Archive for August, 2011

Monday, August 15th, 2011

An amazing volunteer team bid farewell to Batiki

Moce Batiki Volunteers (10)

The sun rose to a beautiful day, the team were clearly sad to leave and emotions were high.  It was time to go and with the island saying goodbye as we drove away, there was a feeling amongst everyone that it wasn’t goodbye, just sota tale (see you soon).

The travel to Caqalai was smooth and the guys saw dolphins on the way which lifted sprits. It was then time to relax on the R&R, stage spending time on the castaway island, where their journey had begun, then onto Fiji’s capital, Suva, a few days at the beautiful beach house on Viti levu and finally smugglers cove resort for their de-brief in Nadi.  The final week gave everyone time to reflect on the project and life in Fiji as a whole. There were lots of laughs and fun evenings of drinking and partying but as a whole it was a week to reflect by the Pacific Ocean and think about their friends and family and the beautiful way of life in their second home of Naigani.

Team 14 have created some incredible memories in Fiji.  A massive vinaka vakalvu  from the TP team for sharing a remarkable summer of 2011 together on Batiki.  We hope to see you back again.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

A huge final week to end an incredible experience on Batiki Island.

Volunteers final week (4)

Our volunteer team spent the last week in the village truly soaking up Fijian life, every night the guys would practice their meke’s to perform on the last day. The guys were also spear fishing by night and day; it really was a big part of their lives in the village. The last weekend saw a party on Friday night, the guys go into rugby games on the Saturday morning, then the village fun day in the afternoon to raise money for the community. Throwing pies at the leaders was a huge hit; the village fun day raised a huge $100 for the village.

The penultimate day was a huge party, Yavu village wanted the volunteers to come for one last party to say goodbye, and party they did! Some of the team stayed up dancing and drinking grog until 5.00am.

The last day was also Priya’s birthday, so we all knew we were going to see a mother of all parties. The day was spent chilling with families and packing, the last church service was held and few of the guys spoke of their thanks for the hospitality shown by the island, thanking the village for everything they had done. The team then sang a song they had been practicing the last week. It was a truly performance of ‘high’ by The Lighthouse Family.

That night was huge, the food was insane and the party was off the charts, most of the island turned up and the team stayed up through the night.

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Think Pacific volunteers organise the Batiki House cup!

Volunteers organise house cup for Batiki

Batiki School saw Think Pacific volunteers bring the house cup to them.  The school is split between two houses, Logo Logo and Vono. Over the last three weeks the volunteers have been working with the kids on ‘house speaking’, ‘house singing’ and ‘house sports’. The team were also been spilt into houses, making the cup very important to the guys. House speaking saw classes 5 to 8 using Nelson Mandela’s speech “ What is your deepest fear “ the kids took really well to it and by the end could do the speech just from memory in front of the school and village. The singing competition saw Logo Logo do a in the jungle remix and Vono do an Andrea 3000 Hey ya song. The sports consisted of a rotation of sprints, relay, long jump and ball throw. It was a tight fight for the cup, but vono won the house speaking and singing with Logo logo winning the sports. It was a huge day for the kids and school and everyone is loving the competitive spirit, which the house competition brings. All the kids now have something important to fight for, that will be become an important aspect every time the TP team comes round to Batiki!

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Our volunteer team take a trek to the peak of Batiki!

gap year trek (1) gap year trek (7)

Saturday was meant to be a day to rest and get over the party but the guys just wanted more, it was time for the trek to the highest point on the island, the climb to the top was tough but the view was insane!

That night was the school fundraiser. The team set up a great night of raffles and an auction of the lads to do work around the village. After lots of sweets sold and fun the team raised a huge $150.00 that will go towards the school. Boom!! Sunday was truly a day of rest. The guys spent the day chilling, listening to music and catching some Z’s.

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Volunteering in Fiji: Week three from Batiki

School and teaching projects;

Sammy and Jodie headed into the mental class of 1&2 this week.  The kids in this class are a challenge and some of the kids are a great deal weaker than others in subjects across the board, which makes teaching all abilities in one class a real test. The two girls went in full swing, taking the first day to settle into the class and then it was straight to work after that. They truly worked hard with these kids, taking pods of the weaker children out to the grass and going through their work for their upcoming exams. It was tough but the girls really made great progress with them. Tired by the end of the week but proud of what they had achieved. Karla and Abi went into class 5&6; these kids are great to work with as they are at the stage of really getting to grips with their subject. The girls were excellent, taking lead with the classes, doing prep work in the evening and when exams started they still had time to help the kids revise in gaps during the day. Ewan and Lucy went into class 7&8 and blew us away, the teacher was off after injuring her knee during the netball games and so it was all on them to take full classes. They made a great team,  feeding off each other and controlling the class very well. They followed the Fijian programme, but made a few changes which made it a lot more interesting for the kids such as organising quizzes and outside games to make learning a little bit more fun. By the end of the Rota the team and the kids were gutted to say goodbye as they had done so much in such little time. A great week for our teaching volunteers!

