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A proud Fijian in Bonn

Sikeli Qounadovu In Bonn, Germany
Saturday, November 18, 2017

SHE sat with a radiant smile, greeting people as they walked into the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany.

From the more than 800 volunteers who ensured the smooth running of the 23rd Conference of Parties, her face stood out but there was still some doubt in me about her ethnicity.

So just to ensure that I was not mistaken, I decided to greet this woman at the information desk with 'Ni sa bula vinaka'.

The response from her was the same and I knew that she was one of my own.

Josivini Ranadi Krickerlberg, 45, was among the more than 3000 people who applied to work as volunteers during the UN climate talks.

She was the only Fijian in the group of 800 people selected to work as volunteers at COP23.

The mother-of-two has been living overseas for almost two decades and despite being far away from home, she is still a proud Fijian.

The native of Nuku in Moala, Lau, said she was extremely proud to be associated with the high-level meeting presided by Fiji.

"I am super proud to be the only Fijian working as a volunteer here and that my country is hosting this international meeting on climate change," she said.

"My best experience was visiting the Fiji Pavilion where I had a few bowls of grog with my fellow Fijians. Knowing there were two of my tauvu there from Beqa and Rewa, it was so much fun.

"And for the first time in a long time I got to converse in my own language and share jokes in the way we Fijians like to share jokes, so I had a lot of fun."

With maternal links to Deuba in Serua, Josi, as she is commonly known in Bonn, was educated at Deuba District School before completing her education at Ratu Sukuna Memorial School.

She later moved to Nadi and was employed at the Sheraton Resort where she met her husband.

After spending time in Asian countries, Josi moved with her family to Bonn, her husband's hometown.

"It's really fun because this is my home town now and Fiji is hosting the COP23 event, so I have enjoyed my time here," said Ms Krickerlberg.

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