I had stealthy snuck my way down onto the arena floor. I was back under the bright lights of the Australian National Gymnastics Championships. It had been over a decade since I was at this event, a place where I lived out child hood dreams. This time instead of wearing a diamante covered leotard, stuck tightly to my ass with butt glue, and chalk covered hands, I was wearing a Gymnastics Australia shirt and was part of an Oceanic Gymnastic immersion tour.
I was back in my element, I felt like I was home. I couldn’t wipe the childish grin from my face, that grew bigger by the second. I pranced about like an excited jack russel as I showed our Oceanic team of coaches around the floor. All the coaches and judges, still the same, the same people who i’d spent my childhood with.
For a week the Oceanic team participated in gymnastics and aerobics workshops. Coaches from Guam, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa, the Cook Islands and Fiji, all united and all very excited to be seeing elite gymnastics for the first time. It was so exciting to be apart of such a cool event.
My trip to Melbourne was the start of a six week stay in Aus. After getting swine flu and dengue fever, then losing my passport in amongst dying, it was time to go home for some much needed motherly TLC. I have had dengue fever twice now and it is the most debilitating illness, for two weeks I lay in bed not able to move, not able to get admitted to hospital. Feeling like death as I slowly wasted away. Add swine flu on top of that and I was well and truly written off and ready for the graveyard.
After the Australian high commision of Fiji sorted me out with an emergency passport the girls and I were on a plane back to Aus. The stress of losing ones passport, is something that you can not imagine and to get back home i spent some time being interigated by immigration. I had an emergency passport that now had no visa stamp and I was going through to australia with out giving a good explanation as to why I had no visa stamp !
For the next month and half, we enjoyed the luxuries of a first world country. Hot showers on tap, cold beers, food poisioning free meat, barista made coffee and mums home cooking. But not all was smooth sailing, I had a very stressful time tryin g to get a passport. Thankfully on my fifth attempt, my forms were submitted. For awhile I thought I would be stuck in Aus ! I was bursting at the seams with happiness when my passport was finally in my hand and my ticket home to fiji was booked.
It’s never easy saying good bye, but after a week with the Oceanic Gymnastics team, I was so excited to get back to Fiji and start gettting gymnastics happening that the sadness of good byes didn’t linger for too long. I was also home sick. I missed my bed and the morning breeze waking me up.
When we finally hit Fiji, I hit the ground running as an official Australian Volunteer. I spent a week socialising with new found friends, all on assignment here in Fiji as volunteers.
After winning the competition as the first volunteer to get BULA BELLY, I have been resting up for the last few days. I have had terrible luck with sickness, here in Fiji the last few months and food poisioning in my first week was not what the doctor ordered.
Now the new and exciting chapter of giving back to such a beautiful country begins 🙂