Monday, December 18, 2006

Nacula Island, Fiji

I've had several people comment in e-mails about the underwater pictures from Egypt. So I decided to go ahead and share some of the shots from our trip to Fiji five years ago. I must say that was some of the best snorkeling I've ever done. The coral was breathtaking and the fish so exotic. I especially liked the indigo starfish that were all over the reef. They looked like some sort of strange underwater Muppet creature - yet they were very much real and alive.

Beyond the beauty of the beach and the reefs where we spent most of our time (when I wasn't in a hammock reading) - we really had an opportunity to get to know some of the local village people. They invited us into their home. We sat on the floor and ate octopus with them. The younger children spoke fairly good English and were able to translate for us, which was a big help. We also went to church there--not sure of the denomination. Since it was all in Fijian we couldn't understand a word of it, but it sounded like a Hellfire & Brimstone sermon. But what I will remember most from that service will be the choir - a capella, of course, with voices like angels. It was soul stirring. We truly felt the spirit as they sang.

The whole trip was an amazing journey. VERY different from our Egypt trip in that we were on a remote island in the Yasawa chain. Two very tiny villages on the whole island. No roads. No cars. No electricity. No stores. Just beach and beauty, lots of peace.

Comparing that to visiting a city of 22 million is impossible. Our time in Cairo was an entirely different sort of experience. Yet both trips have enriched me. These times, along with travel to Costa Rica and a few other places have shaped my values in so many ways. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities I've had to get to see some different places in the world. Hopefully there will be more adventures yet to come. I want to go to India, to China and to Haiti. Depending on governmental issues I'd like to go to Cuba and more of the middle east. It is indeed an amazing world we live in. Travel helps me discard all my western ideas of entitlement as I more fully experience the way that other people live. I've learned much from my brothers and sisters in other parts of the planet. I may never see these people again, but I will always carry them in my heat.

To see the slideshow of pictures, click HERE.

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