Island News

Leaving on a jet plane

Written By : Mela Tuilevuka. Two weeks ago a workmate requested if I could make time on Tuesday to attend his younger brother’s farewell as he was going to fly
06 Sep 2008 12:00

image Written By : Mela Tuilevuka. Two weeks ago a workmate requested if I could make time on Tuesday to attend his younger brother’s farewell as he was going to fly out of the country for greener pastures in the United Kingdom.
I agreed and made time out of my busy schedule to travel to Mokani Village on Tuesday evening to meet and also bid farewell to Ratu Emosi Tauribau.
When we arrived at the village at 8pm we had missed the formalities and people had already tucked in to their dinner and the stronger ones were already swiping muddy water.
The guest of honour was nowhere around the shed and one of his friends had to go and look for him as he was probably making his last rounds around the village or doing some last minute packing.
Not long Ratu Emosi returned to the shed where a group of men mostly his cousins and uncles had started what they call the ‘sigidrigi’ – it is singing Fijian style with a few guitars and ukulele.
The 24-year-old former technician is one of those young men leaving our shores to join the Royal Marines.
Ratu Emosi said he would be going to stay with his sponsors in Tidworth and wait for his selection process in Bournemouth in the coming weeks.
“I am looking forward to going and I am ready to face whatever challenges that is ahead of me,” Ratu Emosi said.
“I know that my training in Bournemouth will be very tough but I am prepared mentally, physically and spiritually for that,” he added.
Ratu Emosi added it has been six years since another boy from the village has left to join the British Armed Forces.
“The last one left in 2001 and I thought I should try my hands on something different for a change,” he said.
Ratu Emosi will be the first one from Mokani Village to join the Royal Marines if all goes well during the selection process.
When asked if he was ready for tougher challenges like going to war torn areas of Afghanistan and Iraq, Ratu Emosi said he has faith in God and believes that whatever tough training he goes through in the army, will prepare him for the worst in these war torn areas if he gets to go there.
Being the second youngest in the family of four boys and a girl, Ratu Emosi said he would surely miss his family and all his cousins and relatives in the village.
“It is not easy leaving my family and my relatives especially when I was born and bred in the village,” he said.
“I have life-long friends in the village who have been with me since childhood and going abroad will be a totally new experience for me as I have to make new ones,” he added. Ratu Emosi said one thing he misses most is his late mother who died a few years ago and he would loved her to bid him farewell.
“But I know she is looking down on me from a better place and smiling,” he said.
To all his family and friends who gathered at Mokani Village on Tuesday, Ratu Emosi said he is thankful for the love and support rendered to him.
“I know I wouldn’t be going if it was not for their help and support and I will never forget that,” he said.
“Being here today (Tuesday) with my family and relatives, I know that they want nothing but the best for me and I am grateful for all they have done for me.”
Ratu Emosi said he would do his best in whatever he does in the United Kingdom for his family, friends and his ‘vanua’ as he believes that his down-to-earth upbringing will take him far in life.

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