March 27th, 2015
A week in Vunivasa School is usually pretty hectic, however this week, with the excitement of our first House Cup competition activity, art & photography, the school as a whole seemed ready to erupt into a ball of energy and enthusiasm, with kids chanting and counter-chanting the names of their houses seemingly every moment of the day!
The House Cup is a youth initiative implemented by Think Pacific teams across rural schools in Fiji, with the hope and ambition or providing access and resources in new areas of extra-curricular activities for the students, whilst actively encouraging and developing their skills and interests through these opportunities. And with this being our first house cup programme in Vunivasa, the anticipation and excitement is palpable!
The house cup art competition saw ‘House Blue’ triumph in the art department, whilst we are still awaiting the results for best photo, before moving onto the other areas including public speaking, singing, dance, sports, house enterprise and a school quiz….it is a very big few weeks ahead!
March 27th, 2015
With a blink of an eye the final week of project is finished and along with it was the completion of the new Kindi. We started off the final week by finishing off the coats of paint for the outside. As a team we absolutely smashed it and had the entire outside done by midday on the first day, finishing with a lovely cream coloured classroom.
Painting the inside was a bit trickier; having to get in all the small holes and ridges of the wood definitely took its time but strong positive mental attitude (PMA) drove us all forward as the more we painted the more like a finished piece the classroom became. The only downside to working so fast is that a lot of mess gets made with sky blue paint colouring the floor, which led to some very serious sanding to get it as clean as possible.
The penultimate day of build consisted of this sanding, sanding and more sanding. Not fun by any means but it had to be done with help of a good music speaker and another dose of good old PMA. The last day of build arrived and every member of Think Pacific was onboard and ready to finish our building. Music, sanding, painting, jumping and singing is what brought the construction of the classroom to a close.
As we all added those final few ever so important touches, something every Think Pacific build project needs is a good logo, and this is where Harriet H stepped in to make one which is absolutely great. The logo is a simple silhouette of a palm tree in the sun but is so simple and done so well; our Building Manager has been quoted as saying it is one of the best logos ever.
It’s amazing being able to look up at the school and seeing a completed classroom, one which looks so well done and gorgeous and be able to think that as a team we did this. The weeks on build have literally consisted of blood, sweat and tears but the pay off is completely worth it and we are all proud to offer the school what we have achieved!
March 27th, 2015
Bula! Clemmie, Archie, Aimee and Hannah here! For our final week in the UPS Kindi the theme was ‘Bible Stories’. On one day we taught the kids about Noah’s Ark. We talked about different animals and led them in two by two to the ‘ark’, which in our case was the toilet. From this we made up a new song which was adored by all the kids and has now been written down for future use. We have never seen children laugh so much before.
One of our personal favourites was teaching them about the nativity. We gave them all roles of shepherds, wise men, sheep, Mary, Joseph and Jesus. One of the tiniest kids called Tomasi was Jisu and he played the role to perfection! We adopted the typical scene slightly using a cardboard box as the manger. On top of that we created a large star of Bethlehem with painted handprints. Despite getting paint all over our sulus it was a very enjoyable final arts and crafts.
One of the big surprises of the week was being able to celebrate the birthday of one of the kids, called Vere, and it was by far the craziest snack time we have had! I’m not going to lie we are not getting to complain that much as we did have a Betty Crocker chocolate cake which was fantastic. It was a week where ‘Duck duck goose’ turned into a punching free for all and toothbrush time turned into a massive water fight!
It has been an eventful week but we have taken away some hilarious memories. It is clear that the kids have improved in many ways since the start of the project. A few of them are now ready to progress into Class 1 and 2 as they can now form and converse in short English sentences. All of us aimed to have as much fun as possible with the kids and I think we have achieved this.
By Clemmie, Hannah, Aimee and Archie
March 26th, 2015
On Saturday our 6 month volunteer team launched the 2015 ‘Westpac Walk for Health’ initiative on Koro Island, and what a day it was. Gathering at the community hall in the morning, it was not long before our team, children and the village members had painted faces in preparation for the walk ahead, whilst the incresingly large crowd also warmed up with some songs and a little dance to get the feet moving!
Setting off from Vatulele village the westpac walkers made their way down through the village and into the jungle paths, before popping out on the sea shore to continue the walk along the beach. Spirits were high as everyone enjoyed the event together, as our volunteer Craig says:
“After the face painting and mini festival, everyone headed down to the beach at Vatulele where we were to walk to the next village of Nabuna. The walk was incredible, with the volunteers leading the way in singing songs along the way, with classics such as ‘Where we come from’, until we reached our destination of Vunivasa school!”
After reaching the grounds of Vunivasa school our crowd of more than 100 walkers enjoyed some refreshments of juice and biscuits, before the ‘exercise for all’ continued with some community sports matches, which always provide huge amounts of entertainment and enjoyment.
The March Westpac Walk was also the culmination of the Oral Health advocacy week under the Ministry of Health, and the promotion of good dental hygiene shall continue to be supported through tooth brushing club in the kindergartens, and the lunch time brush for all primary school students, and our volunteer team of course!
March 26th, 2015
This week saw our Koro 6 month volunteers implement the first community netball session for the ladies of Vatulele village, and whilst the tunrout may have been limited our team are confident that it could be the start of something special for womens’ particiaption in sports within the village.
As volunteer Jo says:
” After much interest shown from the women in the village, myself, Frankie and Jennie decided to host a netball session. We managed to pin down a time and place, so we started planning. After a talk with the ladies we are defiantly hoping for more next week! This could be the start of something BIG!!”
We look forward to developing the community netball programme in the weeks ahead, and have the aim to implement inter-village fixtures to promote participation and progression for those taking part in the sessions.
March 26th, 2015
Our Expedition Leader Tommy once again enjoyed traditional birthday celebrations as he welcomed his big day in the village of Vatulele on Koro Island.
Dressed in the iTaukei ‘masi’ dress, and with a homemade cake to enjoy with our volunteer team and community members, it was a lovely celebration for all to enjoy!