My wife, young family and I are currently preparing/planning for a GAP year in 2015.
We are seeking to depart from the stressful lives we both live and work in - and take a year off.
I have researched and looked into the Mamanuca Islands in Fiji as a possible option - although I have never visited.
At this early stage, we were wanting to find out a range of options. Obviously we have looked in to renting houses/units in Fiji - but are more and more wanting to experience Fiji at a grass roots level!
We would love to think that our GAP year won't just benefit our mental health! But give our young children an excellent experience of another culture. Probably equally as important to us is our desire to make some form of impact (big or small) to a local village - and potentiall inject the money we would expect to pay in rent in Nadi for a year into somewhere that it could be put to use.
I have a construction background and ideally would love to find a beach side village where we could call home for a year. I wanted to know of peoples opinions and ideas of "becoming a member" of a village. We are both not afraid of hard work, and certainly dont intend on being waited on or laying on the beach everyday. We would love to think that we could become apart of a villages every day life, helping where we can, and contributing to construction projects.
I have visited sites that can arrange these types of GAP years, but feel that our money may be consumed in administration charges etc. I would like to know if there would be villages in the Mamanuca Island group that would be open to this kind of proposition and what protocol should I undertake into becoming a "villager".
Thanks for your submissions.