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The Voyage Continues

At a recent and regular crew meeting Skipper announced that after the Uto ni Yalo returns from its historic voyage culminating in the Solomons, that he would wish to to take every crew member home on board. It didn’t matter whether it was Lau, Lomaiviti, Ovalau, Taveuni , Mamanucas, Viti and Vanua Levu where there was a landing site there would be the Uto ni Yalo.

His vision was to have each crew member share their experiences with their home community. He charged them with this obligation. Their journey would not be completed until they were models for positive and sound ecological change in their homes and communities. For some this will not prove to be a problem as they have been pillars of this type of communication in every area we stopped at. The Uto ni Yalo has been fortunate to have a number of young and energetic missionaries of the message of hope concerning environmental pollution, saving the oceans and its inhabitants and in promoting the “gospel” of wind and solar power instead of fossil fuels.

Seru, Filo, Aggie, Jim and Iva have distinguished themselves as having the ability to relate to young people in a positive way. The matuas Joe, Mausio and Bob have backgrounds in teaching and coaching and have had no trouble in greeting, meeting and informing people. It is the sincere opinion and wish of the FIVS that all crew members make a concerted effort to communicate their stories as what they have experienced is special and unique and well worth repeating.

In fact we on board are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to go into schools in Fiji and share our message of hope with our youth. If any teachers or principals would like to have a crew member speak at their school please get in touch with FIVS President Colin Philp through our website [FijiIslandsVoyagingSociety.com] or the Fiji Times.
It’s Friday morning. We have safely arrived in port and already have been greeted by some of oour Fiji community living here. This means lots of greetings, smiles of recognition as mention of Fiji’s geographic areas brings connections of home. And there’s the food! Always more than can be eaten at one sitting by all our crew and guests! We’ve been invited to stay at a hall arranged by the Fiji community here where we can shower and relax.

All seven drua have been assigned school children that will visit them throughout the school day. With Seru acting as “qase ni vuli” the Uto ni Yalo is well represented. Joe,  Filo, Aggie and Bob provide moral support and the occasional comment.The young students are enthralled by the unique “canoe” and ask many questions. Different age groups are interested in different things from “Were any of us eaten by sharks!” to “Where do you sleep, eat, bath and go to the bathroom!”

Seru focuses on the messages of saving the oceans and sailing by solar and wind. We find that wherever we go children are basically the same with enthusiasm, imagination and curiosity about the world around them. It’s at this age that our messages can make the biggest impact. We also find that most are naive about what they can do in their small, but important way, to contribute to ocean conservation. Our messages to them are simple and often in story form. They enjoy the story of the seaturtle that the crew saved . This we hope will be part of the UnY banner being produced.

We are in fact, like the vonu, as we have always intended to return to our beaches. Instead of carrying the eggs of species reproduction, we carry the seeds of hope. The messages we hope to plant, nourish and hatch have to do with saving marine creatures like the turtle, our symbol; the shark [qio], the tuna stocks, the reef life [Fiji has a fantastic diversity], the mangroves and the seas, bays, streams, harbours and surrounding ocean. Part of our homecoming message is in the medium itself – our drua [all of us]. It’s the knowledge that druas like ours can once again sail our waters efficiently, effectively, silently and connest many communities along the way. No need for fossil fuels when sun and wind can do the same thing cheaply and with no pollution. Our Uto ni Yalo has sailed over 21,000 nautical miles on its quest without needing diesel fuel! It braved and conquered the fiercest seas and came away wet, cold but victorious! our arrival in our beloved waters will not be the end, simply the start of another era in Fiji’s wonderful matrine/nautical history. Be as proud of your drua Viti kei Rotuma as we are to have sailed on it representing you!
Tabu soro………………………….any small thing you do to save the environment is enough. The avalanche always starts with a tiny ball of snow and the rain storm with a single rain drop!

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