U14’s Fiji Tour – 2017

Day 9 & 10

Last post of the holidays…I’ll let Dave do a match report for Saturdays game as he’s far more skilled than me. Suffice to say the boys came out hard despite the heat, it was an equal contest with two tries a piece and one conversion to us. In the ‘third half’ we mixed things up a bit and swapped some players around from each side to make things fun. At the end the boys gave away their soccer boots and received some cool gifts from our hosts. The coaches had the obligatory ice bucket thrown over them, which Nev managed to sidestep.

After the excitment of the game there was more to come on Saturday night with a Polynesian evening put on by the resort. Which involved another Lovu oven with food cooked the Fijian way. This was followed by traditional Fijian dancing, which some of the boys joined in with, followed by fire dancing and fireworks on the beach! So much excitement for one day.

Sunday was a lot more relaxed, everyone had free time, some chose to fish or explore the surrounding islands, whilst others chilled out around the resort. There was an inpromptu burger eating contest at the Flying Fish restaurant which involved eating a 1kg burger with all the trimmings. Cranky Franky (as Dave calls him despite his even temprament!) took on the challenge and polished one off in 45 mins. The boys did their best, with Matty Zeelie, Ollie, George, Alex, Noah, Ben L, Aussie, Ben Berry all managing half. Ben Caruso managed 3/4ths so it obviously is genetic!

See you all on Monday!

 

 

   

 

 

Day 7 & 8

The last couple of days the boys having been getting match fit for the big game tomorrow. Yesterday we visited another village, after the usual kava ceremony (the boys are getting a taste for it now!), the boys were welcomed with a tribal dance like the Haka – called the Cibi and rendition of the Fiji national anthem. We are finding the Fijian singing voices amazing. We responded with the Australian national anthem and a ‘Who are we? Wakehurst…’ Stirring stuff.

From here we setup two games of touch in the village common area, which was a large strip of land between the village huts. Everyone was so friendly and welcoming with kids of all ages joining in. The boys felt like rock stars with a few of them gaining female admirers, taking lots of selfies with the boys, Bashful Ben certiainly lived up to his name!

After the games the boys continued playing around the village until it got dark and we had dinner. It was tough finding all the boys to get them back on the bus with some remarking it was the best day ever…

Today the activity continued with a visit to the Sigatoka district methodist school. The school was amazing, we were welcomed by the principal and teachers, Dave introduced the boys and Lachie Gallo thanked them and offered the sports and school kit we had brought as gifts. All the school boys and girls then sung a song – the sound was amazing and brought a shiver to your spine, and it didn’t even look like they were trying! After a tour around the school we went to the town oval – complete with a large grandstand and clubhouse – which is where we will play on Saturday. The boys had a proper game of touch – ten aside on a full size pitch. It was certainly an adjustment as the school team ran rings around us for the first quarter! They were so fast. The boys eventually got with the program, and scored a few fantastic tries in return. It was hot and hard work, we got through about ten large bottles of water, I don’t recall seeing the other team drink more than one! Great preparation for sure.

This afternoon was more relaxed with another opportunity for a trip around Sigatoka town. We can’t quarantee the quality of some of the presents they have been buying. 😉 There’s also been a lot of interest in hair braiding and henna tattoos…mentioning no names! Dave and Nev have been talking tactics all afternoon, not sure how much has been going in. Certainly not as much as the piles of food they all consume at dinner!

Day 3-6

So the boys are settling into island life nicely. I’d hoped to write more but its been non stop since we arrived! We are all looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow when we go shopping around Sigatoka town. The boys have been prepped on their bartering technique and how to walk away if they don’t like the price! There seems to be a vast difference between the local price and the tourist price!

Since my last post the boys enjoyed going to church on Sunday and eating a traditional Fijian feast cooked in a Lovo oven, which included chicken, lamb, fish, potatoes and tarrow all cooked in the ground. The boys enjoyed meeting the locals and got to understand their way of life – which is hard but made easier by the extended family looking after one another.

