Heaven at home

Sulakshana Narayan makes a point during an interview with this newspaper at her family home in Matanicagi Point, Nakelo. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

Living in rural Fiji offers amazing benefits, from the unadulterated air and more space to safety and the chance of enjoying the simplicity of life. For the family, it provides a chance to raise children close to the offerings of nature.

That is why Sulakshana Narayan will never trade her slow-paced life in the countryside to live in a town or city.

For 30 years, she has been the modest wife of hardworking farmer, Robinson Narayan, of Matanicagi Point, a family homestead located outside the periphery of Nasilai Village in Nakelo, Tailevu.

“This is heaven,” she said. “I can swim in the sea any time I want, walk on the beach, sit under the shade of trees and enjoy food that nature offers.”

After marrying into the Narayan family three decades ago, Ms Narayan knew that settling down in Nakelo, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, was best for her family and health.

Most of all, she wanted a place where she could find happiness, like Wainibokasi, where she grew up as little girl.

“Whenever I go to the city, I will always want to come back home because I feel happy and content here,” she said.

“Last week I went to visit my daughter. I was supposed to stay over but I ended up coming back.” Ms Narayan said the most magical time at Matanicagi was nightfall.

“Nothing beats sitting on the beach and watching the stars at night,” she said.

“People travel from all over the world to experience this at a Fiji resort but we have all of it here.”

Ms Narayan said raising her six children in Nakelo taught them to be humble and grounded on strong family values. They were also able to learn how to till the land, work hard and persevere in the face of adversity.

“They are also very healthy and strong. They go to school but we teach them to work on the farm for one to two hours daily after classes.”

“For those doing their tertiary studies, we make them work on the farm on their days off.

“We eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and try to stay away from processed foods that are sold in the supermarket.”

Ms Narayan said with today’s fast changing lifestyle, worsening social problems and breakdown in family values, it was better to bring up the family away from the urban centre.

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