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People just like Vani

Sikeli Qoundovu
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

HER second name is Ruve which when directly translated into the iTaukei language is pigeon or dove.

In Christianity, the dove is a symbol of love and peace. It is also a sign of good things to happen.

And just like her name Vani Ruve has received a lot of blessings one of which is having frriends from all four corners of the globe. And that is something she is trying to find out; what makes people trust her and like her so much.

Originally from Nabouwalu in Ono, Kadavu but raised at Namatakula Village on the Coral Coast, Vani attended Ratu Filise Memorial School before moving to Lomary Secondary School for further education.

She did not further her education after securing a job at The Beachouse where she worked for 16 years until she resigned last year.

"In those 16 years I have met people from all over the world. They come here to relax or for other reasons. It has been really an awesome experience to meet and talk to them to learn their different culture and lifestyles," said the 34-year-old.

Ten years ago Matt Ray was in the country on a vacation when met Vani and the two have been friends since then.

It was through her kindness and warm hospitality that captured the attention of Matt. They did not contact each other until a few years later through Facebook, when Matt said that he was interested in sending volunteers over to help and assist students of Ratu Filise Memorial School.

After all consultation and preparation the first trip of volunteers from the UK-based organisation Travel Teacher arrived into the country last year.

The school management has since seen the positive impact of these volunteers with improvement in the literacy levels of students.

Apart from organising and assisting the volunteers of Travel Teacher, Vani also manages a private property at Waidroka Bay along the coast of Serua.

"That house belongs to a friend who came from New Zealand and stayed at The Beachouse, so we became friends and when he returned he asked me and my husband to look after the house.

"Before I resigned, I did two jobs. I did shift work at Beachouse and when I was free I attended to the house at Waidroka. So it was getting tough especially that I also have my children, so I resigned and now my husband and I are caretakers of the house at Waidroka."

A team from this newspaper caught up with Vani at Namatakula while she was preparing lunch for the volunteers from Travel Teacher.

"I love making friends, I love meeting new people. I guess that is why I am blessed I am easy to talk to and acquaint with.

"For me I am blessed to have friends from all over the world. They come to visit me and I am richly blessed.

"There is something about friendship that I want to stress, and that is never betray the trust of friends. Never abuse or take advantage of your friendship," Vani said with some note of finality.

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