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A Lesson on Horseback From The Nausori Highlands

As we come to the end of Day 4 of the Positivity Challenge, we would like to thank you for your commitment to joining us in our effort to share the love and to change the narrative. There is so much good in the world and yet we find ourselves so often fixated on the negative things in life.

Over the last few days we have highlighted the distribution of basic food rations by the Fiji Muslim League to families living in low cost housing in Nabua; the distribution of food supplies to all the homes in the village of Waicoba in Nadroga by one of their sons who plays rugby in France; recognised the food distribution efforts by Being Helping Hands Fiji to needy families in Makoi and also highlighted the efforts made by NGO Rise Beyond the Reef to distribute fresh produce to those in quarantine in Ba.

We acknowledge that this is a very small reflection of the good deeds that are taking place daily across the nation of Fiji at the moment, in the midst of the hardship brought upon us all by the COVID19 pandemic. Again we thank you for sharing the stories that you are coming across as we build the momentum for the 40 day positivity challenge.

Two weeks ago, I came across the following story which is a reflection of the heart of many Fijians at this time. I’m still hopeful that the person who told me the story will do a piece to camera soon so we can share it visually with you - she tells it so well and with such emotion, I hope to do the story justice here.

A few Friday’s ago an elderly iTaukei man joined the long queue that had formed outside one of the mobile phone stores in Namaka, Nadi. He had travelled down to Nadi from Bukuya in the Nausori Highlands on horseback and found a spot to secure his horse outside the nearby shopping complex so he could join the line. The staff member who was taking the temperatures, checking for the Care Fiji App and taking people’s particulars, noticed him because he was barefoot, had on an old pair of trousers and an old faded t-shirt. She knew he had travelled a distance and was aware that he might need some extra assistance so when he replied to her in dialect, she gathered his English was limited. She took him aside, assisted him with downloading the App on his phone and made sure he received the $90, he had come to collect. As they spoke, he mentioned that he needed to buy 10kg flour, cooking oil and a few other basic items and he was heading back to Bukuya on horseback that same afternoon. She watched him as he counted the fresh notes he received and was taken aback when he offered her $10 to say thank you for her assistance. “I couldn’t believe that with the little he had, he was still willing to give me $10 to thank me, she said. “He said he couldn’t speak English well and wasn’t sure how he would get the money, and so he was grateful for my help,” she added. “I couldn’t take it, but I was so moved by the gesture and it just brought everything into perspective for me,’ she said. “With the little that he had, he was still willing to share and that to me is the beauty of what is happening with this pandemic.”

What a lesson in perspective to us all. I hope the story encourages you to continue to highlight the good that is happening around us at this time as we commit to changing the narrative.


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