Archive for the ‘July 2013 (Malawai - Gau Island)’ Category

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Gau – An amazing final day for our volunteers.

Volunteering Fiji (5)

What an amazing last day in Malawai! It was so eventful I don’t know where to start!
The morning was just chilling and cramming all our souvenirs of mats, palm birds and fans into our already full rucksacks.

Volunteering Fiji (8)

Then we all headed down to the hall for an informal church ceremony and the start of the nights proceedings! It seemed like the whole of Malawai and Lamiti were in the community hall and there was a fantastic atmosphere. After a few words from Master Kinney to say goodbye to Think Pacific some of our guys responded with a heartfelt speech written and recited by Emma, Kate, Charlotte P and Charlie thanking the village for all they had done for us. It was greatly appreciated by everyone as they said their goodbyes and added to the events atmosphere.

Volunteering Fiji (4)

We then filed out of the hall to open the toilet and shower block which ended up being a bit of a comedy scene! As the whole event was running on Fiji time it was dark when Lulu and one of the elders stood outside the build and said some words of thanks to everyone involved. As we have had no electricity during our stay there was a makeshift generator to provide a, lets say, not so substantial light which was placed in one of the toilets and was possibly the loudest motorized noise heard! So here we were, standing in almost pitch dark,looking in the general direction of the build and not hearing a word! Much to the amusement of all of us!

Volunteering Fiji (17)

It was then back into the hall for a huge feast! Prawns, crabs, big fish, roti, curry to name but a few of the delicacy laid out for us! As soon as the ladies removed the places the grog bowls handed out and before you could say ‘bilo levu sinai’ (big bowl full) everyone was grabbed by the village and as commenced the final evening of grog and hop hop till the early hours. It was an amazing send off by the village of Malawai and was a day and night I’m sure the volunteers won’t forget it for many, many years!

Friday, August 16th, 2013

Gau – The building project is complete and it’s time for some R&R

Volunteer Building (1)

On our penultimate day we had the full group working to complete the build and adding those finishing touches to make it really stand out in the village. Michelle helped to fit the doors, Charlie and Laura filled in the trenches for the piping, Abbi, Evie and Lydia (our resident artists) finished off a magnificent logo on the side of the toilet block whilst Rich, Max, Hannah, Jess, Ombler, Patch, Emma, Kate and Sophie touched up some of the paintwork and cleared the site. At the end of our final volunteering effort we all decided to treat ourselves to a 2 hour trek to some stunning rock pools, caves and waterfalls! An hour long walk along the beach and then an hour inland brought us to the pools,which is rarely visited by the locals and have probably only been seen by a handful of Westeners ever! After a swim upstream through the 3 layers of rock pools we did a bit of potholing in the caves and discovered some powerful and stunning waterfalls inside. It was a magical place -  we felt like we were discovering something for the first time. After expending all our energy swimming and jumping into the pools we all sat down and tucked into the packed lunches our families had prepared for us to give us the fuel for a soggy, exhausted but very rewarding stroll to our homes in Malawai.

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Gau – Fun day in Malawai Village

Gap Year Volunteering Fiji (8)

The last Saturday in Malawai saw the team host a fun day for the villagers. Everyone split themselves up and organised their own stalls for fundraising, which included Charlie doing a raffle with items which the team had bought with them as presents for the villagers. Max and Jess sold juice and sweets, Sophie and Katy did nail varnishing for the village ladies although more of the village men had their nails done than was expected. Abi took it on herself to sell bracelets which the team had made earlier on in the week, and finally inside we had Evie selling chocolate and custards cakes to the villagers, which sold out within minutes as both the villagers and team bought them in bulk. Outside we had some games on the go as well with Laura and Emma running a coconut shy for the kids while Lydia and Rich did a horseshoe game both including throwing objects at targets which the kids loved and even more so when they received lollies as prizes. Charlotte Ombler and Hannah did Fijian style of bobbing for apples which was really bobbing for limes as the apples where a bit hard to come by. Finally we had Charlotte Patch and Michelle doing water balloons however these balloons where a lot bigger than your usual hand held ones and turned into more of a free for all soaking than an actual game! A great morning for the villagers of Malawai and for the team who raised a staggering 160 dollars which we donated back to the village for them to buy some much needed materials.

