Friday, March 21, 2008


FOR Howard Politini, after completing high school, sailing the high seas was the career path he had set his sights on.
The profession of ship navigator or crew on board large ships was nothing new as he was only following his father's footsteps of being involved in the shipping industry.
"My dad Louise Politini was involved in the shipping industry and it grew on me and I became interested in sailing the big ships," he said.
"The boats that I worked on were known as the bulk carriers."
After finishing school at Ratu Kadavulevu School in Tailevu, he went to the School of Maritime studying a diploma in nautical science majoring in ship navigation.
"I attended Holy Trinity for my primary education and then went on to Suva Grammar before finishing off at RKS," he said.
"I was sailing on container ships between Australia and New Zealand and it came to a point where it was not good for my marriage life.
"So my wife suggested that we try out eco-tours to the highlands as there was a market for it.
"I signed off the ship and totally finished off my sailing career from 2001-2004."
Howard said in getting his partnership business Highlands Scenic Eco-tours started with his wife, Paulini, has been good so far.
"Since getting into this business I have no regrets," he said.
"My wife has been involved in the tourism industry so she had checked around to see what was in demand."
Highland Scenic Eco-tours has been in operation for the last two years.
He said a normal day's tour would involve a trip to the highlands up to the Rewa Bridge visiting villages with tourists.
He said when tours were conducted to villages, tourists were encouraged to visit schools and learn more about the surroundings.
He said guests were touched by the hospitality of villagers.
"Looking at the struggles here as well makes the tourists appreciate what they all have back home."
Many tourists, he said, go back home and try and send books for needy students here.
"We also set up a scholarship trust fund to cater for the needs of students. Most students benefit from this, especially the ones who don't have relatives who work in towns and have good jobs and their parents are solely developed on the land
"The scholarship was initiated last year and is kept within the school. If he had not changed his career, he would have still been sailing the high seas.
"I know people would ask why go out of my way to get things done. But if every man has a heart he would go out of his way to help the needy."
Howard said young people should "seek the Lord with all their hearts and strength in everything they do''.
"And never fail from their calling to help the poor and needy in society."