Posted on Leave a comment

UPDATED – Helping The Children Of Fiji

 

We hope all of our American friends and family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends and all of those you dearly love. We on Dazzler truly had a very special day with our dear German friends, Lutz, Gabi and Bernd. Our day was filled with love and laughter, great food, great music and friends who are more like family. We’ve so much to be thankful for these days.

Our travels have certainly opened our eyes to the world and shown us that there is so much we can do to help others around the globe. Of course we can’t do it all so we’ve chosen a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts. We would like to help the children of Fiji to broaden their horizons and learn more about the world outside of their tiny villages.

In our travels to many of the remote villages the children asked us over and over again to bring them reading books. Imagine that…not toys or clothes or games or computers…BOOKS! We visited one village on the island of Kia where they had a brand new library but only a few books. It was a beautiful place with nothing but empty bookcases. We’ve been told the Fijian government provides textbooks but no reading books. Yes, this encounter touched us deeply and made us want to do something to help.

A beautiful new library with virtually no books!

Our goal is to bring back as many reading books as we can to the remote villages we visit.

How will we reach our goal? Well, first we have been in contact with teachers in New Zealand and the U.S. to learn about great reading books for children from kindergarten through eighth grade. You see once they reach high school age many go off to boarding school in the larger cities where reading books are more easily available so it’s the younger ones we’ve chosen to focus on. Once we’ve compiled a list of books we can purchase here in New Zealand we will begin shopping. For those who don’t know English is the official language of Fiji and so it’s books written in English that are needed.

We will certainly be spending a good deal of our own money to make this happen but we’d really like to do this on a much grander scale than we can afford on our own so we’ve set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations to help us bring their dreams to life. We can do so much more together than we can on our own.

Since this is the season of giving and of making dreams come true we are hoping and praying that our readers will help us by donating even the smallest amount. Every single penny we raise will go to buying books. Not a single one will go to us for anything. In fact, if we have too many books to carry on board Dazzler on our trip back (which is our hope), we will personally pay to ship them to a marina in Fiji where we can pick up a couple of boxes at a time to take to the islands. Jilly’s even offered to give up room in her shoe locker for books for these children! That’s HUGE!

Please take a moment to check out our GoFundMe page and if you feel so inclined, please make a small donation. We will be making certain the children know that this effort was a joint effort from people all over the world who wish to help them with their education. And, we will be posting photos as we distribute the books so you will get to see how your money was spent and the joy it brought to the children.

Thanks for taking time to consider our request. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or whatever the the holiday is that you choose to celebrate.

Cheers,

Dan & Jill

Advertisements
Posted on Leave a comment

Helping The Children Of Fiji

We hope all of our American friends and family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday filled with family, friends and all of those you dearly love. We on Dazzler truly had a very special day with our dear German friends, Lutz, Gabi and Bernd. Our day was filled with love and laughter, great food, great music and friends who are more like family. We’ve so much to be thankful for these days.

Our travels have certainly opened our eyes to the world and shown us that there is so much we can do to help others around the globe. Of course we can’t do it all so we’ve chosen a cause that is very near and dear to our hearts. We would like to help the children of Fiji to broaden their horizons and learn more about the world outside of their tiny villages.

In our travels to many of the remote villages the children asked us over and over again to bring them reading books. Imagine that…not toys or clothes or games or computers…BOOKS! We visited one village on the island of Kia where they had a brand new library but only a few books. It was a beautiful place with nothing but empty bookcases. We’ve been told the Fijian government provides textbooks but no reading books. Yes, this encounter touched us deeply and made us want to do something to help.

A beautiful new library with virtually no books!

Our goal is to bring back as many reading books as we can to the remote villages we visit.

How will we reach our goal? Well, first we have been in contact with teachers in New Zealand and the U.S. to learn about great reading books for children from kindergarten through eighth grade. You see once they reach high school age many go off to boarding school in the larger cities where reading books are more easily available so it’s the younger ones we’ve chosen to focus on. Once we’ve compiled a list of books we can purchase here in New Zealand we will begin shopping. For those who don’t know English is the official language of Fiji and so it’s books written in English that are needed.

We will certainly be spending a good deal of our own money to make this happen but we’d really like to do this on a much grander scale than we can afford on our own so we’ve set up a GoFundMe page to ask for donations to help us bring their dreams to life. We can do so much more together than we can on our own.

Since this is the season of giving and of making dreams come true we are hoping and praying that our readers will help us by donating even the smallest amount. Every single penny we raise will go to buying books. Not a single one will go to us for anything. In fact, if we have too many books to carry on board Dazzler on our trip back (which is our hope), we will personally pay to ship them to a marina in Fiji where we can pick up a couple of boxes at a time to take to the islands. Jilly’s even offered to give up room in her shoe locker for books for these children! That’s HUGE!

Please take a moment to check out our GoFundMe page and if you feel so inclined, please make a small donation. We will be making certain the children know that this effort was a joint effort from people all over the world who wish to help them with their education. And, we will be posting photos as we distribute the books so you will get to see how your money was spent and the joy it brought to the children.

Thanks for taking time to consider our request. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or whatever the the holiday is that you choose to celebrate.

Cheers,

Dan & Jill

Posted on Leave a comment

Goodbye Fiji

After five amazing months it’s finally time to say goodby to Fiji. We’ve certainly had a lot of wonderful times here. Circumnavigating Vanua Levu with our wonderful friends, Lutz & Gave on SV SuAn, exploring island villages, meeting Chiefs and villagers, drinking kava, snorkeling, having great friends visit and sailing Fiji’s amazing waters…we’ve certainly packed in a lot into such a short time.

We’ve met some of the most incredible villagers who have made such an impact on our lives. Many of whom we will revisit when we return next year. And the children in the villages certainly captured our hearts and left an indelible mark on our souls. Their sweet and gentle personalities, beautiful smiles and willingness to help in whatever way they can make these some of the most beautiful souls we’ve encountered along our journey. We have pledged to return to some of the villages bringing books for them. Books are what they asked for most often. Imagine that!

And of course we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the awesome people we’ve met in the service industry here. There’s Va, Ziggy & Josie at Musket Cove. Wilma, Mary and the crew at Rhum-ba. Ma, Dee, Bai, Jeff, Lisa, Monica, Ponya and Keith at Vuda. Mita & Angela at Copra Shed in Savusavu and, of course, our favorite “naughty boys”, Leli, Mac and Sailor of the Coral Cats. We will miss them all but have every intention of seeing them again!

There is no doubt Fiji has some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. She has crystal clear, aqua tinted waters, magnificent lush, green mountains and jungles, white sand beaches and an underwater world that is second to none. But, it’s not the scenery that makes Fiji so beautiful. It’s the warm, thoughtful, welcoming people who live here. We’ve been completely overwhelmed by their kind spirit and generosity. It’s so easy to see why cruisers come here and never leave. We know we haven’t had enough of this magical place and her beautiful people. Who knows, maybe we’ll be back for more than just one more season!

As we take off our on passage back to New Zealand we thought we’d post a gallery of some of our favorite pics from Fiji this year. Hope you enjoy the photos as much as we’ve enjoyed the adventure we had getting them.

Until next time…

Jilly & Dan