At exactly this time of year in 2011, my family were blessed to be living with a friendly Fijian tribe in a small village called Malevu on Naviti island, Yasawa group.
The bures in the picture above were built in between fishing, planting, cooking and of course a lot of kava drinking ceremonies with a lot of laughter.
These bures were some of many flattened by cyclone Evan. The cassava crops and breadfruits were destroyed. The bore holes were filled with sea water. Our tribe spent fifteen hours sheltered from the storm before venturing out to see the destruction of their livelihood.
The Fijian people are resilient, gentle, strong and happy. They live according to the tides, the moon, the seasons and the sky. They have unwavering faith in the creator and fear nothing.
I know they will pick up the pieces and rebuild with a smile, at their own pace and in their own unique style.
If anyone out there is looking for meaningful travel, now is the time to get to Fiji and help with the big clean-up. Their boats have been battered and reaching the main-land for supplies is an issue.
Click on this link to see how you can assist http://www.ausaid.gov.au/Pages/home.aspx or inquire at your nearest disaster relief organization.
This highlight is dedicated especially to Malevu and Laka, Donu, Samu, Vili and Toye and to all Fijians affected by cyclone Evan.