On Monday the boys took jet boats up the Sikatoka river to some remote villages. They particularly enjoyed the 360 degree turns which meant most of us got drenched. Once in the village they got a taste of rural life where farming is the main occupation. They also got their first taste of Kava as part of the welcome ceremony. I think some liked it more than others, perhaps more the mouth numbing sensation than the earthy taste!

Tuesday took us to Robinson Caruso island, some boys said it was meant to be spelt Crusoe but Dave assured us it was founded by a relative of Franks so it was right. Either way the boys enjoyed the trip where the locals threw coconuts and spears at the boat when we arrived, reminding us of a time when cannibals inhabited the islands. Here we enjoyed a day of snorkelling, kayaking and dancing.

Wednesday was the most spectacular and exhausting by far. We took long boats up river deep into the mountainous interior of Fiji where we had to navigate white water upstream which eventually brought us to the most amazing waterfall. The only distraction was when Ray threw his rucksack in the waterfall, it looked like an accident but I think he wanted to test the bouyancy of his bag, which remarkably stayed afloat for ten minutes until one of the guides dived in to get it. The boys then took it in turns to jump off a ledge into the splashpool. I have slow motion video of everyone which I’ll post but in the meantime some highlights below. After the waterfall we climbed aboard inflatable rafts for the trip down the white water. Everybody was very happy, which I then realised was because I’d been allocated the lead boat as the only adult aboard with six boys who were not too keen on rowing, at least not in the same direction. Eventually the guides took pity and gave us a tow. After some unintentional 360 degree turns we survived the rapids and arrived hungry and tired at the village. After a welcome ceremony Dave was given a choice of low tide, high tide or Tsunami Kava, Dave chose high tide but the boys out voted him and we all had a Tsunami! Which set us up nicely for a game of touch rugby after lunch with the villagers!

Nigel:
Ben Caruso:
Callum:
Aussie:

 

 

 

Concerned selfie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fijian Cooking

 

Fijian cooking 2

 

Fijian delights

 

Church service

 

Village beach

 

Island swim

 

Village group

 

Village group 2

 

Jet boat group
Jet boating

 

Villlage

 

Village 2
Ceremony

 

Ceremony 2
Ceremony 3
Ceremony 3

 

Dance

 

Dance 2

 

Village food

 

Trip back

 

Robinson Crusoe island
Crab racing

 

Dancing

 

 

____________________________________________________________

Day 1-2

Hello from the Crows Nest resort in Sigatoka, Fiji. After a very early 3am bus trip to the airport the boys settled into holiday mode once onboard the aircraft, occupying most of the back of the plane. Deputy assisant coach Dave was eagle eyed and confiscated any iTelephones that had been smuggled through customs – including George’s iPad and Mozzies iPhone which apparently he didn’t have, but the fictitious device had been set to flight mode non the less.

After a long bus journey through the Fiji countryside we arrived at the resort to a warm welcome by the locals singing traditional Fiji songs.

The locals are so friendly and so far the boys have learnt to say Bula at every given opportunity! This means, hello, greetings or life as a literal translation, as well as Vinaka which means thank you. They have also learnt the concept of Fiji time, where your change normally arrives an hour later and when you say I’ll be there at 6, it normally means 7.30.

Everyone was asleep early on the first night, which meant we all had the energy for a fantastic day at the beach at the Shangri La. The boys enjoyed snorkling and seeing the multitude of fish, playing touch rugby with the locals on the sand, and some were up for being towed around in an inflatable very fast around the bay!

Some highlights below:

 

Fiji flight

 

 

Fiji flights

 

Alex arrival
At Nadi airport
On the bus
Sleepy boys

 

Happy hour
Welcome
Resort view
Beach fun
Fast fun
Ollie Jack Austin
Backpacks

 

Bula!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Day 7 & 8
 

Day 3-6

So the boys are settling into island life nicely. I’d hoped to write more but its been non stop since we arrived! We are all looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow when we go shopping around Sigatoka town. The boys have been prepped on their bartering technique and how to walk away if they don’t like the price! There seems to be a vast difference between the local price and the tourist price!

