First things first, our new Tshirts have arrived.
This time last year we were in serious count down mode.
9 days and counting before we hopped aboard the plane from Brisbane Airport heading to our island home of Fiji. It was also 10 days until my daughter turned double-digit 10!! So it was a really exciting time... (she is turning 11 in 10 days and her reminder to me this morning of this very fact made me think of how we were deep in Fiji mode this time last year!)
A couple of weeks ago, I drove past the same van with the Fiji number plate which I wrote about last year Here. I haven't seen that van in a year - and it was on my street! Yes, I know what you're thinking now - we did scream "OH MY GOODNESS!!!! IT'S A SIGN!". Despite being missing in action from the website, we are STILL that family. LOL.
To say we are in "Fiji Dreaming" mode right now is a serious understatement. In fact, I still have accommodation booked to arrive on 21st December, but I know deep down I am going to have to press the big bad Cancel button very soon. This post is not intended to be a download of what's been going on for us lately, but I feel it's only fair to give a quick explanation of why I've been missing in action for around 5 months. Those who have written to me privately in relation to my post "Finding Faith in Fiji" will already know, as I found some courage deep down to write to each and every person asking for some prayers.
I must say that I love this little Me and Fiji family we've come to know through writing on this blog, which I started as a guide for families wanting to become Fiji Expats, or people wanting information on how to move to Fiji. But to be honest, I feel that it has now has evolved more towards the LOVE for Fiji and it's people that we share with so many people.
I personally have been having some health issues, and I decided to make 'becoming well' again my full time job. This meant Me and Fiji went silent. But... oh man, I have missed the love and positivity of the Fiji spirit. And when we aren't there in the flesh, this hobby of mine - spreading the love of Fiji - brings me a small amount of that same joy, just from a different location - the Gold Coast in Australia. So when my youngest Daughter started talking about her birthday, I began to reflect on where we were this time last year, and of course the JOY of Fiji flooded my mind. And on to the computer.. and here I am writing to you again!
Anyway... I've been reflecting on that boundless love that Fijians hold in their hearts. We've personally experienced it many a time, as I'm sure many of you have. I tried to connect it all when I wrote in my post "The Reason Why the Fiji 7s Boys are Winners!"
Here is a quote taken from that post:
"Fiji is different, and I wonder when the rest of the world will catch on. Not just in Rugby 7s, but in Human Spirit.
Today's game had me in tears at the end, as I watched the Fijian supporters going wild, and again when Jerry was interviewed.
It's been my belief since the first time we stepped foot on Fijian soil in 2009 that Fiji and it's people are different.
In Fiji, families will go through adversity daily (the depth and continuity of which that us Aussies, New Zealanders, and Americans will not understand) but they still find the strength to smile big Bula smiles, and have a laugh with each other.
They will have no money left, but share their last long-loaf with a fellow villager who has nothing to eat. They will look after each others children as if they are their own. Fijians who are still without homes after devastating Cyclone Winston smile and welcome visitors with open arms. Big, broad-shouldered men who spend hours working their farms, who are clearly tough and strong, will cry real tears when they think of the blessings they have.
Fijians celebrate life.
One look at the grandstands at any 7s game will show you the joy that their supporters encapsulate. You see this joy in the crowd of most sporting events in Fiji, with at least one Fijian dancing in the crowd to huge roars of laughter and support.
Fijians spread happiness.
They appreciate the good and bad times, knowing that their family and friends have their back.
Fijians are humble.
And perhaps that is exactly what the rest of World needs to catch on to. Humility, and the value of recognising your blessings. Both of which Fiji seems to have nailed.
The Fijians (both in Rugby 7s and in life!) thank God each time they win, or lose. They appreciate both good and bad times because they know they are blessed to be alive to experience both.
In rugby, you will see them pointing up to the Heavens after scoring a try.
"First of all I’d like to thank God for he has been good to us,” said Fijian captain Jerry Tuwai in an interview immediately post match today.
They are eternally grateful for the good, and okay about the bad. They know their seasons, and how to ride them."
We owe Fiji a lot - after all the island nation gave Faith to my Husband, and helped me grow in my faith. Especially in the past few months when I have had to call on that Faith with my health. And one of my favourite things is that my children have been able to grow up being surrounded by Faith.
Anyway, in a bid to try to encapsulate that type of love that Fijians embody (that I tried to describe above in my post about the 7s Boys) and to keep it in our minds daily.
That we too should be striving to be more kind, more generous, more welcoming and more loving, especially to strangers (like the famous Bula Spirit!).
I made my Husband a t-shirt. I hoped it would wrap up the love, the spirit, the generosity and the kindness that Fijians hold in one small sentence (and I hoped he would wear it!).
Well, he loved it, and wears it all the time. He's had people asking him where he got it. And a few people saying BULA! as he walks past. That literally makes my day - those people who say BULA obviously know what Loving like a Fijian is.
Now, my Hubby he is a shy guy, he won't say "Oh my beautiful, charming, lovely wife (who I love to bits!) made it for me - isn't she clever!" (Are you reading this Hubby?) HAHA! ( #notHAHA)… But if you, dear Reader, want to tell me, you can most certainly email me and tell me that, you are very welcome too... email me Here.
Here is the t-shirt (PS. he does not yet know he is my model on here, so if you see him around the Gold Coast, that will be a funny moment, go up to him and say something... pretty please!)
And here he is again holding Beetroot Slaw which we thought was hilarious, reminded us of an 'only in Fiji' moment but it was in Coles Australia Fair... Congratulations Coles it's Beetroot Slaw only it's carrot HAHAHAHA.
Believing that lots of people want to LOVE like a FIJIAN, I have actually gone out on a limb and am now selling them.
So you too can spread the love of Fiji, or give it to someone for Christmas (which my friends is in 24 days time!). All sizes available, even for the Big Boys (up to 3XL). Kids sizing available too. I haven't been to any of the other Pacific Islands (except for Vanuatu!) but I believe their love is just as strong and so if you're a Samoan, or Tongan - I can customise for you as well.
I haven't got any professional pics yet - but as soon as I do I will upload them. But they are SUPER CUTE, little girls tees in pale pink, and little boys tees perfect for your little Fijian bubba. I wonder if I can get my almost 11 year old to 'model' for me once again.
She used to do it when I ran a Fiji-made resort wear clothing line for kids - but that was back when she was 4, 5, 6, and 7 years old (at 8 it was really hard!) and her bribes were a lolly from the supermarket in Cuvu, Sigatoka. What kind of bribe would an 11 year old take now? Maybe, more time on YouTube??? OMG, don't even get me started. But here is a cute flashback to one of her 'modelling' gigs for her Mumma (ME!!)
Much Love and Fiji Spirit to You in this 'silly season' that we call the lead up to Christmas,
Oh, and if you love this tshirt, please leave me a comment below! Vinaka xx