Monday 15th February –
The start of another big week on the projects and this morning we were all caught out by the rather surprising news that our tiny island has a new time zone. “Moturiki time” has been introduced by the village elders as a measure to help the school kids who were trekking to school in the dark. As the Ministry of Education prevents changes to the school timetable, the villagers decided to change the clocks for everyone on the island instead. We are an hour behind the rest of the country…i love Fiji!
And so we kicked off the week, with many volunteers rotating to different roles on the project – leaving the building site for the kindi or swapping their piece of chalk for a hammer. On the build, we started bright and early at 7:30am (moturiki time!), and the team were quickly into pods and smashing down the flooring. The building is looking fantastic but there’s still lots of work ahead. Jack completed the main set of stairs, and after lunch Rob, Vicky, Fi and Cat primered them ready for the undercoat to go on tomorrow. After lunch Ashleigh Dexter, Tom and Steve also completed the new composting box ready for the environment workshop with classes 5,6,7 & 8 tomorrow afternoon.
In kindi it was the start of a new dawn, with Rob, Sam, Vicky and Hannah looking to carry on the fantastic work done by the teams before them. Cat also joined them to show them the ropes, and after playing the name game they were straight into singing songs and music class…I think the guys were brushing up on their nursery rhymes! Before break they also practiced numbers, although the kids had that “Monday feeling” and were not concentrating quite as well as hoped. After break time they had play time with the lego, and then had colouring in for arts and crafts and then finished with the famous fish book where the kids make noises as the team open the different pages and tell the story…fun times.
In school Paskey, Will, Ashleigh C and Gavlar continued in their classes, with Paskey setting class 3 a spelling test for tomorrow…not a popular choice! In the afternoon sports coaching continued for the second week with our new rota, with Volleyball, Frisbee and Football being coached alongside Rugby, Netball and Hockey.
The guys were also back at rugby training in the afternoon, with touch being played to warm up before some fitness sprints and very basic hand drills. With just a few days to go I think the tp lads are feeling a little frustrated that so much time is dedicated to fitness whilst the skill sets are relatively ignored, and adapting to the different style of play will be one of the major challenges when they run out on Friday.
With the two week tabu on grog beginning today the evening was a relaxed one, as people chatted around the houses, listened to music and told stories.
Tuesday 16th February –
On the build today Jack completed the second set of steps for the doorway on the village side, and Fi and Cat then put the primer to ensure the timbers do not crack and bend. And of course more flooring was laid, the target is to complete the floor by Thursday afternoon when we break for the 7s tournament in Levuka.
In kindi the new team started to find their rhythm and introduce their own ideas, playing the game where you pass the ball over your head in outdoor sports, having teams to find the correct numbers, and starting to learn a dance meke to R Kelly’s song “The World’s Greatest”!
In school it was the start of the environment workshops, with Tom and Steve introducing and explaining recycling to classes 5 & 6 through a table where the class had to put different items into a “recycle” and “non-recycle” column, and a game of hang man with “composting box” being the key word. Lal and Ashleigh Dexter also did a fantastic job in looking at composting with classes 7 & 8, running through how to make it and maintain it and its uses before going outside for the kids to set up the newly built composting box. The kids cut the grass away so that there was direct contact with the soil, found the leaves, grass and saw dust to add, and practiced turning it and adding the water. They were also shown the produce from the composting box set up last term so they know what they are aiming for. Lal and Ashleigh also arranged with Master Mika for two “Composting monitors” to be in charge of turning and adding water each week to the compost so that it can be maintained properly. The kids seemed to really respond to the workshops, and tomorrow it will the turn of classes 1 & 2 and 3 & 4.
Sports coaching continued at full speed ahead today, hockey is proving very popular, and Frisbee for classes 1 & 2 is always a funny time of the day. And the rugby guys were back at training in the afternoon with Will, Rob and Tom there with them. The village guys are doing fitness three times a day in the days now leading up to the start…lets hope it pays off at game time!
