February 18, 2011

Holiday in Review

So, i am back from my aforementioned cruise trip to the islands of the South Pacific. We got off the boat yesterday morning then all trundled home on the train, tired and content from what was an amazing 12 days. we had so many different experiences throughout the trip, from docking in busy working ports where containers and ships were bustling to the most idyllic uninterrupted (besides colonisation 150 yrs back) beaches where the underwater scenes were even more beautiful than the above water scene.

It was a crazy trip too, in its excess and indulgence. the laid on food and drinks, the live entertainment every day and night and the 750+ staff there for you're every back and call. it was great service, especially getting to know the staff you spent most time with. every night we had dinner in the formal dining room, being served by two people i would like to now call friends. Dragana, our waiter from Croatia and Davon our assistant from Jamaica. it was wonderful to see them each night and speak to them about their day and our day. they were such welcoming and generous people, considering their position of maybe working the next 3 months straight, serving people meal after meal of beautiful food that they themselves don't get to enjoy.

Dragana is from Croatia, and is working on the cruise ships, not because she loves it or even that it is in her line of work (she was in economics prior), rather that work is very hard to find in her home country and the country is struggling economically. She said that working as hard and as long as she does on the cruise ships, gives her the opportunity to save and set herself up for a better life. She is about 33 i think. It really made me wonder how i felt - as a wealthy member of a wealthy country, where work, if you want it, isn't that hard to find - being served by this lovely woman every evening for dinner. it really did just reinforce how wealthy we are, how blessed i am to live in Australia right now. so i am thankful, and also very hopeful that Dragana will too be able to find work and live a life she enjoys.

The only time i shed a tear during the trip, was not for real sadness or loss, it was joy and thankfulness to a people who are so happy, kind and friendly. after two beautiful days spent in Fiji, exploring the local traditions and being welcomed with flowers, Kava, dancing and singing, the Fijian people in Suva gave us the most amazing farewell. as our departure time drew near and everyone was back onboard, a marching band began an amazing medley of farewell tunes, marching up and down the pier, in the rain! They played for about half an hour before giving us a traditional farewell in song and dance. they're smiling faces and cheerful waving really got to me. i was so thankful to meet these people, whom my fijian guide, Ryan describes as the most amazing miracle, that these were some of the most savage cannibals on the planet only 150 years ago, but through the missionaries bringing christianity have become known as the friendliest people on earth. he, a Fijian, really believed it was a true miracle. amen brother Ryan.

Here are some photos of some beautiful things we saw, just a few...

our 'friends' Davon and Dragana x


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