Last year I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Vorovoro as a study abroad trip through Auburn University. As anyone who has experienced the island might say—I fell in love with the place and the people. As soon as I got home, I began to work with Bridge the Gap to help with marketing and advertising. My Dad was excited about the drive I had, but he didn’t understand why I had come home talking about a new home. In fact, this period of time put quite a strain on our relationship.
Over time, through many long conversations, he finally began to understand why I love Vorovoro so much. I got an internship with Bridge the Gap in July and have been working with them ever since. Throughout this past year, my Dad became increasingly intrigued by Vorovoro. When I went back to the island this summer for 10 weeks, he decided to come and visit for one week. He wanted to see it for himself. I remember, last year, my Fijian homestay family told me to come back and to bring my family. I was worried that I may not be able to come back—I never thought my family would come too. I can’t put into words how amazing it was to have my dad on Vorovoro. He got to meet some of my favorite people in the world and experience my favorite place. He finally truly understood.
Several years ago, Tui Mali had a friend tell him that “the world will come to Vorovoro.” After many people have come to Vorovoro from around the world, Vorovoro is about to experience a new kind of worldly attention. After his time on the island, my dad wrote this feature in the Washington Post Magazine which just went online and will come out in the print version Sunday. The piece is part of the magazine’s fall travel issue, focusing this year on climate change.
The Washington Post is consistently one of the most-read online news sources in the country, with a monthly readership of more than 80 million. It’s an ideal group of readers for our work on Vorovoro—international, issues-focused and engaged. The words from Tui Mali’s story were never more true.