THEY have been in the country since September and by all accounts it seems they have been thoroughly enjoying themselves. Apart from being busy that is.
Hannah and Sean McGough hail from England and are on a visit to Fiji for four months. They have been working at the National Trust of Fiji since mid-September and leave in January 2013.
"We have had a wonderful time in Fiji. Firstly. We have been welcomed so kindly by the staff at the National Trust office in Suva and at the parks and we have been able to work with some great people and visited some stunning places," said Sean.
To which Hannah adds: "We've been really lucky to find an opportunity through the International National Trust Organisation — INTO, which brings together conservation groups across the world, that allowed us to contribute to the conservation effort in Fiji. The National Trust of Fiji is doing some great work across the islands here."
Hannah and Sean have been able to get involved, among other things, in helping out at a number of the sites that the National Trust runs, notably the Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, Waisali Rainforest Reserve on Vanua Levu and, Bouma National Park on Taveuni.
Describing some of the work that they have been doing Sean says: "We've been able to help set up data bases for research projects and management plans that are being undertaken at the parks. We've contributed to plans for youth volunteering and education for school visitors as well as tasks like building benches; a real mix, all of which has been a lot of fun and hopefully useful for the National Trust of Fiji."
They have also spent plenty of time at the National Trust office in Suva.
Hannah says they have worked on helping with the bid for Levuka to gain world heritage status as well as going on some reconnaissance visits to prospective sites.
"We've also been able to attend a conference on sustainable land management that was a really informative and positive experience."
The couple say they have really enjoyed their visit and hope to help promote Fiji among their peers back home.
More importantly, they also encourage more INTO volunteers to come to Fiji and help further the great work that the National Trust are doing to maintain some of what they say are Fiji's amazing natural sites and cultural heritage.