July 12, 2022
Bula one final time from Fiji 2B! The kids have officially lifted off from the Fiji and they are on their way back home!
The past two days have been the perfect conclusion to the trip. From long car rides along the beach to relaxing boat rides in the ocean, the journey ended with high spirits and relaxing vibes. After our three hour car ride from Pacific Harbour, which consisted of Henry singing along to every song, we arrived at our last location in Nadi. Quickly after checking in, the group got into another van and headed to Port Denaurau for our sailboat ride. Shelby went straight to the best tanning spot on the boat while Jacob found a comfortable seat at the front of the hull where he could dip his toes in the water. After a little bit of sailing, the boat anchored at a beautiful snorkeling spot where the kids explored the nearby coral reefs from above. Booker impressed everybody with his underwater breathing skills as he wiggled through the reef tunnels. After returning from the boat ride, the group showered and put on their finest attire for our final banquet dinner. The girls all wore Fiji Bitter shirts while the boys wore their thrifted Bula shirts. We arrived at our dinner spot just in time to catch an epic sunset at the beach. John, Henry, and Miller held hands as a tear dripped down their cheeks at the sight of the glistening horizon. It was like a scene from a movie. After dinner, the group enjoyed milkshakes and cake from the nearby ice cream shop. Sophie got a giant Oreo cake and devoured it in less than two minutes. That night, after returning home late, the group had a sentimental moonup and went to bed.
On our last day of the trip, we had another sailboat ride, but this time, we went fishing! Cole M. And Ritchie were the first to reel in a fish, while Tereza, Cole, W., and Georgia played king of the raft on the floating water-mat. On our way back to the port, we had our final moonup, where the group all gave each other “nugs” and reminisced on their favorite memories from the trip. After the sailboat ride, everybody got prepped and ready for their final departure from Fiji.
It is crazy to think that the amazing kids of Fiji 2B are already leaving. After two short weeks, the group stepped outside of their comfort zone and built life-lasting relationships with one another. While Molly and I are sad to watch them go, we are proud to see how they have grown and are grateful to have gotten to share in just a small, yet necessary snippet of their life journey. So with that being said, this is one final Vinaka and Moce to Fiji 2B. Thanks for the memories!
Jake and Molly
July 11, 2022
Bula from Fiji group 2B! We have officially left the Pacific Harbour of Fiji where we just spent the past five days scuba diving and exploring the soft coral capital of the world.
After leaving our surfing portion of the trip, we headed west towards our next destination. It wasn’t long into our drive, however, before we spotted yet another beautiful rainbow arching across the ocean. Upon arrival, the group was quickly gathered up to begin their scuba certification lessons. That day, the kids split up into two teams, team “Alpha” and team “Bravo”, as they worked to complete their pool dives. Everybody was quick and efficient with their lessons, and the dive masters were blown away by their natural skills. Ritchie struggled at first with his mask clearing, but he quickly overcame the challenge and mastered the task. To pass the time, the groups that weren’t diving played pool, cards, and swam in the water. Cole M. inspired everyone by setting up his Eno by the river. Before long, the group had built an eno village where everybody was reading, journaling, and telling jokes. That night, we enjoyed a nice dinner consisting of pizza, burgers, sandwiches, and seafood. Dinner was followed by an early moon-up and bedtime to rest up for the next day.
For our second day of diving, the two groups completed their first open-water dives. This time, they were finally breathing underwater in the ocean! Team Alpha completed the first dives. By the second dive, the group was playing rock-papers-scissors and other underwater games as they swam through the coral reefs with grace. While the first group dived, team Bravo passed the time by completing one of Jake’s intense HIIT workouts. After cooling off in the pool, they spent the rest of the dive solving riddles and enjoying the sunshine. Jacob and Booker finally learned one of Jake’s challenging riddles. In their dive, team Bravo also impressed their dive masters with their rapid skill success. Henry displayed his mastery with buoyancy as he glided along the reefs without needing to use his hands once. That evening, the group walked down to the beach to watch the sunset and take pictures. After the sunset walk, we went to a Korean market/restaurant. The group was amazed by the endless options of culinary treats. For example, Georgia enjoyed a big ”Tuna lover’s” plate. For dessert, the kids had ice cream, cake, brownies, and more. Cole W. and Shelby devoured their cookies and cream bubble waffle. By the time the group got home, they were exhausted from the long day. So, after moon-up, everybody fell asleep the second their heads hit the pillow.
