Our kindergarten school is rising from the ground and with all the walls in place, the team can now see just how big the building will be. It’s hard work in the hot sunshine, but with ever enthusiastic team work, we’re making huge progress!
Meanwhile, in our makeshift kindergarten, the kids and volunteers have been hooked on the game ‘musical bumps’. Ciaran brought his speakers in to liven up the place with music and our numbered cards and games have really helped make learning more interactive.
Friday afternoon saw the team all put their marigolds on and head into school to give the classrooms a massive clean and a sparkling renovation; sorting out the book shelves, wiping the walls and windows and fixing chairs and tables so the school looked in great shape, much to the delight of the school teachers.
After their fine efforts for the school the team headed to the beach and hopped into the motor boats to visit their neighbouring village of Tovulailai. They presented a sevu sevu to the Ratu (chief) and lit up the village with an evening of dinner and grog.
‘Sports Saturday’ saw the team head to Lawaki School, where they played a community rugby game with the villagers of Tovulailai and Natauloa. All the boys got stuck into the rugby, including some who had never played before, a brave task considering how seriously the Fijian boys take their rugby! With the girls cheering from the sidelines, they put on a great match!
Sunday afternoon was spent in true Fijian style; eating and relaxing. And it brought time to plan for the week ahead and the different projects. Nick, Ciaren and Harry took on the challenge of teaching the primary school kids, James and Gordon put themselves down for the mayhem of kindergarten, while Henry, Dave, Georgia, Cheryl, Corinne, Poppy, Helena, Caroline, Robb, Ryan, Anna, Sarah and Ben all opted to be Think Pacific builders and push forward with our magnificent creation.
Rainbows were theme of the week in Kindi. Each day the kids chose different colours to focus their drawing, painting and games.
In school this week, the team started the ‘Public Speaking Programme’ an element of our school house cup, aimed at improving the children’s confidence and public speaking skills. Harry is teaching the owl and the pussycat, a nice rhyming poem and easy for the youngest ones to learn and remember. Ciaran has powerful Nelson Mandela speech, which will test the middle aged kids. And Nick has an inspiring speech by Winston Churchill to teach to the oldest year.
Sports this week saw four new activities being introducing and coached, Helena, Caroline, Georgia, James, Henry and Anna decided to coach volleyball, Gordon, Ciaran and Cheryl took the kids for ultimate frisbie, Robb and Harry launched into Cricket Coaching. Sarah, Ryan, Nick and led swimming lessons in the Pacific ocean and were surprised by how many kids didn’t know how to swim, despite being surrounding by water.
The build flew by this week. All four frames for the walls have been completed and braced as well as the doors and window frames completed. The beam for the roof has been attached and all the rafters have been cut to size and completed, so the entire shape and size of the hall is now complete. The team have been on great form on the build, with the sun shining down with no cloud cover for the entire week, it’s been a very hot one! There were even a couple dance routines, including the infamous Gangnam style routine.
With stomach bugs going around this week, it’s a testament to the team how enthusiastically they’ve pushed on the with the projects and kept their spirits up. Home comforts, hot showers and running water, will all be cherished even more when they return home. Sadly, Emma, having had a particularly tough time with sickness, decided to return back to the UK this week. We know Emma was very upset to cut short the expedition and leave the Fijian community. We’d all like to wish Emma all the best from the whole team and the community of Nairai hope to see you return back one day to your little Fijian village.
With the volunteers feeling back on form by the end of the week, it was time to enjoy some village evenings of fun. On valentines day we were lucky enough to celebrate two birthdays in the team, our leader lulu and our building manager Jimbo. Cakes and parties were enjoyed by all. Cultural evenings, coconut husking and fishing trips were on the agenda and Wednesday night saw the team separate into groups and head to different houses across the village for ‘a family night’ filled with food and grog parties, think Fijian ‘come dine with me’ – a chance for the team to get to know other Fijian families in their village and share stories and food.
A very special weekend arrived. We met up with the think pacific team from Batiki Island, who boated across to Nairai and also with the five week team, who are based on the opposite side of our jungle peaks. It’s always fabulous when our different teams get to meet and have the change to share their experiences and it was the first time in think pacific history where 3 teams have come together at once!
The teams all got to know each other with a Think Pacific Olympics in the morning, filled with games and group activities. The boys from different teams came together to make a think pacific rugby 7’s team and participated in a tournament with the villages of Nairai in order to win the island Cup.
The whole day was a great experience and a triumph for Nairai Island, who hosted with pride. The teams split in half and some went down to waitoga village for dinner and the rest went to vutuna and afterwards, everyone came together for one huge grog party.
After a long day we headed back to their village for a deserved sleep and time to prepare for more experiences ahead next week.