Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 14

Today is our last day in Fiji, and I think I’m really going to miss this place.  We had a fun morning because we got to go surfing.  This was my first time so I was really excited.  I was eventually able to do it all on my own.  Now as I reflect on the past couple of weeks I realize that Fiji is probably one of the nicest places I have ever been to.  The people are exceptionally friendly and welcoming, and that makes Fiji an exceptional place.   I know that I will always remember this trip, and it will hold a very special place in my heart.

Day 13

Today we had an early breakfast because we all had to finish our top ten photos for presentation.  After that we headed to another village to go and see a little waterfall. The village held a Kava ceremony to welcome us, and after that they were our guides to the waterfall.  To get there we had to hike quite a ways, but it was worth it.  The waterfall was small, but nice.  As we started heading back I got my shoes a bit wet, and I didn't like that.  On the way down our guides were kind enough to get us some grapefruit.  It wasn't really ripe, but it still tasted pretty good.  We then headed to the mud baths and hot springs.  I enjoyed the hot spring much more than the mud bath.  We then headed back to the restaurant where they sang us the goodbye song.  After that we all presented our photos and went to bed.  Here were my top ten!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Day 12

Today was our last day at Mango Bay.  We woke up a little bit early for breakfast, and then we got started packing. After  I finished packing; I decided to get one last milkshake.  Soon after that we had to get in the bus to head to Smugglers Cove. I slept most of the bus ride there, but once I woke up we were at the hotel.  When we got there, things were pretty hectic.  It turns out that we rented out all of the girls dorm and all of the boys dorm, but they decided to put us all in one dorm and book out the other one we booked.  So they had to put us boys in different rooms. After we got that settled, we headed to a usual Fijian dinner.  Which turns out to be good old fashioned Chinese food. After that Brett and I took some awesome night shots. We then headed to the hotel to get some rest.
Day 11

Today was our first full day with Ula.  We had another late breakfast. After eating I went back to the room to pack my backpack because we were going to head to an island today.  At 9:30 we got on the boat to go to the island. The boat rider there was long, but very nice.  Borah was able to catch a tuna on the way to the island. The way that they killed it was very gory.  They took a light aluminum bat and simply tapped the fish on the head 3 times, but there was a lot of blood. A little bit later we made it to the island. We visited a village there.  The first thing we did was head up to look at their school. It was a small, but nice school.  The school children there put on a performance for us.  They snag many songs, and they are really good singers.  I was actually very impressed.  We then headed to their principle's office to sign our names that we visited the school. After that we all took a group photo together on Ula's camera.  We then we're allowed to explore the village.  I walked around with Grace for awhile, but I then decided to do a little bit of exploring on my own.  I ran into this woman who was cooking and talked with her a little.  I asked her name; what she was cooking; has she lived in this village her whole life; etc.  After talking to her for a bit, she allowed me to take her photo.  It actually felt like I had made a connection with her.  Soon after the it was time to get onto the boat, but before I did that I ran into the woods to use the restroom. I then accidentally stumbled upon the villages farm.  I was unfortunately unable to get photos of it.  After I finished, I sprinted back to the boat to head to our second destination; which was a beach. It was awesome there.  On the beach we had lunch, and there were many different activities.  They included paddle boarding, volleyball,  swimming, snorkeling,  and many more.  The

activity that I participated most in was paddle boarding.  I also helped Ulla get some pretty good photos. After that we all got dinner then headed to bed.
Day 10

Today we had a late breakfast (Yes!).  After breakfast we spent almost the whole day editing. We had to select our 3 favorite pictures for critiques. Later during dinner the photographer Ula (I think that's how it is spelled) arrived.  She is a German photographer that has done many cool and interesting assignments.  She told us that she had a cool presentation to show us tomorrow. I couldn't wait! After chatting with her for a while, I headed off to bed to get ready for tomorrow.

Day 9

Today we had to leave Tovutovu.  It was really hard say goodbye to Elizabeth and the others because they took such good care of us while we were there.  After eating breakfast we had tp wait till 11:30 till we headed out to the plane. I made the mistake of drinking a lot of water before getting on the plane.  I thought I was going to pee myself in the middle of the flight. When we landed I literally sprinted towards the nearest restroom.  After getting that business taken care of, I met a woman named Mrs. Bottom.  She was another photography teacher at MHS, but she retired.  She is is a very nice and interesting person, and knows a great deal about photography.  I hope I can learn a lot from her.  After meeting with he for a while, we l grabbed our luggage and got on the bus towards Mango Bay.  Our group made a detour to an ecosystem conservatory. It was amazing, we got to hold chameleons and I even got to wear a snake around my neck. We also got a tour of the facility.  They had many awesome birds such as hawks, owls, love birds, Collareds, etc.  My favorites were the Collareds, barn owls, parrots, and the peacock.  After a while, we got back in the bus and headed to Mango Bay. When we got there we immediately had dinner.  The dinner honestly looked a lot better than it tasted.  It tasted ok, but only ok.  We then all headed off to bed.

Day 8

Today was a very emotional day.  We had to say good by to the villagers; which was a lot harder than it was expected to be.  We started packing our bags very early in the morning, and then started to clean up the house.  There was a lot of mud that needed to be cleaned up, but we got it done pretty quickly.  After that everyone headed to the center of the village for the farewell ceremony.  The villagers sang a song for us, and then we all said our goodbyes. We all got into the car and headed back to Tovutovu. When we got back we had to immediately have lunch and get ready to go snorkeling. When we went to the place where we were going to snorkel;  we had to get flippers. After the first 8 people took the dingy to the boat, everyone else got in the other boat.  When we got out to the site we had to jump into the ocean.  I was really nervous that the water was going to be freezing cold, but it was actually not bad. We started swimming to the coral, and our guide stopped to tell us that we could look around.  Then everyone started heading into really shallow water, and I mean REALLY shallow water.  I was too scared to head into the shallower water, but it was still pretty shallow where I was.  The waves almost pushed me into a large patch of coral. I has to push off of a little piece of coral just to avoid getting hit by a lot of coral. After swimming a bit, I noticed something was bothering my foot. So I took off my flipper to see what was bothering it. I noticed that there seemed to be these little quills sticking out of the bottom of my flippers; they luckily didn't pierce my skin.  I was very glad to be wear flippers at that moment. After everyone escaped the treacherous shallow waters, we continues to swim around looking at the reef.  It was very pretty overall, but I don't think I noticed anything that really stuck out.  After a while we all headed back to the boat.  When I got out I was freezing cold, but I luckily brought my towel. So everything turned out ok.  On the boat they gave us awesome snacks and drinks.  One snack in particular,  the papaya bread, tasted a lot like cinnamon; it was awesome!  When we made it back, we immediately got into the car to head to dinner.  Tonight we had pizza, and it was a great surprise. I had enough pizza to last me the entire trip!  Borah feel asleep during dinner; it was pretty funny.  We the  headed back to Tovutovu to get ready to head to Mango Bay the next day.