Archive for the ‘Gau’ Category

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

Gau Team – An emotional farewell to friends & family in Nadrodro village for our March volunteer team!

Gau Nadrodro March 2015 Week 5 - Last DayNight in Village (37)

After an incredible 4 weeks together, on Saturday our March 2015 volunteer team bid a sad and emotional farewell to their family and friends in the small village of Nadrodro on Gau island.

After returning from the opening of the newly built Bulu Mission School toilet block, the volunteers enjoyed a feast prepared by the community, before enjoying a big finale of grog and ‘hop hop’ with the community of Nadrodro, but also so many visiting from other neighbouring villages and settlements. The kava flowed until morning, and the music played through until sunrise, before final goodbyes were said.

In Fiji they say ’sota tale’, meaning ’see you again’, and we are sure that one day in the future our volunteers, and their families on Gau, shall be reunited! But for now we would like to say a huge ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to the community of Nadrodro, who made it such a very special and memorable 4 weeks for our volunteer team!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Gau Team – House Cup competition reaches epic conclusion at Narocake District School!

Gau Nadrodro March 2015 Week 5 House Cup Finals  (4)

The skies stayed clear for House Cup Sports, with the kids desperate to win. They were challenging for the title as the obstacle course, under and over and the egg and spoon races were set out with the hugely anticipated clothes race as the finale. An absolutely hilarious course set out with 4 kids from each house racing to put on each item of clothing the quickest before sprinting back to the starting blocks to pick up the points.
The cutest and most hilarious of them had to be years 1 & 2 as the volunteers assisted the kids by putting on their clothes which ended up with them looking drowned and stumbling over all that extra leg room!

Gau Nadrodro March 2015 Week 5 - House Cup Sports Finals  (10)

With the House Cup Sports Finals down all that was left was for the houses to gather on the last day of project for the hugely spirited Finals. With the whole school eagerly waiting, Public Speaking began. Years 1 & 2 smashed the tongue twisted ‘She Sells Sea Shells on the Sea Shore’ with some adorable performances that got the crowd screaming ‘awwwww’.
Years 5 & 6 had the more challenging speech from Baz Lurhman – Everybody’s (free to wear Sunscreen). Outstanding performances across the board made it really hard to pick a winner which kept the competition alive.

Gau Nadrodro March 2015 Week 5 House Cup Finals  (2)

Finally years 7 & 8 got up and did Charlie Chaplin’s – ‘We Are Not Machines’ with some very passionate performances on display. It was a fantastic way to end Public Speaking and get ready for House Singing.
After a week of rehearsals it was time for each house to get up and showcase their chosen song whilst singing their hearts out. The songs – Walking on Sunshine, Uptown Funk, Don’t Blame It on the Boogie and an ABBA mash reverberated around school as each house danced and sang to their hearts content in a final push to win the house cup.

Gau Nadrodro March 2015 Week 5 - Farewell Tea Party   (7)

After everyone had settled and the results were in, the scores totted up to leave only 1 point left between 1st and 2nd place. A new champion was crowned as Sese stepped up to claim their title to delightful screams from the house.
An emotional farewell tea party was waiting for the team as the last day with Narocake District School concluded. A number of different dances and meke performances started the proceedings, with a farewell song and speech to end which made it hard to hold back the tears as our impact was clear to see.

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Gau Team – Cake Stall, ‘Beat the Goalie’, Wellie Throwing, Guava Bobbing & Bracelet Making during Nadrodro Village ‘Fun Day’!

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Village Fun Day - Charlie's Blog Photos  (3) Pic 1

Earlier in the week we had all decided on what stall we wanted to do for our village fun day. This consisted of bracelet making, face painting, guava bobbing, wellie throwing, a cake sale and a penalty shootout.

After a heavy night grogging the bakers began their day on little sleep and were met with many challenges – 1) The only oven being a pot on a fire. 2) Only three eggs for 5 cakes. 3) A wild hog being chased through the kitchen by dogs. 4) The Fijian sweet tooth, which meant that the cake ran out within a matter of seconds.

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Village Fun Day  (20) Pic 2

However, the highlights completely outweighed the challenges, as we got to know the villagers even better, we were allowed to see them and help them in the kitchen, and we had the reward of seeing these chocolate cakes come out of the pot looking like actual chocolate cake!

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Village Fun Day  (16) PIc 3

The face painting was a huge success, and all the village kids ended up with cute butterflies and flowers all over their faces, with the exception of Buna who was unfortunately the first attempt at a butterfly and looked more like a Mexican wrestler than cute butterfly!

The guava bobbing was hilarious to see, and the friendship bracelets went down a storm as you can see with nearly all the village including volunteers walking round with one. The wellie throwing proved a challenge as none of us knew how to say wellie in Fijian, giving the stall a slow start and an abrupt end as it was moved for volleyball!

Overall it was an amazing day seeing the whole village and all the volunteers coming together and having fun.

by Charlie

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Community Sports – Our volunteers battle Vadravadra village in Netball & Rugby 7s contests!

