Comment

Fiji: Days 22-30

I have come upon the end of my month long excursion to Fiji. It has been the experience of a lifetime. Traveling is so many things: enlightening, immersive, exhausting, inspiring, educational, beautiful, and necessary. My last several days have been filled with so much reflection and gratefulness. Thank you to everyone who has encouraged me in my travels. I am so lucky to have an incredible support system. Hopefully I can honor Fiji by carrying some of the best parts of it back home with me. Bula vinaka Fiji! Xo! JT

Beautiful hike at Sleeping Giant. 

Beautiful hike at Sleeping Giant. 

Sleeping Giant hike. 

Sleeping Giant hike. 

Orchid garden. 

Orchid garden. 

Alien looking orchids. 

Alien looking orchids. 

Carmen, Diana, and me at the Sleeping Giant. 

Carmen, Diana, and me at the Sleeping Giant. 

Vuda point (where the Polynesians first landed on Fiji). 

Vuda point (where the Polynesians first landed on Fiji). 

Carmen and me overlooking Vuda point. 

Carmen and me overlooking Vuda point. 

Heading out to the farewell dinner cruise. 

Heading out to the farewell dinner cruise. 

Denarau Island sunset #1. 

Denarau Island sunset #1. 

Denarau Island sunset #2. 

Denarau Island sunset #2. 

Denarau Island sunset #3. 

Denarau Island sunset #3. 

Stairway that leads to endless possibilities...  Final thought: If you find a path that tugs at your heart, tickles your brain, or peaks your interest, take it. You may not know where it will lead, but the process of getting there, may change your life. :)

Stairway that leads to endless possibilities... 

Final thought: If you find a path that tugs at your heart, tickles your brain, or peaks your interest, take it. You may not know where it will lead, but the process of getting there, may change your life. :)

Comment

Comment

Fiji: Days 14-21

Hey All!! It has been difficult to post because so much has happened (and the wifi is not so great), so I will try and catch you up from the last week. One of the most profound aspects of this trip so far has been the village stay in Votua Lalai. This village, by our standards, is very poor, but they welcomed us into their home, cooked us a huge feast, served us endless bowls of kava, and gave us their beds to sleep in. I spent most of the night playing with the kids and singing songs with the musicians. It was unforgettable. Since then, we have transitioned to Nadi (pronounced Nandi) and had the chance to visit an orphanage called Treasure Home. We brought toys and school supplies for them and had the opportunity to sing and play games. The women who worked at the orphanage were so happy we came to spend time with the children. All in all, a great week. XO! JT

Kava ceremony in Votua Lalai with members of the village. 

Kava ceremony in Votua Lalai with members of the village. 

A woman from the village took over serving the kava, which tends to be less common.

A woman from the village took over serving the kava, which tends to be less common.

This is our beautiful feast which we ate with our hands (makes me want to throw away all of my flatware)! 

This is our beautiful feast which we ate with our hands (makes me want to throw away all of my flatware)! 

A sweet snap of Mya & Delia. 

A sweet snap of Mya & Delia. 

The kiddos and we became fast friends. 

The kiddos and we became fast friends. 

Jam session. 

Jam session. 

The chief came by to greet us and chat for a while. Although I didn't get a photo with him, I did get a photo of his pretty, blue home!

The chief came by to greet us and chat for a while. Although I didn't get a photo with him, I did get a photo of his pretty, blue home!

This photo was taken at Treasure Home. All of these children are considered orphans and are living here full time. They were so sweet and loved playing with us.  

This photo was taken at Treasure Home. All of these children are considered orphans and are living here full time. They were so sweet and loved playing with us.  

We visited a kava market in Nadi. This is a photo of what kava root looks like before it's ground into powder. 

We visited a kava market in Nadi. This is a photo of what kava root looks like before it's ground into powder. 

This is the Hindi temple in Nadi. Very ornate and beautiful. 

This is the Hindi temple in Nadi. Very ornate and beautiful. 

Below are a few photos some of my colleagues took from previous excursions:

Blue starfish! 

Blue starfish! 

Driftwood teepee. You can write me at: Jessi Teich, 1 Driftwood Lane, Somewhere on the beach in the Fiji Islands... ;) 

Driftwood teepee.

