Most people come to Fiji for a resort type vacation, sun, sand, relaxation, and a bit of pampering. But there is a different breed of tourist, the one that wants to experience the culture of a destination. To do that, you need to leave the confines of a resort and stay with the local people. Live where they live, eat what they eat, and get involved in their daily activities.
If that sounds like you, then why not consider doing a homestay while you're in Fiji? Homestays aren't a big thing in Fiji... but we hope to change that. Taking a guided tour to a village gives you some small insight into how the local people live, but until you become a part of their family (if only for a few days) you can never really get an understanding of what daily life is really like.
Fijians have the reputation as the friendliest people on earth, and that really isn't an exaggeration. No matter how little they have, they are happy to share... that is a part of their culture and traditions. As a guest in their house or village, you will be welcomed and become a part of their extended family for the duration of your stay. You can read more about what to expect at a Fijian Village here.
Absolutely. In fact, it's likely that not only will your children come away with a greater understanding of different peoples and culture, they will have had the time of their life doing it! Fijian children are naturally friendly, inquisitive and perhaps a little mischievous, and your children will be welcomed as new playmates.
It is tradition that a visitor to a village brings what is known as a "sevusevu"... a small gift of kava for the village chief. Once the formalities of welcoming you are over, then you are a part of their village for the rest of your stay. Kava can be purchased by the kilo at any marketplace. Price will be around fj$30. If you want to help the local children, then some small items for the school will always be welcome (though not expected or required). Things such as pencils, exercise or reading books, footballs, balloons etc are good. Please don't give them lollies.
Very basic, but clean and comfortable. Don't expect a typical Fijian village home to be as well appointed as what you're used to, or you are going to be disappointed. These people get by with very little, and their homes are of basic construction. Some villages are better off than others, so depending on where you choose to stay, you may or may not have hot and cold running water, electricity, phone, internet etc.
Transport options to and from the homestay will vary, depending on your choice and where it is. Some are on the main roads so will have easy access by bus, taxi or shuttle. Others might require more of an effort. But no matter which homestay you choose, it'll be worth the effort to really appreciate a truly local experience.
Fantastic village homestay located at the top of the Yasawa Islands in the little village of Navotua. Very close to the Sawa-i-Lau caves for a great adventure, cheap to get to. Find out more about booking Navotua Village here: www.navotuavillage.com