Bat­tling Odds To Get News

Fiji Sun - - Sport - JUS­TINE MAN­NAN Feedback: jus­­nan@fi­

Be­ing a jour­nal­ist is not quite like any nor­mal job around where 90 per cent of time is spent in the of­fice. I have read sto­ries and watched movies about the hard­ships jour­nal­ists went through to get a story and the chal­lenges they faced in un­com­fort­able sit­u­a­tions yet they pushed on. That is ex­actly what hap­pened to me when I made the jour­ney to the in­te­rior of Namosi to at­tend a wed­ding cer­e­mony be­tween for­mer Mel­bourne Storm winger Marika Koroi­bete and his beau­ti­ful wife Emma Whippy. When I heard about the wed­ding be­ing held in Namosi, in par­tic­u­lar Naraiyawa Vil­lage, I did not realise the ex­tent of which I had to travel in or­der to get to this beau­ti­ful vil­lage. Turn­ing into the gravel road from Nabukavesi and start­ing the jour­ney, it just looked like any nor­mal dirt road that I have seen in the past from trav­el­ling to my aunt’s place in Kuku, Bau, Tailevu But as we went on, the road be­came nar­row with so much gravel and huge rocks and tight cor­ners and I thought we would crash into an­other if an­other ve­hi­cle came around the cor­ner. It was no straight road, we drove up and went down steep hills and I re­mem­ber pray­ing the whole time in my head and hop­ing we would reach the vil­lage safely. We crossed so many small bridges with fresh wa­ter streams and noth­ing but bush and for­est ev­ery­where. After what seemed like hours of driv­ing, we fi­nally reached Naruku­nibua which was the first vil­lage, only then was I in­formed that we needed to drive past seven more vil­lages un­til we reached Naraiyawa which was the last vil­lage in Namosi.

It felt like we were alone in the mid­dle of nowhere un­til we came close to vil­lages and lo­cals do­ing their daily chores as they waved with big smiles on their faces yelling “Bula”. When we reached the Namosi Eco Tourism Park lo­cated in Navu­nikabe, ev­ery vil­lage after that was by a beau­ti­ful river with fresh wa­ter flow­ing con­tin­u­ously. It was so hu­mid that I wanted to tell the driver to stop so I could have a swim. There were times when the car would go over huge rocks and deep pot­holes that I thought we would get stuck any minute but lucky our driver Fa­iaz was able to ma­noeu­vre past them. We drove past open val­leys where horses and cows ran freely and moun­tains that dis­ap­peared in the clouds. It took more than two hours to fi­nally reach the vil­lage and we got there just in time to catch the tail end of the wed­ding cer­e­mony. Naraiyawa is con­sid­ered the most beau­ti­ful vil­lage in Namosi. The vil­lage is sit­u­ated by the river and at the base of a moun­tain which stands as boarder be­tween Namosi and Naitasiri. Though the jour­ney was long and ter­ri­fy­ing, it was well worth the ex­pe­ri­ence be­cause as some­one who has only grown up and been around the ur­ban ar­eas, the trip opened my eyes and gave me a glimpse into the in­te­rior of Fiji and just how beau­ti­ful our coun­try re­ally is. Had it not been for the wed­ding and my job as a jour­nal­ist to push to get sto­ries, I don’t think I would have never had the op­por­tu­nity to witness a beau­ti­ful tra­di­tional wed­ding for the first time and see the beau­ti­ful won­ders of na­ture Namosi holds. Edited by Osea Bola

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