Since my last post the boys enjoyed going to church on Sunday and eating a traditional Fijian feast cooked in a Lovo oven, which included chicken, lamb, fish, potatoes and tarrow all cooked in the ground. The boys enjoyed meeting the locals and got to understand their way of life – which is hard but made easier by the extended family looking after one another.

On Monday the boys took jet boats up the Sikatoka river to some remote villages. They particularly enjoyed the 360 degree turns which meant most of us got drenched. Once in the village they got a taste of rural life where farming is the main occupation. They also got their first taste of Kava as part of the welcome ceremony. I think some liked it more than others, perhaps more the mouth numbing sensation than the earthy taste!

Tuesday took us to Robinson Caruso island, some boys said it was meant to be spelt Crusoe but Dave assured us it was founded by a relative of Franks so it was right. Either way the boys enjoyed the trip where the locals threw coconuts and spears at the boat when we arrived, reminding us of a time when cannibals inhabited the islands. Here we enjoyed a day of snorkelling, kayaking and dancing.

Wednesday was the most spectacular and exhausting by far. We took long boats up river deep into the mountainous interior of Fiji where we had to navigate white water upstream which eventually brought us to the most amazing waterfall. The only distraction was when Ray threw his rucksack in the waterfall, it looked like an accident but I think he wanted to test the bouyancy of his bag, which remarkably stayed afloat for ten minutes until one of the guides dived in to get it. The boys then took it in turns to jump off a ledge into the splashpool. I have slow motion video of everyone which I’ll post but in the meantime some highlights below. After the waterfall we climbed aboard inflatable rafts for the trip down the white water. Everybody was very happy, which I then realised was because I’d been allocated the lead boat as the only adult aboard with six boys who were not too keen on rowing, at least not in the same direction. Eventually the guides took pity and gave us a tow. After some unintentional 360 degree turns we survived the rapids and arrived hungry and tired at the village. After a welcome ceremony Dave was given a choice of low tide, high tide or Tsunami Kava, Dave chose high tide but the boys out voted him and we all had a Tsunami! Which set us up nicely for a game of touch rugby after lunch with the villagers!

Nigel:
Ben Caruso:
Callum:
Aussie:

 

 

 

Concerned selfie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fijian Cooking

 

Fijian cooking 2

 

Fijian delights

 

Church service

 

Village beach

 

Island swim

 

Village group

 

Village group 2

 

Jet boat group
Jet boating

 

Villlage

 

Village 2
Ceremony

 

Ceremony 2
Ceremony 3
Ceremony 3

 

Dance

 

Dance 2

 

Village food

 

Trip back

 

Robinson Crusoe island
Crab racing

 

Dancing

 

 

____________________________________________________________

Day 1-2

Hello from the Crows Nest resort in Sigatoka, Fiji. After a very early 3am bus trip to the airport the boys settled into holiday mode once onboard the aircraft, occupying most of the back of the plane. Deputy assisant coach Dave was eagle eyed and confiscated any iTelephones that had been smuggled through customs – including George’s iPad and Mozzies iPhone which apparently he didn’t have, but the fictitious device had been set to flight mode non the less.

After a long bus journey through the Fiji countryside we arrived at the resort to a warm welcome by the locals singing traditional Fiji songs.

The locals are so friendly and so far the boys have learnt to say Bula at every given opportunity! This means, hello, greetings or life as a literal translation, as well as Vinaka which means thank you. They have also learnt the concept of Fiji time, where your change normally arrives an hour later and when you say I’ll be there at 6, it normally means 7.30.

Everyone was asleep early on the first night, which meant we all had the energy for a fantastic day at the beach at the Shangri La. The boys enjoyed snorkling and seeing the multitude of fish, playing touch rugby with the locals on the sand, and some were up for being towed around in an inflatable very fast around the bay!

Some highlights below:

 

Fiji flight

 

 

Fiji flights

 

Alex arrival
At Nadi airport
On the bus
Sleepy boys

 

Happy hour
Welcome
Resort view
Beach fun
Fast fun
Ollie Jack Austin
Backpacks

 

Bula!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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