What's the point?
Before we'd even left Brisbane the adventure had begun. We introduced the boys to the 21 point system: each item the boys packed was worth one point, with a total allowance of 21 points. Cue mad rearranging and hectic repacking! The boys weighed up what was essential and the realisation dawned on them that they would not be able to access Facebook for the entire week! Why only 21 points? VOCadventure isn't a holiday, it's a pilgrimage to priesthood.
The Bula Boys
On the second day we were staying at the Catholic parish in a town called Lautoka. We sent the boys into town to buy some bottled water. Turns out it wasn't the only thing they bought! I was minding my own business, having a nap outside of the Parish hall when a local approached me. "You must be one of the Australians," she said. I asked her how she knew. "I counted eight young men, all wearing bright shirts yelling 'bula' (hello in Fijian) everywhere in town!" I'm sure this is a sight both I and the locals will never forget:
Ain't no mountain high enough
The (literal) high point of the week was climbing the tallest peak in Fiji: Mt Victoria (or Tomanivi as it's known by the locals). We arrived at a small village called Navai at the bottom of the mountain around 3pm and immediately headed up the track. For many of the boys (myself included) this was the first mountain climbing experience. We navigated rugged terrain and stared down steep drop offs. Despite the challenge, we all made it up and thank God we all made it down too:
Those are just some of the stories and each of the participants would have many more. I hope that this experience will become a part of their story and they continue their pilgrimage through life. With the 2013 VOCadventure finished I now begin the planning and preparation for the 2014 program. If you (or anyone you know) want to be a part of this pilgrimage, please contact me.