16/06/2021 TRAVEL ADVISORY: Travel restrictions in place, COVID-19

Ponipate 'Poni' Yabakiciwa

Poni’s secret to a happy life is appreciating the opportunity to live another day.

In Fiji, 'Bula' is more than just a greeting. It’s a wish for happiness, good health and the energy of life. For anyone who has visited Fiji before, you will know that a Bula is just as contagious as a smile!

To share the ‘Bula Spirit’ the people of Fiji created a Bulanaires List. It’s a twist on the popular billionaires' rich lists, where instead, the list celebrates people from around the globe who are truly rich in happiness.

Meet Ponipate ‘Poni’ Yabakiciwa from Go Dirty Tours.

His contagious laugh says it all when it comes to this Bulanaire!

Poni’s humour, friendliness and fun-loving attitude has been a huge asset to Go Dirty Tours in Nadi and a re-occurring theme in the company’s five-star reviews from both local and international customers.

Starting each day with enthusiasm to show his tour groups a new side to Fiji, he often skips breakfast because he is so eager to get going. But that’s not without first taking a few quiet moments for himself first thing in the morning.

“Just waking up in the morning and hearing the birds chirping and knowing that you’re alive to see another day. That quiet time at the beginning of the new day is one of the best moments for me.”

Poni spends the rest of his day taking his tour groups on adrenaline-filled adventures into the interior of Fiji. He loves to incorporate a visit to the surrounding villages as part of the tour’s itinerary, as he is proud to share his Fijian culture and history with the world. He’s equally proud of his jokes, which help him ensure his tour groups are laughing all day long.

Poni’s secret to happiness? Aside from appreciating the opportunity to live another day, it is sharing a meal with other people.

“I am always happy at lunch time. Not only because I get to eat lunch, but because I get to share this meal with my staff and our guests. To me, the ‘Bula Spirit’ means sharing with those around you—your family, your friends, your workmates, your guests, your village, your town.”

Believing that ‘Bula’ means life, you’ll often hear Poni saying ‘Bula’ to all those around him as not only a warm greeting, but also as his way of wishing them the opportunity to live another day.

The Fijian people want to share their happiness and Bula Spirit with everyone at a time when the world needs it most. With 333 islands ready to be explored and year-round warmth, it is the perfect place to find happiness.

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