July 26, 2022
Yadra Vinaka (good morning) from our new home in the Nambukelevu village!
We were welcomed into the village with smiling faces of the village children as they ran to greet us during their lunch break from school. Our group met with the Chief and conducted our welcome ceremony where he blessed us and formally welcomed us into his village. As school ended, we met the children at the school and played games with them. Before long, Hudson, Marley and Sully joined a game of rugby, while Reeves, Nate and Caitlin dribbled a soccer ball with the kids. A group of girls taught Alexandra, Louise and Eliza a game called Taki-Taki, where one person dances in the middle of the circle as the group chants and sings. After everyone got a good sweat in, we jumped into the river for a refreshing swim. The group concluded what seemed like a perfect day by playing games out on the rocks by the river as the sun set with an orange glow.
Our second day in Nambukelevu began with the sound of early morning roosters. The group set off on a morning hike through the misty jungle. We traversed a trickling river and hiked through muddy trails to arrive upstream of Nambukelevu. As the girls cooled off in the river, Nate, Marley and Hudson helped cut down bamboo and elephant ear leaves with Manu, their new friend in the village. We then floated down the river back to the village for a traditional Fijian lunch of chicken and rice. In the afternoon, Emerson, Hudson, Nate and JJ played multiple competitive card games of Euchre. While some of the group swam with the village children, Jackson disappeared and quickly returned riding a horse. Anna Holt, Cate, and Emerson could always be found with children laughing in their arms.
During the final day in Nambukelevu, our group was invited to attend the village’s Church service. Prior to the service, the village women dressed Cate and the girls in traditional chumba (dress), and before long the boys had collared shirts dawning every color of the rainbow. The Church service consisted of angelic singing, communion and a powerful sermon which was translated for our benefit. After a day of playing and the final kava ceremony, the group moved to a camping area with the sound of the river beside us and the sight of the stars above.
We began our next adventure on the Upper Navau River with clear skies and full bellies. Eliza and Reeves kept the energy up by singing and laughing with our guide Abraham. Meanwhile, Marley and Hudson pirated boats, dragging everyone into the water at least once. The jungle towered above us on both sides of the river with an occasional waterfall trickling down the rock walls. When we arrived in Wainadiro, our village home for the night, the group sat family-style around a table on the porch with a view of the Navau River.
We finished this section of the trip by paddling duckies down the remainder of the Upper Navau River. Jackson, an expert paddler, remained at the front of the group, while Caitlin chatted away with everyone in the back of the group. We took a break from rafting by exploring the jungle and hiking to one of the largest waterfalls we have ever seen. Nate and Emerson could not get enough of sitting between the rocks and powerful waterfall. We wrapped up the rest of the day by taking a scenic bus ride to our next home, Fiji Beachhouse.
Emme and John
Here are some shoutouts from the kiddos!!
Sully- Hey Mom and Dad, all is well love and miss y’all
Hudson- Hey mom and dad still alive. hope everybody is having fun in da ville❤️ I love y’all and can’t wait to see y’all
Cate- Hey Mom, Dad and Colin!! I miss y’all so much! We started off the week scuba diving, and got to swim with sharks. We just left the village where we played with the children, and were immersed in Fijian culture. Now we’re going to Fiji Beach House, and I’m going to get a massage. Y’all would love it here. Can’t wait to see y’all! Tell Cool Chicks I miss them. And mom #nhb. Love y’all so much. See you in a week!
Emerson- Hi Mom, Dad and Spence! I am having an amazing time in Fiji! Love y’all! I hope you had a great time in Mexico!
Jackson – Hello Mom, Dad, Bridger and Colter. All is well, please take care of Echo for me. I wish I could write more but the road we are driving as I am writing this is very bumpy. See you soon!
Alexandra- Hi Mom, Dad, Owen, and Isabelle! I am having so much fun in Fiji! We just left the village and are now going to Fiji beach house. I hope Isabelle is having fun in Europe. Miss and love you all so much and can’t wait to see you soon!
Marley- Hi Dad and Mom I miss you guys very much but coming to Fiji has been so worth it. I got to swim with sharks which was the coolest thing I have ever done in my life most of the other kids had to swim in the pool. I also got to meet a lot of amazing people at the villages we went to and I am one day going to come back to see them. Tell Sam and Cash I say hi and miss them but I can’t wait to see y’all.
Anna Holt- Hi Mom, Dad, Andrew, and Maloy! I am having a great time in Fiji! The shark dive we did was incredible and I got to meet some really cool people in the village. I miss you and can’t wait to tell you all about it!
