April 28th, 2015
This week was the first week of school holidays, so everybody was on the building project. We are extending the village hall, as at the moment it can only just fit everybody inside it!
So far we have moved timbers from one side of the village to the other. At times this involved four of us to carry one (very large) plank whilst Lulu went solo marching through the village with it hoisted onto his shoulder. Luckily the village guys were also there to lend a hand with the larger pieces of timber, using this time to show off their strength in front of the girls of the group!
We then had to cut the timbers to size, and this took a couple of days of careful measuring and marking before the inevitable sawing which was sweaty work and made everyone’s muscles ache, especially with the thicker posts that were to be used for the foundations of the extension.
We then cemented the posts in place; this in itself was a challenge as we had to mix the cement first. Luckily, again, the village lads were on hand to collect large bags of sand from the beach. The tap used to collect water for the cement mix was loosely connected thus often fell apart completely soaking everyone within its blast radius.
As we neared the end some frantic mixing broke out as the day’s end was drawing in and there were still post holes to be filled, and a chain line formed as loads of cement was passed along at increasing speeds with ever more shouting to accompany it. As frantic as this was the post holes were finally filled on time!
To round off the week we began to erect the wall frame along the long side of the build. This took a lot of hammering, resulting in several sore thumbs. With the flooring and wall frame up the build project is already starting to take shape.
April 28th, 2015
With the ‘Sports Outreach’ being a key aim of our Youth & Sports projects, in offering sessions and workshops for students across rural primary and secondary schools, our 6 month volunteers were once again on the road for an outreach at the Nabasovi District School, and it did not disappoint!
The sports clinics delivered for the kids were across Netball, Volleyball, Rugby, Lacrosse, Frisbee, Boot Camp and Dodgeball, with 20 minute rotations across the stations for years 1-4, keeping them fully engaged and active throughout the afternoon. Below are some pictures of a huge afternoon for sports development at Nabasovi!
April 27th, 2015
On Saturday I awoke bright and early and was ready for ‘Family Saturday’! My family were planning on showing me how they make their living on their farm, deep in the Fijian bush. So we set off for the farm and I was assured it was only a short walk away, and after about 30 minutes of solid hiking up a muddy track, my dad produced two horses for us to ride. One carried my cousin and myself and the other carried my Fijian parents and brother.
Once we arrived at the farm, an hour or so later, my parents showed me around, and I got to see the whole farm! At the start everything was just green to me but by the end of the tour I was starting to identify the different crops and their values. Just at the end, my dad showed me how to plant the crops, which meant I got to plant some cassava, dalo and grog. So by home time I felt like quite the Fijian farmer!
We packed our stuff, got the horses ready, and then out of nowhere James and Jennie appeared out of the bush. They had enjoyed the opportunity to make a traditional Fijian lovo, before Jennie and James took the chance to get up on the horses as well.
Once we all made it back to the mango tree where the lovo was, we dismounted and started climbing coconut trees and had some lunch from our traditional oven. All in all it was a great day!
April 27th, 2015
My 19th birthday celebrations were something I’m definitely never going to forget. For the meal I was dressed in traditional Fijian dress called “Masi”, which is worn on birthdays and wedding celebrations and is made from the bark of a tree.
Sitting at the top of the hall the scariest part of the whole day was thanking the village and my family. A three verse happy birthday song from the village was probably the highlight of my day, after my six pieces of cake of course, and the hophop in the evening was so much fun despite the inevitable excruciatingly embarrassing slow dancing. It was definitely one of the best birthday parties I’ve ever had!
April 27th, 2015
With support and assistance for the development of Early Child Education being a core aim for the Think Pacific Foundation (Fiji), and our volunteer projects, on Koro this month our ‘Kindi Outreach Scheme’ was launched!
The objective was for our staff team and volunteer members to provide classroom assistance to the kidergarten teacher across a 3 day period, sharing a range of ideas and concepts for the various stages of learning and activities within the daily programme, whilst also supplying basic resources and materials. For our first Kindi Outreach the kindergarten of Nabasovi District School was highlighted, and Jenny remembers a very successfull, and enjoyable, few days:
“On Monday we entered the world of Nabasovi Kindi and were met with a sea of blank faces as we sang our learning songs. This highlighted the progress that the TP team have made with the children at Nacamaki and Vunivasa Kindis, who now sing the songs to us without prompting. We went in with a creative outlook and an aim to inspire the children and provide support for the teacher.
We had a great time and through stories, arts, outdoor play and small group activities we managed to meet our objectives. By the time we left we could watch the children singing along to the songs we had introduced. 12 O’clock Wednesday arrived and we were sad to leave. We were sent on our way in true Fijian style with full stomachs after an amazing tea party thrown by the parents!”
April 26th, 2015
On Saturday I awoke excited for my debut performance for Vatulele netball team. I was thrilled to see two new posts that were the same height and straight when I arrived up at the school. The dresses (uniforms) were brought out and caused a buzz of excitement through the TP team. Dee plaited everyone’s hair which completed the look.
The Vatulele ladies took an early lead and by the end of the first quarter the score was 7 – 3. At quarter time, I came on and the gap in the score closed with Nabuna pulling back a few goals. It was great to be back at the court.
The third quarter was the turning point of the game and the change in umpire really had a detrimental effect on the score for Vatulele whose clean game was no match for Nabuna, who were playing full contact.
In the last quarter, I took on the role of umpire and after a stern word with the team it was a much cleaner quarter, with the contact under control Vatulele pulled the score back to even and for the last for last five minutes, it was goal for goal! The final whistle went and the score was 27 – 26 to Nabuna.
Not the score we had hoped for but everyone emerged from the match with a smile on their face, a few new scratches and vest-like sun tan lines from the shoulder bearing netball dresses!