COREY HARPER X MISSION FIJI
Being a musician and traveling around the globe, I often find new inspiration and things to write about daily. Traveling is one of the best forms of education, and has always been the fast track for me finding something new within myself as a person. From the diversity in the people, landscape, and experiences, I’m always finding new ideas and things to write about.
Words by Corey Harper
Photos by Tom Bender
My time in Fiji was well spent on many things. First being a lot of interaction with the villages, and the people that help them flourish. The saying “it takes a village” can be very evidently seen. Everyone has a special part to play that keeps the imaginary wheels of the whole operation going. From mothers that take care of the kids and cook the meals, to the fathers who work across the oceanic mass of Viti Levu, at the popular islands, Tavarua and Namotu. Even the kids have a special part in making the village a friendly and welcoming environment. I have always felt like family when I stay.
I brought my good friend and photographer Tom Bender, and we met up with a very close friend and mentor of mine, Seth. Seth and his brother run a non-profit in “Nabila” village called Mission Fiji. “We do humanitarian projects to help the villages. Whether it is serving single mothers and children, working with the rugby teams, or helping create jobs, we are passionate about finding creative and meaningful ways to serve.” (Excerpt from their website MissionFiji.org) I got to stay in their newly constructed “Bure” (Basically a grass and straw constructed roof over cement or tile flooring), and be involved and hear about the many projects they have been working on over the years.
One of the many beautiful things they are doing is helping raise two children I had the pleasure to get close to and live with for a week. Kave (caw-vey and Jokha. (Cho-kah). Hanging out with the boys consisted of going surfing, spending time in the bure, helping Kave with homework, and sometimes watching Jokha climb a 40 foot palm tree to grab fresh coconuts. I never had a younger brother or sister growing up, so it felt like I got to experience that responsibility for a week.
The boys took us to their school and pointed out some of the projects they had been working on. The kids at the school were so beautiful. Tom and I got to get a bunch of photos of the kids, and play with them at their recess. Never have I seen so much excitement from one group of kids before.
Its amazing how much these kids impacted out trip. Seeing the way Mission Fiji is involved in the lives of the Fijians is truly life changing and I’m so glad I have gotten to be a part of it sporadically over the years. The response from the people in the village is so evident. Truly happy people, living together, sharing what they have, and building each other up in more positive ways daily.
At the bottom of it all, love is what drives both the village and Mission Fiji. Love is what the world craves, and by bringing it to the small places of the world like Nabila Village, it can truly spread into all corners of the world. All it takes is inspiration to initiate that movement. My inspiration comes from traveling, and making music. I was so glad to be able to be on this trip.
To find out more about what Mission Fiji is all about, head over to Missionfiji.org and see how they are involved and changing lives in the villages.