Bula Vinaka and Welcome to Fiji!
Upon clearing customs and immigration, you will be greeted by Rustic Pathways’ Fiji staff. Your flight lands early in the morning and you will start off your day with a tropical breakfast and orientation to the journey that is about to begin. Fiji is made up of more than 300 islands in total but you will spend most of your time on Viti Levu, the largest island. Whilst the islands have been inhabited for thousands of years, European settlement occurred less than 200 years ago. Many ancient Fijian traditions are still intact and regularly practiced today and as part of your trip, you’ll learn about these from our local staff and friends.
This morning you will make a short stop in the town of Nadi to gather any last minute supplies before heading into the mountains of Fiji’s Nausori Highlands region. This area of Fiji has remote villages nestled in mountain valleys where locals live off the land and have strong ties to their traditional culture. The need for service in these remote parts is great, and villagers here will welcome you with big smiles and much generosity. The truck ride to the Highlands normally takes about three hours.
You will settle into the Nasivikoso village and meet your host family. Stay in pairs with host families and immerse yourself in the incredibly warm and caring culture of Fiji’s indigenous people. Share meals and group activities while you are here, while making sure you are spending ample time with your new Fijian family.
When you arrive in the village you will provide your sevusevu to the chief of the village in a very traditional ceremony required of any visitor to the community. This is an amazing cultural experience and also offers a chance to spend time with the elders of this village.
After lunch, jump in to help work on our on-going effort to build a primary school in the village. Rustic Pathways and the villagers of Nasivikoso started building this school in 2012 and are continuing to expand the school facilities to accommodate additional grades and students. Prior to the opening of this school, all children from Nasivikoso had to spend the week away from their families at boarding school in another village. Now, first to fourth grades in Nasivikoso are able to live at home and attend school in their own community. Help build additional classrooms so that fifth to eighth grades can also be accommodated in the new village school.
When work has finished for the day, cool off with a swim in the river and join your group for dinner and activities at the Staff Bure before heading to your host family for the night.