July 5, 2022
Bula Vinaka! All is going well in Fiji and the group has already bonded so much just in our few days together. On Wednesday, we enjoyed sausage and eggs for breakfast before heading to the village for our service. Our LODs, Georgia and Henry, set a great example and helped the group carry our bags to our new home. We enjoyed multiple games of cards before our delicious creamy chicken pasta and garlic bread. The chief welcomed us to the village with the traditional opening ceremony and the group was introduced to their common drink, kava. We are now accepted members of the village and no longer foreigners. After our ceremony, the group walked down to the river, where we met some of the children. John impressed everyone with his flips and the girls used clay rocks to decorate their faces with war paint. Shelby and Cole W had matching butterflies around their eyes, which the kids loved. We joined the locals in their nightly games of volleyball and rugby. Miller had great serves and was a crowd favorite on the volleyball court. We concluded our first day at the village with beef and rice stew and dancing in the chief’s home.
The next day we woke up to the sounds of birds chirping and roosters crowing. Our guides fed us a tasty breakfast, consisting of sausage, bacon, toast, and eggs. Tereza was so excited to see Nutella on the table to add to her meal! The group gathered rocks and logs to create our lovo, an underground oven, which we would later cook our dinner on. We then took a short hike to retrieve cassava and banana leaves from the village farm. Sophie and Cole M tested their strength to pull the roots out of the ground. After our hard work, we indulged in freshly picked bananas and enjoyed a scenic walk back. The boys kindly offered to help in a communal house project, which turned into a dance party after building concrete pillars. Ritchie was the star of the dance floor. On the other hand, the girls peeled cassava skins and shaved coconuts. Once everyone was back, we munched on outstanding chicken burritos. The afternoon included river swims, dance circles, soccer, and lots of photos. Our lovo was uncovered after a few hours of cooking and we enjoyed an earlier dinner of chicken, tara leaves, and cassava before heading to the top viewpoint of the village. Even though there ended up being a little rain in the forecast, the group was able to experience the village from another view and reflect on our last two days. The final kava ceremony at the chief’s house brought in a lot of the local men and women and Booker’s crazy dance moves. The girls handed out printed pictures for the kids to keep and it put the biggest smile on their faces. We are so thankful for our time at Nabukelevu and hope that the impacts that we made will never be forgotten. After our busy day, we headed to bed before our white-water raft in the morning.
On day 6, we sadly had to say goodbye to our new friends at the Nabukelevu village. As we rode out of the town, Ritchie spotted a rainbow on the horizon. Soon after, we arrived at the base of the Upper Navua River and geared up for our day-long white-water raft. Everyone was so amazed at the large canyons surrounding our rafts, making us realize how small we are in the big world. Along the river, Jacob was the first in the water and planned sneak attacks on pushing the other boys in. The whole day was filled with views of dense jungle and rushing rapids. Our group made it to Wainadiro village mid-afternoon and listened to the sounds of rain on the tin roof while drinking cold sodas from our back porch. After dinner and our welcoming ceremony, the group quickly fell asleep after the long day.
Our second day on the river was cut short due to the rain and damage to our route. We danced with the villagers, as we celebrated our closing ceremony and the end of our memorable and life-changing experiences. The kids loved their gift of a new rugby ball and playing with our GoPro camera. As we headed to our new hotel, we made a pit stop at a local ice cream truck. Cole M feasted on his Jimbo’s tub of strawberry with extra sprinkles. In the afternoon, the group explored the beach and admired the double rainbow ending right in front of us. We finished the relaxing evening by feasting on plates of steak, chicken, and pork chops for dinner. After Moonup, the group played pool and kindled friendships with some Australian students.
Sunday was our day of rest, along with all the others on the island. The group hit the beach early in the morning for our surf lesson. Shelby found her new love for surfing and easily learned how to get up on her own. Booker and John also showed off their skills and were eager to catch every wave. During our lesson, we found ourselves surfing under yet again, another double rainbow! It was a real WOW moment and made the wake-up call so worth it. The rest of the day was spent doing various beach activities. The kids swam, kayaked, and played Uno all afternoon. We ended the night filling our stomachs with lamb, steak, and pasta before our moonup on the beach. The group star gazed and reflected on our perfect, sunny Sunday.
The Fourth of July started off strong, with another day of surfing in the am. The boys showed off their perfected skills from Sunday and rode long waves into the shore. Miller popped up easily and changed directions with ease. Once the group got back from surfing, we headed out on a boat to travel to Yanuca Island. Our ride was a bit bumpy, but Cole W and Sophie took the sea spray without any complaint. When we arrived, the group was ecstatic to see the clear, bright blue water and sandy beach. We started off with a short, uphill hike, which was a bit of a climb with ropes assisting the way up. Tereza was very hesitant at first but preserved and made it to the top barely unscathed. After, we feasted on BBQ chicken, steak, and fruit. Everyone rocked their matching star glasses all day and even our guides joined in on the fun! We laid on the beach and played volleyball before setting out for our snorkeling adventure at a nearby reef. John and Jacob explored the ocean floor and took some great underwater shots. When we got back from our island trip, we cleaned up and celebrated Independence Day on the beach with face paint, Shirley temples, and many games of pool. By the end of it, we had the whole hostel celebrating with us! We rested after our long day of dancing, snorkeling, and hiking.
