Archive for March, 2012

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Think Pacific photos from the past month in Daku village!


Sunday, March 25th, 2012

A big push on the build, school debates and the Think Pacific cup!


Week 6
With the team becoming apprehensive about the builds progress and the introduction of House Debating, week 6 was always going to be a big challenge
Build
Due to the week 5 amendments, a few members of the team were questioning the completion date. Nevertheless Tom, Iain, Tegan, Henry and Ross set about the build by continuing with walling and flooring, working extremely hard and some days refusing to take a break! Jack the building manager was impressed by the volunteer’s work ethic and their attention to detail, insisting we were right on schedule for the opening.
School
This week in school proved our most difficult but also our most rewarding undermining just how important our presence has been! With the tragic loss of the head teacher’s husband it meant the school was slightly understaffed, giving the volunteers the opportunity to become more involved throughout the school! The teachers were truly grateful that their respects could be paid without the school children being affected. Week 6 also brought the 2nd part of the house cup, in the form of house debating! It was a huge success with the children from green losing to yellow, when arguing their points on whether a resort should be built on Moturiki and blue defeating red with their views on paying for secondary school! The success was emphasized through the teachers suggesting that an inter school debate is a possibility for this year!
Kindi
Ella, Bradley, Jessie and Jessica all joined the mayhem that is kindi this week! The daily routine introduced in week 3 is really progressing and can only improve when it is sustained within the new kindi building! This week the children made stars and continued with the alphabet and numbers! The children’s efforts were rewarded with a huge party at the end of the week!
Inter school sports
Friday saw the team take the whole of Ulimbau primary school over to challenge their bitter rivals M.D.S in rugby and netball. The team and the school brought a lot of noise during the trek over! Unfortunately the teams lost out to the well drilled opposition, but again an experience the children and the team will not forget!
After the school matches the boys in the team were again taking to the field to challenge for the Think Pacific Cup! After seeing some of the hits in the school match it was easy to see why  a few of the lads were a bit nervous! However some strong defence from the boys saw them go in at half time 12-0 down against a well drilled Nasavuki and Niumbsaga select. The 2nd half saw the boys again showing that the wasn’t about to take a backward step , however a few late scores so the team unfortunately lose out 22-0.
Think Pacific building project
With the team becoming apprehensive about the builds progress and the introduction of House Debating, week 6 was always going to be a big challenge.  Due to the week 5 amendments, a few members of the team were questioning the completion date. Nevertheless Tom, Iain, Tegan, Henry and Ross set about the build by continuing with walling and flooring, working extremely hard and some days refusing to take a break! Jack the building manager was impressed by the volunteer’s work ethic and their attention to detail, insisting we were right on schedule for the opening.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (65)
This week in school proved our most difficult but also our most rewarding undermining just how important our presence has been! With the tragic loss of the head teacher’s husband it meant the school was slightly understaffed, giving the volunteers the challenge to become more involved throughout the school.  The teachers were truly grateful that their respects could be paid without the school children being affected. Week 6 also brought the 2nd part of the house cup, in the form of house debating! It was a huge success with the children from green losing to yellow, when arguing their points on whether a resort should be built on Moturiki and blue defeating red with their views on paying for secondary school! The success was emphasized through the teachers suggesting that an inter school debate is a possibility for this year!
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (106)
Ella, Bradley, Jessie and Jessica all joined the mayhem that is kindi this week! The daily routine introduced in week 3 is really progressing and can only improve when it is sustained within the new kindi building! This week the children made stars and continued with the alphabet and numbers! The children’s efforts were rewarded with a huge party at the end of the week!
Inter school sports. Friday saw the team take the whole of Uluibau primary school over to challenge their bitter rivals M.D.S in rugby and netball. The team and the school brought a lot of noise during the trek over! Unfortunately the teams lost out to the well drilled opposition, but again an experience the children and the team will not forget!
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (105)
After the school matches the boys in the team were again taking to the field to challenge for the Think Pacific Cup! After seeing some of the hits in the school match it was easy to see why  a few of the lads were a bit nervous! However some strong defence from the boys saw them go in at half time 12-0 down against a well drilled Nasavuki and Niumbsaga select. The 2nd half saw the boys again showing that the wasn’t about to take a backward step , however a few late scores so the team unfortunately lose out 22-0.
Fiji rugby challenge
Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Daku village – Project diary from the Fiji Islands


