A recap of our recent Fiji expedition
In October of 2013, Duane Silverstein and I gave a Seacology presentation at the National Aquarium to a rapt group of approximately 35 members, donors and individuals interested in conservation. We invited all to link up us on a first-ever expedition to Fiji with The National Aquarium to take part in visiting two of Seacology’s island conservation projects and enjoy the treasures of this picturesque island nation. Included in this special trip would be daytime dives with and evening talks from ocean expert John Racanelli, CEO of The National Aquarium.
Our group included 12 interested persons variously representing both organizations, none of whom had experienced a Seacology trip previously. With deep gratitude to Seacology Field Representative Harry Powell, our excursions to both villages were a resounding success.
The village of Nanuca stands on the remote north coast of Vanua Levu and occupies a sweeping apron of land and sea: the beaches pristine, the corals vibrant, and the mangroves robust. We shared coconuts, mangoes, papayas, kava and merriment together as the villagers expressed their heartfelt appreciation to Seacology for funding their upcoming community hall. In exchange, they would create a taboo marine reserve as a meaningful trade. With great pride, they led us to the ocean to view the stunning habitats they pledged to protect.
Nukubalavu is a small village on the near south coast of Vanua Levu with strong community leadership. They have had an intact Seacology-funded primary school for seven years now, and its success in the village was evident. All of their graduating students enter the two elementary schools in the nearby town with exemplary preparation. Their gratitude was overwhelming as they spoke of the positive change in the village culture with accessible education for their children.
As for the individuals attending the trip, they were a collegial group who bonded over coral reef dives, snorkeling, delicious meals, ocean conservation, humanitarian pursuits and a quest for adventure; the hallmarks of Seacology expeditions. And staying at the fabulous Jean Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort, staffed with friendly Fijian locals, is a privilege; they embrace Seacology’s work and offer an impeccable experience. It’s no accident these excursions – rich in contact with indigenous islanders, exotic cultures and wild environments – inspire support of Seacology and its worthy global mission.
National Development Officer
Visit our Facebook page for more photos from the trip.