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Community Sports Matches (5) Pic 1

On Saturday we walked to VadraVadra for a game of rugby and netball. Once we got there the girls chose their team. After choosing not to wear the uniforms provided, Tom and Sponge got into them as cheerleaders and to show what they were missing out on!

When the game started TP quickly took the lead with some goals from Millie. VadraVadra then started their come back, and with some questionable defending techniques by Hannah, started to score a few goals. Second half showed a different team layout for TP, with Charlie and Millie forward & Leah pushing back to defend, up against the big VadraVadra attacker. After a few sketchy moments, Leah stuck to her fair game and through Charlie and Millie TP started to gain a lead. Final whistle went and it ended a 15-9 win for TP!

Pic 2

Once the netball had finished it was time for the lads to keep up TP’s winning form against the VadraVadra’s 7’s team. Having never played a proper game of rugby you soon have to pick up how to play with 7 big Fijian’s running towards you. It started out as touch, but that was slowly being forgotten, especially after TP took the lead with a try by Saki. The Fijians soon responded and equalised.

After a few changes for the TP team at half time, Sponge soon scored a try making it 2-1. Once again VadraVadra drew level, and after a rather extended 7 minute half, in the last play John, our very own Fijian sub, scored a try to win the game for TP. After the game ended we all went into the hall for juice and cakes before the walk back. The team were ecstatic to win, and celebrated with plenty of Grog and Hop Hop back in Nadrodro!

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Volunteers Stories – Kindi Update; ‘They are all so eager to please they just shout all of the days of the week at you until one gets it right!’ by Lottie

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Kindii (6)

This week I was in Kindi for two days with Pheobe and Ashley. The Kindi building is a big room with the children’s creations displayed everywhere. There is an indoor activity area, reading area and drama area for the kids to focus on different lessons throughout the day.

We started by standing in a big circle and introducing ourselves. The kids all say ‘’Hello, my name is …. and I’m from ….’’. We were told by the others who did Kindi previously how one boy would take a big breath in between each part and really shout out to the class. He didn’t fail to provide us entertainment. After this the kids sat down and we went through the days of the week and the weather. They are all so eager to please they just shout all of the days of the week at you until one gets it right.

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Kindii (4)

Songtime came next so we covered the classics (twinkle twinkle, incywincy spider, row row your boat) along with some Fijian numbers, featuring a drum beat from Saki. We chose our leader of the day, so at hand wash time and teeth brushing time all of the kids lined up behind her when we walked to the tap. After breaktime we blew up lots of different coloured balloons & drew shapes on the front. The children had previously been learning shapes & colours, so we asked each one to look for a certain balloon (the green balloon with a triangle on). When each one got it right they got a round of applause.

Following breaktime we settled them down for storytime. Pheobe read them three stories and we encouraged them to do actions along with the story. The goodbye song followed storytime and the kids would normally leave at this point. Most of them however, stay at school for the rest of the day. There is a veranda that stretches along the front of the building so we had a lie down on this & read the kids some of my book.

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Kindii (8)

The following day was a very similar routine. We had to move the class to the veranda of one of the teacher’s houses on the school grounds, as there was work being done of the septic tank. It was lovely to sit in the shade outside with the class & take a lesson. We played the kids some music from Solo’s phone and got them all up and dancing. Seeing them all wiggling around was one of my top highlights so far.

At snack time, the children all sit around with their boxes and say ‘Masu’ together. They all opened their boxes and each gave us a bit of their snack so we could all eat together. It was really humbling to see all of the children give a small piece of their food to us with no hesitation whatsoever.

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Kindii (5)

As before, the children followed the leader of the day to the tap for hand washing and teeth brushing. Following this, we gave each child a paper person that we cut out and got them to colour them in as themselves. All of us made one each as well and the children would clamber on to you to see if they could punch some ideas for decorations. Once everyone was finished, we wrote our names on the back and stapled the hands together, so we had a big chain of us all holding hands. Again, we ended with storytime and the goodbye song. We were able to return to the Kindi building with the children that were staying. We finished the afternoon sitting on the veranda and taking pictures of all of us. One thing is for sure, not one of those children is camera shy!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Volunteer Stories – Gifts, grog & hop hop fun during ‘Family Night’ in Nadrodro, by Lucasta

Gau Island, Nadrodo, March 2015, Week 4 - Lucasta's Famiily Night  (5)

Tuesday night was our second family night in the village. For Charlie and I, the night kicked off with a special surprise- our own hand carved grog drinking bowls made by our fathers and brothers was given to us. We began with card games and sharing family photos while seated around the grog bowl.

After a few rounds of drinking and attempts to teach the Fijian’s my somewhat unique style of grog drinking, a guitar was produced and the hop hop began. Ala and Inia, our Fijian siblings were only too pleased to teach us some new dance moves and before long, attracted no-doubt by the apparently infinite supply of grog in our bowl, other families and TP volunteers were flocking to our house.

All in all, the festivites continued until around 3.30 in the morning – our record to beat for this Tuesday!