Place Where You Live:

Naiwaisomo Village, Beqa, Fiji

After school play time in Naiwaisomo Village,

I wake up most mornings wondering when I will get to go back to Naiwaisomo village, a place filled with smiling faces, simplicity and community. While staying in the village I wake up every morning to roosters roosting, and the sweet smell of fried banana pancakes on the table. Getting out of bed the first words I hear are “Bula Erin” and I know I am home. The community women have gotten together to make breakfast for their guests. Walking out of my house, I put on my sandals and make my way, down the wooden steps to a path made of concrete created by seashells, rocks and sand. The neighboring house is 10 steps away yet it takes me 5 minutes to walk there because Fijian children cling onto my arms and ask to go for a ride. The days are filled with making concrete, playing netball, and conversations through smiles, laughter and hand gestures.
I am connected to this place because I have never lived so simply and been so fulfilled. Only having electricity from 6pm to 9pm allow the Naiwaisomo village people to be completely connected to their land. They use natural resources to take care of their community and when absolutely necessary they face the rough open ocean to the mainland. This village is strong because its members are family; they work together with the land in order to succeed. I fear that technology will take over and the village children will become disconnected from their natural resources. I hope I will be able to connect again with the smiles this Fijian land gives its people and its visitors. Never have I connected to a place where community is first then its individuals.