Feature

Home Away From Home: How Devi Is Living Her Life On Vanuabalavu

Originally from Suva, Ms Devi is the friendly face that greets all travellers needing to quench their thirst or looking for a quick snack when they get into the island’s main point of entry, at Lomaloma.
07 May 2020 12:26
Home Away From Home: How Devi Is Living Her Life On Vanuabalavu
Sharon Devi inside the famous Push Tailevu store in Lomaloma, Vanuabalavu. Photo: Inoke Rabonu

Never in Sharon Devi’s wildest dreams did she ever think she would one day call Vanuabalavu her home.

Originally from Suva, Ms Devi is the friendly face that greets all travellers needing to quench their thirst or looking for a quick snack when they get into the island’s main point of entry, at Lomaloma.

Ms Devi has enjoyed the pristine beaches Vanuabalavu has to offer and the friendship shared with villagers from the 17 villages.

“I really love it here, the shop owner Latu Penisimani had asked me to manage this shop for him and I took up the challenge knowing what I was up to face on the island,” Ms Devi said.

“No matter how busy my day could be, there is so much peace of mind when you carry out your work here.

“Mr Penisimani who is originally from Lomaloma Village travels to Suva mostly for health treatments and I have been able to manage the shop on a daily basis when he is away.

“I have been here with my family for almost three years and Vanuabalavu has been my home away from home.”

BUSINESS THRIVES ON THE ISLAND

Shop owner Mr Penisimani said his shop had been a source of relief for villagers amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When inter-island movement was restricted, we were the main point of supply for food and daily necessity for those in the Island,” he said.

“We sell basically everything, food, clothing, toys and daily needs for families and we were able to have enough stock till the ban on inter-island movement was lifted.

“When we had run out of money in the Post Office and TMO services were disrupted, we had given goods on credit to the villagers and had given them ample time to pay back when they had the cash.”

He said the shop had been thriving on the island and they were happy to be able to help the villagers during these trying times.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj


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