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Lomalagi, Waidroka, Serua, Fiji

  • This house is in: Fiji, navua
  • Period available: 1 month
  • Starts: 15 December 2015
  • Ends: 15 January 2016

About this assignment

We're looking for people who love animals, are happy living in off-the-beaten-track places, and who are capable, adaptable, resourceful and practical. A sense of humour is always useful in a developing country. The ability to amuse themselves is desirable as we are 30mins from the nearest restaurants/resorts etc.

What responsibilities are required of the house sitter

House-sitters will primarily be responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of our five dogs: Bossley & Poppy (both 8 yrs), Buster & Bingo (both 4 1/2 yrs) and Trixie (1 1/2 yrs). We take them for daily walks which entails a 5min drive in our Landcruiser Pickup to transport the dogs to their usual walk along one of the tracks near here, and usually early evening when it's cooler. The house itself is cared for by our housekeeper who comes in on 4 mornings of the week - she has to be collected from a local village as she doesn't drive. We also employ two others to run the boat, keep the grass cut, and to do other jobs round the place. The responsibilities of the house-sitters are mainly to be a practical presence at the house and to be a presence for the dogs. We live in an area where our neighbours are several minutes distant and we don't like to leave the house empty or the dogs alone for long periods. Some basic pool maintenance will be required, and it would be very helpful if the sitters have some practical skills in case of power failure (we use a small generator to keep fridge, water pump and other essentials going if the power is off for more than a couple of hours). There is a small amount of shopping, bill paying and general day-to-day stuff to do which entails weekly visits to the post box 25 mins drive away, and periodic visits to Suva for supplies, We prepay our electricity (we're away from any meter-reading) and cook with bottled gas. Our water supply is from rain-water collected on the roof and stored in tanks. The water pumps rely on a power supply to pump water to taps, toilets etc. Keeping in regular contact with us will be via telephone and/or email. The months of December to May are the cyclone season, so there is always the possiblility of a storm but we do have cyclone shutters which are put in place by our gardener and others who we pick up from the village when a storm is in the offing. The house is a two-bedroom timber pole-house with another bedroom in the pool house. For those who don't know Fiji, it is one of the many countries which drive on the left, so it would be preferred that sitters are experienced with driving on this side of the road. They would also need to be very comfortable with driving stick-shift 4WD. Our roads are single-track, unpaved and hilly. Practical skills would be useful, for changing tyres, switching gas-cylinders, and other day-to-day problems of living off the beaten track.

What are the good features of the property and location

Our house sits on a ridge about 300 ft above the sea, overlooking rainforest and mangroves, the lagoon inside the reef and distant islands: Yanuca, Beqa and Kadavu. We have a pool (the beaches aren't sandy but do give access to water activities) to refresh yourselves in on hot days. The views are pretty spectacular, and the place is peaceful, interrupted usually only by the raucous calls of the neighbouring parrots. The house sits in approx. 3 acres of grounds, surrounded by trees on three sides. Waidroka is an informal residential area with about 60 houses, most of which are hidden in the trees. Our house is approx 4kms from the main road, up a hilly road with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside and the mountains of the interior. We have no airconditioning, but there's usually a constant breeze which is more refreshing. We have mains power, which enables us to have fridges, freezers, satellite TV, and WiFi connection. There's a small resort on the Waidroka property where scuba diving and surfing is available (you can usually arrange with our housekeeper, Lavenia, to cover for daytime and occasional evening periods when absent from the house) and there is also a small community of local residents, mostly people from NZ, Australia and the western states of the US. Their interests are surfing and fishing. It's a very relaxed area surrounded by trees with amazing views, great for anyone who would like to write, read, and simply enjoy the ambiance.

What does the house sitter need to consider before applying for this assignment

This assignment would really best suit a dog-loving couple, who are mature, reliable, practical, resourceful, self-sufficient experienced house-sitters who enjoy and have experience living away from the hustle & bustle. Ability to drive 4WD on the left side of the road would also be desirable. Note that we are not in Navua but in Waidroka which is on the coast road approx 20 km to the west of Pacific Harbour. If only Google maps could get our location right!

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