Sometimes, life is filled with magic.

November 30, 2015 My first Day in Taveuni

I arrived at Taveuni airport a little before 9 in the morning. I came with 7 other passengers on a small jet plane that shook a bit as we flew across the islands. It was so loud, that talking to any of the other passengers would have been futile. There were three couples, from the first row to the third and then me and an Australian surf bum, wearing an iconic Indiana Jones hat and covered in a thin layer of dirt from traveling. The scenery below us was simply ridiculous, with the South Pacific and all her coral and scattered islands.

After an hour, we landed pretty smoothly at the airport, which was really more of a grouping of benches beneath a brightly painted overhang. One of the Fijians asked if I was Emilie and he told me that JK would arrive soon. I only waited about 10 minutes before the rugged Toyota Hilux pulled up. The kids jumped out to greet me with hugs and we drove back around the island to the house.

As we pulled into the driveway, I heard singing and it didn’t register that the song was for me until I stepped out of the truck and suddenly had a Leia around my neck. The Fijian staff sang for me and then the kids sang for me. When I walked inside, I was handed a coconut with a straw sticking out of the top. It was overwhelming. People who didn’t even know me were so happy that I was finally here.

Later, we swung on the rope swing and walked down to see the goats hanging out by the coconut trees. We picked mangoes on our way down to the main road and ate them.

I slept really well in my new bed that faces the ocean to the west.

December 4, 2015

We went paddle boarding today at my family’s rocky beach. I carried the board down to the beach on my head and we had to slip it through some small spaces between trees at certain points. We made it to the shore and I found a new love on that board. You wouldn’t believe the view that I saw as I paddled through the deep clear blue waters and watched the scenery of islands pass by. Natalie rode on the front for a little bit and then Daniel too until he wanted to tip over. We fell off and he immediately started freaking out afraid of sea snakes or stingrays. haha. When we finished, we brought the paddle board in and spent the afternoon sun on building sand volcanoes and castles.

We started getting tired right as we heard a familiar buzzing sound, only to look up and see JK’s drone buzzing around the beach. We practically ran up the hill to the truck and picked some ripe pineapples on our way. The kids showed me the Qui Qui plant that fakes its death if you step on it or touch it. It literally withers right in front of your eyes until it feels safe again. If you touch it with your bare feet though, you get a thorn in your foot. We rode back up the hill to the house in the bed of the truck with the boards and fruit and mosquitoes.

We ate Mahi Mahi for dinner with fresh greens from the garden and taro chips that make your throat close if you eat too many. So naturally, I ate a few too many.

Since it was Friday, we practically fell asleep to Sherman and Mr. Peabody and Daniel kicked me in the face a few times as he fell asleep on the couch. When we woke up the next morning, Kennon asked me during our breakfast of crepes and lychee juice, “What did we watch last night?”

And sometimes life isn’t filled with magic. I have roughly 20 mosquito bites all over my body…21. And a terrible ant bite.

(I tried uploading photos but the Internet won’t allow it, so check out my instagram @emmbot)