PEOPLE: Soko’s love for the sea

Taina Soko (left) with a work colleague on board a Goundar Shipping Service vessel. Picture: SUPPLIED

The countless boat rides during Christmas and special family gatherings in Tubou Village in Lakeba, Lau, enkindled Taina Silikiwai Soko’s zeal to become a sea hostess.

Raised in a family to an architect dad and a hard working mum, Ms Soko shares fond memories of being on the island and how it has shaped her career path.

“Both my parents are from the island so growing up we travelled by boat all the time to the village,” she said.

“The reason why I wanted to join the maritime industry as a ferry hostess was because of that and I also wanted to do my sea time as I hope to work in Customs in the future.”

Ms Soko, who is a ferry hostess for Goundar Shipping Services (GSS), said she continued to learn more on board the ship.

She said she was on a break from the Fiji National University and was looking for employment when she came across the hostess position with GSS and had been with the company for eight months.

The mother of one, who has maternal links to Tavua Village in Koro, said she had received numerous training in the past.

“Being away from my family and loved ones can be a challenge for anyone working on a vessel.

“The good thing about working on board is that we get to meet passengers with different background and I get to visit places I’ve never been to in Fiji.”

She said the maritime industry had been playing a significant role during this Covid-19 crisis and she was happy to be part of such a crucial industry.

“Inter-island shipping is booming in Fiji so I would like to encourage young people out there to work in the maritime industry.”

Ms Soko hopes to finish her sea time with GSS and work for biosecurity or customs in Lautoka after completing her FNU studies.

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