keeping with longstanding Fijian tradition. Afterwards, we made our way to the primary school where we met and talked with students in 6th-8th grade. We then proceeded to take to the field and play volleyball for what seemed like hours in teams comprised of kids, teachers, and moondancers alike. Burke, Miles, and Jesus (John) got on a hot streak and held the court with three village boys for 10 straight games. Emme, Ella, Layne, and Kate arose before dawn to hike the hillside and take in the first few rays of light cresting the mountain elevated horizon. They partook in relaxing yoga, read books and observed the beautiful landscape naturally unfolding. Bella, Hampton and T-Bone (Tanner Murphy) were the first to jump off a rock overhang into the cool running river below. Before long, everyone was taking turns jumping and bathing in the upper Navua river. After getting cleaned off Emme, Sophie, TJ (Tanner James) and Layne sat in the church pews witnessing three couples getting married. Everyone joined in the reception party, dancing and laughing with the whole village. After saying our goodbyes to our new friends in the village we took to the rapids with our guides in three separate boats. Jesus (John) became a notorious pirate making sure almost everyone was a “swimmer” at least once. Burke, and Miles soon joined in the subterfuge and before long it was an all out war between the three factions. Carson, Bella and Ella were caught in the crossfire never managing to stay out of the water for very long. The next day we kayaked further down the river with Mack and Thomas especially eager to be on the river. I shared their excitement to be back in the canyon carved out of sheer cliff faces and lush green canopy. We took a day hike to a rushing 100ft waterfall and found shelter under the dynamic blue shelter. Everyone is having a blast, and we are off to Fiji beach house for surfing and fun! More updates to come.
-Emme and John
Hey family! I guess I kinda miss you. I’m having the best time, love yall. – Carson
Hey guys miss you tell Nana and Bop I said hi. Could you bring the dogs when picking up. Thanks love you bye. . Sophie
Hi guys! I miss you! Fiji is super fun! Can’t wait to see you- Burke
Hi Mom and Das Fiji is super fun. I really miss you and the dogs can’t wait to see you -Miles.
Hey friends and family! I am having the best time ever! Fiji is so so beautiful and I can’t wait to tell y’all all about it! My group is absolutely amazing and it makes me not want to leave. I love y’all and I’ll see you all soon!! -Tanner J
Hey Mom and Dad! Fiji has been amazing and we are currently staying at a super cool hotel called the Fiji beach hotel. The trip has been super fun, and we have done all different sorts of activities. In these next few days I’ll be surfing and fishing and enjoying tropical Fiji. See you soon! Love You! -Tanner Murphy
Hey mom and dad!! I’m having a great time, it’s so pretty here! Can’t wait to tell y’all more. Love and miss y’all so much, can’t wait to see y’all! – Kate
Yo yo, hope y’all are having fun in Europe. This is probably the coolest place I have ever been, I am having an amazing time. Tell Sam I said happy birthday, and happy birthday to you Mom! Miss y’all tons, see you soon-ish. Give the dogs some pats for me! -Ella Stevens
Hey mom and dad! Fiji is amazing, its so pretty! I love and miss you guys so much and can’t wait to see you soon! -Layne white Hey mom and dad. Fiji is great everything is great can’t wait to see y’all son in Colorado.-Hamp
Hi mom and dad. I am having a blast in Fiji. I am currently writing this while sitting in a hammock on a beach moments after I got a massage. Some could say life is good. I hope things are doing well in Bama. Dad please close on the lake house. I would like that when I get back. Please give dibs and bae rubs for me. PS. if nick Saban has died while I’m in Fiji please give the family my condolences.-Mack
Hi guys! I am having the best trip and want to come back with you guys soon. I can’t wait to see you guys and tell you about everything that we’ve done. I hope your having fun back in DC and don’t worry about me. Tell Sophie and Say say that I say hi. Love you guys-Bella
Hey mom, fiji is super fun. Having a great time -Thomas
July 3, 2022
Yandra Vinaka! (Good morning!) The past few days of scuba diving have been jam-packed with
exploring and camaraderie, as the group is feeling increasingly like a second family. Our days at
Pacific Harbor, the adventure capital of Fiji, always began with multiple games of pool as we
enjoyed a breakfast of eggs, fruit, and toast. Once energized for the day, the group began
their scuba certification lessons in the pool. Those that were already certified, Ella, Bella, Mack,
Jesus (aka John) and I, relaxed in Enos, read books, and chatted about anything and
During our open water dives, we explored the underwater world of the reefs. Sophie and
Hampton saw sharks off in the distance as they completed their scuba certification. While
admiring the colors of the coral and fishies, TJ (Tanner James) happened upon a majestic sea
turtle swimming beside the group. Although scuba diving can be daunting, our group
accomplished all the tasks to become certified. I am especially proud of Carson for facing her
fears and learning to love the challenges of the open water.
When not practicing their scuba techniques, the group channeled their energy and desire for
fun. Thomas, T-Bone (Tanner Murphy), and Kate couldn’t get enough of (safely) jumping off a nearby
bridge into the high tide. The rest of the group became obsessed with the competition of nukem,
and with my pep talks, Mack, Burke, and Miles beat the unbeatable Jesus (John). Every
morning, Ella and I practice yoga on the dock as fish swam beneath us. Mack and Miles
made fishing rods out of sticks and fishing line. They even caught a fish and a turtle with the
makeshift rods! On lazy afternoons, the group would venture to the nearby arts village where we
purchased handmade sulus and other traditional Fijian mementos. Layne and I got matching
bucket hats! Finally, we would conclude our days on the beach. While Thomas and Bella beat
everyone in chicken fights, Sophie, Layne, Jesus (John), and I were entranced by the words in
These past few days have been full of learning, facing challenges and loads of fun.
We can’t wait for continued adventure with this group.
Emme + John
June 28, 2022
BULA BULA! Hello from Fiji!
Words cannot describe how pumped I am that our group landed in Fiji yesterday morning. Our group emerged from customs with smiles and an energy that exuded excitement. Carson stood out within minutes, making everyone feel included and at home with her friendly demeanor.
After a breakfast of Fijian pastries and fruit, we set off for our first adventure… sailing! On the catamaran, we were able to relax from the long travel days and take in the scenic views of the Fijian coastline. In no time, the group was enthralled in riveting conversation, talking as if they had known each other for a lifetime. We arrived at a small island off the western coast of Fiji, where we snorkeled and explored the coral and fishies that inhabited it. TJ (Tanner James) and Ella were quick to dive deep underwater to see different angles of the reef. This included swimming underneath a natural arch made of coral. After our exploration, the group rested on a floating mat, which soon turned into a full-fledged game of king of the mat. Sophie, T-Bone (Tanner Murphy), Thomas and Bella put in strong work to stay on the mat, but no one could compete with our king of the mat, Mack.
You would think that a long day in the sun would tire a group out, but not these kids! Their energy did not waiver as we returned to our hotel. The pool slide became our next adventure, as Hampton, Burke, Miles, Mack and Kate competed in making the biggest splash at the bottom of the slide. We then gorged ourselves on some local pizza and enjoyed the sunset of our first day. During Moonup, Layne and Burke were chosen as the first LODs of our trip. Their kindness and desire for adventure and challenge will set our group up for success.
John John and I are so excited to explore the island and immerse in the Fijian culture with your kids. They are full of energy like I have never seen before. Thank you for sending them to us, and we are excited to share with you all the adventures to come!
John + Emme
June 27, 2022
Hello Fiji Families!
We just heard from our leaders that the group has landed safely in Nadi. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.
Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!