This morning we had some early risers who were eager to surf one last time. Booker is a natural on the board and performed tricks while riding the waves. After the surfers came in, the group split into snorkeling and kayaking groups. Sophie, Georgia, Ritchie, and Booker created the new sport of kayak surfing on some big waves near the beach. They were adventurous and were not afraid to get knocked out of their boats. The rest of the group went snorkeling, where we found a reef full of sea anemones, lots of fish, and an eel. Henry helped find new creatures hiding within the coral and swimming around. We enjoyed lunch by the pool and then headed out onto a jungle trek. At the end of the trail, the group was greeted by a beautiful, natural rock waterfall. Everyone swam in the river at the base and cleaned off their muddy feet before heading back. Our last meal at the hostel was delicious and made us all very sad to leave our beachside haven. Tomorrow, we start our scuba certification adventure!
Molly + Jake
… and now a word from the kids!
Cole W- Hey mom and dad I miss y’all, having so much fun last time I talked to y’all I lost my bag but got it back and just chilling in Fiji. See y’all soon!
Shelby- Hi mom and dad having so much fun here! Went surfing this morning! Miss you guys! See you soon! Love you guys!
Tereza- hey guys I’m having so much fun here in Fiji and I’ve made lots of new friends and memories!! I miss u all soooo much see you guys soon love u!!
Henry- hey parents, I am all good here, but I hope you are using your time away from me well. I’m coming.
Jacob- hello it’s been lots of fun we have been playing a lot of pool and we are going to scuba soon the village was crazy I’ll tell y’all more later
Booker- It’s been really fun and have really enjoyed the trip so far. I don’t want to leave. Miss and love y’all
Cole M- hey family I have had a ton of fun in Fiji so far. We are about to go scuba diving which should be a lot of fun. See you when I get home.
Sophie- hey guys!!! Happy late 4th and happy late birthday mom!!! Im having so much fun in Fiji!! Send this to Mrs. Addison and tell her I miss her and Parker! Love y’all soooo much! See u in a week! Tell Lulu I miss her
Georgia – Heyyy fam!! Missing y’all but I’m having so much fun in Fiji. There is lots of Fiji water and I managed to get a cherry coke and massage here. I hope Cabo was fun and I can’t wait to see y’all soon. Love y’all
Ritchie- Salutations madre and padre. thou trip has been thou deluxe, I have a friend aka big Jake and he’s helped me realize what I want to do with my life and where I want to go to college. I also have a friend molly who likes to jump on rainbows, and run after them from end to end. hope y’all are having fun in Miami, hopefully see y’all soon. big ritch
Miller- dear family, Fiji is great. Might stay a little longer. Our counselors are fun and the group is great. We haven’t gone scuba diving yet but it has been fun.
John- Fiji has been so much fun. I have made so many new friends and am loving all the Aussies here. I can’t wait to tell you guys all about the trip when I get home.
June 28, 2022
Bula from Fiji!
Group 2B has officially touched down in the island of Viti Levu and is prepped and ready to begin the trip. After a smooth flight, the group came through security looking confident and eager to get started. Cole W. Had a bit of a bag scare, but she didn’t let it spoil her spirits. Ritchie walked through customs waving and offering a big warm “Bula!” to all that he passed. After getting COVID tested (and all testing negative), the crew got in a van and headed over to our final destination for the night.
While in the car, Henry found himself on the “hot seat” as the rest of the group bombarded him with questions. Before arriving at our hostel, the group stopped at their first local Fijian shop. Jacob encouraged the group to get a soccer ball, while Tereza and Shelby got matching bracelets. We got to our hostel early enough to enjoy some good sunshine and swimming. Georgia and Sophie practiced their GoPro skills as they jumped into the water. Booker impressed everybody with his fearlessness after he jumped off a bridge into the river.
After lunch, which consisted of burgers, wraps, and fried rice, the group went to a nearby arts village. Everybody got to pick out their first “sulus”, which are common Fijian garb. Miller and John bonded over their new, matching turtle necklaces.
After the village, the group enjoyed their first Fijian sunset. They were stunned by the crazy array of colors shrinking below the horizon. As they waited for dinner to arrive, Jake and Cole M dominated the pool table. To cap off the night, the group gathered by the river around some delicious pizza boxes. We ended with our first moon up of the trip. The group fell asleep quickly after a long day of travel. We are excited to start our service portion of the trip in Nabukelevu Village, so stay posted! Moce!
Molly + Jake
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!