Our Team: Fiji Islands


Evan Wells

Fiji Country Director

Born in New Zealand and living between Australia and Fiji, Evan has helped shape Rustic Pathways since joining us in 1995. With a degree in business, a love of the outdoors, and a deep commitment to Fijian communities, Evan proudly manages our South Pacific operations. When not at our Eco-Lodge Base, you can find Evan spending time with his wife Lisa and playing with their two young boys, Henry and Sam. He also races competitively in long-distance running events.

Ana Dugulele

Fiji General Manager

Ana has been a key member of our Fiji team since 2003. She oversees our operations throughout the country and works tirelessly behind the scenes. With an exceptional local knowledge base and an amazing ability to juggle many tasks, Ana plays a critical role in the success of our Fiji operations. She has been an asset in creating a genuine, local experience for our students. When not working, you can find Ana spending time with her four children.


Bethany Thomas

Fiji Country Manager

Bethany has been part of our Fiji team since 2011 and loves sharing her passion for the island culture with our students. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she took a gap year and spent time living in Tokyo and London before attending The George Washington University. An avid soccer player, Bethany has extensive experience both playing and coaching, and she can frequently be spotted challenging the locals to a pickup game on the EcoLodge field.

Aimee Gunn

Fiji Groups Program Manager

Aimee’s appreciation of nature and passion for the outdoors led her to the University of Florida where she studied natural resource conservation. Before joining the Fiji team in 2012, Aimee gained extensive experience working with young adults in a variety of different environments in the USA, Canada, and Central America. After growing up in southern Florida, her love of the ocean and beach culture has been a valuable asset to help manage Fiji programs and contribute to trips in New Zealand and Australia.

Shalini Narayan

Eco-Lodge Base Manager

Born and raised steps away from our Eco-Lodge Base, Shalini oversees general operations of the Eco-Lodge. She welcomes every visitor with a warm and open heart, sharing cups of chai tea and lots of motherly love, while taking on a multitude of tasks to ensure the efficient operation of this base. Shalini also leads our Home Cooked Meals service initiative.

Rajnesh ‘Raju’ Ram

Fiji Logistics Manager

Born in the Momi Bay area, Raju oversees transportation and logistics and manages our Eco-Lodge farm. He plays a key role in many of our service initiatives and was elected by the community to serve as Provincial Councilor. Raju plays in nightly soccer matches at the base and enjoys teaching our students about the Indian elements of Fijian culture. He loves to spend time with his wife and daughters on the farm.

Jowave Nauluwavu

Fiji Program Manager

Jowave has worked with Rustic Pathways for many years and brings great care and humor to our programs. Born and raised in Momi, one of our neighboring villages, his community input and respect opens wonderful doors for our students. Jowave has lead our Momi programs, as well as adventure and Gap Year programs. When not overseeing our Eco-Lodge programs, Jowave will be found spending time with his children.

Panapasa ‘Oro’ Orodai

Highlands Base Manager

Oro has brought laughter to the Rustic Pathways team since the day he joined us. From the rural village of Wauosi in the interior of Fiji, not far from our Highlands Base, he studied at Nadi College. Oro’s great sense of adventure, natural athletic ability, and extensive knowledge of the cultures and geography of Fiji make him a strong leader. When asked how he is doing, Oro always responds, “110 percent!”

Waisele ‘Whise’ Naivaluvou

Islands Base Manager

Known as ‘Whise’ in Somosomo, this Rustic Pathways leader is a vital personality that keeps the day positive and programs running smoothly at the Islands Base. This jack-of-all-trades, who is affectionately considered “the manta ray whisperer,” is known for being able to pull in a big fish on command and throw down a spike for the final point in an afternoon volleyball game.

Ropate ‘Robert’ Waqaiquma

Fiji Marine Program Manager

A native of Vanua Levu, the northern island of Fiji, Ropate, or “Robert,” is a graduate of the University of the South Pacific with a degree in environmental science. He brings a love of the ocean and a wealth of knowledge about all things marine to our Marine Service and Adventure program. When he’s not under the water, you will most likely find him challenging the Fiji staff to a game of billiards.

Cassie Wright

Fiji Program Manager

Cassie comes to us from outside Melbourne, Australia and has extensive experience managing service programs in Fiji. After working for some of Melbourne’s biggest sporting and music events and finishing bachelor and postgraduate degrees in sports management, exercise science and community development, Cassie made her way across the South Pacific and is currently a full-time resident of Fiji.

Walesi ‘Lesi’ Racule

Fiji Program Leader

One of the longest-standing program leaders at the Eco-Lodge, Lesi is famous for his animated personality and his catchphrase, “very nice!” Lesi has been a character in Momi Bay since 2007 and is a tireless and enthusiastic member of the Fiji team. When not working at the Eco-Lodge, you can find Lesi in his hometown of Savusavu, the hidden paradise of Fiji, where his family runs a small resort.

Yoshneel Chand

Fiji Accounts Manager

Yoshneel hails from the Sigatoka area of the main island and brings a youthful energy to the busy accounting department in Fiji. A graduate of the University of Fiji with a degree in business, Yoshneel left the traditional accounting world behind for the adventurous Rustic Pathways lifestyle. When not looking after the books, you can often spot Yoshneel and his signature aviator sunglasses at the Eco-Lodge.

Ritesh Narayan

Fiji Program Leader

Ritesh is responsible for looking after many of the service projects that operate around Momi Bay. Born and raised just a stone’s throw away from our Eco-Lodge Base, his sense of humour and construction skills are always in demand. Ritesh learned his skills from his father, who also played an integral role in the development of Rustic Pathways bases in Fiji.