WE were outside the National Trust of Fiji (NTF) office at Domain in Suva last Sunday after returning from the Sovi Basin.
I walked up to Sean McGough, who is in the country with his wife Hannah, and said he looked as if he had enjoyed the weekend. To which he replied: Absolutely."
The couple are in the country for four months, September to January, volunteering with the National Trust of Fiji. Their trip had been arranged through the International National Trust Organisation (INTO) as Hannah works for the National Trust in the UK.
During their stay, they will be visiting a few NTF sites including the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, the Garrick Reserve (near Navua), Waisali Rainforest Reserve near Savusavu on Vanua Levu and possibly Levuka also.
They will be helping in various ways such as helping with the recording an reporting of data, providing proposals for ways that NTF sites can develop their plans for tourism and also for involving people from the local communities.
Though the couple headed for Sigatoka after the Sovi Basin trip, they are sometimes based at the NTF office in Suva.
Yarning with Hannah on Saturday trip after our trip from the basin, she said that after leaving Fiji they would be travelling through South East Asia. Countries which they plan to visit are Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Burma and Malaysia. After that they also plan to do a stint of volunteering, in April 2013, in the Philippines.
After their sojourn through South East Asia, the two then plan travel through the Americas; the US, Central America and South America. Hannah said they were hoping to pick up some Spanish, preferably, before they reached Latin America.
The couple is hoping to teach English somewhere in Central America, maybe Costa Rica or Nicaragua, and then spend a few months with friends in Brazil who will be training young people in bee keeping in order to make cosmetics. In Brazil, Sean and Hannah may yet have to brush up again on their linguistic skills as Portuguese, not Spanish, as the language spoken in that. That's apart from the languages of the indigenous Indians, of course.
The couple hope to return home to the UK in mid 2014.