Archive for the ‘Moturiki’ Category

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Think Pacific bids an emotional farewell to the incredible communities & island of Moturiki!

mds farewell05

As our April 2015 team performed their traditional meke dances, and drank grog and ‘hop hopped’ until the early hours of Thursday morning, the curtain came down on a truly incredible 6 years on the island of Moturiki for Think Pacific, and it was an evening and an event filled with huge emotion and reflection for so many!

But before reaching the closing scenes our team had enjoyed a huge final few days, with the build project completed ready for the grand opening, a farewell tea party at Moturiki District School, which was Think Pacific’s first ever school placement, and the epic end to the House Cup competition and youth initiatives, as well as one last sports session of course!

last church (3)

The final day for Think Pacific on Moturiki, and our volunteer team, began with a farewell Church service in Navuti village, attended by many of the community, and with hymns sung in full voice. There were also a few poignant words of thanks from Think Pacific’s very own ‘Moturikian’ and Expedition Leader Lulu.

opening and meke08

The whole team and Navuti village members then gathered together for the official opening of the newly renovated and extended community hall, a project which has been a key aim and objective for the village for many years, and one that is now a huge source of pride. Think Pacific’s Community Development Advisor Ratu Philip Komai, formerly of the Ministry of Health in Fiji, offered a word of thanks, before the Ratu for the island itself cut the ribbon and welcomed everyone inside.

Once seated in the hall, which looks stunning following the 8 week development, a traditional sevusevu was presented, before the island presented a ‘tabua’ (whales tooth) to Think Pacific, and the team, which proved a very significant and indeed humbling moment. As the grog then began to flow, our volunteers changed into their traditional ‘masi’ for their meke performances.

opening and meke28

The team did a incredible job with their mekes, much to the delight of the packed crowd of community members within the community hall, and loud whoops and cheers of encouragement rang out across Navuti! It was then time for one last feast with the village, as the ladies prepared a huge spread, and with stomachs full there was only one thing left…the grog and hop hop party!

Navuti is a village known for its parties, and it certainly did not disappoint. But within the fun and laughter the emotion of the evening was tangible, particularly as our volunteers each took time to thank the village as a whole, but also their families and friends specifically, with a few words of farewell. Think Pacific also presented their ‘tabua’ to the Ratu (Chief) of the island as a ‘tatau’ (farewell), with a few words from the Co-Founder Harry Hunter, who reflected on the very many special moments and memories that Think Pacific has shared with Moturiki Island over the last 6 years.


As the boats pulled away from the Moturiki shoreline early in the morning the villagers stood to sing ‘isa lei’, Fiji’s farewell song, and there were tears for many, as our April team left their new home of Navuti, and Think Pacific left its first home of Moturiki. To the families and communities of Moturiki, we would like to say a heart felt ‘vinaka vaka levu’ for 6 incredible years, and the old saying is certainly true…you never forget your first love!

Vinaka vaka levu Moturiki!

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Moturiki Team – ‘The beautiful game’ of football at Moturiki District School!

sports - football drills

This week our volunteer team on Moturiki delivered Football workshops for students across all age groups, with Tij offering an insight into the sessions:

“We decided to have 3 stations which were heading practice, fast feet and dribbling. The heading consisted of me throwing footballs at their heads, which was actually quite fun.  The fast feet station was probably the easiest station by far, but we spent only a short amount of time on each, since we wanted to fit in a game. The game was equally challenging and fun. It was absolute mayhem, but we had a great time getting involved.

Class 3 and 4 were difficult but in a different way since some of the kids are incredibly cheeky because some of us have taught them. As we get closer to these kids, they get cheekier but they definitely get away with it. We did the same stations but the kids were so enthusiastic and so competitive with each other. The game at the end had a definite winner, but it was good seeing them so competitive.

The upper years took the skills session so much more seriously and wanted to improve. The age gap didn’t make a difference as all were aggressive and ready to win. This was brilliant since they brought the skills they learned to the game at the end. The kids have warmed to football and I hope they are able to carry on their interest.

It is sad knowing that next week is the last full week of sports. Everyone will definitely miss the kids when we leave!”

by Tij

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Volunteer Stories – ‘They’ve been a really great class to teach and we’re going to miss them allot!’ by Lily

school - lily4

This week was our last full week in class 5 so we wanted it to be a good one. The first half of the week we followed the curriculum, teaching them division and some grammar (pronouns, clauses, tenses) as well as taking the slow readers out for some one-on-one reading. Monday afternoon, however, was livened up when our teacher asked us to take a sex education class. The off-the-cuff lesson ended up being really amusing, especially the girls’ frantic rubbing out of the diagrams on the board when they saw the boys coming back.

On Thursday we decided to prepare for our creative writing topic of “My Holiday” by teaching the class some basic geography. We covered the countries and continents then moved onto native animals. They loved looking at pictures of bush babies, lemurs and other exotic animals, especially the platypus which needed quite a lot of explaining!

school - lily 3

Friday’s creative writing went reasonably well, but there were two girls in particular who got really into it. Our favourite was a story about going to China and seeing the bamboo’s being cut down, then rescuing a baby panda who was crying.

And just before lunch, we had a class photo which was a sad moment even though we’ll be seeing them for sport next week. They’ve been a really great class to teach and we’re going to miss them allot!

by Lily

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Moturiki Team – Build Update; Painting in full swing as final touches are applied to Navuti community hall!

build - finished week 1 Pic 1

As we draw nearer to the end of our project the building aspect is certainly mainly around the finishing touches.

