The Black People

I don’t want it to sound like we kept Alfie locked in a cupboard for the first five years of his life but he’d actually never had an encounter with what he called ‘The Black People’.  And for some reason he had a terrific fear of ‘The Black People’ and this was despite my best efforts to let him know that God made us all the same but in different shades and that ‘The Black People’ were lucky because they didn’t have to wear as much sunscreen.

The Fijian Beach Club and Spa

Just after Alfie’s 5th birthday we went on a family holiday to Fiji.  We flew Jetstar and were right up the back of the plane where they put parents with children.  Flying Jetstar was an okay experience.  Borderline okay.  I hate how you have to pay for any sustenance and any little niceties to make your uncomfortable flight more bearable.  I’d rather pay more for my ticket and have everything included than have to search for an elusive wallet in a handbag wedged under the seat in front of me every five minutes so one of the kids can have an entertainment console, a drink, a packet of chips, nuts, chocolate, junk, junk and more junk.

A day trip to do some horse-riding

We flew back Virgin Blue, another budget airline that was no better.  Whoever invented budget airlines clearly had no intention of ever personally being a passenger.  Fortunately the flights to Fiji from Sydney are only about three hours long and that’s long enough when traveling with kids at the back of the plane on a budget airline.

Alfie with a Fijian boy whose parents sold Alfie a fresh coconut

The teenagers found Alfie’s fear of ‘The Black People’ highly amusing.  Continuously during the flight they let Alfie know that Fiji is full of ‘The Black People’ and delighted in seeing Alfie look more and more frightened as we approached Nadi.  When we landed Alfie took my hand and said with eyes wide open and a look of sheer terror, ‘I’m ready to meet the black people now’.  More riotous laughing from the teenagers.

A day trip of snorkeling off a tiny, remote island

Is that safe Archie?

We took a taxi to the Fiji Beach Club and Spa run by Hilton on Denarau.  I know a lot of tourists prefer to stay on some of the islands further away from Nadi but I wanted to keep the time spent traveling to a minimum.  Denarau is just 20 minutes from the airport so we left Sydney early in the morning and were poolside sipping champagne by the afternoon – perfect!

Champagne Charlie

The best thing about the Beach Club is that it is a relatively new resort with additional accommodation only recently completed.  You don’t have to stay in one of those ridiculously small hotel rooms with an inter-connecting room to where your children are staying.  We stayed in a two-bedroom apartment that had a kitchen (not that I did any cooking), a laundry (I did all my washing before leaving Fiji so we didn’t arrive home with bags of dirty, smelly clothing needing immediate attention), two bathrooms, a living room and two terraces – plenty of space for everyone in the family to spread out and not be on each others nerves.

The resort has six or seven swimming pools and if you don’t like swimming with children that’s fine because there’s an adults-only pool that’s relaxing and of course, peaceful.

Time for a Sundowner

The beach isn’t the best I’ve seen but you can take a short bus ride to Port Denarau and go on a day trip to some of the islands where you’ll have white sand and excellent snorkeling.  We went on a day trip that took us past the island where the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway was filmed.

Fiji Beach Club and Spa

Alfie the Warrior with his new best friends

The Fijian people are wonderful and we became friends with many of them.  Nothing is too much trouble and they love children.  Alfie was cured of his fear of ‘The Black People’ and he was transformed from being full of fear to never leaving them alone.  He was only too sad when it was time to fly back to Sydney and has continuously asked me every school holidays ever since, ‘Are we going back to Fiji these holidays, mum?’

If only.

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Comments

  1. Awww…bless him! Very cute! We stayed on Denarau Island and did a tour past the castaway location too! I agree wasn’t the best, but we quite enjoyed staying on Denarau…and as long as there’s a pool and champagne, who cares where you are? Lovely pictures :)

  2. Oooh ,..what a beautiful real-life story! Alfie looks so cute & being a real black man in that locvely picture!  A great holiday for all of you! Waw!

  3. GourmetGetaway says:

    We had a great Fijian Holiday last year.  The kids thought the Fijian dancing was fantastic.  They particularly loved it when they were called on stage to help with the dancing and the music.  Anais still has her little grass skirt :) 

  4. How beautiful.  Never been to Fiji, but certainly hope to get to go one day.  Isn’t it amazing how much fun we can have once we let go of our fears and put them in the past.

  5. 6 weeks and counting. You should join us ! But then who would feed the cat ……

  6. Another place to put on my list of places to visit someday! :)

  7. What a wonderful trip!

    We lived on the south side of Chicago when our daughter was a baby, so the first 2 years of her life she saw people of every kind.  Then we moved to a small town far out on the train line where everyone was pretty much like us.  When we decided to move to a university town when our daughter was 5, she mortified us by asking loudly in a restaurant, “Why is that man so dark?”  Glad we moved back to a diverse area!

  8. What a great story! I have never been to Fiji, but my sister and her German husband go often (they are scuba-divers and they traipse all over the world:)
    My girls were not really exposed to a diverse neighborhood when we lived in Cleveland, Ohio, and when my youngest, four at the time, saw a black neighbor on the elevator, she looked at her for a long time curiously and said, “I have never seen a brown person before”. We all laughed, including the neighbor. Later on we had a talk:)

  9. Hi,
    Sounds and looks like everyone had a fantastic time, and of course it was great that Alfie’s fear no longer exists, what a perfect holiday it did turn out to be. :)

  10. Niasunset says:

    WOW! Seems that you all had a nice time… I loved your photographs… Alfie and Archie they are amazing… And you are too dear Charlie, Thank you, with my love, nia 

  11. Lovely story and gorgeous pics, Charlie!  What beautiful children you have! :)

  12. Gretchen says:

    You have gorgeous children!  Sounds like it was a marvelous trip.  isn’t it great when our kids have their horizons expanded!? 

