Letters To The Editor, January 7, 2015

Good Samaritans Dr Miiriama Delaibatiki, Auckland, New Zealand I would like to share an incredible and awesome experience during my recent visit to Fiji with my husband and three-year-old daughter.
07 Jan 2015 11:31

Good Samaritans

Dr Miiriama Delaibatiki, Auckland, New Zealand

I would like to share an incredible and awesome experience during my recent visit to Fiji with my husband and three-year-old daughter. What started as a bad experience ended in a positive and uplifting experience. It brought out the real Fijian spirit of compassion, love and the humanity in us.

I was born, bred and educated in Fiji before we moved as a family for further education overseas so I am familiar with this unique Fijian spirit. My recent experience tells me that this spirit is alive and strong and makes me feel that with all the things that I have seen and witnessed during my brief visit, Fiji is heading in a positive direction and there is a lot of promise for the future.

My young family live in New Zealand. We came to Fiji to visit families and relatives. I left on Saturday to return to work. My husband and daughter are staying back to enjoy the Fijian sunshine and hospitality.

On the way from Suva to Nadi Airport, for no apparent reason at the time, our car broke down past Sigatoka town, near Volivoli Village. I realised that I would be late for my flight if I waited for the car to be fixed. We said a little prayer for divine help and then I stood on the road to hitch a ride. A taxi stopped but his charge was unreasonable. I did not feel right about so I let him go.

Minutes later, a private car stopped and I got in. As it turned out the husband and wife were on their way to the airport to pick up their 20-year old son who has been in New Zealand studying on a scholarship. They hadn’t seen him in three years. They had planned not to give a lift to anyone because they were running late too.

Somehow they were motivated to stop. In the rush, I did not give my daughter a proper goodbye. However, this wonderful couple made me feel good. Orisi and Maria Matakasa have six children, two of whom are at tertiary institutions. Orisi is a bank manager and Maria a school teacher. They own a home as well as a plantation that keeps them relatively self-sufficient and busy. After five days of full- time work during the week, on Saturdays they work on the plantation and sell the produce on the roadside. Sunday is Sabbath for them as Christians. Orisi also recently completed an MBA. They lifted my morale knowing that we share common values. They work hard to educate their children and get on in life. Education, work, family and church are priorities.

Incidentally, our car had water in the petrol. It was traced back to the service station where we last filled. People turned up to volunteer their help.   I’m sure they also had their own story just like the Matakasas. These good Samaritans made a huge impact on us.

Even the service station staff acknowledged the mistake, took full responsibility, put up my husband and daughter in a motel while they fixed the car, and filled it up.

Although my family parted ways in not the best of circumstances, I felt we got a lot of positives from the experience. I wish to thank the Matakasas and everyone I have not mentioned by name, and the service station staff for their help.


Smiling faces

John Davon, Korotogo, Nadroga

It seems there are a lot more smiling faces in Sigatoka town lately. Perhaps the appointment of the new CEO for Sigatoka Council might have something to do with the happiness.


Happy people

Wise Muavono Lautoka

Fijians being the happiest people has nothing to do with the freebies given by my government.

It is because we always find a way to be happy regardless of what life hands us. You may not be able to control it, but you can learn and grow from it. As you breath right now, another person is taking their last breath.

So don’t complain. Be greatful for every experience, every challenge and every surprise you’re blessed with. Just like Allen, he is one happy chap. Even when asleep, he is smiling.


Future students

Neel Singh, Lami

We need to uphold and strength our future students who did not excel in their external and theory exams. That is not the end. There are many possibilities to excel.

Not all students are good in theory or pass major exams set by the Ministry of education. There are other ways to assess students capabilities. Vocational schools play a major role in grooming students who need bridging or trade courses.

The Government of the day should allow vocational schools a fair platform so they can contribute to our economy and guide and facilitate unfortunate students to pursue their dream career. Each individual has unique skills and they can fit the jobs that may require the use of these skills.

The most common reasons, for which people may choose to attend a vocational institution, instead are:


-the shorter course duration

– lower cost

– practical specialised courses


The practical side is what makes the difference between vocational institutions and universities.

In job facilities people will focus more on how the things are made in real situations. Reading books can be replaced with taking the students to see the real action. The best example of people who are job school graduates is the ones involving welders, cooks or mechanics and IT.

As an awesome alternative to universities, vocational schools are good for those who do not want to spend a lot of time in a classroom. They know exactly what they want.

People who like the practical side more than the theoretical one, can be the perfect candidates. Searching for a worthy vocational school may be the first step.

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