March 4th, 2015

Moturiki Team – Classic songs, shapes, animals and ‘face paint Friday’ in the UPS Kindergarten!


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Our first week in KIndi has been really enjoyable, getting better every day as we got to understand and know the kids more and more. Although they may be tough at times, it is hard to ignore the fact they are adorable, even when they are throwing the colouring pencils across the classroom. They never cease to make us laugh in the morning as they scream out their name as loud as they can, or when we sing classics with them like ‘Hokey Kokey’ or ‘Row Row Row your Boat’.

 

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Early in the week we introduced shapes, drawing out the simplest ones and getting them to call out what they were before setting them off to draw their own examples that have been added to their folders.

Having the teacher in the class with us was really helpful, as the kids are still learning the simplest of English words, so she is able to add structure to the day when she talks to them in Fijian. It also allows us to interact with them more as she can help them understand what we are saying, and help us understand what they are saying when they are running around screaming.

 

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Perhaps the highlight of the week was Friday when we taught the kids about animals we have as pets. We drew out different pictures of the animals and told the children what noises they made, which led to us have the kids act out the sounds and movements of the chosen animals. We finished the day with the now traditional Friday face painting, using this to make the kids look as much as possible like the animals they had just been learning about!

by Aimee, Jess & Georgia

March 4th, 2015

Volunteer Stories – Highlights of a week assisting at Uluibau Primary School, by Hannah & Harriet H


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We prepped various lessons on Monday which we used throughout the week. On Tuesday we were given an opportunity to lead both classes due to the teacher being absent. First we assisted them with their Fijian works and some Maths. Then we moved on to teach them our own lesson about the Island of Moturiki which ended with them creating their own islands, something they really enjoyed, and it was such a proud moment to see them present their islands to the rest of the class.

Another highlight of our week was Wednesday when we taught a lesson we had prepped on the water cycle, which the kids responded to really well; especially when we got them running around pretending to be particles. Later on in the day we led a music lesson where we taught them the ‘Kookaburra’ song. We split the classes up and go them singing in a round which was chaos but good fun!

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Moving onto Thursday classes 3 and 4 had English so we incorporated our own punctuation lesson into the day. We taught them about speech marks, question marks, commas and so on. Although they struggled at first by the end of the day they were really getting the hang of it.

On Friday we had a bit of a change of scenery as we taught classes 1 and 2 instead. This was really enjoyable as even though they are obviously at a much lower level than the older kids, they are really fun and some of them even speak surprisingly good English. We did some basic addition with them, followed by some art that was based on the tale of Hansel and Gretel. It was a nice relaxed end to a great first week teaching!

March 3rd, 2015

Moturiki Team – Build Update; ‘Another solid effort of building the brand new Kindi!’


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Going into the third rota of Build, 5 brave souls took to the challenge of putting in another solid effort of building our brand new Kindi. We focused mainly on flooring and walling where a lot of hammering was required, but progress was steady.

The team were split into three groups; James and Skye took the walls, and by the end of the week three walls have been completed. The ‘wallers’ were mainly among the scaffolding and had the task of physically placing and then nailing the wall planks on to the sides of the building. This required a good hammering technique and a fair amount of strength!

 

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Archie and Clemmie were on the floor using hammers. After developing many blisters, over half the floor has now been done. The floor took a lot of patience, as 25-30 floor boards were fitted each day, which was a strenuous task at times, as they had to be fitted perfectly. However, we pushed and the task became a lot easier as we got to grips with the process.

 

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Harriet C braved the saw and was left to her own devices measuring and cutting the wood for the window sills that are now completed. Harriet enjoyed the responsibility of working solo, and has now begun to see herself as an experienced builder!

by Archie & Harriet C

 

March 1st, 2015

Gau Team – Waterfall Trek and Island Fishing & Lovo Adventure!


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After a big week on project for our volunteers, Saturday offered an opportunity to explore and enjoy the islands stunning surroundings, as the team headed up into the jungle to splash in a local waterfall and rock pool, before spending the day on their very own castaway island! As Sacha explains, it was quite the weekend:

“On Saturday we all went for a picnic on a nearby island. We got the boat over and had time to explore. Some of the team snorkeled in the reef and a few of us wandered off and found a lighthouse which was cool. We also found a few sea snakes hiding along the way! Some of the villagers then came over and set up a lovo, which is an underground earth oven, before we got our chance to go net fishing with the villagers.

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We set off in a boat and with the expert knowledge of the Bubu’s from the fisherman clan we were able to find a good spot. We then all got dropped off in different parts of the reef, forming a semi circle, with the boat at the top. Then when the signal was given we started making big splashes in the water and walking/snorkeling forwards towards the boat. As we got close to the net we could see all the fish swimming into the net which was exciting. Everyone was happy as we had a good catch so we knew dinner would be good!

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A few of us stayed out for two more catches in different parts of the reef. We got to see a turtle and some stingrays while we were snorkeling too. Then the rain came so we got the boat back to the island for lunch, which was under a ‘tent’ that had been made from the picnic mat. We had some BBQ fish and breadfruit before heading back on the boat. We had an incredible day and caught loads of fish for the village which made it even better!”

March 1st, 2015

Gau Team – Build Update; Health Clinic in final stages as volunteers complete walling and flooring!


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The construction of the village Health Clinic in Lovu is moving into its final stages, as another big week from our volunteer ‘build crew’ saw the walling and flooring completed, and the painting underway.

Over the final rota of project the finishing touches shall be applied, with the painting to be completed and the windows and doors to be hung, before this key facility shall be officially opened, and ready to use by the village health worker. Its a day that both our volunteers and the Lovu community are very much looking forward to!

February 28th, 2015

Volunteer Stories – Encouraging students creativity & imagination during House Cup arts and crafts competition at Narocake District School!


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The House Cup is definitely a highlight for all volunteers. Every week a different activity is chosen to challenge the children in Arts & Crafts, Public Speaking or Singing. The school is split into four houses; Sese, Kaka, Coola & Ketedromo. Throughout the short session every afternoon the volunteers encourage the creativity within the children to come up with a single project to focus on during the week.

This week we tackled Arts & Crafts and within the first 5 minutes the children’s competitive spirit began to show with enthusiastic chanting and much excitement. Our team chant was ‘SESE… WHAT’ (Coach Carter style!)

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In team Sese we came up with the theme of friendship and culminated a highly elaborate plan of building a small house/friendship zone. With fears of not finishing by the end of the week the children pulled together and hurried to complete the tasks which we had given to them.

The end result was extremely satisfying as we finished with a friendship house decorated with flowers and words representing good friendship and anti-bullying slogans.

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On judging day nerves and excitement were high for the children (and the volunteers!) as the headmaster decided on the winning project. After much deliberation and anticipation it was decided that team Sese were the winners and were ever closer to winning the overall house cup at the end of the Think Pacific expedition. Go team Sese!

by Chris & Lally