Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tribewanted - adventures ahead on Vorovoro Island

from Peceli and Wendy

In a phone call this morning our relative, Tui Mali, told us the exciting news that a project is planned for Vorovoro Island for the next three years. It's an adventure experience for visitors to come to Vorovoro with a hands-on idea of survival, appropriate development and interaction with the Mali Island people. It seems Christmas has come all at once! Two hundred fishing nets from the Taiwan embassy. A container of computers and books from Geelong, and now this unusual project!

Check out the website here.

We think it is a great idea because it is so different from the resort tragics. It is appropriate, environment conscious, and Tui Mali will be a delightful person to work with. We love Vorovoro island and have been there many times and when we lived at Nukutatava beach when our children were small, we would wake up to view the sun rising over Vorovoro and Mali islands.


Pandabonium said...

What a great idea. Not only can it be good for people there, it has the potential to spread ideas around the world - about community, environment, a whole host of things. Very cool.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Peceli is excited by the idea because we really don't want Vorovoro to go the way of tourist RESORTS! The only problem I can see is the quality of the visitors - if the organizers allow - first come first served - how do they weed out the no-hopers, lazybones, or even kerazy people? That is being pessimistic though. At its best the proposal is a brilliant idea.

laminar_flow said...

Tell Tui Mali,
The 10,000 dollars a year for an Education funds is peanuts.
The producers of this show will generate millions by advertisments.

Tui Mali has to renegotiate the contract to include percentage of the merchandising generated from the TRIBE WANTED project. Furthermore the anglicised name(Adventure Island) of the island is a concern. I also would like to see the Landowning mataqali name in the credits.

As well having an Environmental Clean Up account administred by a independent 3rd party to clean up the trash left behind and to cover any large scale damages.

That is the trouble with the having Native Lands Trust Board be the negotiator.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I don't know what the deal is financially and I don't know to what extent the NLTB has been involved. I know that the NLTB website about leasing Vorovoro has much higher demands than $10,000 a year. Where did you get that figure from? I agree that the 'Adventure Island' guys have to be very fair to the Mali people. After all who is going to feed the visitors for the first six months or more? A hundred people on a small island require plenty of kakana and drinking water, bathrooms, etc.

laminar_flow said...

That $F10,000 was from the press release published in the Fiji Times.

Who is going to pay for lawsuits that can arise from injury etc.

Does TRIBES WANTED have those legal concerns sorted out?

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Law suits? The injuries/illnesses I can think of include - bites from seasnakes - and there are many on Vorovoro Island, though I've never heard of anyone being bitten, infections from coral cuts, tummy-aches from eating different food, falls from cliffs etc.
The visitors certainly will have to consider local knowledge and not assume they can make their own decisions about use of the island, be aware of protocol, and Sunday observance. Ha! Now that will be a challenge.
Apenisa, the Tui Mali, is not a naive man but he is modest and generous. He worked for many years for Cable and Wireless so has not lived an isolated life on the island. He only retired back there and has a house in Vuo village near Malau timber mill because his wife teaches Phys Ed at a secondary school in Labasa.

Jon said...


As one of the TribeWanted community I thought I'd pop on here and answer a few questions.
I do so a completely unofficial compacity as just someone who has paid my money to enjoy three weeks in a beautiful part of the world.

- I don't believe TribeWanted has any TV connections. It is just the name of the project and I'm hoping that there will be no media spin-off.
- On the related forums recently almost unanimously the TribeWanted members voted to get rid of the name Adventure Island and just replace it with Vorovoro in the literature.
- The plan is to be almost completely self-sufficient from day one. I don't know how well we'll manage it, but from the money we all pay to go along we should be able to fund solar and wind power generators to create drinking water, etc.
- The plan is for everything to be as low-impact as possible. At the end of the three years if the project ends then the intention is to be able to pack up and go home with no-one even knowing we were there.

I'm really hopeful that this project will be a great success. I'm also really pleased to see that it is looked on so favourably by you all. We promise to be good :-)

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

July 20th,
As this site seems to be looked at often by seekers on information for tribewanted, I had better post an update. There have been criticisms of the project on Digg and Jem and the negative postings there have been very unfriendly. I still hope that the two organisers of the project and th participants all do the right thing by Tui Mali and the Fijian families on Mali. That is my primary concern. If Tui Mali had gone the other way with a huge multi-million dollar resort as proposed originally by the NLTB website, it would have not been eco-friendly perhaps and even isolated and indifferent towards the local communities. One mistake in the literature is that Vorovoro is 200 acres. I think that only about 10 acres are available.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Peceli is going to Vorovoro today as part of his birthday celebrations this weekend, so soon we should have some updated news on what is happening on the island.

George said...

Was in vorovoro last weekend and it seems its still starting, I like the concept and all us people from babasiga should be supporting it. Especially ones with access to the internet as this development will be driven from the internet.

I can see it benefitting people of mali and surrounding area. Read majority of comments in tribewanted forum and they all sound so positive

By tribemembers voting for the name vorovoro instead of adventure island is also a really positive sign of the type of tribe members that will be on the island.

Of course they may have to be some give and take from both sides but I know the gang living in Vorovoro are really happy about this project.

Ului knows what he is doing and I can see it benefiting the people of mali and also the tribemembers.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Thank you George.
I was wondering myself if the project is viable etc. and it's good to hear from someone who has been to the island in the past two days, met Tui Mali and Ulai. That is better than all the second-guessing that occurs from a distance from all of us, leaning over our computers through the wintry season. Well, it's about 11 degrees here!
Vina'a va'alevu.

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