Heading into week four on our gap year volunteering project it was hard imagine that things could feel any more fulfilling. Yet this week has pushed the team even further and how they have reaped the rewards. In the words of the team, “Best week yet!’
The village and in particular the Salele family made a huge night out of valentines. Those who ate with the family (Tom, Iain, Cecilia, Jess, Mary, Nige and Tom) will never forget the evening they were treated to. The crazy hat dinner! Those staying with the family were told that they would be having their evening meal on the beach. That they should wear something red and make a crazy hat or there would be no food for them. When they arrived on the beach with their crazy hats made from coconuts and palm trees the family had prepared a breathtaking scene. Fijian mats spread along the beach, lay below a dining table decorated with flowers set beside a bonfire which had been built through the day. After the meal had finished the rest of the team joined to sit beside the bonfire and chatted beneath the stard into the night.
A weekly night spear fishing trip began on Wednesday. Four members of the team; Henry, Ross, Iain and Tom headed out on the first trip. The guys split into teams of three along with the TP leaders. One searching for fish with the torch, one shooting the spear and the other retrieving the spear, hopefully with a catch. It was an eventful first trip, coming together to push a beached boat out into the open sea resulted in everyone catching a fish. On return the guys cracked some jokes about the size of some their catch being no bigger than a sea worm. Never the less the fish were taken home proudly for the family to cook for dinner the next day!
The kindergarten volunteering project has gone from strength to strength. Mary, Tegan, Katy and Jess have set a daily structure which should stay in place long after the team leave. Which can be sustained within the newly built kindy.
The soon to be built kindergarten classroom now has a roof in place with fascias attached. Outstanding work this week has taken place from Eleanor, Jack, Ross, Henry, Ella and Cecilia who got out the ipod speakers and danced their way through the days, completing two sides of the walling in no time. Work on the flooring has also begun.
New to this week has been the introduction of the House competitions at school. The team have been given their house colour and have lead a house art competition with the children in their house. The team decided on the theme of “The world we live in” to create pieces that would be prepared for 30 minutes after school each day. The finished pieces were then judged by the teachers on Friday, taking into account the aesthetics, the children’s involvement as well as the educational aspects for the children. After a long decision for the teachers, they awarded the Green house the winners. Jack, Bradley, Cecila and Jessie impressed with their exceptional example of land, sea, sky and space.
This week in school has proved our most successful. Both Iain and Tom taking the responsibility of class 7 and Jessica, Brad and Sarah in charge of class 4. Both year groups thoroughly enjoyed the volunteer’s involvement. Highlights being Tom and Iain’s lesson on deforestation and class 4 completing fact files on different countries.
Again the volunteers have demonstrated their coaching skills by delivering some excellent sessions in a variety of sports. Eleanor, Mary and Sarah started their first week of dance. The girls hope to teach the children routines over the next 4 weeks which will culminate with each year group performing their dance on the fun day at the end of the project.
We are now at the half way point of our time in Daku and the team have already begun to realize that time with their adopted Fijian families will come to an end very quickly, recognizing how fast time flies here whilst having fun. All of the volunteers continue to throw themselves at every challenging opporturtunity in order to soak up their time as part of this wonderful culture.
Look out for our next update as our volunteer team and the villagers begin training to challenge Niubasaga for the TP rugby and netball cup this coming weekend.
Moce from Fiji!
Ps. Hi Mums, Dads, family and friends.