You can experience so much more than the flop and drop at a resort in Fiji. Giving back is now the new Fiji experience that not only opens up your heart but your mind and soul.
Mark Luckey, General Manager of roomsXML, recently took his family to the Outrigger Resort Fiji to be part of the Conua School project. Here’s his story on what he experienced.
DAY 1. THE CEMENT MIXER BREAKS AND WE GET STUCK IN
Arriving at 8:30 am, I was introduced to elder lliki, 49 and father to six and an Anglican minister.
We began to lay the footing for the teacher’s accommodation and luckily got some done before it broke and we had to mix the cement by hand.
Back at the resort and knowing I need my clothes again tomorrow, I jumped into the ocean, it was cleansing but painful to my blisters.
DAY 2. RUGBY PLAYERS AND ENGINEERS AND THE THE KIDS TURN UP
Conua, pronounced ‘Thonua’, was bustling on the second day. The highlight of the day was smoko.
With my body aching and the mixer dying, it was time to do things by hand again. Suddenly the engineer plays with the chains and luckily it purrs again for the rest of the day.
Outrigger encourages guests to participate in this community project and you pay for the privilege.
I end up supervising when other guests turn up and it wasn’t long before the kids started a rugby game with the local village kids.
DAY 3. BY MOVING BRICKS, I REALISE I’M ALIVE…
Peter the General Manager of the Outrigger Resort, emails me with a detailed itinerary for the rest of my stay. I’m already hurting but I powered on until the rugby team turned up and it was time to move bricks.
Back at the resort and I was blessed to have dinner with the GM. This guy has changed the lives of thousands of Fijians.
DAY 4. SHATTERED BUT OVERWHELMED
I am shattered on my final day at Canua and my regret is I had to return back to the hotel at 4.45pm with seven bricks left to lay. Peter from the Outrigger Resort cares enough to really get his hands dirty and does what needs to be done to make this a movement. What a human.
It took me 20 minutes to wash my clothes and the sun cream and concrete from my arms and hair. Nothing beats that ocean bath.
I am very appreciative of the experience, the introduction to such a culture and the feelings of actually giving back and making a difference.
To Peter, Lindsey, Aliki, Fahtter Fihi (the chainsaw gas man), Kini, Malakai…the list goes on.
Vinaka for my fave trip ever. I’ll be back.