Early today we set off by bus in the Suva rain to a river landing site where we headed down a large river to where it meets the sea. Nakui is a little bit of paradise tucked away near the coast line. Seemingly untouched, the scenery is beautiful and the people were even more so.
The village chief and elders welcomed us with a traditional ceremony – the men drunk Kava and then it was offered to the women. After a few rounds of Kava we joined in discussion with the Elders, wanting to start to establish a relationship with this village and get to know what they need.
We made our way over to the Nakui primary school where we were entertained by singing and dancing by the children. They were humble and respectful to us, kneeling and clapping as they presented us with flowers, drinks and our meals. We responded by singing a song and reading bible stories, apologizing to them that our singing wasn’t quite up to there standard.
The children asked us to join them in dancing on their school field, which we happily obliged. We also joined them in some rugby, netball and volleyball. They were sad to see us go and as we departed the village we were asked by the children, elders and chief to come back again next year. The fellowship is already starting to grow.
The journey back to the boat landing was a bit longer and exciting than expected. First one of the boats wouldn’t start and then another ran out of petrol half way up the river! After a long ride back up the river and through the mangroves we finally made it back. Tired, a little sunburnt but content and inspired we all made it safely back “home”. No swimming or paddling needed!