Saturday, June 03, 2006

Update on Vorovoro - Tribewanted?

from Wendy
Vorovoro Island - the tribewanted scheme

I've been checking out the tribewanted on the net and notice that though they've got lots of media coverage and plenty of hype, they are not getting the 5000 they want so far. They hope to start September 1st.

It sounds a great idea - kind of back-packing plus work-camp, plus a TV documentary series I guess. Now my point of view - not a spin - is what trade-off will the Fijians get from leasing out Vorovoro Island for three years? Tui Mali is closely related to my husband and he lived with us at one stage when we lived in Rakiraki, in fact when our first son was born and it's his birthday today!

I've been to Vorovoro and Mali Island dozens of times, especially when we lived at Nukutatava Beach - out of Labasa.

It's okay if the young people joining up are eco-conscious, culture conscious and will be respectful towards the indigenous people over there. Tui Mali is a lovely guy and the Mali Islanders are all our relatives! We don't want people trashing the place. There's talk of catching and eating sharks. Not on! That is the totem of the area. What about Sunday and tabu? The local Fijians are strict Methodists so will the tribeswanted respect the use of Sunday etc.?

Okay I'm a pessimist and a whinger but I've been told stories that some vavalagi volunteers in Fiji do not do a day's work for their keep. Let's hope this scheme goes ahead and that there are ethnical standards in relating to the local people so that they are not exploited. The pics show the beach, a rocky headland, a kid from Mali Island and Apenisa, the Tui Mali.


Mark James said...


Just thought that I would update you after our own update. The numbers are going well. We thought it would take time to bring in 5000 people who each would want to spend time over three years, in Fiji.

WIth regards to the age group we are getting people signing up from 18 - 68! So we have a wide range of ages, all of whom are very eco minded and wanting to protect the island.

We are working very closely with Tui Mali and his family who EVERYTHING is going through, every decision. The comment about eating shark is actually on the basis that, whilst we were out there, Tui Mali had his men catch two sharks for us to eat. You will see a picture on the website of this shark. Tui Mali explained that it is special for us to eat shark and whilst on the Island we asked Tui Mali, are there sharks in the sea that could put people off - he explained that the sharks were far, far out in the waters and however, the sharks don't eat us, we eat them! Please contact Tui Mali or Ulai to confirm.

This is all going very well so far, thought I would give you are own update.

Mark James

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hi Mark,
Thanks for your response. Okay, I am just cautious about wanting things to go right for Apenisa, his family and the Mali people.
Re the shark - okay if he says so, but most Fijians in the Labasa area have a tabu on shark-meat.
I know that Tui Mali wants appropriate development and not the excesses of many of the resort developments in Fiji so we wish you all the very best. Peceli will be in Labasa next month and plans to visit Vorovoro and Mali Islands of course.

Mark James said...

Guys thought you may be interested in this interview with Ulai, who is related to Tui Mali with regards to tirbewanted.

Blog date: 15th June

Anonymous said...

Hey has anyone read this yet?

Or what about this one?

very interesting reads on Tribewanted and one of the chiefs!

Anonymous said...

The shark God Dakuwaqa will be really really angry when people start eating his kind! Be very careful,no one will be safe in the water anymore - if you thought Jaws was bad you ain't seen nothin yet!! Do not eat shark meat - when you eat shark meat you eat your own kind cause that is what we descended from.