Our late friend Graham - a well known a super star, especially to the village kids decided to make an agreement with Ducks, 16 character in the Melbourne kite scene who who loved to laugh, literally rolling on the his parents and the school that if he went passed recently - had a heart of gold and ground every time he took a big hit or flew back and committed to finish his schooling as was his style took Ducks under his wing. through the air. we would teach him to kite, leave him a With great intentions Graham would bring Our young friend literally took to kiteboarding trainer kite, and bring him out to Australia him to the beach everyday to ‘teach’ our like a duck to water. He flew that kite like a when he was older. young Fijian friend the art of kiteboarding. pro, all the village cheered for him and he Primary school goes to year eight in Fiji Everyone that knew Graham would soon became king of the kids and talk of and with Ducks having been out of school understand he was a little loose, and with the town. for at least two full years he was older and the nickname The Mercenary it might give Ducks’ parents, Don and Jennifer, were noticeably bigger than all the other kids. you an idea why. Boy, Duck took some hits delighted their son was getting such an It was hard for him in the village in that in his early kiting days but nothing fazed experience and we enjoyed hanging out with respect, not learning or hanging out with DUXON / BEST FAMILY him, the water was his home. You could only imagine how stoked he was, them on a nightly basis around the Kava bowl. (Kava is not delicious! Throughout kids his own age. By the time he went back a lot of his friends were moving to high Flying Fijian! TRENT MOON Since initially writing this article, Fiji has The Fijian spirit is alive and well as they try been run over by the most powerful cyclone to rebuild and we can’t wait to get back in hanging out with a group of kitesurfers from faraway lands. Kiteboarding was something the village of Naselleselle had never seen before. Every time we hit the beach on that first trip we would literally have a hundred people screaming and hollering as we cruised the lagoon. Ducks soon became the South Pacific islands this is standard nightcap. Made from the root of the kava plant, it looks like muddy water.) When we asked about schooling, his parents told us that he had not been to school for a couple of years and although he’d started again this year he rarely attended. We school. You’ve got to give this kid some serious credit, for the next few years he stuck out his primary education, completing 2012 and sticking it out through 2013 and 2014 before going to high school in 2015. (cont. pge18) ever recorded in the southern hemisphere. August to see our friends. There are many Tropical Cyclone Winston approached Taveuni great things about travelling but for us it’s and Koro Islands from the south east, literally all about the people. flattening everything in its path. Entire villages Taveuni Island in Fiji’s far north is on the have been left without shelter. path less travelled. Here, the relaxed Fijian Our friend and his family featured in this article vibe is born and entrenched in the people are safe and well. Their home was destroyed, living relatively simple lives off the land and although not as bad as some. Some areas sea. “On Taveuni if you don’t have a job it’s have been closed to all but cleaning and no problem, there is plenty fish in the sea demolition teams as diseases like dengue and fruit in the forest,” a local friend told fever and dysentery begin to spread through us. The people here are fortunate, that’s some devastated communities. for sure. Please take time to donate if you can. In 2012 we met a young man. His name Check out the Red Cross and some of the is Don (or Duxon), but everyone knows him crowd funding campaigns. Moon Tours will as Ducks. He was 13 back then with feet be donating part of our Fiji trip income to comically too big for the rest of his body even the local community. though he stood taller than most adults.
17 IF YOUR GEAR IS OVERWEIGHT, SOMETIMES MAKING A STINK CAN GO YOUR WAY. ASK FOR A MANAGER IF YOU HAVE TO. AN UNHAPPY CUSTOMER IS A BAD THING FOR AIRLINES, AND SOMETIMES THEY WILL MAKE EXCEPTIONS. THINK DIVA! AFTER BREAKING MY HAND IN BRAZIL, I WAS TRYING TO GET HOME OVER THE THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY AND HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME MAKING ALL THE FLIGHTS. AFTER GETTING MY LAST FLIGHT CANCELLED, I REALLY WAS JUST OVER IT. I JUMPED IN LINE TO RE-SCHEDULE WITH ABOUT 300 OTHER PASSENGERS AND STARTED THE ARDUOUS PROCESS OF RE-BOOKING. ON A WHIM I WALKED OUT OF THE LINE AND TRIED TALKING TO A GATE AGENT FOR THE FLIGHT I WAS TRYING TO GET ON. I JUMPED IN LINE BEHIND A WOMAN WHO WAS JUST YELLING AT THE GATE AGENT AND MAKING A HUGE SCENE TRYING TO GET ADDED TO STANDBY. AFTER SHE WALKED AWAY I POLITELY ASKED IF I COULD BE ADDED TO THE LIST. I EXPLAINED MY SITUATION AND HOW I DESPERATELY WANTED TO GET HOME. SHE TOLD ME HOW GREAT IT WAS TO DEAL WITH A NORMAL PERSON AND SHE PROMPTLY ADDED ME TO THE STANDBY LIST. MAN WAS THE LADY IN FRONT OF ME PISSED. ONCE AGAIN, KINDNESS GOES A LONG WAY! - BRANDON SCHEID ANDRE MARGARAO