Archive for June, 2009

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Following Me…..to the Fiji islands!


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Think Pacific has a brand new expedition song, ‘Following Me’, written and recorded by the magnificent musical talent, Adam Wilson Hunter, at the Berry Street Studios in May 09. Having spent time teaching at a very rural primary school on the island of Vanua Levu in Fiji in 2004, Adam was perfectly placed to understand just how special the Fijian people and the “kaiviti life” can be. The song recognises the huge emotion of the journey that our teams will experience during their expeditions, as Adam commented:

 “ In remembering my time in Fiji, the emotions evoked were really powerful. The lyrics are about excitement, nervousness and happiness, and the profound impression that travelling to Fiji will have upon the volunteers. When you are in Fiji it is impossible not to fall in love with the place, and just to smile. When writing the music for ‘Following Me’ I like to think that the rhythms will have the villagers and volunteers up on their feet dancing!”

With the development aims of Think Pacific’s projects being central to all our expeditions, Adam Wilson Hunter was quick to acknowledge just how passionate both Think Pacific and the volunteers are for the future. Adam said to us:

“The volunteer’s time in the village is spent working towards important goals and I like to think that as the drums build to the chorus, the song is reflecting that sense of challenge, ambition and achievement”

Life over in Fiji can have a real impact upon people, as Adam himself came to recognise living and teaching in a village in Wainunu. It was this experience of Fiji that made him the perfect man to craft our theme song.  We are absolutely delighted with the results and we hope that ‘following me’ is the hit it deserves to be. You can watch our Expedition Video on the home page to hear the full version, and it will of course be playing on the bus as we pick our volunteers from the airport and begin their journey in Fiji!

You can hear more of Adam Wilson Hunter’s awsome music, and find out how to download his latest tracks at myspace:

http://www.myspace.com/adamwilsonhunter

And Join Adam Wilson Hunter on facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=12568185123&ref=ts

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

Seru Rabeni – Think Pacific Sports Ambassador


Seru Rabeni Sports Ambassador

Fijian International Seru Rabeni.

 

Harry (Left) and Ben join Seru in a TP team hug

Harry (Left) and Benjy join Seru in a Think Pacific team hug.

We are very proud to announce that Fijian rugby star, Mr Seru Rabeni has joined the Think Pacific team as our Ambassador for Sports Development in Fiji. As an International rugby legend, Rabeni’s passion, skills and experience make him the perfect role model for encouraging youth rugby development in the outer islands.

Seru is currently back over in Fiji preparing for the Pacific Nations Cup with the national squad, and shall be supporting our overseas team as they prepare for the July 2009 expedition.

With Think Pacific working in partnership with the Ministry of Sport in Fiji for the development of sports across the remote island communities, it is a huge honour to have Seru’s support. Very recently Seru has been pushing the youth projects in his home village, encouraging sports initiatives alongside efforts to improve community development by funding fishing projects and improved transport for the communities. Seru has established an annual sports festival for the island of Vanua Levu, where children from the poor villages across the province are able take part in rugby tournaments. This combined with Fijian pop band Doki Doki and traditional feasts, is a huge spectacle and fantastic in raising funds for the local community and inspiring local children to pick up a rugby ball and get involved. Seru says with a smile:

“The local youths are just waiting to be given their chance, both on the sports field and in business, and you won’t find people with more passion and hunger to improve”

Rabeni is renowned at both his club, Leicester Tigers, who he joined in 2004, and at international level for his physicality and bone crunching tackles, a commitment that earnt him the nickname “Rambo”, and a commitment and passion that we hope to utilize for our project aims.

