August 28th, 2014
On Saturday morning the brand new Wawa village Health Clinic was officially opened, which was an extremely proud moment for the elders and villagers of this small island community, for the Ministry of Health, and for our volunteer team!
Following weeks of great effort and commitment on the build project, and with the finishing touches completed, everyone gathered around the building for the official ceremony. There were speeches from the Ratu of Wawa, from the Divisional Medical Officer of the Ministry of Health, and from our very own Expedition Leader Benji, before the island priest blessed the clinic with a word of prayer. The ribbon was then cut and the doors swung open, as the Wawa village health worker had a new home!
The villagers and team then made their way to the community hall, where a huge feast had been prepared for all to enjoy to mark the occassion. It was then time to celebrate in true ‘Fiji style’, as everyone came together to drink a few bowls of kava and to enjoy the music and ‘hop hop’ into the night!
Think Pacific would like to say a big thank you to the wonderful and kind hearted people of Wawa village, who made their community such an incredible home for our team, and to all those on Moturiki Island who made the experience so special over the past 4 weeks. And of course to our volunteer team, who leave behind a lasting legacy for their efforts and commitment to development on the island…’vinaka vaka levu’!
August 27th, 2014
For the last few weeks the team had been working hard behind closed doors to practice a traditional Fijian dance called the ‘Meke’. Whilst many had some difficulties in trying to remember all five verses of this traditional dance, all were determined to get it right by practicing daily in Nasesara village during the walk home from school. When the performance day arrived there was one final chance to practice, with a few laughs and mistakes, before it was time to get ready for the main event!
The Meke dress consisted of a traditional ‘Masi’, and the hand crafted Vesa leaves, which were made by the mums of the village. During the making of the vesa’s the volunteers also got the chance to learn this traditional craft. Everyone enjoyed a good laugh dressing up and getting faces painted ready for the meke, but soon the nerves started to hit, as the realization was there that the performance area had quite a number of people, who had come to visit Wawa for the opening of the Health Clinic building.
There was certainly no time to be shy, as the team aimed to put on a perfect performance and make their families proud. It was all going well, until one of the volunteer’s Fijian mum went up to perform another Fijian tradition of putting white powder over their faces and in their hair, whilst placing sweets in their mouths. As soon as it started there was a combination of laughter and confusion as to what was going on, but the team carried on like pros, and overall it was a great success. The villagers and visitors loved it, and the team all had a lot of fun practicing and performing. It was certainly a huge highlight of Saturday’s opening ceremony!
August 26th, 2014
Today was our last Saturday in the village and we had lots of plans for our Fundraiser day. After spreading the word to neighbouring villages we had a great turn out, with lots of familiar faces from the school and villages we walk through on the way to school.
Everyone enjoyed a fun few hours of the competitive coconut shy, face painting and the very popular tombola. As well as filling themselves up on cakes and sweets being sold alongside bracelets we had made the previous day. The day was really successful and enjoyed by everyone there. We raised $127, all of which will be donated to the village to stock the new health clinic.
August 25th, 2014
On Thursday afternoon we headed over to Niubasaga to catch an ocean lunch. With the help of a few of the local boys and they’re 20 meter net we set about Fijian style fishing. Two of the boys spread out the net in a semi circle shape in the water, and we all then ran through the water towards the net, screaming, splashing and kicking towards the net to scare the fish into the right places.
Failing on our first and second attempt, our third and fourth were a little more successful, catching two fish! We headed back to shore to eat. We de-scaled the fish and threw them onto the fire the boys had made on the beach – whilst this was cooking we made a marinade of sea water, lime and chilli to soak the fish in, and sat down to eat at our make-shift coconut leaf table!
August 24th, 2014
After requesting a campfire, on Wednesday evening the village went all out and prepared an extremely impressive bonfire for us. They also created stools for each of us out of tree trunks surrounding the fire, which meant that all of us, as well as the villagers, could sit around and appreciate it together.
Three of the musicians from the village were playing guitars and singing Fijian songs, which created the perfect atmosphere, and as an added surprise to the evening we had visitors from Caqalai resort greeting us with leaf necklaces, sweets and homemade cakes. The rest of the evening was spent having kava, hop hop and chatting with our visitors and it was thoroughly enjoyable!
August 24th, 2014
The final week on build saw the team apply the finishing touches to the Wawa village Health Clinic, with the volunteers busy with the undercoating of the roof and primer for the inside and outside walling, before adding the final coats and colour gloss to the brand new structure!
The clinic shows off an electric blue roof, cream outside and sky blue interior, and with these completed it was time to create the Moturiki July 2014 project logo to be a proud legacyfor the team. As Nikki says: “Everyone chipped in with ideas for the build logo and we came to a group decision of a nurse and a child holding hands with a medical cross and archway of writing saying ‘Think Pacific, Wawa 2014′”.
With the doors and window blades sized, fitted and painted the final task was to varnish the clinic table and wall partition, and after 3 weeks of huge effort from all, the Wawa village Health Clinic was complete!