then these kidlets are gonna kill ya.
This little person was sitting at the Nadi central food market with his mamma.
And this little girl was in the village we visited.
Those liquid brown eyes…
We took along some school supplies and were lucky enough to be able to deliver them personally to a Grade 6 class in a village we visited. To say thanks, they sang us a song. It was just the dearest thing ever and brought a little tear to both my and my mum’s eye.
Their teacher was a delight. She saw me looking at the big stick on her desk and told me, cheekily, that it was what she used to hit the kids. Then she burst into uproarious laughter – as did the kids.
Sorry it’s blurry – I was laughing too.
It was important to me that I got out of the resort with the kids for a bit so they could see the normal (read: sometimes impoverished) conditions in which ordinary Fijians live. The contrast between our luxurious hotel and what I knew existed just down the road never failed to make me feel a bit sick. I struggled with the same divide when I used to spend a lot of time in Indonesia.
For my girls, being able to see a Fijian classroom firsthand helped the kids think about the fact that Fiji was more than just manicured resorts and pool-side fun. I wanted them to be aware that there were people, right near us, living their lives. Lives that were a lot less privileged than theirs. But also that those lives, despite seeming different, had strands of similarity to which my girls could relate.
What I really wanted to impart were the very deepest of messages about privilege, deprivation, pride and acceptance. But, ya know, they’re 3 and 6 so I settled for the concepts of different and same. It all starts from there anyway.