Tuesday 19th April –
Withthe volunteer projects all set to start tomorrow morning, today was a chance for our gap year team to prepare, going through the build plans immediately after briefing as we look to extend the community hall to build a kindergarten, and also replace the collapsed bridge that goes across the creek. The team then had their personal project planning discussions with the leaders to find out which areas they may look to focus upon, before heading down to the school and kindergarten after lunch. A sevusevu was presented in Navuti, a village that the team will be walking through daily, before also presenting our sevusevu at the school. With the school committee building a new teachers quarters the traditional ceremony took place for the cementing of the first post, again a custom for the team to become immersed in so quickly. We also stopped at the kindergarten to meet the teacher Laisa and talk through ideas for the theatre of dreams! In the evening we then came together to set out the rotas and sports to be coached, and the team are set and ready to rock for a big first day on project tomorrow!
Wednesday 20th April
The volunteer team were finally able to put their greatly appreciated enthusiasm into action today as all areas of project began.
Ann, Rob, Katie, Miranda and Billy kick started the kindi mayhem with lots of songs, games and plenty of crayola! The five volunteers were able to get to know the children as they came from various villages on Moturiki; all raring to go with the kindi adventure.
Tom, Sarah, Ellie and James stepped into their teaching roles with ease. Sarah helped class 3 with maths, English and health science. Tom used arts and crafts as a great way to get to know the children by making name plates for each desk, paint and glitter was flying everywhere! Eliie and James descended upon a large, combined class 6, 7 and 8, assisting Master Mika, starting their teaching rota with beloved fractions!
Our building manager, Jack was very happy with the start and the commitment of the team as the work on the community hall extension began. Mixing cement and digging holes for posts was the name of the game for the building team and everyone was quick to be involved with every aspect to enable the blessing of the first post to take place. True Tpers!
The MDS children were ecstatic to have the sports coaching volunteer proejcts once again with the team. Cricket, football, rugby, boxing, netball and rounders were the sports chosen for the afternoon and the team quickly found their feet and great progress was being made with all year groups.
As the children returned home, the team took to the sports field once more to see Paskey’s PPP team take great victory in rounders, before the boys joined the village with a fast game of rugby.
Nasesara extended their warm welcome to the team with yet another evening of grog and the madness of hop hop. The guitars were quickly out which meant with little hesitation the ladies were throwing talcan powder over the team and the dancing soon began into the evening.
Thursday 21st April
The building volunteer team began where they left off yesterday with high spirits as they completed all the holes ready for the posts. The majority of the posts were concreted which meant the team has set a good, steady pace to follow for the rest of project.
The kindi crew, now feeling more settled, were able to implement their structure a little more today and introduced new songs such as “10 Green Bottles” and art time was full of paints for an “under the sea” display.
James and Ellie’s main focus with the older children was teaching a song, “Walking in the light of God” for the fundraiser next week. Classes 6, 7 and 8 loved this and were split into harmonies and were clapping away! Over in class 3, Sarah was teaching opposite words in English which had a great response from the children while Tom’s main focus for the day in class 4 was addition.
The building team arrived at MDS to start sport for the afternoon with the rest of the volunteers. Alun and Rob covered some fielding techniques with an excitable and large class 5 and 6 while Adam, Anthony, Billy and Matt went through the basics of tackling with 7 and 8. James, Calum, Henry and Tom took class 3 and 4 with a station each to focus the learning. Georgie, Katie, Ellie and Miranda were delighted with the standard of netball players in the older girls while Ann, Mia, Sarah and Julia took charge of the youngest children in rounders with some great pass and follow competitions!
The team enjoyed a game of football with Nasauvuki village boys and of course Master Mika before an afternoon of touch and of course hop hop into the evening with Billy as our Ratu for the evening!
Friday 22nd April
After morning briefing today, the team sat down to discuss their coaching plans for the week ahead in netball, rounders, football, rugby and cricket. Following this, we joined the village for the Good Friday service in church; sharing beautiful singing and sermons.
Due to the Fijian public holiday, no project took place today; instead competitive streaks came out during exciting games of Mafia (a TP favourite) in the hall. Mia was definitely the one who came out on top killing those around her! The girls soon congregated together for a Royal Wedding sticker club before dinner!
After a week of non-stop hop hop, the volunteer team had a relaxing evening in the hall watching Dodgeball, what a classic! This was a favourite amongst the children who were giggling away throughout! An early night was had by all, raring to go for the weekend’s activities.
Saturday 23rd April
The first Saturday in the village was very much a family affair as the volunteers went their separate ways, engaging in everyday Fijian life.
Miranda, Katie and Ellie were lucky enough to be guests at a wedding at the nearby village, Yanuca. The girls had a great time and felt very fortunate to be part of something so culturally different to what they are accustomed.
The rest of the team either visited their family’s plantation or went spear and line fishing for their evening’s dinner. Julia was very excited to eat her catch of the day
Following a truly memorable morning for the team, they came together with the village for a volleyball tournament. The team’s competitive streaks were shown once again as they came across the experienced Fijians. Within a matter of time, the rain soon began to fall which certainly did not stop play! Those that were not on court soon joined in with the children dancing and sliding in the rain; Anthony was the triumphant winner of the sliding competition, very closely followed by Alun. It was hard to tell who was enjoying the sliding more; the children or the volunteers? Once everyone was dried off and fed, what else was there to be done but bring out the guitars and hop hop the night away?
Sunday 24th April
The team joined the village for their Easter Sunday service this morning before relaxing and reflecting on their first week in Nasesara village.