project review

More than just a Tourist

Review submitted by Kate Budd
Review date 6 Feb 2016


Arriving in Fiji I was greeted with a very warm welcome, both from the group of musicians playing at the airport and the wave of humidity which hit me as I reached the terminal. I didn't know anywhere could be this hot at 5am. Thankfully over the course of my project I adjusted to the climate and also to the fascinating culture here.

Fiji is certainly not a country you go to if you want to do anything in a hurry. After being used to the quick pace of working in journalism in the UK, it was a very different experience doing a project in Fiji. Yet working with the communities here is what made it such a memorable few weeks. I was made to feel thoroughly welcome by the staff at the newspaper, as well as the family at the lodge where we were staying. Going out to report the news and interview local people gave me a completely different impression of the country than you would get from visiting Fiji as a tourist.


That is not to say that I didn't enjoy the idyllic beaches at the weekends. I met some great volunteers during my stay and we made the most of our free time exploring the islands. There are great spots for snorkelling and water sports, and in the evenings there is usually a chance for a song and dance with the locals. I also got to try out the traditional kava ceremonies on many occasions, which was wonderfully sociable even if I can't say too much for the taste.

All in all, the project in Fiji was an amazing experience in a wonderful country. I miss it already.

Read more about the Fiji Journalism project.