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MIKYLA MARIE MANU

My travels, thoughts, memories, and love all in one place. Life documented as a twenty-something.

Daku Village, Kadavu Island, Fiji


After leaving early in the morning from Vacalea, we traveled to Daku Village. We traveled via sea-kayaking (once again) with occasionally snorkeling along the way. By the end of a full day of traveling we had sea-kayaked 20+ miles to the other side of Kadavu Island where Daku Village is located. Gotta admit that by the end of the day my arms were pretty beat from paddling so much in big ocean waves! But hey, Fiji is making me toned!

Daku Village was far different than Vacalea. This village is located on the beach and as a result has more traffic from visitors (bringing in television sets, etc.) and more bugs. Yikes. I counted 6 geckos on the ceiling of the room I was sleeping in one night – not comforting. It was fun to experience another native Fijian village and quite honestly it was very different!

Our first night in Daku we were welcomed by the village representative named Epi, as well as Epi’s son Epi the II, as well as Epi the II’s son, Epi the III. Lots of Epi’s in Daku! Epi was so nice, kind, and very knowledge about the eco-environment of Fiji. During our stay we were able to learn more about the eco-environment in Fiji and plant sandalwood trees to help Fiji’s eco-system. Back to the first night, after our bucket showers we had dinner with Epi and his family of mini Epi’s. Dinner comprised of fish taken straight from the ocean and plopped straight onto the skillet – scales, head, eyes, and all. I was surprised how much I actually liked the fish made for dinner. The presentation wasn't at all appealing in any way but the fish was quite fresh and good. Plus it was one of the few things I could stomach considering the bowl of rice was crawling with ants (added protein right?).

Our next day in Daku was Sunday! Yay, a day of rest! Sunday morning we were able to attend a traditional Fijian church ceremony. None of us understood a thing they were saying but I loved hearing the Fijian worship choir sing. Following church we was a much needed nap time. The only thing is that I didnt really wanted to sleep in a room filled with geckos so I opted out of nap time to go on a jungle hike. I loved being able to get explore the jungle and see so many beautiful trees and flowers! I was always so shocked with how gorgeous Fiji is! Following the hike I was able to help make scones for dinner. After dinner we played with the village children and spent time on the beach. Epi the III was to die for and with his big brown eyes I couldn't help but want to hold him and play with him all night!

The following day on Monday we left Daku Village for Papageno Resort. Again our mode of travel to the resort was sea-kayaking with a few stops for snorkeling. Guys, I don't think you understand that I am now a sea-kayaking/snorkeling PRO. I mean after how many miles I have sea-kayaked I think I could make it to the big leagues.

Gotta admit I was beyond ready for Papageno Resort. I truly loved the villages but was beyond ready to have a real bed, a real shower, clean clothes, and have a meal that was supported by granola bars brought from home. When Madison and I saw the beach of the resort lined with hammocks and beach chairs we couldn't stop paddling. We were going full speed those last five miles racing to the resort beach!

To our surprise Papageno Beach was quite nice. Just to be safe we had been using the term “resort” loosely. But I mean anything with electricity and running water was going to be appreciated but Papageno Resort was much nicer than anticipate.

But Papageno Resort is going to be saved for the next post. For now a quick overview of my thoughts on the Fijian villages.

Like I stated before, I LOVED my experience in the Fijian villages. However I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t hard. Because guys, it was flat out hard. Out of the 18 countries I have traveled too Fiji has been the biggest culture shock and hardest adventure I have ever experience, even over Israel.

I think partly because I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I have little to no knowledge about the South Pacific prior to my traveling here. I knew Fiji was a 3rd world country but I don't think I fully understood what that meant. I didn't understand that meant I would be living in a place for a week without running water, electricity, a bed, and food I was completely unfamiliar too. I didn't understand that meant I would be sleeping in a shack made out of tin metal with no doors or windows.

Yet I loved Fiji and my time in the villages. I wouldn’t change anything about my experience in Vacalea or Daku Village. And even though I had a meltdown on the beach half way through, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is the difficulties that made it what it was. It is the difficulties that have inspired me to show more gratitude, to live a simpler life, to focus on what is truly important – my faith, my family, and my friends, and to show humility and happiness for the multitude of blessings I have already received.

The villages were a challenge. But the challenge is what I loved.

xx,
m.

P.S.
Long post short; I would never sell my experience in Fiji for a million dollars, however I wouldn't buy it back for a penny. 









Papageno Resort, Kadavu Island, FIJI

Vacalea Village, Kadavu Island, Fiji