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Gau – Rich leads his very own overnight adventure.

Following a week of discussion, an overnight camping trip to the tiny island of Dakui, just of the shore of Malawai, took place. Saturday was the only night we could have visited due to the hectic TP schedule so we informed our families and away we went with nothing more than a shovel, two machete’s, and some washing line I’d packed and not yet used. The trip included myself, Lee, Maximo and Spaniard. After 15 minutes of wading through the mud flats we “landed on shore” as Lee put it. We were there and soon to be committed once the tide rose . We split up and soon found a suitable spot, with materials to build a shelter Bear Grills would have proudly boasted of. We soon nominated tasks, Lee finding fire wood, Laura clearing the area, Max finding coconut husks and long lengths of bamboo,me scaling trees trying to chop down coconut leaves, resulting in me failing twice and ending up flat on my back covered in ant’s..

We soon had all we needed and I set to work making a shelter, helped by Spaniard’s and her expert weaving skills. Lee and Max were busy making a Lovo (underground oven) for our cassava and yam dinner. Finally just as dusk set in, the fires we’re roaring and the shelter was finished, we even sat around the fire and said a prayer to the island spirits (I’ve gotta add we we’re all very smug at this point!). After many strange conversations we finally tucked into the lovo and feasted, I’m using ‘feasted’ in the loosest possible sense.

So with high spirits we crawled into the shelter and settled down for the night. I must say It wasn’t bad at all, until the dreaded happened at around 3am when the heavens opened. We were all drenched from head to toe, after an hour or so I was like one big wrinkle. Admitting defeat we packed up, cleared our fire and at 5am dripping wet set off on the trek back to shore. With only fading head torch’s for light we made it back, both Lee and Max tripping in the water less than 100 meters from the beach, major hand over face moment. I could see the fear in Lee’s face worrying about his laptop. All in all it was a great night whatever the weather! Also nice to know we were the first kaivalangis to spend the night on Dakui! Team C!!!!!!


Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Gau – Volunteers introduce new sports to the Fijian children

Gap Year Sports Coaching (3)

Evie, Lydia, Patch and Kate have been leading dance classes this week in our sports coaching project. They started the week by practicing some moves such as jumps and kicks and then piecing them all together by the end of the week to do some impressive routines! Rich, Charlie, Charlotte O and Laura took up the dangerous task of teaching dodge ball to the older boys in LMS. The boys loved the idea of being able to hurtle a ball at their friends and they played with great energy and competitiveness. Our volunteers had to be backstops for most of the games as balls were flying everywhere!

Gap Year Sports Coaching (9)

Sophie, Abbi, Jess, Hannah introduced Lacrosse to the older girls in the village. The girls have never played Lacrosse before but have picked up the skills incredibly quickly and have been playing some really good matches this week. Emma, Michelle and Max have been with the young boys teaching soccer. Now we are in our 3rd week the difference is remarkable and some actual formations make for some pretty impressive matches between the young lads.

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Gau – Malawai sanitation block nears completion.

Volunteering Fiji (14)

Its been a massive last week on the build here in Malawai. With lots of jobs to crack on with and with time ticking down, Michelle, Patch, Hannah and Evie have worked tirelessly. Hannah and Evie have been working inside, on the ply wood walling and Michelle and Patch have been working at a variety of heights, from up top nailing the roof to bailing out the septic tank after a night of torrential rain! Obviously putting 2 volunteers like Michelle and Patch in close proximity with buckets of water is going to end up in the inevitable waterfight!

Volunteering Fiji (2)

Each afternoon they were joined by Lydia, Sophie and Abbi from Malawai kindi. It was all hands on deck as our volunteers completed the structure, finished the plumbing and installed the showers and toilets. By the end of the week even the painting had started too. Overall, its been a fantastic week with energy and motivation levels on a high as we make huge strives to achieving this important project to create new toilets and shower facilities for Malawai village! Will we get them completed? Of course we will!