The final day in Vutuna village for our volunteer team was upon us, and it was a busy, action packed day! The team awoke slightly groggy from the grog party clebrations of the night before, but they were certainly ready for the day ahead, and prepared their stalls for the TP Fundraiser for the Waitoga Village School. Georgia, Becky, Madhu and Morag had a facepaint stall, with the addition of some amazing biscuits that they had made, whilst Will and James did a penalty shootout and Theo, Ciara and Reamus had the coconut shy. The villagers had a huge amount of fun on the different games and stalls, and along with the raffle, held by the expedition leaders, the team managed to raise a staggering $225 dollars for the school. A massive amount raised, a happy school and a very proud team effort!
TP and Vutuna village then battled it out in a strongman competition, with the volunteers joining in and supporting the “contestants”. Sumo wrestling, sand bag racing and the gladiator game went down very well with the village, and all did themselves proud, but in the end, Big Reamus took the title!
After lunch the team got into formal dress and headed across to the school for the donation of the money raised during the fundraiser, and to present a donation of sports equipment for the school. The school put on an afternoon of song performances, the Fijian Cibi, and presented the team with traditional Fijian flower necklaces as a thank you for the teaching and sports coaching assistance at the school.
The team then made their way to the Church for the farewell service with the village community. The team prepared a speech and performed a song by Newton Faulkner, called Dream Catch Me. The village themselves sang some amazing hymns, and there was a speech from the Ratu, and a speech from the Families hosting the our volunteers. It was an emotional service for all, and a poignant moment within such a busy day and crazy 4 weeks!
It was then time for the final feast in the community hall, and after spending some time at home with their families, the team headed back to the hall for the official goodbye ceremony, the Tatau. The team danced, sang and grogged into the early hours of the morning, a great way to see out an amazing 5 week project!
As the boats arrived the families stood along the beach as the band played the farewell Isa Isa song, with all of Vutuna and our volunteer team waiting to say their final goodbyes to their family, friends and neighbors that they had gained over the past 4 weeks. It has been an incredible and memorable time in Vutuna, and an experience that our team shall never forget it! To Vutuna village, a heartfelt “vinaka vaka levu” and Sota Tale!