Bula from Fiji!
We love Fiji and as working parents, it has the perfect mix of family and ‘me time’ so everyone can chill out as much as you want or be active as much as you choose to be.
My kids recently made a comment about the people in Fiji and how friendly they are. It is the simple and consistent things you notice. Every day, every person we pass when walking, travel on a bus or talk to in a shop, greets you with ‘Bula’ (hello) and a big smile.
My daughter commented this trip that ‘people are not this friendly in Australia’, which I thought was an unfortunate comment for a 10-year-old to make, but I have to say pretty true. Why aren’t we this openly friendly with each other? Have we become a bit insecure in our world today? I really think we could try to be more openly friendly and make someone else’s day a little cheerier. What do you think?
The friendliest I remember my city of Sydney, was for the Sydney 2000 Olympics. I remember the mood of everyone was super happy and excited and even on the train, complete strangers would greet each other with ‘hi’ or ‘g’day’. It was a lot of fun and the happiness was contagious.
A day trip I would highly recommend as a family is to the Coral Coast (about 1 hour south from the airport) where we visited a local community village on the Sigatoka River. Here we met Sarah, a lovely lady from the community who was our guide through the village. It was such an education for us all.
In this relatively small property, 250 families live together as one community in small huts made of thatched walls, corrugated iron and concrete blocks. She talked very proudly of bringing up 6 children in a small thatched hut and how her children are now grown up and as a true gift they recently built her a new concrete brick hut next to the old hut.
I have to say sometimes we do take our lives for granted and can get very caught up in material possessions. These village families were so happy and so humble. They have all learnt different skills that bring money into the village, like pottery, basket weaving, fishing and building.
The biggest impact I think this experience had was on my kids, who found this fascinating. My 7-year-old son now wants to share the photos and the experience with his class when he gets back to school. He said to me ‘we are so lucky mum’. This was after he exclaimed (rather embarrassingly) in a loud voice that their homes look like ‘ruins’. That was our cue to head home…..I think we’ve all been there!
The other thing Sarah talked about was 2 good lessons she has learnt on how to grow her community and trust others to respond in kindness:
- Give to others in the community and don’t expecting something back
- If you do something for someone or help them, you don’t need to tell others for personal gratification.
Two simple thoughts but so refreshing to hear.
I think we can take something from this and look after each other more, particularly us working mums, to make life just a little bit easier in an increasingly busy world.
Anyway, I hope you found this interesting and inspiring.
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