Kindergarten project update:

Luke, Henry, Jess and Sponge went into the chaos that is the Batiki Kindi a little nervous but ready to smash up the Rota! Numbers in the kindi were low this week but this made it a lot easier for the team to work with the kids on their learning as sometimes when there is a huge group, the kids lose out on that personal time.  The guys worked some great magic with the kids, colours, letters and numbers all coming along a treat and developing some great material for the kid’s ‘All About Me’ folders. The dot-to-dot names and shapes going down especially well.  Not sure who enjoyed the songs more,  the team or kids! Head, shoulders, knees and toes, Ring a ring a roses and old McDonald to name a few were rocked out during kindi. The last day was up there with the best, the team decided to have a huge day of sports and games followed by a panic on the beach. The rugby game was mental with some of the kindi girls putting huge hits in. Football was also crazy with the team getting involved. Sprints and bean bag races were hilarious with the village coming to watch made it even funnier. Then it was off the beach for lunch and swimming. The kids loved it getting thrown high up in the air into the water. After lots of fun it was time to say goodbye to the kids, sad times all round but great work in kindi!

Building volunteering;

The building volunteer crew had a big task ahead of them for the last Rota. Jimbo our Fijian builder needed the guys to push hard, and so they did! Priya, Luke, Jack, Chris, Joel, Jess, Ben and Gillian had lots of tasks to get stuck into. Chris worked with Joel on Plumbing getting the rest of the toilets fitted, Luke and a couple of the girls worked on the doors, which really is a hard task getting them all the right sizes but they were done perfectly. The septics had been finished off but needed the lids put on, so after cleaning them out and a little fun the guys set the lids on and sealed them up. Then it was down to painting, the wood had three coats, finishing off with white, the metal had two coats with dark blue the top coat, which the village had chosen. The last day saw the team finish the wastes off and any touch ups that needed completion. The village was blown away with what the team has done over the last 4 weeks on the building project.  The guys have shared some great times, lots of laughs and a hell of a lot of sweat. Jimbo saying one of the hardest working teams he has ever seen!  4 toilets, 2 shower and 2 septics all piped and finished off beautifully. A job well done!!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

The meeting of two volunteer teams!

Gap Year Volunteering Teams Meeting (2)

The week’s Fijian activities started with the team having a little fun in form of a TP volunteer team ‘Games Night’ and after some human thumb wars and lots of cards and laughter it was time for bed.  Hitch was picked for ‘movie night’, which went down a storm, and then things moved on to something that we had all been waiting for the Batiki vs. Morturiki Rugby and Netball games!

This truly was the biggest game that our TP girls and guys would ever play in.  Never before had two think pacific team come together to challenge each other in each sport. The team from Moturiki turned up on Thursday but they were missing a few of the guys who hadn’t made due to a boat not being able to leave in time. The  Moturiki girls spent the night with the Batiki volunteer team in the village of Yavu, telling stories of each project and getting to know their fellow tp members.

The lads turned up after breakfast ready to rock!  The island was buzzing, and the teams were getting nervous. The Netball was first to kick off, and it was 5-2 at the end of the first 3rd. Going into the next two  it was clear that Batiki had a stronger team, pushing into the lead and winning 18-5. This made Moturiki even move pumped to win the Rugby and after warm ups it was kick off. Moturiki shot out of the gates putting pressure on Batiki straight away. The guys had to do some real defense to hold them back, but with too many mistakes it was a penalty for going off their feet which saw Moturiki go 3-0 in front. The game stayed much the same for the rest of the half. After a slip from Moturiki and a quick tap from Batiki the lads ran the full length of the pitch to score between the posts. Half time 7-3. With changes made the guys from Moturiki kept the pace up and before long were on the Batiki line again, with good counter rucking from are second row it was turned over and kicked away. The Moturiki lads were straight back though and with a few pick and goes fired the ball wide and scored in the corner. 7-1 to Moturiki.  In the last 10 minutes the Moturiki team started to fall apart, they were on their line for the whole time. Batiki though couldn’t make the most of it, with two dropped balls the whistle went final score 7-10. The Batiki team were clearly gutted with the loss, but heads were held high for the girl, who smashed the Netball .  After a swim in the sea, the tears were pushed to the side for what truly was a huge party!

This day wasn’t about the games but what the whole event really meant; two islands coming together for the first time and the first ever two Think Pacific teams to meet and share their experience. The food and the party that night in Yavu village was unreal. Massive thanks to them for that. A huge few days on project!!!