In the Village of Nakuku

By Jenny Olea

Hey everyone! It’s Jenny here, writing all the way from Australia. I would like to share my experience during the last couple of days in the village of Nakuku. On November 3rd, we went to visit the school Vuni Salusalu, where we got to meet a bunch of wonderful kids! Personally, I loved doing this because I really enjoy interacting with kids, getting to know them, and playing all sorts of fun games. I would say that this was also a challenge for me, considering Fijian kids usually don’t learn English until they are 10 years old. With the small kids in the village, it was sometimes hard understanding exactly what they wanted, but I tried to make the best out of it.

The next day was our last full day in Nakuku. For the villagers, Sunday is their rest day, and on Saturdays we go with our families to harvest food for the Sunday meal. Daisy A. and I went to the farm on a horse; a highlight for me because I love riding horses! We harvested taro leaves and other crops. That night we had a farewell party, for which everyone got dressed up in fancy Fijian clothing. We drank kava, danced all night, and enjoyed the soothing music.

The next morning was hard because we had to say our goodbyes to all the amazing people who had hosted us and taught us so many wonderful things. It is amazing how close you can get to a lot of people in only 10 days. I thought I wasn’t going to cry, but when I hugged my host Mother and Brother, the tears came, and from there I couldn’t stop. Then we made our way to Nadi again. We took the midnight ferry, which was pretty crowded, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

In Nadi, we stayed at the hostel Tropic of Capricorn, the same hostel we had stayed at upon our arrival to Fiji. It was comforting to be in a familiar place. The next day was very hard for me because I woke up with a fever. At the airport, my energy was low, but with the support of the entire group, I was able to make it through the day of traveling. Finally, we got to Brisbane, and I took a much-needed rest day. I’m really excited to get up and going and to get to know all that Australia has to offer!