Heading back to Fiji for the first time in almost a year it felt like going home. The warm welcome first by Tui Mali and his family and then Poasa & Francis on Vorovoro was as generous as ever.

We discussed at length (around the tanoa – where else) the re-opening of Vorovoro and the different partnership options. What is clear is that the Mataqali (the landowners – Tui Mali and his three brothers and families) are determined to re-open the island for tourism but are also not in a rush to do so. They are keen to get the structure of any new partnership absolutely right and are going through a long process of consultation with different government bodies.

After paying our outstanding debts I explained how a new partnership model with Tribewanted might work with us providing a guaranteed minimum monthly income for the land and jobs but the business being majority owned by the Mataqali. We spent several hours on Tui Mali’s veranda going through ‘banana cake’ pie charts with torchlight. We have learned a lot together over the last few years!

The NLTB have endorsed the offer we made and it was well received by the landowners. Tui Mali is aware that lots of people still want to visit Vorovoro and at the moment they can’t – which is frustrating to all. He is currently waiting for the FTIB (Fiji Trade & Investment Board) to visit the island and at his request re-value the land. I’m not sure this is going to make any difference to the future of Vorovoro but I understand why the landowners want to do it.

I am in contact with Ulai, Tui Mali and the NLTB on a regular basis and as soon as there is any progress in Fiji I will let you all know. The good news is that Maddy & Savenaca will be getting married on Vorovoro with their families in July. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing them a great day and a happy long-life together.

Whilst Sierra Leone is in rainy season (project is closed for July & August) I am working with righttodream.com in Ghana – amazing education and sport project. Check it out.

Please send me questions you might have about Vorovoro at anytime

Moce mada

Ben

ben@tribewanted.com

Advertisements