WHEN siblings Maria and William Naduva set out on the Catholic Church's annual crosswalk, they had no idea how close their first-time experience would bring them.
The crosswalk, held to mark Easter, has a habit of bringing out the best in people.
After walking 14 hours a day for six days, Maria's feet had blistered to the point where she thought she would not reach Lomawai Secondary School ù the last stop for walkers before they reach the ashram in the Lomawai hills.
"We were supposed to walk from Sigatoka to Semo Village but there was flood damage at Semo so we had to continue on to Lomawai Secondary School," Ms Naduva said. She said she had wanted to get into a van provided for walkers who were injured but her brother encouraged her to go on, saying they were almost at Lomawai Secondary School.
While she tried to walk off the pain of her blisters, her brother held her hand and stood by her side but eventually it became too much for the 20-year-old Corpus Christi student, and she fell just after the walkers entered Lomawai road.
As medical teams with the walkers tried to get his sister into the van, Mr Naduva stepped in and said if his sister could not complete the walk under her own power, then he would carry her until they reached the school.
"When I picked her up on the road, in my mind I was thinking, she is my younger sister, and on this walk, my family is my cross and I will bear their burdens as my own," Mr Naduva said.
A 23-year-old University of the South Pacific student Mr Naduva said he had joined the walk to strengthen his faith.
Gesturing to his younger sister, he said he hoped the experience would show his sister that he was always there for her.
"When my brother picked me up, it showed me how much he cared for me and I will never forget that, he also showed me that I should never give up and always have faith," Ms Naduva said.