Posted by: Alicia Phillips | January 10, 2012

Happy 2012!

Happy 2012!!!!!!! Happy almost end of the world!  Hope everyone had a fabulous New Years back home.

Fun fact: Along with the other South Pacific islands like Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati, Fiji was one of the first countries in the world to celebrate 2012, a full 19 hours ahead of everyone back in my hometown!

Differences in Culture:

How we celebrate NYE in America: Big parties, champagne, pretty dresses, fireworks, dancing, kissing at midnight, staying out till the sun comes up.

How we celebrate NYE in Fiji: Drinking A LOT of grog, playing guitar, dumping water on people and/or throwing people in to the ocean (this is actually a week long custom), and throwing baby powder on people (rubbing it in their hair, smearing it on their face).

I don’t think you can get much more different than that.

Now how did I bring in the New Year? With a MUCH needed vacation. Me and about 20 fellow PCV’s stayed 4 days/3 nights at a lovely backpackers resort on Malolo Island, a tiny island in the Mamanuca island group right off the coast, about a 45 minute bus ride to the port followed by a 50 minute ferry ride and topped off with another 20 minutes boat ride to the resort. Not the easiest place to get to but WELL worth it because it was beautiful.

The view of the resort from the boat coming in

The view of the surrounding islands from on top of the hike

This place had AMAZING views of the surrounding islands, super delicious food, fun free activates like snorkeling, sea kayaking, hiking, volleyball and it had a pool!  I stayed in the dorms, and got 3 meals a day for only $90 Fijian. That comes out to around $55 American……what a deal, right?!?!

Sea Kayaking out to the reefs to do some snorkeling

It was mostly just our group there, we had a few other people show up later on. Like this guy:

Greg is THE quintessential surfer dude. From Canada, talks just like the turtles in Finding Nemo, is traveling the world looking for the best surf spots. He had just gotten back from Indonesian, before that he was in Dubai, South Africa and Australia. He was on his way to Mexico when we were leaving. He was an interesting guy to talk to, “living the dream” as he said. He was also kind enough to save some of my friends who got stranded snorkeling on the outer reefs, he gave them his kayak then proceeded to go spear fishing before swimming all the way back to shore.

NYE night all the volunteers got together at the bar and started the celebration off right! The staff did a meke and warrior dance for us and then got a game of limbo started (Im so bad at limbo). We had such a fun group together that night and it was JUST what I needed to get me out of my funk!

The next day we all just sat around the pool talking, cheering whenever someone’s time zone back home reached midnight, it was 5pm here when it was midnight in Arkansas.

Coming back to Lautoka I had mixed feelings. I was sad to be leaving that beautiful place, the Fiji that people imagine the entire country to be like, surrounded by my friends and not having to worry about being a PCV. On the other hand, I am excited to get back to my life, there are about to be some BIG changes happening for me, possibly a new site, new job, new town. I’m anxiously awaiting the details on that.  I’ll keep everyone updated! Until then, moce!

Happy New Year!!!


  1. See I knew you’d ‘get over your funk’ and back to reason. Sounds like there’s interesting developments ahead.. Glad to see you are keeping photos as you go.. Your adventures in Figi and surroundings will make for a wonderful book when you get home and have nothing to do !! Or so it will seem. So for now, dive into each day with a smile and continue to keep us all up to date. Hugs..

  2. Your a badass and i’m still so proud of you!!! Hope you have a happy new year!!!

  3. Great post. Your amazing sister, love you!

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