  13. Choc Chip Uru says:

    I am so happy Alfie got over his fear and so quickly too – that is very sweet :)
    And as for your trip it sounds like heaven and relaxation to the max! Nice one 😀

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    http://gobakeyourself.wordpress.com/

  14. One of my boys would do the same Archie stunt. I have wonderful memories of a Fiji trip. They are such warm people. Love places with and adult only pool.

  15. InTolerant Chef says:

    When our daughter was 2 she decided everything black or brown was called ‘cocoa’ because daddy liked to drink coca cola. She had a black Dolly called her cocoa baby, lamingtons were cocoa muffins, etc.
    One day our good friends were over for lunch with their little girls who were having a sleep over with our two. Our youngest just couldn’t get her tongue around their very unusual names and decided to tug on their arms and say ‘ Cocoa, Cocoa, come with me now!’
    There was stunned silence for20 seconds, then luckily our very, very, dark African friendss saw the funny side of the situation! I don’t think I have ever been so embarrassed before! She has since told me she wants to marry a brown man to have brown babies because they have nice hair, so at least I know I have nothing to worry about :)

  16. How lucky that Alfie grew out of his fear early on and rather quickly.  Some people never do, sadly enough.  Lovely story.  And what a great photo of Alfie and his new-found friend.  What a relaxing holiday–it looks like quite a wonderful spot, in spite of the airlines that took you there!

  17. Looks like a wonderful family holiday. I can remember going to Vanuatu when I was pretty little and my sister and I spent the whole time in kids club. The staff were so much fun and so friendly!

  18. Testing

  19. OMG YAyyyyyyyyy it works! I have no idea why, but the disqus system seems to be working for me now. Anyways – I ADORE Fiji and you have made me just want to book another holiday there. I cacked at the black people thing though as my youngest Flynn also 5 has the same fear / fascination. He thought they had been overcooked in their mums tummy (courtesy of a 7 olds explanation) but he was soon set straight by a 10 year that it is really hot where they live so they are really tanned! LMAO Kids are hilarious. Anyway soooo glad I can finally comment again! xxx

  20. Charlie … You have been nominated for my NEW Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. Check out my site for the details. 

    Also, I wanted to extend an offer for you to sit on the panel of judges for the monthly review. Just let me know your thoughts :-)

  21. Oh bless! That second last photo definitely highlights that Alfie well and truly got over his fear :) Also, your children are incredibly photogenic – that photo of Arabella (I think?!) on a horse is beautiful.

  22. Aww Fiji looks like an amazing! Your photos are stunning – especially the ones of the horizons and sunsets. ahhhhhhh. LOVE! And can I just say Alfie is adorable? 😉

  23. ChgoJohn says:

    On my way home from my Australian Holiday I spent a week in Fiji. Such a wonderful place — and Fiji was pretty fantastic, too!    😉

  24. Tammy McLeod says:

    That looks like an amazing time!

  25. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Love the champagne in the pool shot Charlie! 😀

  26. the only cin says:

    Seems like a dream holiday :)

  27. Anna @ the shady pine says:

    I bet Archie will bug you for years to come to go back there :). I long to be in a pool sipping champagne….heaven!!

  28. Katyarich41 says:

    Hi Charlie, what a wonderful pictures, I’d love to go to Fuji….looks amusing……I love the champagne treatment…just great, have a lovely week:)

  29. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    I also want to go with next time!  I am quite used to black people, being born in Africa, I have grown up with them all my life.
    :-) Mandy

  30. how cute that he was afraid of them hahaha!!

  31. I loved your comment about the sunscreen! I have a sunburn right now and really…it’s so not fair. 😛  This is such a cute story.  Alfie was quite the adorable child!

  32. FiSh SzeHui says:

    i cant imagine how huge is each of their swimming pools. im wondering why do they have so many there

    Latest: Largest Pizza in Town 

  33. I grew up in rural southwestern Minnesota where, 40 years ago, the population was nearly all white (with some Native Americans). Today I live in a city of 23,000 with a diverse mix of immigrants from Somalia, Sudan, Mexico, Southeast Asia and more. Unfortunately, not all locals embrace our diverse population. If only they could take a few lessons from Alfie (not the fear part) in friendship.

  34. Judy Purcell says:

    Alfie the Warrior is awesome — what a handsome young man. Who wouldn’t want to return to Fiji for the holidays?! 

  35. What an adorable story. My Mom told me that I burst into tears the first time I saw a black person on a flight from NYC to Toronto; I was only about 3 months old. I’m glad Alfie’s experience was so good he wants to return. I’d like to go some day, but the flight would kill me, I’m certain of it.

  36. Nic@diningwithastud says:

    What a beautiful trip :) My bestie goes to Fiji a ot with her son. It looks gorgeous

  37. He’s so cute!!  What great memories.

  38. Wonderful story Charlie – some people we used to know used to go on vacation to Fiji and it always sounded like such a wonderful place – really jealous of your trip! Hope I can go one day!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I hope you can too. You should time it with getting out of your bleak winter because the weather in Fiji is wonderfully warm (actually hot) all the time! xx

  39. How wonderful to see a little boy’s transformation from fearful to friendly! Wonderful family photos of a great vacation. I wouldn’t want to leave, that’s certain! Debra

  40. Ohh that’s so sweet Alfie cured his fear of the ‘Black People’ :) I’ve always wanted to go to Fiji but haven’t had the chance >_< hope i can go soon ~ lol Budget airlines are the worse…all they care about is money… sighhh

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