An activity that I have always enjoyed doing but never think to mention it when one asks what I enjoy doing…is snorkelling. I have snorkelled in a few different places around Australia (first place ever was Rosebud, Victoria), Port Douglas – Cairns, Great Keppel Island (off Yepoon), Phi Phi Island-Thailand, the Whitsundays (Queensland), N’ukalofa-Tonga, and Fijian Islands. While on Mana Island, we snorkelled at Dream Beach and Ratu Kina. My 12 year old was enrolled in a Diving Course – an intense program of theory and practical with the final outcome – a licensed diver! Already he has seen a reef shark and a turtle and many, many other types of fish.
I wonder what the fish think when they see us coming along wearing the weird looking apparatus attached to our face and bodies with the possibility of also flashing a camera at them to capture the best shot.
It’s so quiet under the water and serene. Sometimes the fish appear to be looking at us and almost posing for the photo.
All over the world children are playing. Those children who have little, play well. They sit together, talk together, look at each other and share sand together. They find sticks, coral, shells, plastic bottles and utilise them for all kinds of imaginary games. I could watch them for hours.
Children enjoy creating echoes (by screaming, talking loud) and can locate where it has a better sounding resonance than somewhere else. It also gets the attention of others!
On Mana Island, Fiji where we stayed for 4 nights, we were amongst the locals in the villages but separate accommodation with a view to the sea. Most people have views of the sea, or at least don’t have to walk far to capture it. Children swim morning and night in the sea, laughing and having fun. A young boy asked me, when walking by on the beach if I was going to ‘take a bath’. I had clothes on at the time and said I couldn’t because I would have to change my clothes.
The children swim naked without a worry. My son when encouraged to talk to the young children, didn’t know where to look and was concerned about that. They are free, relaxed, no inhibitions although sometimes their shyness is observed when they are challenged with the English language.
From observation, the Fijian children consider helping Mum and Dad to carry water, prepare for a meal, carry the potatoes all part of their daily routine. It consumes their day but they also have time to relax throughout the day on “Fiji time”. The Fijian children are HAPPY !
NDIS Registered Provider no. 4050011793
Kerri Weaver is a service provider for children with disabilities.