October 31st, 2014

Volunteer Stories – ‘The best fish I have ever tasted!’; Bernie enjoys her catch after fishing trip in Nukuloa!


Pic 1 - Fishing

On Saturday half the team went fishing. There was me, Beth, Lucy, Will, Frankie, Solo, Chloe, Vicky and Rebecca. We used fishing lines, with prawns and crabs as bait. For ages I didn’t think I was going to catch anything, but then I felt a tug at my line, pulled it up and I had caught a really big fish!! It was flapping around and had sharp teeth so one of the Fijian ladies who was helping us took it off of the hook for me and banged it on the head!

The weather at this point took a turn and most of us had been successful, so we decided to turn back. The boat ride was a lot of fun, even though everyone was screaming and thinking the boat would tip over! We got home absolutely drenched, and I took my fish to my mum who told me it was a Parrot fish and fried it with salt and onion for me! It was the best fish I’ve ever tasted!

October 30th, 2014

Gau 10 Week Team – Build Update; Doors & windows completed, and painting underway for Nukuloa Community Hall!


Build - Pic 1

On Monday we finished putting together the doors, and after the doors were all done we started cutting wood for the window shutters. We spent Tuesday and Wednesday putting them together, and shaving them to fit the windows, with the help of a few Fijians and some 9am grog!!! On Thursday we started painting!! We split into teams, with some of us going up onto the roof and the others starting the walls. Some of us also helped put the last bits of walling on!

by Emily & Debbie

October 29th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – A big Saturday with trek to plantations & village visit to Levuka-i-Gau for grog and ‘hop hop’ party! by Emily & Debbie


Pic 1 - Plantations & Levuka-i-Gau Visit

On Saturday half of us went on a trek to visit Simmone’s plantation. The walk was only about half an hour but it was very steep so we were really high up and the views were amazing. We got to see the plantation and learn about how long it takes the different crops to grow and how to look after them. Then we all got treated to a few coconuts which were yummy!

On our way back down the heavens opened and it rained like I’ve never seen it rain before! We all got soaked and it got very slippy, with most of us taking a tumble! And when we got home it was into dry warm clothes and hot tea!

Plantations & Levuka-i-Gau Visit (5)

Later on in the day it was still bucketing down but we all braved the elements and went to the next village Levuka-i-Gau for some dinner prepared by the families, and grog in their village hall. It was lovely to meet the parents of some of the kids we have been teaching at school and our extended family that live their too!

October 28th, 2014

Gau 10 Week Team – Arts & Crafts, Science Experiments, Angles and Drama Lessons at Nukuloa Village School!


Pic 1 - School

Class 1 & 2 – by Vicky

Monday morning started off with the news the teacher would not be in so with no pre-planning we had to teach maths to overly excited 6 and 7 year olds…challenge accepted! We split the class so that Marnie took Class 1 and I took Class 2, teaching them directions and angles. By the end of the day our drawing skills had improved tremendously.

The rest of the week went more to plan, with some highlights being arts and crafts, science experiments and phonics. For Diwali we got the kids to make paintings of fireworks and on Thursday we split the class into 4 groups and got them to draw pictures of the school and its grounds, then using sand and shells, grass and leaves we made it look 3D. It was challenging at times but over all a very rewarding week. Nailed it!

Pic 2 - School

Class 5 & 6

Beth took class 5 and 6 again this week and they were very excited to have her back. They spent a lot of time revising maths as they have tests coming up! This wasn’t a problem for our maths wiz Beth, and she taught the class lots of revision techniques to help them get the best possible marks in their tests. She also cracked out there new favourite game Blockbusters for a bit of healthy competition!  

Pic 3 - School

Class 7 & 8 – by Olivia & Bebecca

On Monday we started our arts and crafts project, which was to cut out fish and recycle broken cd’s for the scales of the fish. On Tuesday the children had an English assessment which they had all been studying really hard for, so next we rewarded then with an acting lesson on Treasure Island. We also lead an introductory Spanish lesson, which was great fun translating for Spanish to English to Fijian! We also taught the class some maths, teaching them how to bisect lines and angles. We had a great week working with Class 7 and 8, and they seemed to really enjoy the different lessons that they wouldn’t normally learn.

October 27th, 2014

Gau 5 Week Team – Tearful goodbyes to the generous and loving families and villagers of Lekanai!


Pic 1 - Final Night

On Friday evening we celebrated our final dinner together with the villagers of Lekanai as one huge feast full of lots of amazing Fijian food. This was followed by a traditional leaving ceremony ‘Tatau’ to thank the elders, and all the villagers, for allowing us to be part of a fantastic village. Everyone spoke few words of appreciation and thanked all the Nas’, Tas’, elders, children and all of Lekanai.

Pic 2 - Last night

We all “hop hopped” all night long till sunrise, drinking grog, dancing with everyone and making the most of our final hours in Lekanai. The Fijian Na’s made us our final Fijian pancake breakfast at 5.30am. The team said their tearful goodbyes to the generous, loving Fijian families and entire village of Lekanai. Half the village got out on boats to give us a final wave off. It has been a wonderful experience!

by Lucy

October 27th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – Meke Performances; The village appreciated us learning such an important part of their culture, & hopefully it will be remembered for a long time to come! By Katrina


Pic 1 - Mekes

On our final night in Lekanai we surprised the villagers by performing a boys and girls meke. A meke is a traditional Fijian dance that is performed on special occasions. We had spent the final week being taught our respective mekes after school, by the schoolgirls and village boys. Although we were a bit slow to pick up the routines at the start, we had grasped it after a few practices!

Pic 2 - Mekes

After the build opening ceremony we went back to our houses to put on our Think Pacific stash and Fijian grass accessories (made by our Fijian Na’s). We then headed over to the shed in the centre of the village where all the villagers were eagerly awaiting our arrival! The girls meke was first and the villagers sung the accompanying song along with cheers and calls of ‘Vinaka’ as we performed. The boys meke was next, and the villagers were howling with laughter every time Ben shouted out his chant as he was louder than all the men put together!

Pic 3 - Mekes

Although our performances weren’t perfect the village definitely appreciated us taking the time to learn such an important part of the Fijian culture, and hopefully it is something they remember for a long time to come.