Rabeni grew up in Bua, Fiji and was a promising rugby talent from his early schooldays. He first played provincial rugby for Lautoka in 1998-99 while studying at Lautoka Teachers College, before moving on to the capital’s club, Suva,  and making his international test debut in 2000 against Japan. Seru quickly became a senior member of the Fiji national team and a vital man in both attack and defence, starting all four of Fiji’s pool game in the 2003 Rugby World Cup. In 2004 he represented the newly formed Pacific Islanders, scoring a try against New Zealand. Rabeni further represented Fiji in the 2007 World Cup in France, playing in all 4 Pool B games and the quarterfinals. He was instrumental in the Pool B decider against Wales, helping Fiji reach the quarterfinals for the 2nd time since 1987.

Sport is a way of life in Fiji, and Think Pacific, the Ministry of Sport and Rabeni look forward to driving forward Rugby initiatives alongside our sports projects in Netball, Volleyball, Hockey, Football and Rounders. These projects provide island children with their first opportunity to play and train as we work to establish primary school teams, initiate grass roots children’s leagues and follow in Rabeni’s footsteps by organsing regular community sports festivals. Chatting to Seru it is clear that he recognises the need for development of sports at a young age, saying:

“ The kids are so used to relying on instinct and natural ability and that’s why Fiji can be so entertaining on the sports field, but sometimes you need some structure and you have to learn that early”

We hope that Seru will inspire both our expedition teams and the Fijian communities themselves who revere him so highly, as we look forward to accomplishing impressive sports development goals.

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

“Think Pacific Worthy Winners” says Sir Peter Thompson


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Think Pacific were recently honoured to receive the eponymous Sir Peter Thompson Award at the annual Enterprise & Innovation Gala Dinner at the University of Leeds (27 April 2009). Think Pacific was named winner for its efforts to bring basic infrastructure and resources such as running water and health clinics to a tiny group of islands in the Pacific.

In presenting the Award, Sir Peter Thompson said:

“The choice was difficult as we had a number of entries which demonstrated that entrepreneurship at Leeds University is alive and kicking despite the recession. We chose ‘Think Pacific’ as its two leaders showed determination and business acumen – and unlike many enterprises their cause is a noble one, as they want to help poorer nations. Harry Hunter and Simon Darker have managed not only to help the Fijians, but have also established the basis of an expanding adventure holiday business. They are worthy winners.”

Think Pacific was commended for its efforts to create a Foundation, which will offer apprenticeships and education opportunities to islanders who currently have very limited access to education beyond primary level.

Receiving the Award Harry commented,

“Central to our philosophy is a really strong desire to empower the youth of Fiji to enable the islanders to live sustainably in the future. Our plan is to work with local community leaders to provide the training and resources that will make this happen. By investing in Think Pacific, Sir Peter Thompson is also investing in the Fijian communities and also in the personal development of the volunteers we send out.  It’s a real honour to know that a successful businessman such as Sir Peter Thompson can see what we are hoping to do and thinks our efforts are worthwhile. It is wonderful to have this kind of support.”

You can read the full Enterprise and Inovation press release at the Leeds Univeristy website:

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/media/press_releases/current09/enterprise.htm

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Bula Vinaka!


 
The location of our expedition tall ship sailing safari!  2icebreaker

Welcome to the new Think Pacific blog!

The Think Pacific team are massively excited about our new blog and the chance to provide you with the most up to date information from our expeditions over in the Fiji Islands!  From July 2nd we’ll be following every volunteer team from start to finish, complete with pictures, journals, videos and thoughts from the far corners of the South Pacific.

These pages will give you a real insight into life in the islands, as you follow the excitement and the passion, the culture and the simply beautiful Fijian way of life, the challenges and the meaningful achievements. You’ll see our teams trekking extinct volcanoes, rafting river canyons and sailing Fiji’s castaway islands by tallship. At the heart of it all,  you’ll see some amazing aims come to fruition as our volunteers work with our Fijian partners and the local communities to make an immense contribution to vital infrastructure, sports, health and youth projects in the rural villages. 

There are some incredible times ahead. I hope you enjoy reading our updates, and we hope to see you in the South Pacific soon.

Vinaka,

Simon