It is no secret that Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji is one of my favourite family holidays ( click here for my previous blog ). Our family recently returned from our third visit there. The staff were so welcoming, they all remembered our children, and we even had the same nanny as last time – Dimere, who has had a baby since our last visit. We were lucky enough to visit her village and meet her family and beautiful new daughter on this trip. Our boys loved their buddy Meli, who was so much fun and never got tired of carving swords, tossing the boys into the pool, or playing UNO, among many other games and activities.
Of the many things we did during our stay, one that stands out is a rainforest hike to a stunning waterfall. We swam in the natural pool at the bottom of the waterfall, with the boys jumping from a great height into the water. We all also enjoyed night snorkelling, scuba diving, village and market trips, hours of beachcombing and looking for hermit crabs, kayaking and paddle boarding. However, there was one activity – albeit one that my boys initially resisted – which turned out to be the most rewarding of all.
Since our last visit Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort has introduced a Connect with Kids program, at a local school, every Friday afternoon. The school is one that is attended by many of the resort staff’s children and grandchildren and the program is a unique and fun-filled way of giving visiting children a cultural and educational experience.
Our boys were dreading going – saying things like “why do we have to go to school on holidays?”, but they all got so much out of the afternoon and ended up really enjoying the experience.
Before arriving, we had given the resort some brief details: our kids’ ages, their favourite sports, and what they want to do when they grow up. In the bus on the way to the school, we went over some simple Fijian phrases, such as “hello” and “thank you”.
As we drew up at the school, we were greeted by the beautiful smiles of the Fijian school kids, who ran up to the bus, waving at us. Our three boys were each introduced to a specially selected buddy, one of similar age and interests. They quickly went off in different directions, the oldest to play rugby – soon there was a full game going on, with kids of all ages, the buddies from Jean-Michel Cousteau, some dads and more – and the others had a tour of the school, and play on their playground equipment.
Our boys all had an unforgettable afternoon and became firm friends with their new buddies. They also certainly really appreciate the facilities that they have at their own school a lot more and they each have a new pen pal too.
Jean Michel Cousteau Resort encourages the pen pal concept: they supply envelopes and pay for the postage for the Fijian schoolchildren’s letters to their buddies to Australia – our kids have already written back and we added some photos to the package and a Christmas card – they can’t wait to hear from their buddies again!
CLICK HERE to see the latest special for Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji! , includes 2 free nights, all meals, a dedicated nanny & so much more!