Wow, where did week five go?
A fun filled week has seen the team become worried that the departure from their new home is quickly approaching. With the volunteers still sky high from the weekend’s events, the team was excited to get to grips with the weeks challenges.
The build started with the introduction of Jack the building manager. With a few adjustments needed to be made, the team where straight into things, altering the windows and adding a more joists. The rest of the week has seen the floor and walling near completion. By the end of week six we hope to begin painting a fully structured kindy on the sea front.
The second weekly spear fishing trip saw, Ella, Cecelia, Jessie and Katy take to the water under the starlight. It was an experience the girls will not forget with Ella proving a natural by catching four fish. A great feat!
The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the kindi fundraiser on Friday. The team took a half day off the project, in order to prepare for the fundraiser; baking donuts, cakes, samosas and flapjacks with their families. The night was an unbelievable success, with people from neighbouring villages making the trip over to witness the kindy children performing. The team’s selection of tasty treats and a sulu raffle helping to raise $120 for the new kindy resources.
Eleanor, Ella and Tegan have picked up were the team left off in school last week. Ella and T have made a great job of sprucing up class 4’s desks while Eleanor has developed class 7’s comprehension skills.
Kindy’s daily structure and routine is really paying off for the children. Many of them have picked up the new nursery rhymes within the space of a week. Furthermore, colour days have also had a real impact on the children’s learning.
Training for what was meant to be week five’s rugby and netball games has put on hold due to the fixtures being rescheduled for the coming week. The coming week the team will train with the village and continue to coach the children for what is set to be a huge day of sport on Friday.  The team will take the children of Ulumbau School to challenge Moturiki District School in an interschool rugby and netball competition. These games will play as a curtainraiser to the main event, as the men go at it to contest for the TP cup! (Netball scheduled for the coming weeks).
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (28)
Wow, where did week five go? A fun filled week has seen the team become worried that the departure from their new home is quickly approaching. With the volunteers still sky high from the weekend’s events, the team was excited to get to grips with the weeks challenges.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (2)
The build started with the introduction of Jack the building manager. With a few adjustments needed to be made, the team where straight into things, altering the windows and adding a more joists. The rest of the week has seen the floor and walling near completion. By the end of week six we hope to begin painting a fully structured kindy on the sea front.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (78)
The highlight of the week was undoubtedly the kindi fundraiser on Friday. The team took a half day off the project, in order to prepare for the fundraiser; baking donuts, cakes, samosas and flapjacks with their families. The night was an unbelievable success, with people from neighbouring villages making the trip over to witness the kindy children performing. The team’s selection of tasty treats and a sulu raffle helping to raise $120 for the new kindy resources.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (110)
Eleanor, Ella and Tegan have picked up were the team left off in school last week. Ella and T have made a great job of sprucing up class 4’s desks while Eleanor has developed class 7’s comprehension skills. Kindy’s daily structure and routine is really paying off for the children. Many of them have picked up the new nursery rhymes within the space of a week. Furthermore, colour days have also had a real impact on the children’s learning.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (67)
Training for what was meant to be week five’s rugby and netball games has put on hold due to the fixtures being rescheduled for the coming week. The coming week the team will train with the village and continue to coach the children for what is set to be a huge day of sport on Friday.  The team will take the children of Ulumbau School to challenge Moturiki District School in an interschool rugby and netball competition. These games will play as a curtainraiser to the main event, as the men go at it to contest for the TP cup! (Netball scheduled for the coming weeks). The second weekly spear fishing trip saw, Ella, Cecelia, Jessie and Katy take to the water under the starlight. It was an experience the girls will not forget with Ella proving a natural by catching four fish. A great feat!
Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Think Pacific Young Enterprise Competition the highlight of the week in Fiji


