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On a particularly special and seemingly impossibly remote island in the glorious South Pacific unpredictable and often life changing cultural exchanges occur on a daily basis. We can never predict the catalyst, the format of the exchange, nor the beneficiary. We know implicitly that when world weary travelers arrive on Nukubati, an exquisite Fijian island, change will occur. We know that once embraced by the gentle nature and kindness of the Fijian staff, lovingly known as the Nukubati Family, hearts will fill, cultural barriers will disappear, laughter will reign, stories will be told and music will flow.
In March Barbara and David Osher arrived on Nukubati guitar in hand. During their twelve day stay they marveled at the luminescent tropical fish and coral as they snorkeled through Mitimitis Garden, a coral reef in the turquoise colored ocean; listened to the afternoon silence, watched the ever changing sunsets, laughed with the staff, played the odd game of tennis, and enjoyed sumptuous cuisine. They woke at dawn to the cacophony of birdsong followed by singing and laughter as many staff members sailed to work from the local village. They listened to angels singing at the local church, joined the traditional meke, an evening of feasting, laughter, singing, dancing and carva!!! And they met Johnnie, a young man who LOVES the guitar. A remarkable cultural exchange was seeded.
Each night after dinner had been served David and Johnnie would play guitar, David the teacher, Johnnie the student hungering for more. They sat and played, laughed and sang each enmeshed in the other’s passion for music…by the giving and the taking. We have been told that on one such evening Johnnie casually asked the cost of a rock guitar such as David’s. That sadness filled his eyes at the price and contemplation of the impossible task of amassing, what to him was a small fortune. His dreams of ownership and mastery of such a magical instrument evaporated.
No matter their next destination guests who visit Nukubati find the night prior to their departure one of enormous sadness. Sadness when contemplating saying goodbye to new found friends who have brought change to their lives. Melancholy when hearing the tender Nukubati song that had greeted them on arrival now being sung as a means of farewell. As guests we know the heart wrenching feelings when we contemplate leaving our newly discovered tropical paradise. Perhaps we rarely ponder the gift we have brought the charming people we’ve met. People who have joined us in laughter, cared for our safety as we have snorkeled and dived the private reefs, massaged our tired limbs, guided us through the rainforest to their village, served us wonderful meals and champagne at sunset, tended to our every need.
For Barbara and David their next stop was in Kauai where they reflected on the joy of Nukubati, on the beauty , the color, the laughter, the people……on the bond brought by music and particularly the guitar. They especially remembered Johnnie, their mutual joy and wondered how they might send him that guitar! Today the logistics of fulfilling what was to become a mammoth undertaking are of little consequence. Ah but the completion is another story…….
……as we said we can never predict the effect of any cultural exchange that occurs on that special island in the South Pacific.
from gourmet food tours, to unique tour guides, to award-winning cities, and heart-stopping races. Read all about them all on the blog.
- New Zealand Gourmet Food Tours
- Sydney’s Best Tour Guides
- Sydney Names World’s Best City
- The Melbourne Cup, Australia’s Most Prestigious Race
As always, I thank you for supporting Australia 2000 Travel and look forward to sharing more of my recent adventures with you in the coming months.
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Karen Hardy Hodgson
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