The website of John & Barbara Noell
Living in Fiji

About this website:

This the John & Barbara in Fiji website!

We originally created this website as part of a project to teach local Fijians about basic website construction. It is part of an initiative to transfer technological expertise to local citizens of Fiji. Our goals were to provide basic training, technical support, and material assistance to local Fijians, so that they could develop their own successful businesses. Although no one has turned into a web designer, we have had some major successes. The leading photo services business in Savusavu and the (by fare) biggest and best computer store are owned and managed by people we assisted.

For about 14 years, we (Barbara and John) have made Savusavu, Fiji our home. We live here because it is a really nice place to live! Fiji is a small country (less than one million people) located in the middle of the southern Pacific Ocean. With more than 300 islands, Fiji offers a great variety of beautiful settings. However, its finest asset is the people (and their cultures). We feel very blessed to have been give an opportunity to live amongst such nice and interesting people. We particularly appreciate the warm welcome we have received. Our neighbours (Fijian, Indian and "other" are the best one could ever hope for. ("Other means anyone who is neither Indian or 'officially' Fijian. To be classified as Fijian one's name must be listed in the Vola ni Kawa Bula, or official registry of native landowners. We are among the "others.")

Savusavu (also known as the "Hidden Paradise" of Fiji) is a small town (with about 25,000 people - including outlying areas). It is located on the second largest island, Vanua Levu. The main island, Viti Levu, hosts the capital of Fiji, Suva. Viti Levu also is the location of the international airport (at Nadi), and a large number of resorts. Despite the greater number of sunnier days on Viti Levu, Vanua Levu also has a number of well-known resorts, such as the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort and Tony Robbin's Namale Resort.

The great diving and fishing here was a major attraction for moving here, but we don't get to do nearly as much as that as would like to. Most of our time is spent trying to help local Fijians start their own technology-oriented businesses. We have a background in computer applications and business (among other things), which seem to be in short supply here so those are the primary skills we have tried to contribute. We are more-or-less "retired" (which is to say we gave up our USA jobs and have no income). The Savusavu community has been extremely welcoming and we have made many wonderful friends here. We hope to repay the warm welcome we have received by providing opportunities in the technical sector to our Fijian friends.

Masi Book coverThe background motif of this website is a Fijian design on masi, a bark cloth made from the paper mulberry tree. Masi carries great cultural importance. A fascinating book on the subject has been written by Catherine Spicer & Rondo B B Me. (Click on book cover to see ordering information.)