Reeves- hi mom hi dad I miss y’all sooooo sooo sooo much and cannot wait to see y’all soon! It’s been such a fun trip and I loved scuba diving and playing with the kids in the village, I played soccer with all of them too! we are going to Fiji beach house now and I’m so excited surf! I love y’all to the moon and back times infinity and cannot wait to see y’all. Tell bear an Hawkins’s and cash I miss them too
Eliza- Hi Mom and Dad! I love Fiji! Everyone is so kind and welcoming! We went on a catamaran on the first day, then scuba diving which was so cool, we got to swim with sharks, then we went to the village and got to meet all of the people that live there and play with the children. Now, we’re on a bus headed to the Fiji beach house!! I miss y’all and I hope everything is good in Chs
Caitlin- Hey Mom, I love you and can’t wait to see you in a few days!
Louise – Hey mom & dad! I miss yall sooo sooo much! It’s been a great trip I learned how to scuba dive and love it. I can’t wait to see y’all so soon!! Love you
Nate- Hey Mom and Dad, hope Cali has been fun and y’all are enjoying your trip. Everything here is going great. I’ve seen some beautiful places, had some incredible experiences, and overall have made some amazing memories. Love and miss y’all so much. Tell Sierra, Delkin, and Sorrelle I love and miss them, and tell Sorrelle good luck if she hasn’t taken the BAR yet. Also Mom tell Isa I’m safe and healthy and I love and miss her. Once y’all pick Sadie up tell her I said I hope she had fun and I love her too. Finally give the pups some love from me once y’all are home. Love y’all
July 21, 2022
Bula from Fiji
We arrived at club Oceanus, our new home base for the scuba diving portion of our trip. To start things off, we learned how to assemble and disassemble all of our scuba gear, which proved helpful for our successive dives. Anna Holt and Marley used a machete to open a coconut and drink the milk. In the afternoon the whole group had a beach day- smiles were wide despite the wind and rain. Afterward, we went to a favorite dinner spot where most of the group ordered sushi.
The next day Cate, Eliza, Marley, Hudson, Henry and Emme awoke early for a run under an orange sky filled with the light and warmth of a brand new day. The group was in the pool in the morning learning new scuba skills, meanwhile Marley and Anna Holt, who were previously certified, went on a shark dive. Afterward, everyone adjourned to a bridge jumping spot where Hudson and Caitlin performed a front flip and backflip respectively. Dinner was at a local café in the nearby arts village where we chowed on oven-baked pizzas.
Our third day in Pacific Harbor was the groups’ first diving experience in the ocean. Nate, Emerson and Alexandra were naturals, exploring everything the reef had to offer, including a black and white sea snake slithering through the coral. Reeves, Eliza, Louise and Jackson had problems equalizing their ears initially but quickly overcame that challenge and were able to dive successfully! The sunset in the evening was particularly pretty which drew the attention of everyone sitting contemplatively on the dock. Eliza in particular enjoyed the sunset, citing it as her high of the day in Moonup. With everyone finally certified we’ve gone on a soft corral dive and a shark dive. The whole group saw some big bull sharks as well as a nurse shark and a gargantuan grouper. Everyone was excited to see such large animals in the ocean amongst a cool shipwreck atmosphere. Everyone is packing their bags now as we prepare for the next section in the village. Loving getting to know all of your kids!
Until next time,
Emme & John
July 16, 2022
Bula (hello) from Fiji!
I cannot believe our third group has arrived. Master Ugway (the group’s name for John) and I could not be more excited to show your kids the Fijian culture and share our experiences with you along the way. Yesterday, after a breakfast of Fijian pastries, the group bonded by hanging out at the hotel pool. Reeves, Alexandra and Louise could not get enough of the slide. We then arrived in Port Denarau for our afternoon sailing. We soaked in the western coast, warm sun and sea breeze. Meanwhile Nate napped, Anna Holt enjoyed the fresh fruit and Jackson used his binoculars to visually explore far and wide. The entire ride, you could hear Cate’s adorable laugh as the group became more comfortable getting to know each other. The catamaran stopped at a reef near a small island with white sand. The group jumped into the crystal blue water and began exploring the underwater coral world with snorkels. Marley would dive deep into the water to view the coral drop off at different angles, seeing a puffer fish during one submersion. The colors of the fish and coral gave the group an overwhelming sense of excitement for the rest of the trip. On the way back to the boat, Emerson and I even saw two baby squids! At the boat, Eliza, Caitlin, Sully (Henry Sullivan) and Hudson took turns showing off their skills by doing flips off the catamaran. We then enjoyed Fijian sandwiches and rested after the long day of travel. Yesterday was the perfect day for r&r and bonding! We are currently enjoying the unique sunrise that the Southern Hemisphere has to offer as we travel to Pacific Harbor for our scuba certification. Thank you so much for sending your kids to Fiji. Master Ugway (John) and I are so excited to make memories and get to know your kids!
-Emme and John
July 15, 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!