Just a reminder to you TUBscribers, our t-shirts are freshly pressed and now are in Theory Skate & Snow Shop. Go onto www.theoryskateboarding.com to check out the shop in Western Mass. And again sorry for the delays. We are well out of Fiji, but no down time is being had. So Kelley will be finishing up narrating our Fiji adventures in this blog while Jaime adds in the rest of the pictures. If you want to see all of Jaime’s photography of the trip there is a link on the side of our site (TUBphotography) to see them all so you can get a bigger and better picture of everything these two birds are experiencing!

It’s the third day we are in Fiji and it is pouring rain! Everything is grey, the beach is deserted and the wind is making everyone run for more layers. Though, it is Fiji, so not many layers were packed. This resulted in some grumpy birds with wet feathers. Breakfast was enjoyed sitting undercover of a roof, but no walls or windows. Afterwards everyone just sat around either journaling, reading or sleeping in the bunk house. Not much fun when you’re on a tropical vacation and the boat to the mainland is coming the next day. But without much complaint everyone powered through the dreary morning. Around noon, the Fijians were sick of the moping and gathered the group all up to demonstrate some different talents and techniques that they were taught when they were young living in their villages. First up, basket weaving. Using just the leaves of a palm tree, these natives can construct almost anything (and boy are they fast at it)! These beautiful baskets are so strong in the end they can hold up to 20 pounds! And that’s when the leaves are still fresh, once it dries and turns brown it becomes even stronger.

Even though not everyone got a go at these baskets, the Fijians, Nox and Mini handed out to everyone their own little strip of palm and showed how to make the easiest item on the list – a pinwheel (which in the end were going crazy from all the Pacific wind). While Kelley and Jaime were intricately folding their palms into this child’s play thing, the Fijians were pounding out baskets, whistles, hats and even little fish on a line! Kelley got proposed to by Nox with a ring made out of palm.

After all the laughter died down from the crafts, Mini pulled out a bunch of coconuts. Ripping the husk off using a very sharp stick and strength he announced that they will be showing how to crack a coconut in half using bare hands! Of course the group laughed at this not believing it would be possible, but quickly shut up with astonishment when Nox sliced the coconut perfectly in half with one quick karate chop. Bringing in others to try and test their strength, but it was just one fail after another. Mini finally stepped up and sliced the second coconut as perfectly as Nox’s first one, splashing the crowd with coconut milk. The good thing about all the embarrassment, everyone got to enjoy some fresh coconut.

By the time the demonstrations were all finished up, the rain had died down a bit and the wind was a little kinder. Everyone changed out of their wet clothes and into some hike friendly wear (that had to cover our knees to not offend), because the next stop was the village on the other side of Naviti Island. Going up the ridge line, it took about 15-20 minutes to get to the top of the mountain peak that was very muddy and slippery. The scenery below made all the falls and dirty clothes worth it. The ocean was still so blue even though the day was grey and the greens of all the trees and plants were the perfect contrast. Finally walking into the village it was quiet. The entire group was silent taking in the soft sounds of the of the indigenous people of the island. There were roosters crowing in the background and children making noise from the school house.

Mini lead a quick tour, which was filled with signs that stated “Use Water Wisely” and then took the group to the schools. There were 3 small blue and white buildings, each with a different grade of kids in them. The buildings of the school were very simple and rugged. Though, in these small classrooms there were still the same posters one would see in the classrooms of America. Drug free lives, class rules and pictures of different animals were just some of the decorations on the walls. All of the children wore the same long green smocks as uniforms and were so mesmerized by our presence.  This was extremely eye opening to the fact that these kids don’t see anyone but each other until a group of tourists come to invade their privacy.

All of the Fijian children were very open to the group of Americans joining their classes. Calling each of us “friend” and dyeing to get their picture taken. The cameras were their favorite part. Some even had Kelley take pictures of the posters on the wall so they could see the digital copy appear on the backside of the camera.  Most of the girls wanted to play with the clay and the boys wanted to talk about what they were learning in class. Grabbing hands and giving high fives, these kids touched the hearts of each and every person that went on the trip.

Finally, the shopping began. Yes, mom and dad you will have some Fijian souvenirs. The women of the village invited the group to where they set up a bunch of blankets with all sorts of jewelry, crafts and trinkets to buy. They all were very nice until the bargaining began, but everyone made it out happy and satisfied. The walk back home was filled with how this trip is going to be something no one will ever forget or even get to truly experience again.

Next day, and the last day on the island. The weather was awesome! The sun was shining, no clouds in the sky and everyone was taking advantage of it while they could. The boat to the mainland of Nadi was coming at 3 o’clock and no one wanted it to happen. Too soon! The trip went way too fast. So after packing all of the smelly clothes and tanning and the final swim, we loaded up on the big boat to leave the island behind. This boat was very rocky and not agreeing with most of the groups stomachs. And when we say not agreeing, Kelley ended up getting sea sick… about 4 times. Coming upon the 5 star resort TUB would be staying at for the night it was very hard to enjoy. The sore and churning stomachs and the fact that the flight to Auckland was at 8 o’clock AM turned  the never ending pool, jacuzzi and awesome bar with live music into to a thumbs down. The girls showered, grabbed some pizza, and then passed out dreading the 5AM wake up call. TUB will have to leave the 5 star experience for another time (like$$$never$$$$).



The next morning TUB woke up in a daze. Making it to the airport in plenty of time even though we had bus issues, it didn’t hit the group that they would be saying goodbye to this beautiful country. Once boarded on the plane, we set our minds forward to the next adventure; Auckland New Zealand.

-VNTRbirds  (available in various colors)