Archive for September, 2010

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Gap Year Fair Oxford, 1st October 12.15 – 3.30

Will's gap year project (2)  Will's gap year project

Are you thinking about taking a gap break or planning your next career move? Are you uncertain as to what you can do or where to go? Are you wondering how much a gap break will cost or how to plan for it? If so, you won’t want to miss out on attending the Futurewise Gap Fair.

Futurewise Gap Fairs provide you with all the information you’ll need to help you plan your future before and after university. Attending a gap fair is a great chance to meet with the UK’s leading gap year companies and hear from recentlly returned gap year students.

Think Pacific are delighted to be attending the Futurewise gap year fair on Friday 1st October at St Edward’s School, Oxford.  Past volunteer, Will Jackson will be there to answer questions about his own gap year year project in Fiji.  For anyone interested in finding out more about our volunteer expeditions and life in the Fiji islands, pop down and say Bula to Will, he’ll be there from 12.15 – 3.30 pm.  

For more information, please visit ISCO Futurewise.

We hope to see you there,

The TP team.

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Holly makes a return to Fiji, less than a year after her gap year project

Holly's return gap year 1  Holly's return gap year 2

It’s always amazing to see past Think Pacific volunteers make a return trip back to their Fijian village.

Holly Stillwell from Norfolk, who joined Think Pacific’s September 2009 gap expedition was determined to go back to the South Pacific. We were delighted to receive a call from Holly at the start of the summer asking for our advice as she planned her visit back to her ’second home’ in Fiji. 

A couple of weeks ago, Holly arrived to Fiji and Naicabecabe village, to see her Fijian friends as well as the family that she lived with for 10 weeks.  To make it even more special, Holly took her father to Fiji too, so he could see where she spent many happy weeks.

Talking about her return trip, Holly said

” Fiji was amazing and my dad loved it! My Fiji dad and English dad got on so well :) it was good to see.  As we walked around to Naicabecabe it was a total suprise to them!  It was so good. My Fijian family just came running up to me and almost bowled me over with hugs.  It will be a long time now before I go again so it was a short but really sweet trip.” 

It’s incredible to see just how much Holly’s gap year meant to her that she wanted to fly 10,000 miles back to Fiji so soon after completing her initial Fiji gap expedition! Now that Holly has returned to the UK, The TP team would like to wish Holly all the best for the start of her university degree.

We hope to greet Holly, and many more of our fabulous past volunteers, back to the shores of Fiji in the future.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Think Pacific Gap Year Reviews

At the end of a recent 5-week volunteer project, we asked a few of our gap year students to share some thoughts of their time in the South Pacific.

Here is what our past volunteers had to say about their time in the beautiful Fiji Islands and their experiences of living and volunteering in the traditional villages on a Think Pacific gap year project.


If you’re keen to follow in their footsteps and make a real difference to local development projects in the rural communties on your own gap year to Fiji, we’d love to hear from you.

We still have some availability for our next phase of gap year projects, taking place in 2011. Don’t hesitate to Contact us to find out more.

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Past gap year students join forces to assist hospital

Ultrasound machine  Levuka Ultrasound in first use

Think Pacific was delighted to be part of an initiative to bring an ultra sound machine to a remote Fijian hospital.

The donation of the ultra sound, worth over three hundred thousand dollars, was organsied by local resident John Milesi of the Levuka Homestay on behalf of The Levuka Hospital Board of Visitors.

A message was sent out by John to to ask for the assistance of past gap year students, volunteers and tourists who had been to, and fallen in love with, this very special Fijian town.

Levuka hospital, Ovalau Island, is the closest medical facility to our gap year volunteers in Fiji. The medical staff in Levuka offer a fantastic backup support to our gap year teams and Think Pacific’s staff have had a strong connection to this beautiful South Pacific town for over ten years.

The ultra sound machine is an incredible donation by Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury, England, and was acquired through former UK exchange medical student in Levuka, and now a fully qualified doctor, Dr Johnny Wake.  

Dr Wake volunteered in Levuka Hospital many years ago where he met Simon from Think Pacific, who was at that time, teaching in a secondary school in Levuka as part of his own gap year. Many years later, it’s great to revive old connections and after hearing the plight of Levuka Hospital and Dr Wake to enable this vital medical equipment to reach Levuka, Think Pacific were delighted to assist in any way we could.

Think Pacific donated the funding required to enable the Ultra Sound to be transported from the UK to the South Pacific.

Seeing the machine in full use this week was a great moment, so massive congratulations to Dr Wake, the Levuka Homestay and other parties, who worked extremely hard to make this donation possible. 

Donations like this from Think Pacific are only possible due to the gap year students we take to Fiji so a vinaka also to everyone who has volunteered with us this year as your hard eaned gap year expedition fees have contributed to this great achievement.

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Gap Year Video: May 2010 Gap Project in Fiji

Here is a video slideshow following our May 2010 gap year team in Fiji.

The Think Pacific May volunteer team completed a structured programme of building, teaching, youth and sports coaching volunteer projects and made an immense impact in Fiji. Our leaders couldn’t have asked for anything more as each and every one of our gap year volunteers threw themselves into the volunteering and immersed into the culture, customs and  the tough conditions of village life. They will be long remembered by the local community who, alongside the Fijian government, have asked us to pass their sincere appreciation onto our volunteers for everthing they did.




Our 5-week gap project visited the tiny community of Niubasaga to complete their volunteer project. Niubasaga village is a small, traditional and beautiful community located on the south coast of Moturiki island, just a short distance from Uluibau village, where our current Septmeber 2010 expedition are now based. 

The gap project objectives in Niubasaga included installing a sanitation facility in the community under the direction of the National Health Promotion Council; an initiative which enables the villagers to have their first flush toilets and running showers, this has left a real legacy for the local people.  As well as the volunteer projects which our gap team funded and worked towards during their five weeks in the South Pacific, their experience also involved living at the heart of the village, making some incredible friends and taking part in some real Fiji gap year adventure activities including jungle treks, a tough mountain climb to the peak of Ruku Ruku,  river rafting in the Namosi highland rapids, and snorkeling the beautiful Fijian reefs.

Vinaka vaka levu to everyone who took part in this hugely rewarding gap year experience and for everything you gave to the projects on Moturiki Island!

A full report of our May 2010 gap year expedition and a review of the specific aims and achievements has now been submitted by Think Pacific to the Integrated Community Development Taskforce in Fiji, so they may follow up with a formal review of the long term aims and local development action plans in Niubasaga.  Our gap year post-project reports are a key resource in reviewing each and every initiative and ultimately achieving the sustainable development targets in Fiji and ensuring that every Think Pacific Gap Expedition works towards making a real, sensitive and worthwhile difference to rural Fijian villages.

Please contact us is you would like to receive a copy of the full report of our May 2010 gap year project.

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

More gap year fun in Fiji

Here are some more pictures of our curent gap year team in Fiji.  The last few days have been a relaxing start to life in the South Pacific as our gap team prepare for their volunteer project and the unique life that awaits them in the traditional villages. The beautiful weather has provided lots of time for beach games, volleyball, sandcastles, swmming, snorkeling and gap year fun in the Pacific Ocean. 

Today our gap team will leave their beautiful castaway island and make their way by motor boat to their new Fijian home on Moturiki Island to start the most important phase of their gap year project; the sports, youth and building volunteer initiatives.  We’ll have pictures and updates from our groups’ first week in their Fijian community next weekend.