August 2nd, 2015

Ra July Team – Volunteers receive incredible welcome from Namarai community as they arrive in their new home!


sunday

When we arrived in Namarai Village we saw a huge number of smiley villagers that have been looking forward to meet us on that special day. They helped us unload our stuff from the bus and into the village hall. All the families and the village Chief were in the village hall, and it was then time for us to present our traditional ‘Sevusevu’, which is Kava roots, as a greeting to the village and thanking them for allowing us to be part of the community for the next 4 weeks. We introduced our names and where we were from, and soon after the family names were called so that we can meet our new families and head off to our new homes for the next few weeks!

We then met back in the community hall in the evening for a huge feast for Daisy’s 18th Birthday celebration, as our Fijian mums cooked a massive dinner with many different dishes, which was also a really good opportunity for the team to have a first taste of different kinds of Fijian food which was so nice. After supper everyone then enjoyed a few bowls of kava together, and whilst many were tired from the long journey, everyone was so happy  to see their new friends and family in Namarai village.

first church service

The next day the team took a trip to Nakorotubu District School, where they shall be delivering the education, youth and sports programmes for the next 4 weeks. It took 2 and half hours to walk up to the school and back, which was great fun for all.

It was then such a great time for the team to experience their first Sunday in the village, attending the 10.30am service and hearing the community sing with incredible voices. Once again the team enjoyed a lovely lunch, before taking a walk down to the beach to rest and relax, and enjoy the view looking out across the sea!

August 2nd, 2015

Nairai June Team – ‘English Seasons & the Weather’ at the Waitoga School Kindergarten!


week 4 kindi (47)

This week Elsa and Daisy were in Kindi, and it has been a trying but rewarding week. The week’s theme was ‘English Seasons and the Weather’. To begin with the children did not seem to understand, but by Wednesday they were able to match types of weather to the seasons, and by Friday they could match weather to its appropriate clothing.

From Tuesday to Friday they worked on four pieces of art, representing each season. For winter they decorated snowflakes, for autumn they painted cut-outs of their hands in the colour of autumn leaves, for spring they made a mobile of raindrops and flowers and for summer they painted bright pictures of the sun.

One of the messiest parts of Kindi is toothbrush club, which is a daily activity after break time. So each day Elsa and Daisy had to dodge the flying spit and water (in Elsa’s case not always successfully) whilst singing “this is the way we brush our teeth”.

They finished on Friday with a fun session of ‘Kindilympics’, and each of the children was awarded a handmade medal for their efforts!

August 2nd, 2015

Nairai June Team – Build Update; Jess & Georgia continue Office & Toilet Block construction!


week 4 build (33)

On Monday we prepared the rest of the walling for the toilet block and began to put it up. On Tuesday, we made some concrete and completed the veranda and one of the steps. On Wednesday, we completed the walling for the toilet block. Also, we dug the hole for the septic tank behind the toilet block with the help of the village men.

On Thursday, Georgia came back on build and she helped Jay put on the metal strapping on the office block, whilst Jess and Semi laid the base of the septic tank with blocks and concrete and then helped Georgia and Jay finish off the strapping. On Friday, Georgia and Jay made the four doors for the toilet block, whilst Jess and Semi laid the blocks and did some mortaring with the help of some of the village men.

by Jess & Georgia

July 29th, 2015

Ra June Team – ‘Fun Day’ extravaganza one of many highlights of final days in Bucalevu as kids go wild for face paints, stalls, cakes, raffle & mud slide party!


Ra June - Fun day (67)

It was a huge final few days for our Ra June team in Bucalevu village, with House Cup final competitions, grog parties, traditional mekes and the farewell to their family and friends in the village, and a real highlight of this finale to project life was the ‘Fun Day’!

With free access to all the stalls, treats and prizes for all kids, it turned out to be an incredibly fun filled and excitable day, as the gallery below encapsulates!

With the team having left their home of Bucalevu a few days ago, we would like to say a huge vinaka vaka levu to the local community and school members, following a truly memorable 4 weeks, and of course our volunteer team…’sota tale’!

July 29th, 2015

Rugby Development – Think Pacific assist with Koro Kaji tournament in build up to national competitions!


taff kaji (1)

For the past 3 weeks, the children of primary schools in Koro have been competing at the Kaji trials to see who will represent the island at the national rugby and netball tournaments to be held in Suva at the end of August. Dan, Tommy and I were given the chance to help out at the trials and give our opinions and views on who should make the rugby squad.

At school in the weeks leading up to the trials we trained the boys. The progress the boys made throughout the weeks was great to see and the Nacamaki boys were ready to tear up the Kaji.

After just observing the first trials we 3 were handed more responsibility for the following 2 weeks and conducted tests to measure the players tackling, passing and speed. This showed the teachers that to understand a player’s ability you need to observe more than just matches.

After the drills were out the way, the matches started and the Nacamaki boys were the stand out performers, with Vula, Vatili, Bubbles and Suli in particular impressing. It was a very rewarding experience to be invited to help out with the trials and I hope the boys get something out of it and bring the trophy back for Koro!

By Taff

July 27th, 2015

Our Cardiff University 2015 Youth & Sports Development Project Begins!


Cardiff Uni Team Pic

Think Pacific was extremely proud and very excited to welcome our inaugural Cardiff University volunteer team to the Fiji Islands this week, as after months of planning and preparation, we launched our Youth and Sports Development project with the University.

The team left Nadi early on Saturday morning, making the 3 hour journey along Viti Levu’s stunning coral coast, before reaching their beautiful briefing spot of Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour. The afternoon was then spent enjoying some sunshine on the sports pitch, with team games of ‘rugby-netball’, touch rugby and rounders providing the perfect backdrop to team building and getting to know eachother a little better! The evening also saw the ‘battle of the brains’ in the quiz night, where team ‘Quiztina Aguilera’ came out victorious, and took home the coveted pack of chocolate cookies!

Sunday was then spent briefing and preparing for the project and village life, and the youth and sports initiatives ahead. In the morning Think Pacific’s Community Development Advisors presented on local culture and customs, the history and evolution of the ‘Healthy Islands’ and ‘Health Promoting Schools’ programmes, and the key areas of focus for our Cardiff University volunteers, before Mrs Analesi, of the Little Ones Kindergarten and Global Youth Leader, spoke on the importance of Early Child Education in Fiji. The team then broke down into smaller groups for workshops with our project leader team, focusing upon lesson planning through the ECE, Primary School and sports coaching sessions, so that they may be well prepared for projects to begin on Tuesday morning!

Waking up this morning the team are soon to load into the TP bus and make the 4 1/2 hour journey up the eastern coast of Viti Levu into the province of Ra, before boarding the outboards for the 10 min boat crossing around Navitilevu bay to their new home of Navuniivi village. The village itself it very remote, which is an exciting challenge for our team, and they shall then be supporting 3 rural Primary Schools and 2 Kindergartens with our comprehensive education, youth and sports coaching programmes, and everyone is eager and excited to begin!

You can follow the progress of our first ever Cardiff University team here on our Blog at www.thinkpacific.com/blog, on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thinkpacific, and through our Twitter @thinkpacific!