This trip was not all I expected it to be.
Although the group of students on my trip was great, the staff and how the trip was run overall was somewhat disappointing. Mostly everyone on the trip was very responsible and wasn't trying to get in any trouble, yet the staff was incredibly overbearing and ridiculous at times. One particular staff member was over involved and tried to constantly hang out with the students when we were trying to have time with our friends. She meddled into our business and asked us questions that were sometimes strange. She even provoked students and ended up yelling at them in public locations such as calling one girl out at a pizza place. The other staff were also somewhat of a let down as they tried way too hard to control everything we did. I understand Fiji may not be the safest in certain locations, yet I felt as my hand was being held the entire time, instead of letting me enjoy the experience.
As for the safety, there were many times throughout the trip where i felt as if we were not in the safest of locations. One particular "hotel" we stayed at was located directly behind a village we did not know. This was a bit scary as we were living basically within this village and didn't have locked doors on our room or any safety measures.
As for the food and drink, this was also a large disappointment. We were insured that we would have clean water to drink from and were deceived by our trip leaders once again with this. After giving us clean water for the first few days, after we arrived at the home stay things changed. We began getting rain water that had been treated with certain chemicals like bleach. On several occasions we found parasites and other live bugs swimming in our water bottles. There was so much bleach and other chemicals in our water at some points where i couldn't even drink it anymore because it tasted completely like pool water and was making me sick. We begged the leaders to get us bottled water and finally after several days of begging and pleading our wishes were granted, but that didn't take away the several days of being sick because of the bleach water. As for the food, this was not the trips fault as we ate traditional fijian food at most places, but it was pretty awful. During the village stay i found myself eating nothing but white rice for ten days because it was the only thing i could actually stomach.
The hostels that we stayed at were pretty gross and rooms were often overcrowded.
Finally, the trip outline that is provided online did not correlate with the actually trip in the slightest. There were many activities promised on the website such as "swimming with dolphins" that were not even on the agenda at all. They were simply used as promotional devices to get people to sign up and this was something that really upset me.
During the homestay, i found that my family was very welcoming and kind the whole time. However, i didn't always feel safe in the village and some villagers made me very uncomfortable.
Although the trip itself was a great learning experience that i took a lot away from. If i had the chance, i don't know i would do it over again. Being sick 17 out of the 28 days was very unenjoyable and the trip was definitely not all i hoped it would be.