Bula means Hello
Michelle and I decided to take a trip to Fiji during our break before exams (and don’t worry we did pack the books to do a bit of studying while we are here!) Our journey like most other started nice and early! We headed for the airport at 5:45am! Michelle’s roommate Beck was nice enough to drive us down because the train would not get us to the airport in time and it was much cheaper to pay her for petrol then it was to hire a transfer. Check in and Customs were a breeze. Security is not a top priority here in Australia. A little more when coming and going internationally but nowhere near what it is in the states and it always seems to surprise me! We got to our gate with some time to do some reading and just relax before heading out. The flight was just over 3hours long but Fiji is two hours ahead so we didn’t touch down in Fiji until 2:45pm. We were met by rain and singing natives. It was fun to come off to the plane to people waiting for you and singing to welcome you. Customs here were even more lax then in Australia I don’t think they even asked what food we were declaring they just took our cards and we went on through! After figuring out some things with our tour and rearranging a few things because we had missed the last boat to our first stop we were off to the harbor. They just switched our adventure around so we start at the end and go backwards through no stress! It was rain rain rain all night! As we waited for the boat in the Harbor it rained, on our boat ride to the island rain, that night in at the resort rain! It was a hurdle to over come! The boat we boarded at the harbor was not the boat that took us to the island, we took a smaller shuttle boat up to the beach from the larger boat because they can not get close enough. This transfer was quite an experience! We basically transferred boats while still moving nearly full speed in the dark rain! As we hoped off the boat into the waters of the beach we took a walk up the beach to the reception, (please keep in mind it was still very very dark and raining at this point!) Thank God I had Michelle because I think I would have been in tears at this point (she agreed when we talked later that night) So far our trip had not turned out exactly how we had imagined it. Our dorm style sleeping arrangements were in an outdoor hut with no walls just mosquito netting and oh just another hundred or so beds! By far the largest hostel dorm style room either of us had been in. we put our stuff away in the locked compartments under our bed and headed for dinner. Our meals are included for us in our trip, which is so nice so dinner was made for us all we had to do was show up. We have been told all of our meals are fine to eat just don’t drink the tap water so we have some bottled water to bring along with us and they also sell it. After dinner we were so tired and ready for our rainy first day to be over so we climbed into bed to do some reading and hit the hay.
I was feeling very defeated and not looking forward to the next 11days after this first one, in a sorta debby downern mood and I know God was watching out for me when I picked up my devotional book. It is the one Maddie and I started a while ago but I am going back through it again because there is just so much good stuff each day I felt like you couldn’t get all the good in one go! So I opened it up to day 20 for which the title read: Needy, Whiny, and Discouraged. The verse for the day was “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I was pretty sure God just hit me in the head with a TON of bricks! Saying “Hello Hannah I am still here, I am still Good, and I am still looking out for you. You have no reason to complain for even a second because I Love you and you are enjoying my creation in Fiji rain or no rain, set back or no setbacks, you are Living a dream!” I was like WOW I just sat and thought about that for a second and it changed my attitude right around. I couldn’t believe how selfish I had been complaining about the rain or things that weren’t as I thought they should have been. I was a bit embarrassed as I read on and it the book said “Anyone can whine. But it takes a different kind of woman who wants to live a different kind of life to turn whining into thankfulness instead. Look for the good.” Reading this was just what I needed at that point. I need to live my life happy, thankful and praising God because I AM A DAUGTHER of our MOST HIGH KING! So that is my thoughts for the day for you, when you want to whine or complain just praise God because he is still Good, he is still leading you in procession of triumph even when we don’t think life is going the way we want it too.
Our next morning brought once again clouds and rain ☹ but taking what I had read the night before I was still positive thinking about how blessed I was to even be here! We had breakfast and then came back to our beds and packed for the day! We headed out on a sailboat for the day experiencing Fiji from the water! Once aboard our sailboat we headed for Castaway Island! We got the chance to snorkel off the coast of the island where Tom Hanks filmed the famous and great movie Castaway! The snorkeling was fun but not the best snorkeling we had done the water was clear but still a bit murky. Michelle and I both decided we have been a bit spoiled with our snorkeling after getting to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef! Even with the slightly murky water we had a blast and got to see a lot including another claim (not as big as the one we saw dad but it was a different colour which was cool!) we had a great time! then it was time to get a chance to explore the Island some. We walked around put our toes in the sand and we think we spotted his cave! It was really cool to think we walked where Tom Hanks walked!!
We even got a demo of how to husk and split a coconut. It looked much easier then it actually was when we got a chance to give it a try! What our guide did was use a tree that was in half and pointy on the top to pierce the outer skin of the coconut to be able to pull it away in sections (aka to husk the coconut) and then he used a coconut leaf to make a circle like holder to prop the coconut on. I believe this was to one keep it from rolling away and two to get it up off the ground so he could crack it in two. With a swift move of his hand he had cracked in half nearly perfect! It was very impressive, my guess is he had done it a few times before!
After exploring it was back to the main boat for lunch! It was very tasty they even cooked up some fish that we caught on the way out, I believe it was a Spanish mackerel. As we finished up lunch we headed towards another island to Yanuya village, we got a chance to walked around their village and have a welcoming ceremony complete with Kava (don’t worry Grandma Dykema ill be sure to bring some home for you!) Michelle and I got a chance to try it, I am still not sure if I like it or not but I am told it is very popular in Fiji so I am sure ill get another chance to try it out. This Village was so poor but the kids were so happy and loved getting their pictures taken! It always amazes me coming to countries like this how happy and carefree the people can live when in our eyes they live in such poverty. It makes my heart hurt for them but they are so happy and when a little kid looks up at you with a huge smile saying “bula bula” (hello hello) you can’t help but smile right back!
Side note about this village is that it is home to a boarding school where the children come to the Island/the School Sunday after lunch and stay there until Friday after lunch. I thought it was a weird school week if you ask me. To go Sunday and only have a half day Friday. But it seems to work for them!
We got a chance to walk through a market of native souvenirs before heading back to the boat. After the village our day was over it was about an hour boat ride back to meet our transfer boat back to our island of beachcomber, so of course being silly girls on holiday we took some pictures and enjoyed our boat ride.
We got back to our island shortly after 5pm with some time to shower and rest (or write and update for my blog. I am not sure when I will have Internet to update these but I figure if I can at least type them ill be ready when I do!) Now it is nearly dinnertime so I will say Good bye and Good night from Beachcomber Island! I will continue to update when I can and have one ready from each island we venture too. There will be 6 all together! Back just in time for our first exam! We are praying for sunshine for the morning but will be happy and praising God with anything he gives us!
2 Corinthians 2:14
we never found any internet so i have daily updates from the islands ill slowly upload here so i don't Overwhelm you with all of them at once! There are pictures in the gallery that didn't get put in the blog too! Ill try to go back and add titles when i get a chance!