At the de-brief this afternoon it was once again time to choose the movie, and with Con Air, 300 and Sherlock Holmes in the running it was 300 that finally won the day. And so after another very busy homework club in the evening the team headed over the Jesse’s for movie night.
Wednesday 17th February –
With the team continuing with the flooring today Jack set about making the double doors for the main entrance to the hall, and with the frames completed by lunch in the afternoon he hung them to ensure they fitted correctly.
In kindi it was another busy day with the little ones, playing outdoor games and having real success with numbers as the kids recognised numbers by sight, something the team had been really working on over the last few weeks. After break time they also had allot of fun in arts and crafts, using the different papers and grass and all sorts in their artwork!
In school the environment team were once again running their class workshops, with Gareth and Becky taking class 1 & 2 in the morning for a little pick, and they then drew pictures of “Keeping Fiji Fab” that were stuck on the wall in a display. In the afternoon they took class 3 & 4, talking through endangered animals and using posters to show how to protect the wildlife. The kids then went on a litter pick before being shown the composting boxes so that they have an idea of composting before learning more about it in the higher classes. The environment programme has been hugely successful, and the team and kids are now looking forward to “Health Week” starting on Monday.
In sports coaching Frisbee finally showed a good contest with classes 7 & 8 involved, and the kids taking hockey showed some fantastic natural talent and understanding. And in the afternoon training took place, and with Rob and Will selected in the squad yesterday it is now focusing upon forwards drill and backs moves as they look to sharpen up for Friday.
In the evening it was quiz time, and with the expedition leaders writing the quiz this week we tried to make sure there was something for everyone! It was an epic contest once again, with “Team Gavlar” coming out winners.
Thursday 18th February –
With the team heading into Levuka tomorrow for the rugby and netball tournaments today was the last day on the projects for the week, and on the build we came ever so close to finishing the flooring. With the team working towards the walling it was a slow process as the timbers were to be cut around the direct posts, and on Monday the flooring will be complete. Jack meanwhile put hand rails on the main steps to the hall, which were then primered by Cat and Fi, and he also completed the third door ready to be hung when the flooring is complete.
Kindi absolutely rocked today, with outside games before numbers, with the kids responding really well to the games to help them learn. There was hand washing club before break time, and a hilarious tooth brushing club after break. After lego play time the team practiced their new meke, and the kids were brilliant in their dance to “The World’s Greatest”, you cannot help but smile watching it! And the dancing was not done, with the team and kids playing musical statues and musical chairs, and every time the kids were shouting Dua tale, which means “one more”…they are clearly loving kindi! And there was even time for story time, with Hannah reading the fish book and Rob and Sam adding the voices…what a morning!
It was also an absolute blast in school today, with Gareth and Megan arranging a “birthday party” for their class as part of their English comprehension. There were hats made, food brought in and music playing which had Gareth putting in a sensational air guitar/singing performance that had everyone clapping and cheering! The kids of course loved the party, cheering and jumping and having allot of fun. And I think they learnt lots too!
In sports coaching, attention turned to the netball court, where the class 7 & 8 kids challenged the tp ladies to a match…and what a match it was! After “Team Fiji” started strongly in the first quarter to be leading 5-2, “Team TP” dominated the second, to go in 7-8 and with all to play for. Fiji then came out fighting again, stretching their lead to 13-9 with just one quarter to play…and as the clock ticked into the final minute team Fiji were shooting to score already leading 15-14 and it seemed like the celebrations were a moment away. But then the ref (who was one of the kids), spotted their GK offside and tp had one last throw of the dice. They worked the ball to Immi as Goal Shooter and she had one shot with the last play of the game…in it went to level the scores at 15-15! There was of course immediate talk of the re-match, but on the day netball was definitely the winner!
At the de-brief it was another funny occasion with the funniest moments of the week popping up, and after another busy homework club there was tea and cakes as a fundraiser for the netball team, in which 6 of the tp team have been selected! Ashliegh C, Immi, Fi, Lal, Ashliegh D and Hannah also set off into the darkness to go fishing with a huge amount of excitement, and a small amount of fear…it’s what night spear fishing under the stars is all about!