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Life After Frontier Fiji ends with TV documentary

News item submitted by Frontier
News item dated 9 Mar 2010

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When we first saw the island that would be our home for the best part of three months it was from a boat that we had spent the night traveling on to reach the place we had heard so much about. I was expecting something pretty beach but in reality it was breathtaking and completely worth flying half way around the world for. It looked like something from Jurassic Park. Incredibly green and untouched. It is the kind of place you see on a postcard but never imagine actually setting foot on.

I had hoped on my trip to learn to dive fairly well and meet some fun people. What actually happened was I learnt to dive really well and now over a year since I left Fiji some of my closest friends are the people I was out there with. I still feel incredibly lucky when I think back to my time in Fiji.

I spent nights lying on a boat with friends looking at hundreds of stars in the sky and the milky way while hearing the waves lap against the boat underneath us. We learnt to make bread and how if you leave it in a tin in the sun on the beach it will cook by itself. There are a number of dogs and cats on the island as well as chickens. For the first week I could not get use to seeing a white cocktail causally stroll down the beach. He looked totally out of place. But it becomes completely normal very quickly.

I dived with turtles, manta rays and sharks. Not to mention an amazing variety of fish and coral. Every time you dropped down into the water for a dive it was like a dream. It is that beautiful and colourful and there was usually incredible visibility. I learnt so much about the different types of fish and coral. It actually makes such a difference when your diving to know what surrounds you.

We got to teach the children in a local village. The villagers would come to our beach sometimes of an evening and bring food and cava and we'd chat the night away. We were invited to attend the wedding of three different couples at a local village and us girls helped prepare the food and the marital beds while the boys got to be lazy and drink cava with the men of the village. But one of the best things for me was waking up before everyone else, walking a few steps to the sea and watching the sunrise over flat, clear water as far as the eye could see with only the noise of waves and a few parrots. Some mornings when I'm crammed in on the tube I miss those mornings the most.

Since I came back to the UK I started my day job again of working in Media. For the past year i have been the Outreach Co-ordinator for the feature documentary 'The End of the line' which is all about the ocean and problems of overfishing. I am so passionate about the ocean from my time in Fiji because of all the amazing things I saw that I want to help protect. It's great to be working on a film that is helping to make a positive change with food retailers, governments and royalty in many different countries.

The film has been screened all around the world but I am most proud of the fact it was shown at The University of the South Pacific which is based in Suva, Fiji's capital. That happens to be the university that was sent the baseline survay data we collected out on our island and also the many other volunteers who collect baseline survay data before us.   A copy of the film is in the university's library so all the students can see it and I hope it helps them in some small way with their work of conserving the treasures they have that have already nearly disappeared from some oceans in other parts of the world.

'The End of the Line' is now available on DVD from www.endoftheline.com

Hannah Gallagher

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