My partner & I, and my 17 & 13 yr old daughters, went to Denarau Island resort, Fiji in the middle of our Melbourne winter 2009. One of the best things I’ve ever done. What a totally amazing place with experiences to match. Now, we’ve grown up in the country and are very used to the friendliness of country people in Australia, however the Fijians are something else. So down to earth and genuinely friendly and HAPPY.
We became friends with one of the resort staff (who shall remain nameless) and were invited to their village to meet their family and see how Fijians really live. This was a very humbling experience for us as they live very basically, without all of the trappings / things / stuff that we take for granted in our modern lives. I saw the huge disparity between our lives.
Yet we were the same in so many other ways.
My 13 yr old daughter hit it off with the 13 / 14 yr old sister and ended up staying with them overnight till the following afternoon. Living as they live. She loved it. Just playing in nature , being kids together.
We adults organised to have a “lovau” (not sure of spelling), which is similar to the Maori “Hangi” (food cooked in traditional way underground), the following day and so us and all of their family shared an amazing meal together.
We also did trips to the islands, rivers, snorkelled, swam, shopped, ate out etc. Which was fantastic. And the resorts and scenery in Fiji are great . And of course, don’t forget the swim up bar !!!!
But being invited to their village and home… this was the real Fiji.With Real people.
These connections with the Fijians are what made our holiday so special.
It helps me to realise just how lucky I really am.