On our third day, the group showed up to breakfast suited up and ready to complete their PADI open-water certification dives. After their last two pool dives, both Team Alpha and Bravo set out to the sea together to conquer their last two open-water dives. After two smooth dives through the beautiful coral reefs, the group arose victorious and certified. Tereza, who initially struggled with equalizing, was able to overcome the challenge and complete the dives with ease. Miller and Cole M. spent the whole boat ride home contemplating the different places in the world that they can now go diving at with their new certifications. In the afternoon, the group went to the nearby Arts Village to shop and get iced coffees. For dinner, everybody returned to the Arts Village. While at dinner, Cole W. and Georgia taught Booker and John how to do “girl talk” with their body language, while Sophie and Jacob invented their own WORDLE. After dinner, the group enjoyed a nice moon-up under the stars, followed by deep talks in the ENO village. The group fell asleep dreaming of soft coral reefs and majestical sea creatures.
The following day, the group woke up early for their first soft coral dive since being certified. After breakfast, we suited up and got onto our double-decker boat to head to the dive site. On our first dive, we saw sea slugs, anemone, and a massive ship wreck! Jacob was the first to explore the inside of the ship. On the second dive, the group spotted a puffer fish and everybody enjoyed playing with Christmas tree worms. After returning back to the mainland and eating lunch, we all went to the Art’s village again to shop and explore. The girls were thrilled to get more iced coffees, which were really just milkshakes with espresso. Tereza even interviewed the owner to learn the “recipe.” For dinner that night, the group returned to the Korean market for more Korean snacks and the wide selection of food. After dinner, we had moon-up and fell straight asleep after the long day.
On our last day of scuba diving, everybody got back on the boat after breakfast to go finish our last two dives. On the first dive, the group explored a massive coral reef. Cole W. wiggled through the reef tunnels like a worm, while Booker imagined that he was Maverick from Top Gun as he glided with grace around the coral. On our second dive, we had our first shark sighting, which consisted of a pair of white-tip reef sharks! After lunch, the group enjoyed time in the Eno village as they watched the soothing rain around them. For dinner, everybody participated in a group cook-off, with the boys facing off against the girls. The boys came out victorious with a display of chicken, rice, and veggies, while the girl followed in close second with their creamy tomato pasta bowl. The group had an emotional moon-up, as they were sad that this was their last night in Pacific Harbor. We fell asleep early to prepare for the long day ahead.
Our last leg of the trip will conclude in Nadi before the kids ship off back home. Stay tuned, but before we go, enjoy some thank you notes from the kids:
Tereza- thank you guys for giving me the opportunity to come on this trip I’ll never forget it!! love u guys
Jacob~ thank you so much for sending me here. Especially the chance to get my scuba certification which I have always wanted. Can’t wait for y’all to get y’all’s
Shelby- thank you guys for sending me here! I loved every second! I’ll never forget this trip! See y’all soon!! Love you guys
John – thank you guys so much for sending me to Fiji. It was so much fun and I loved every second of it. Hopefully one day we could all come back together. Love you guys.
Cole M— thank you guys so much for sending me on this trip. I have had a great time and scuba diving has been surreal. See you soon love you guys.
Miller~Thank you so much for allowing me to enjoy this experience that very few are able to enjoy. You truly are great parents for allowing me to go on this trip.
Sophie- thank you so much mom and dad for paying for my trip to Fiji!!! It’s been such a fun two weeks and I’m so happy I was able to come and make such good new friendships.
Cole W-Thank you mom and dad for paying for this trip and letting me experience moondance for the first time! I would have never imagined it would be this awesome I have made so many amazing friends I will hopefully be close with for years to come! I’ll see y’all soon and love y’all so much!
Henry- Hey mom and dad, I having a blast here in Fiji. The weather is nice and way better than 30A. Thank you guys so much for letting me go and have these amazing experiences. I wish I could stay in the village for a few more months, but I am excited to tell you all about the trip! See you soon
Ritchie- Thanks Mom and Dad for sending me all the way to Fiji, I’ve been having a blast over here. Meeting all the new guys and everyone had to be one of the highlights of my trip. It’s as nice as they say it is over here, hope y’all are having fun in Miami and at the Philippines. Love y’all.
Booker- Thanks for planning and sending me to Fiji. It has been a great experience and I want to go to somewhere like this with y’all. Thanks and can’t wait to be home love y’all.
Georgia- Thank you parents for sending me to Fiji!! It’s beautiful here and the whole fam has got to vacation in Fiji. Ready to go to Hawaiian Islands next year so let’s start planning. Hope Peter had fun in Colorado and that he’s ready to go on Moondance next year!! Love y’all to the moon and back. XOXO G$
Jake and Molly
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!