December 6th, 2015
After 4 fantastic weeks in the village of Vatusekiyasawa in the province of Ra, our volunteer team have left their friends and family in the village and made their way along Fiji’s coral coast, enjoying a few days of R&R in the sunshine!
The last days in the village proved an absolute highlight, with the opportunity to camp high in the famous Nakauvadra mountain range, whilst also enjoying a community sports day, kava ceremonies and late night ‘hop hop’. As always leaving the village was a sad and emotional moment, and we would like to say a huge ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to the community of Vatusekiyaswa for their kindness throughout our time in the village!
We would of course also like to thank our volunteer team for all their efforts across the education, youth and sports initiatives, and also in embracing the local cultures and customs of living within a Fijian village….’sota tale’!
December 5th, 2015
With schools breaking up for the summer holidays our volunteers were keen to keep the children active and entertained, delivering a daily sports camp programme at the Waimari Primary School grounds for local kids. Below are some of the photos from a fantastic couple of days!
December 5th, 2015
Thus so far in our timeline in Fiji, this past week has been the most hectic. Starting off in the beginning of the week, the boys of Think Pacific transferred from the Waimari primary school down to the village Kindergarten. While in the kindergarten, Chris and I were responsible for preparing the 7 kindis’ for their graduation on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Chris and I were unable to attend to the Kindergarten graduation because we had prior obligations to attend the Waimari graduation, and also to hand out stickers.
At the Waimari graduation ceremony, the Think Pacific team could finally publically show the “Meke” dance, which is a Fijian ceremonial dance, and unveil our House Cup songs. Millie and I were on team blue, and even though our team came in second place out of the three teams, we still had a blast. The kids (and me) really enjoyed learning about some British pop culture, and the band FIVE. I’m definitely going to have to look them up when I get home; they’re just too damn catchy.
After Wednesday, all school was over for every kid in Fiji marking the official start of summer. The kids then ran the village until the end of the week… they were everywhere. There was no stopping the Fijian kids. And even after the kids went to bed at night, the Fijian adults hosted multiple grog sessions that were littered all around the village. It’s true what they say, village life consumes you… just be careful or it will leave you under a mosquito net, zipped up in your sleeping bag with a perfect 37*C temperature – for my enzymes to successfully multiply.
By TP Volunteer Sam
December 4th, 2015
The Church service on Sunday was an emotional service for all, as the usual Fijian service included a heartfelt goodbye sermon from the minister in English, and then the whole team gave an off key but very soulful rendition of “Lean on Me”.
After 2 months of bonding with a village of strangers we were very much leaving our second home. ‘Vuka bogi’ of course stayed up until 5:30am in the morning of our final day in the village, and we were still up and raring to go for meke practise at 9:00am!
An emotional packing session culminated in a huge feast. The village mums had prepared our greatest feast yet, spanning the length of the community hall! We then went back to our houses to get changed into our traditional masi outfits for the meke dances. The first fishing meke was interrupted only slightly by excited villagers giving us bead necklaces, forcing sweets in our mouths and dancing in our way to distract us, all in great spirits.
We then performed the war meke. This was the most flamboyant war dance we could have possibly performed, but we smashed it in the end! The grand finale was the Fijian Cibi lead by Conall. Our Fijian was questionable and Tin, the loveable village mutt, made a bee line for Amy’s behind but it still went down a treat!
Before leaving the village, everyone enjoyed a final hop-hop in the school hall and Vuka bogi had their final bilo of village grog. What shortly followed was an emotional goodbye from all the villagers from Nakodu, and a heartfelt farewell to our Fijian families!
December 3rd, 2015
Sports Outreach – Rakiraki Methodist School
This Friday we went to Raikiraki Methodist School to do Sports Outreach. I was excited because this is the school that my Fijian brother goes to. There were lots of children, much busier than our usual school, Waimari Primary School.
We started off with our warm ups, and then set up three netball skills (shooting, passing & breaking). I was on passing with Jordan. We started off with the younger children, who were very good, after practicing chest passes, we were able to advance on to bounce passes.
Then we rotated around so that we had the older children. These were more boisterous, and the whistle had to be used on more than one occasion to keep them in check. We did a variety of passing, and all the children were very good at passing and catching. After this we carried out a warm down in a large circle, before it was time to say goodbye and head back to the village.
PE Classes – Waimari Primary School
This week the chosen sport was Netball. On Monday we did 3 skills, which were passing, breaking and shooting. We had a good amount of kids and they seemed to enjoy it. We found that they were very good at shooting and managed to master the technique quickly, the younger ones found the breaking a bit difficult but managed to cope well and the throwing and catching seemed to be improving all the time. We also did some netball umpiring as the kids formed a proper match and they all joined in and got quite competitive. Overall, it was a fun week of mixed sport and the kids seemed to have fun.
By Jordan and Millie
December 2nd, 2015
It’s great to be back home in Vatusekiyaswa, even though we are amidst a huge rain storm. Earlier in the day we traveled to Semi, one of our fearless leaders, brother’s village where we were greeted with tea and biscuits. After settling down and gearing up for our epic trek into the one of the tallest and steepest mountains in Fiji, the Think Pacific team began our herculean hike.
It was a rough 2 hour uphill battle through sugar cane, spider webs, and the labyrinth of what compiles Fiji’s rocky jungle. When we reached the top of the mountain, there was a god like sensation that seemed to bring our team even closer than it is already. We all had full 360 degree view of the entire island of Viti Levu. In my opinion, overlooking the ocean was the best part; for the first time I could see how the coral reefs sprinkle all around the South Pacific. The pictures that will probably be shown in this blog serve no justice to how electrifying the feeling truly was, so sorry parents… you’ll maybe get your chance one day to visit this amazing paradise!