Day 5: Connection

In May of this year, I was able to attend the first ever Sword Family Reunion for my great-grandparents Jock & Agnes Sword’s descendants held in Levuka, Fiji. The four photos I have chosen above from the reunion represent the word “connection” in different ways to me.

  1. Photo 1: painting my ancestors graves gave provided a way for me to give back to my great-grandparents, Papa’s siblings and their families. This activity connected me to a past I never knew.
  2. Photo 2: the Sword family crest/coat of arms. This connects me to my Scottish heritage.
  3. Photo 3: This is less than a third of my great-grandparents descendants. The reunion connected me to my Pacific region family.
  4. Photo 4: I jumped off that bridge in Levuka regardless of sea snake stories. I wanted to have a story to connect to my Papa and my dad who both jumped off that bridge during their childhood years. This bridge doesn’t just provide a physical connection between separated land masses. It connected me to my dad and my Papa’s experiences.

I chose to write about my experience in Levuka because I have finally made a connection to my Fijian ancestry.

I never had a real connection to my Papa’s side of the family because I grew up in American Samoa and his family is from Fiji. I’ve always had questions about his parents, his siblings, his hometown of Levuka and what life was like for him being born and raised in Fiji. My dad has told me stories of trips they’ve taken to Fiji with my Papa (his dad), but I never felt a connection.

Going to Levuka connected me to my Papa’s family in more ways than one. I saw how different yet similar many of us are. I experienced a very unique combination of cultures seeing as my Papa’s siblings settled in various places around the Pacific region. I learned to value my Fijian heritage as my dad always has. I heard stories of joys and heartaches that made the Swords who they are from different branches of his family, my family. I cultivated a love for people, my family, whom I never would have met if not for this reunion. I witnessed a wonderful connection between the children of the Fijian Sword siblings, which has been passed on to my generation of cousins.

I can now cross Levuka off my bucket list of places to travel to. I am thrilled with what I have learned about my connection to Fiji. Next stop is the origin of the Sword name, where my great-grandfather is from, SCOTLAND.

I Wander as I Wonder

When it comes to traveling, I’ve traveled to many places in my lifetime. I have traveled to and through 38 of the 50 states in America and even visited parts of Mexico and Canada while I was at it. Since I live in the South Pacific region, I have had wonderful traveling experiences thanks to church mission trips, government youth events and school-related activities all over the Oceania region from Australia to New Zealand to Tonga to Fiji to Tahiti to Cook Islands and more.

It wasn’t until I studied art history with my Aunty Reggie Meredith at ASCC where I was introduced to the architecture, sculptures and art forms in Italy, Greece, Spain, France and England that I found myself desiring to go there solely to see these amazing works of art. I thought I was satisfied with my traveling stories to some exotic and interesting places around North America and the South Pacific, but I was extremely wrong.

Here are my top 5 places that I am extremely excited to visit some day:

London, England

Big Ben in London found at http://www.aviewoncities.com/gallery/showpicture.htm?key=kveen0231

Big Ben in London


 

Berlin, Germany (mostly to discover my great-grandfather’s roots)

 

The city of Berlin, Germany where my great-grandfather was born

The city of Berlin, Germany where my great-grandfather was born many many moons ago


 

Rome & Venice, Italy

Venice-Italy-1

One day I will ride one of these in Venice, Italy

How awesome would it be to visit the Coliseum in Rome, Italy where many Christians were tortured and killed.

How awesome would it be to visit the Coliseum in Rome, Italy where many Christians were tortured and killed for the sake of the Gospel of my Jesus.


 

Athens, Greece

One of the many sites I would love to see in Greece

One of the many sites I would love to see in Greece


 

Levuka, Fiji – Even though I’ve been to Fiji, I have never been to my grandfather’s birthplace. I would love to be able to go and see where my great-grandparents are buried and discover more family history here.

Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji where my grandfather was born and raised.

Levuka, Ovalau, Fiji where my grandfather was born and raised.

Sources for photographs:

  1. http://www.aviewoncities.com/gallery/showpicture.htm?key=kveen0231
  2.  http://www.worldpropertychannel.com/europe-commercial-news/european-office-market-report-jones-lang-lasalle-offices-2020-research-programme-office-building-obsolescence-europe-commercial-property-depreciation-eurozone-debt-crisis-5582.php
  3. http://www.dwalls.com/popular?g2_itemId=93359
  4. http://www.whenugo.com/Venice-Italy/#.U1l43TktOCI
  5. http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/europe/european-union/greece/athens/
  6. http://takimai.com/taki-mai-kava-drinks/the-roots-of-taki-mai-kava-drinks/

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-wanderer/

 

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/the-wanderer/