Monday, May 28, 2012

"You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes/ It brought me back to life/ You'll be with me next time I go outside/ No more 3 by 5's." -John Mayer

The final stop: an 8 night trip to Fiji.  After spending a brief night in Auckland, we put everything but our beach gear in storage and hopped on a 3-hour flight to Nadi International Airport.
"Anything you'd like to declare, sir?"

Landing in Nadi

Quick bus stop in Sigatoka

Fijian money

Unique temples on the way to the resort

We got an accidental upgrade to a larger bure, which are the thatch-roofed, cottage-like huts that you stay in at the resort.  This was a good thing because although it was warm, it was cloudy almost the whole time we were there and we ended up spending a good bit of time in the room.  I certainly caught up on my reading, which wasn’t as nice as being on the beach, but I don’t really tan anyways so relaxing inside was fine.

The village choir performing at the resort

I thought I was taking a picture of 1 lizard in the bar...

Brad learning how to weave (sort of)

Always singing...

Call to happy hour!
Both mine and Brad's favorite thing about Fiji was definitely the snorkeling.  The pictures don't even do it justice- it was stunning and the water is so warm.  We saw hundreds of fish, including puffers, a lionfish, and clownfish, and we also saw some cool jellies, an eel, and sea slugs.  We swam right out from the resort's beach several times, and took a boat ride out to some deeper water twice. 


Jumping in from the boat


More clownfish

Giant clam


Family of fish in the coral- some were the size of a pea!

Moorish Idol

The only time we left the resort was to visit the only walk-able attraction: the neighboring village of Namaqumaqua.  Fiji is a third world country (evident by the pictures), which made it all the more amazing how joyous Fijians are.  They are always singing, smiling, and waving “Bula!” 

The kindergarten!

Locals selling jewelry and other little trinkets

Inside a meeting house

The medical center- the hospital is 2 hours away

The church

Drum for calling meetings

We have been so spoiled by New Zealand fauna: there is nothing there that can kill you.  So needless to say we were a little dumbfounded when we stumbled upon a banded sea snake slithering from water to rocks.  Some local kids came by and killed it after informing us that they are poisonous.  My vegetarian ethical radar was going off until I remembered the sight of their village medical centre and I realized that I probably would have done the same to something whose bite needs anti-venom within 30 minutes.  For the most part however, the wildlife is harmless, including the gecko that took up permanent residence in our bure and chirped us to sleep each night.

Found a starfish!

red vented bulbul

white faced heron

Hello best friend!

gorgeous collared kingfisher

common myna

banded sea snake

I would go to Fiji again in a heartbeat.  It was a great way to wrap up to our time in New Zealand and relax before the 27-hour journey back home. 

 Since this blog was devoted to my year abroad this will be my last post.  So I’ll close, appropriately, with some Fijian sunset pics.  I hope you enjoyed my photos and stories from this year and that they may have inspired you to take your own ship out of its harbor in some capacity or another.  Over and out! <3