There’s been a recurring question about who is actually living here. Fair enough since I haven’t introduced them yet! So per request, and to clear up the confusion, allow me to introduce our group:
Anna The founder of this property and the momentum to see “it” through. The mother of a former Navy SEAL and former Army Ranger, she is a strong woman who raises strong, driven men. About 4 years ago, she decided she needed a change in her life and who better to include than her own blood. She recruited her Navy SEAL son and his roommates to invest in something big. Her original idea had been to start a bar in Venezuela but after traveling there (alone!) to check it out, getting kidnapped and robbed, fighting for her life, and dealing with political unrest, that idea was quickly thrown out!
She “stumbled” upon the Fiji property being sold by a Canadian couple for a killer deal and pounced on it. As the legs of the operation, she again investigated for herself and knew instantly that it would be hers. You would never believe what it took to physically find it 3 years ago, the condition she found it in, and the back-breaking work (and money) she put into tho place to make it as comfortable as it is now. She’ll deny it, but she has a serious eye for detail and what she does to make the final product extra special is truly magical. Anna is a master in the kitchen and somehow gets this place, covered in mud, bugs, and whatever else, sparkling clean. Her skills are admirable as she is a true jack-of-all-trades and can wield any power tool you throw at her!
Jason The son of Anna and original "plank owner." A steady presence in his mother’s life and life-long supporter, it was a no-brainer to jump on board the Fiji train. Jason and Erik lived and worked together in the SEAL Teams on the East Coast for 4 years until Erik moved to Hawaii to finish his career and Jason retired from the military. Upon separation from the Navy in 2012, Jason committed to the move to Fiji where he spent months at a time alone! He has by far spent the most time at the property, which is exponentially harder by yourself. Hard work that requires patience, confidence, and inventiveness. Much of it is maintenance and chores that take up majority of the day with no help. The thought of everyone finally being at the property together has kept him motivated and has appreciated the time alone to self-reflect and ground himself. The
locals know him by name and recognize his huge hair, full beard, and tall, tattooed self immediately. He is a talented guitar player and a true animal lover to agree to 7 cats he’s allergic to!
Bob As of October 13, 2013, Jason went from being Erik’s best friend in the Teams to his cousin when Jason’s mom married Erik’s godfather and uncle, Bob! Bob has lived or traveled to over 50 countries! He worked as an international bus driver throughout South America, then settled in Australia for the past 20 years as a firefighter. Jason had met Bob in 2008 when he, Erik, and the other roommates visited him in Australia. So of course Anna heard some wild stories about Uncle Bob! Little did they know that when he would visit the US in 2012, stopping into Virginia Beach where Anna was staying, that they would hit it off immediately! Bob has been a supporter and most willing of helping hands every step of the way in Fiji, taking 5 weeks at a time to help Anna make the place livable. Upon his retirement, he made the move to Fiji full-time this past December 2014.
His skills as a mechanic are invaluable
and have saved us multiple times! Not to mention his experience as a life-saving firefighter if we ever have an emergency! He already doesn’t hesitate to jump in and assist the locals to get the job done.
Erik The most interesting person I’ve ever met and the love of my life. After 7 years of almost-patiently-waiting, I’m the lucky girl who gets to call him my husband. It has never been a dull moment with this guy, not just because of his exciting career as a Navy SEAL but because he is extreme to the core, ambitious, driven, productive (his favorite), and yet somehow can be so romantic (when he doesn’t try) and cracks me up with his sills (silly) head. We aren’t exactly opposites but we somehow keep each other balanced. He is the big picture to my magic moments. I would be lying if I said our relationship has been easy but I wouldn’t change a thing about it. He is the epitome of challenging adventure! I might give him a hard time by calling him “slave driver” but I appreciate his optimism and motivation to conquer all projects and visions. We may never see eye-to-eye on the end result, but there is no task (big or small) we couldn’t accomplish as a team. I admire his love for life and never accepting things “as is.”
After multiple visits as co-investors, we made the move to Fiji full-time immediately following our Halloween 2014 wedding. I have to say we’ve had a very unique experience as our first 6 months of marriage: We went from deployments and long-distance separations of 7 months, to being together practically every minute of every day in a communal living situation! (A whole blog post of its own.) I look forward to looking back together at this time and our accomplishments as a committed couple. I love that Erik now loves kitties and has a new passion for gardening. He has always been the best at whatever he’s decided, whether it was wrestling in high school, becoming an operator in the Teams of special forces, spearfishing, or watering tomatoes.
Meagan I am the creative mind and voice behind this blog. I’ve decided since people can’t help but ask “what do you do?” as their second question of getting to know someone, my response will now be that I am a farmer, fisherman, and an artist. I have a graduate degree in nutrition that I will put to professional use one day, but in the meantime, I will enjoy my time of much self-reflection to better myself as a wife, friend, house/roommate, daughter, sister, aunt, and all-around human being. All the while, living out my passions of healthy living and traveling the world. I know God has put me on this earth for a purpose and to do “big” things. Big things that could possibly be in the making right now. And now that I have nothing but time, I enjoy getting back to my creative roots. I realized only the other day that I hadn’t sketched since high school! Painted, yes, but drawing and sketching had been my gift since I could hold a pencil. I am incredibly grateful to have this opportunity to “do” me and know with certainty who I am.
Well, now that you’ve “met” the 5 of us living together, I hope some confusion has been cleared up! I can’t wait to share “who” else lives with us in my next posts, along with a glimpse into communal living. Thanks for reading today’s diary entry!