From the minute I walked off the plane the warmth, happiness and kindness of the Fijian people was infectious and I couldn’t help but smile and feel happy.
Walking into the airport terminal I was greeted with smiles, singing and music despite it being the worst wet season in years.
I had been to Fiji as a toddler with my family but aside from watching family videos and seeing photos I wasn't really sure what to expect.
This trip to Fiji was for the doTERRA 2017 incentive trip, which I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to experience, earning a spot for sharing the power of essential oils with others.
It was the trip of a lifetime and definitely a life changing experience and to truly experience the heart and culture of doTERRA was incredible as this is one of the reasons that I decided to purchase oils through doTERRA and partner with them in my business.
We were asked to bring some school supplies for kids with us to Fiji as the service component of the trip. I didn't really understand what this meant at the time and what it would involve and I had absolutely no idea of how impactful this part of the trip would be.
So bear with me as I try and attempt to share my thoughts, emotions and experiences here in words in the best way that I can. The goosebumps and spine tingling moments are hard to convey to you in words... I've had so many thoughts swirling around my head since this trip that it was hard to know where to start!
On day two of our trip after our morning meeting, we had the opportunity to pack the pencil cases full of supplies from textas to pencils, sharpeners, erasers and other school supplies for a local school and kids in a village. This was a great experience to share with around 150 other wellness advocates who also earned a spot on this trip.
When we were putting these packs together the vibe in the room was incredible and everyone was excited to get involved and give back to the Fijian people. As part of this activity we were given the opportunity to write a note to put with a photo of ourselves taken with a polaroid camera into the pencil case.
The weather in Fiji has been the worst it has been in many years with very heavy rain closing many of the roads, and many homes, businesses, towns and schools were flooded. The plan was to visit a school and give the packs to the children there however the weather prevented us from doing so.
Through doTERRA’s healing hands foundation, $2,500 USD was donated to the school to help them with a much needed boost along with this, some of the school supplies were put aside for someone from the school to collect from the hotel.
When it was announced announced at our meeting that we were giving a donation to the school as well as the school supplies, I got goosebumps and was incredibly proud to be aligned with an amazing company and it was the first time I have truly felt the heart and soul of doTERRA. I love that they do so much to give back to those who need it most.
As we couldn't visit the school, it was decided to give some of the pencil cases to the children at the village we went to visit.
After lunch on this day, we went out to visit the village (of around 200 people) and were welcomed in the most beautiful way with a song outside their main village hall. We stood in the rain while they sang songs and clapped to welcome us. We were then treated to a traditional Fijian welcome and kava ceremony and dancing with the people of the village.
After this we had the opportunity to give the children the pencil cases. Seeing the delight on their faces when presented with these gifts was a truly life changing experience. It bought tears to my eyes to watch the excitement – at something my own kids would find so small in comparison.
Then to see them open the pencil cases and talk excitedly to each other about what they each had was just beautiful to watch.
For me, the real highlight was seeing them open the notes and find the polaroid photos and then searching for the person who wrote them the note.
I helped many of the children find the person who gifted them the pencil case. There were hugs, tears, laughter and each of the children were excited to get to know us and show us around their village. I had 3 or 4 children take me to see the Chief’s house and talk to me about their life and what they do at school.
It wasn’t long before I got to meet the child who received the pencil case I put together. Her name is Buka and she is 13 years old. We talked about what she does at school and she asked me questions about my life and family. It was so lovely to get to know her and it is amazing how you can instantly create a connection with someone.
We then walked though the village and down to the river to board a boat to go to Robinson Crusoe Island for dinner, activities and a performance.
I was on a high for the rest of the day from that experience. I think my face was still hurting the next day from all the smiling and laughter.
doTERRA, through their healing hands foundation also donated $2,500 USD to the village – Jonathon Kunz, doTERRA's Asia Pacific Manager, presented this gift to the chief of the village after the ceremony.
We were told on our last day before heading to the airport that the village was struggling before we visited and now love doTERRA because of what the school supplies and the money means to them. They now see doTERRA as the answer to their prayers – in many ways, their miracle.
When I heard this, I tears welled up in my eyes. This experience and the opportunity to give back and meet and interact with the villagers was incredible. doTERRA through their Healing Hands Foundation is able to make a difference to communities just like this all around the world.
Seeing how they live and the excitement in their faces for us to come to visit them will be in my heart forever.
Now that this trip is over, my heart and cup is full.
The people of Fiji hold a special place in my heart and I am so grateful to doTERRA for the incredible opportunities they provide their leaders to learn, grow, develop and see first hand how the oils are changing the lives of others in so many ways.
On this trip I learnt how resilient the Fijian people are, and how things that seem small to me make such a difference to them. Despite the rain they were always happy, smiling and waving as we went past.
The newspapers on our final day showed children pushing cars out of the flooded roads with one paper reporting that a pregnant woman swam across a flooded creek to give birth to her baby - absolutely incredible.
While this experience filled my cup, there were many other lessons for both life and biz that I learnt this trip.
I love the heart, culture and ethos of doTERRA (it is all centred around giving) and am so grateful to have been able to have this experience and see first hand the impact this beautiful company is having on so many communities around the world. When I help others get started with essential oils, I am not only helping them make changes in their own life but every bottle of oil that is purchased contributes to making a postive impact on the lives of those who need it most - just like this village in Fiji.
We truly are changing the world one drop at a time.