Week seven on build was all about painting. We have a lovely, bright sky blue for the interior with a buttery yellow (some say cream) for the outside. Tij and I began the week be priming the exterior of the extension so that the base coat would sit properly on the wood and also to protect the wood from the elements. We had our tunes on and worked well together, and as a result finished it in one day.

On Tuesday it was just Lulu, a couple of village boys and I working on it and we began to paint the inside of the hall with a white base coat. Again we finished the extension in a day and it was looking more and more like the real deal.

build - maddy 2 Pic 2

On Wednesday the whole team joined in and we got a huge amount of work done. A few of us started priming the roof until the rain forced us to come down, whilst a few began to clean the walls ready for paint in the old part of the hall and the others painted the exterior with a white base coat. With that many people together mayhem began to unfold and half the team ended up getting a soaking from build manager Semi while the other half were covered in white paint. Tij turned white because he had so much paint on him and Niall achieved the impossible by soaking Lulu.

By the end of the day we’d painted the entire inside of the hall with the base coat so it was all clean and bright. It took a long time and a lot of kerosene to get all the paint off us though!

The rest of the week I was back on my own with the villagers and we managed to get the final coat finished inside and out. Overall a very productive week of build in time for the official opening next week!

by Maddy

Monday, June 1st, 2015

Moturiki Team – Volunteer updates from inside the classrooms of Moturiki District School & Kindi!

school - annie teaching 3

In school this week we joined the year 7 class. We took lessons in three different subjects: Maths, English, and Geography.

In maths, we started the week with long division, where we quickly realised that there was a large range of abilities in the group. After two lessons of long division we moved onto long multiplication and attempted prime numbers, which proved to be a lot more difficult for the class to grasp.

In English we wanted the class to use their imaginations which is an area in which they struggle. We began the week by introducing the theme “lost in the forest” and brainstormed ideas on the topic of fear. The class then planned key aspects of their story such as the characters and the setting. The next day we had a fun lesson with them, where they drew and painted a scene from their story which encouraged further imaginative ideas from the class. The following lesson they wrote their stories, some of which were very funny and well written, however others were only two lines long. We identified the weaknesses from reading their work so in the final lesson of the week we focused in the uses of past, present, and future tenses.

In geography we decided on the topic “The World”, working on continents, countries and capital cities. We quickly realised that the whole class did not know what a continent was, let alone what continent they lived in. In our first lesson we talked through the different continents, followed by learning some of the European countries and capital cities. In the second lesson, we tested them on all of this, the results of which were very mixed. We then moved onto teaching them a few countries within each continent and their respective capital cities.

Overall our week with class 7 was very enjoyable and rewarding and we hope next week will be the same.

by Annie & Meghan

kindi - maddy painting wide

Our second week of kindi has been much more successful than the first. To start off with we have actually had a teacher present who can translate for us and generally just maintain control of the kindi kids. We’ve also had two good themes this week which have worked really well. The first was ‘Family’ and the second was ‘Pirates’.

We started off the week with work on families. The kids told us their mum and dad’s name while learning the English words for mum and dad. In arts and crafts we paper machéd two balloons to make a face for both a mum and a dad. Once they were dry we painted them and stuck felt shapes onto them to make faces. The results were very interesting!

For the second part of the week we chose the theme of pirates, which most of the kids had never heard of before! After explaining what a pirate actually was we went through all the stereotypical characteristics such as an eye-patch, a parrot on the shoulder and scars on their face. We then sang pirate songs and made eye-patches and pirate hats for our treasure hunt on Friday. Our pirate Friday was great fun and all the kids absolutely loved it! We painted their faces and put on their hats and eye-patches before getting on their “Pirate Ship” (holding onto a long skipping rope) and following clues to find the treasure chest. After “sailing” all over the school field we found the treasure back in kindi which was a big box of lollipops. The kids had a ball and to be honest so did we!

Over the two weeks we’ve got to know all the children so well. We know who are the trouble makers, who are the shy ones, and everyone else in between. I think we’ll both be sad to leave and start a new rota week this week but it’ll give someone else the opportunity to get involved in the chaotic world of kindi!

by Maddy

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Moturiki Team – Coconut shy, wellie throwing, face painting, cake stalls & more during Moturiki District School fundraiser!

MDS fundraiser - coconut shy close Pic 1

This Saturday, we held our first fundraiser on Moturiki District School’s field. All proceeds would be going to school, perhaps to help build some new toilets after the previous ones got crushed by a falling tree!

It was a beautiful and hot day as we started to put out tables, fill buckets with water, and balance coconuts on bamboo sticks. We also set up a volleyball net to entertain the children between stalls.

Once they started arriving it wasn’t long before the cake stall was swamped by children, and the face-painting was an instant success too. Welly-tossing and the coconut shy quickly picked up, and the wet-sponge-throw ended up being a refreshing break as all the volunteers took turns in the chair, which all ended with a drenching as buckets were emptied on our heads!

We also set up a bracelet making stall where children with now interesting face paint could choose their own colours and we’d make a bracelet or anklet for them. The children seemed to absolutely love it, and the coconut shy got very competitive with children returning six or seven times to try to win lollipops. A great moment was when a tiny kid knocked all four coconuts off after all the older children had failed to knock off any!

The day was a great success and we all had a wonderful time seeing the children enjoying themselves so much.

By Lily