You can write me at: Jessi Teich, 1 Driftwood Lane, Somewhere on the beach in the Fiji Islands... ;) 

This lovely caffeinated concoction is called a niuccacino! 2 shots of espresso with local coconut milk and coconut cream all poured into an authentic coconut shell. "Niu" (pronounced new) is the Fijian word for coconut, hence "niu"caccino. :)

This lovely caffeinated concoction is called a niuccacino! 2 shots of espresso with local coconut milk and coconut cream all poured into an authentic coconut shell. "Niu" (pronounced new) is the Fijian word for coconut, hence "niu"caccino. :)

Me loving my niucaccino. 

Me loving my niucaccino. 

Comment

Comment

Fiji: Days 13-16

The last few days have been filled with more amazing adventures and a continued education of this beautiful, collectivistic culture. We took a gorgeous horseback riding trip through the Fijian bush where we found yet another waterfall to play in. Below you'll see my old-lady horse Mimsy and our tour guide Abby. I've made friends with the local band who are sweet as pie. We also hiked a gorgeous trail to some massive sand dunes where we discovered a beautiful beach that is full of driftwood teepees. Tonight we are transitioning to the village next door called Votua Lalai. We will sleep there for the night and then continue our trek to Nadi (pronounced Nandi). Oh yes, and I found Clinton, NJ in Fiji... scroll below to see! Xo! JT

Horseback ride with Mimsy & Abby. 

Horseback ride with Mimsy & Abby. 

Made it to the waterfall!

Made it to the waterfall!

The local band. 

The local band. 

Learning Fijian from a local boy. 

Learning Fijian from a local boy. 

Gorgeous views on the hike to the sand dunes at the Coral Coast. 

Gorgeous views on the hike to the sand dunes at the Coral Coast. 

Am I in Scotland? 

Am I in Scotland? 

Guys, I know where I'm going. 

Guys, I know where I'm going. 

Finally made it to the ocean!

Finally made it to the ocean!

Driftwood teepees on the beach. Currently looking for a roommate! ;) 

Driftwood teepees on the beach. Currently looking for a roommate! ;) 

At long last... some serious beach time. 

At long last... some serious beach time. 

Yes I met a puppy named Moana. No I didn't take her home with me. She lives at the sand dunes with her mama! How cool!!

Yes I met a puppy named Moana. No I didn't take her home with me. She lives at the sand dunes with her mama! How cool!!

Travel buddies! :)

Travel buddies! :)

From Clinton, NJ to Fiji! How small is this world?? Congrats on your upcoming wedding Matt & Nicole!! What a beautiful place you have chosen to get married!

From Clinton, NJ to Fiji! How small is this world?? Congrats on your upcoming wedding Matt & Nicole!! What a beautiful place you have chosen to get married!

Comment

Comment

Fiji: Days 10-12

We finally made it to the Coral Coast! It was very sad to leave Suva since we became so close to the staff at Grand Pacific Hotel, but life moves forward, as always. The last few days we have been working AND playing. I included some photos to catch you up to speed. Enjoy! XO! JT

Tiki torch lighting ceremony! Goodbye Suva...

Tiki torch lighting ceremony! Goodbye Suva...

Bula Coral Coast!

Bula Coral Coast!

Class on the beach! Best classroom view EVER. 

Class on the beach! Best classroom view EVER. 

Tree swinging with my friend Nali on Beqa Island. 

Tree swinging with my friend Nali on Beqa Island. 

Starfish!

Starfish!

Our visit to Sigatoka pottery village. The locals make the pottery from clay found in the village and glaze it with tree sap. How resourceful! 

Our visit to Sigatoka pottery village. The locals make the pottery from clay found in the village and glaze it with tree sap. How resourceful! 

Beautiful women of the village presenting us with song and dance. 

Beautiful women of the village presenting us with song and dance. 

I met 7 month old Winnie at the Kula Eco Park today. She was cuddly and kept nuzzling my arm for warmth. 

I met 7 month old Winnie at the Kula Eco Park today. She was cuddly and kept nuzzling my arm for warmth. 

And then there was Kevin, the lizard... who decided that my head had the best view of all. 

And then there was Kevin, the lizard... who decided that my head had the best view of all. 

Hey Kevin. 

Hey Kevin. 

Comment