After a great final week relaxing, exploring, fishing, trekking, splashing, house cup finals, final church service and more…the big last night of grog and hop hop arrived, and it was with mixed feelings of sadness and excitement for our volunteer team.
The team spent the day relaxing with their families, taking pictures and enjoying moments with the kids, until the farewell service began. The team prepared and practiced speeches and the Marron 5 song ‘Daylight’ to perform together, in the new community hall, before the lali began to beat as the church service began.
The team enjoyed a number of hymns and a speech on behalf the village, including very kind words of thanks for their new community hall, and all the work the team had done within the school, the village, the island and the time and love they’ve shown to all the families and their fellow villagers.
The team then performed their lovely songs, and Sophie, Vicky, Tommy, Georgie and Libby read the speech on behalf of the team, which was amazing and beautifully received by the village. After an emotional goodbye service, the team all went for a massive fest with their families and clans, before having a rest and heading over for our traditional ‘tatau’ to the Chief.
After some rest, the team arrived in the hall ready for a massive night of grog and ‘hop hop’ until sunrise, and to wait for the boat to come and collect us from our home away from home. The team were hyped up after the sad day, and were all up dancing with the village, clapping hard for their bowls of grog and having a great last night with their families.
As 6am approached, the team gathered their bags, and loaded them onto the boat, and said their last emotional goodbyes to their families and friends in Nukuloa. The whole village and children gathered along the sea wall and in the water to wave the team off, and sung Fijian goodbye songs as we left our amazing village.
Our Nukuloa volunteer team has left a massive and lasting impression on the village, leaving behind a community hall that the villagers will enjoy for generations to come, a huge programme for the children whom they’ve coached and taught, and of course family, friends and memories that will last a lifetime. A big ‘vinaka vaka levu’ to our amazing hosts in Nukuloa, and a massive thanks to our amazing, hard-working and fun team, as without both, none of the incredible experiences that have taken place over these past 9 weeks would have been possible!