My Most Recent Trip – Namotu, Taveuni, Qamea (October, 2019)
I flew into Nadi, the main island, from Byron Bay, Australia. Had a layover in Brisbane. One landing in Nadi I met up with my Aunt Teresa and Sean Kappauf from the non profit One ATTA Time. We took a small plane to a small island called Taveuni. This plane was SMALL. I was sitting right behind the pilot and could see everything, this was next level. The views of the reef from above were phenomenal. The airports were extremely small and there was barely any kind of check in. We were greeted by a really nice gentleman who drove us to our bungalow that we were going to be at for the next few days. We had expectations of where we going to stay, which is what made it so magical. The beautiful beachfront bures that we stayed at was called Aroha Taveuni. The couple that owns the place lives on sight and really makes the place feel so homey. There was one restaurant and they made gluten free and vegan modifications so easy!! All the fruit was amazing too. You could also DRINK the water straight from the tap and it was some of the best I have ever had. We spent the first night here just adjusting and relaxing. This hotel is right on the beach so we took a mini walk and watched the sunset. The second day we met with some people who helped organize it so that we could bring water filters to Qamea island with One ATTA Time. By the way, this non profit is incredible. Sean is so passionate about everything in his company and it shows. I am so grateful I got to spend this time with him and learn from him. The filters that they use takes out 100% of the bacteria and it lasts over 20 years. One ATTA Time is different then other clean water non profits because they focus on first establishing a solid lasting RELATIONSHIP with the communities. This is so important if you want to make it a lasting impact. Additionally, they educate the communities on how to use the filters, clean them, and what to do if they break so that they will be used for generations and not just abandoned in a shed somewhere. Bottomline, I have so much love for this nonprofit and I really want to do work for them in the future because this trip changed my perspective in so many ways. We took a little boat to Qamea and we were welcomed onto the island by some of the kindest individuals. They made us feel like family. They were so grateful that they wouldn’t ever get sick from dirty water again. Also, the kids were sooooo adorable. There is about 50 of them in that community. They have everything they need right there. They have all of their family, their schools, and so much outdoor space to run around and be freeeee. These people were sooo genuinely happy, even though they had few material items. They really could care less about any of that. They just wanted to talk and the kids wanted to play. I took some really cute photos (pictures below) of the kids. It brought me back down to earth about what REALLY matters. love, family, community, traditions.
We got back to Taveuni and it was pouring rain. This island is so LUSH. They get lots of rain…it is so full of green and so full of LIFE. The next morning before our flight we went to church and it was beautiful. These people really know how to sing and you can literally feel the good vibrations of the church going through your body.
Later that day we got on another tiny plane and flew back to Nadi. From there, we got on another small boat and arrived to Namotu Island, where my uncle was waiting on the shore. The entire island is one resort, but this isn’t your typical resort. Here, you play water games all day long and eat the best food ever 3 times a day. They are known for having the best surf spots in the world so it attracts some pretty cool people. By the end of the week, I felt so close to everyone there. Alot of the same people come the same week every year, but there are always some new people too! They are super accommodating with vegan and gluten free options. The photographer there takes really sick drone shots and surf shots, and we all watch the slide show at the end of the week. Also, there is morning and afternoon yoga every single day…it is basically a retreat!! I cannot say enough good things about this place. My Uncles have been coming here for several years and I am so grateful that they decided to bring me. It was also such a good time to bond with my Uncle Jim and Aunt Teresa, who I don’t see enough!
A lot of the drone shots were taken by Todd Owen on Namotu! He is a highly skilled photographer & genuine guy. Check out his instagram @owenphoto & website here!