Week 7
There is no question that the highlight of the school week was the young enterprise session which Brad has taken the lead in, supported enthusiastically by Jess, Mary and Henry. Thursday afternoon saw classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 split into their house groups (with the TP guys) to play an educational game, aimed at developing an understanding of business enterprise.
Each house was its own business with a managing director (TP member), group trader, secretary and production team. A differing amount of paper, scissors, pencils, money and ruler were distributed to the groups. With these resources the groups had to produce shapes to sell to the bank.  Meantime trading amongst one another to gain the resources they needed. For example; red group having no paper, blue having no scissors, green without a pencil and yellow with no resources but lots of money.
The houses traded during five, eight minute rounds with the winner being judged by the team who had finished with the most money. At the beginning of each round the stakes changes slightly. Inflation rounds saw the prices for shapes being sold to the bank increase and during taxation rounds the bank would take back pieces of equipment e.g. a pencil. The afternoon created some intense competition, most notable between the TP members.
House photography has run alongside after school sports this week. In preparation, the team dived into the tool box and made most of the build resources to create picture frames. Using off cuts of timber and the odd palm leaf in which to capture shots of the children.
Each day one house made their way around Ulimbau going nuts with their cameras, searching for the golden shot to submit in to the competition. The competition is to be judged at the house cup finals on the last day in school.
This week the team have began to prepare for the Daku fun day, and so, meke practice is underway. The evenings have consisted of an hour practice in hope of performing a warrior dance which shall make the village proud.
The spear fishing trip went out on Tuesday; Brad, Jess, Sarah and Tegan were treated to a special evening under the light of a full moon.
Big news in terms of the the build… a superb effort from the team saw all the hammers, chisels, nails etc placed back in the box and the introduction of the paint brushes! By Tuesday the windows and doors had all been fitted and the last remaining floor boards completed! Wednesday and Thursday was spent painting the whole building with prima, more paint going on the volunteers than the actual build. Strange to think that this time next week, we will have a freshly painted kindi sat on the beach of Daku!
The last free weekend within the village was spent soaking up village life: playing with the kids, relaxing on the boat and raft building. After failing with their first attempt the boys regrouped to design a catamaran, half Fijian, half UK design and played in the sea all There is no question that the highlight of the school week was the young enterprise session which Brad has taken the lead in, supported enthusiastically by Jess, Mary and Henry. Thursday afternoon saw classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 split into their house groups (with the TP guys) to play an educational game, aimed at developing an understanding of business enterprise.
Moturiki Jan 12 gap year fiji
There is no question that the highlight of the school week was the young enterprise session which Brad has taken the lead in, supported enthusiastically by Jess, Mary and Henry. Thursday afternoon saw classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 split into their house groups (with the TP guys) to play an educational game, aimed at developing an understanding of business enterprise. Each house was its own business with a managing director (TP member), group trader, secretary and production team. A differing amount of paper, scissors, pencils, money and ruler were distributed to the groups. With these resources the groups had to produce shapes to sell to the bank. Meantime trading amongst one another to gain the resources they needed. For example; red group having no paper, blue having no scissors, green without a pencil and yellow with no resources but lots of money.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (75)
The houses traded during five, eight minute rounds with the winner being judged by the team who had finished with the most money. At the beginning of each round the stakes changes slightly. Inflation rounds saw the prices for shapes being sold to the bank increase and during taxation rounds the bank would take back pieces of equipment e.g. a pencil. The afternoon created some intense competition, most notable between the TP members.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (31)
House photography has run alongside after school sports this week. In preparation, the team dived into the tool box and made most of the build resources to create picture frames. Using off cuts of timber and the odd palm leaf in which to capture shots of the children.  Each day one house made their way around Uluibau going nuts with their cameras, searching for the golden shot to submit in to the competition. The competition is to be judged at the house cup finals on the last day in school.  This week the team have also begun to prepare for the Daku fun day, and so, meke practice is underway. The evenings have consisted of an hour practice in hope of performing a warrior dance which shall make the village proud. And in spear fishing, the group went out on Tuesday; Brad, Jess, Sarah and Tegan were treated to a special evening under the light of a full moon.
Moturiki Jan 12 - Weeks 4-8 (1)
Big news in terms of the the build… a superb effort from the team saw all the hammers, chisels, nails etc placed back in the box and the introduction of the paint brushes! By Tuesday the windows and doors had all been fitted and the last remaining floor boards completed! Wednesday and Thursday was spent painting the whole building with prima, more paint going on the volunteers than the actual build. Strange to think that this time next week, we will have a freshly painted kindi sat on the beach of Daku! The last free weekend within the village was spent soaking up village life: playing with the kids, relaxing on the boat and raft building. After failing with their first attempt the boys regrouped to design a catamaran, half Fijian, half UK design and played in the sea all Sunday.
Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Volunteer stories; Tegan’s update from Daku village


So week 7 has begun and it’s a strange reality I can’t quite get my head around, all our families are starting to bring up the sad truth that we’re leaving in 10 days at meal times. Seems pretty real how long we’ve been here when you look at the build too. Last week we had to face the fact that we were a bit behind on it instead of ahead of schedule like we’ve been used to, the boys did not take this well seeing  as last week there was only 4 real workers and ‘a girl’. I think I hopefully proved them wrong and became an honorary ‘lad’ for the week – although if anything went wrong it was of course my fault! Have to say that I’m a bit sad that the actual building part of the kindi is drawing to a close. I know I’m not the only one that feels like a bit of a pro builder now! Sat in a neighbouring village’s hall built by past TP volunteers, Katy and I were, in pretty much all seriousness, saying how their ‘braces’ didn’t look as strong and that the windows were perhaps a few inches out! I reckon Ikea furniture will be a breeze when we get back!
Week 6 was always warned to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and I’m not going to deny the fact that  a mixture of feelings were flying around the group but personally I would say it ended on a (to use Nige and Tom’s favourite word) ‘massive’ high. Thursday was the house debating competition which we were all slightly skeptical of seeing as at the start of the week not one pupil knew what a debate was! Especially worrying seeing as when we let the teacher know of this he said ‘you all have dictionaries? Look up the word debate’ – not quite the explanation all of us were hoping he’d give! But we were proved wrong because it turned out to be one my favourite school moments because the house spirit was so great and blue teams emphasis on hitting the desk to make a point was truly inspirational – not that there is any personal bias whatsoever! 
Friday was my roomie Jess’ birthday which her section will go into a lot more detail of but I think I can speak for the team when I say how much Friday made us appreciate and love the village for everything. From Jess’ favourite breakfast to the feast, outfits and hop hop so much effort was made. My Bubu (grandmother) barely speaks English and has only said 3 words to us since we arrived ‘kana vaka levu’ (eat more!) but went to such a massive effort for Jess’ birthday. The next morning she came up to both of us and gave us kisses on the cheek and called us her granddaughters.
For me it sums up the friendliness and kindness that is so  part of the Fijian culture. Saturday was our down time trip to Caqalai that Tom and Nige organized and with the absence of Jessie we were all a bit down, especially when we thought we may not go due to a Fijian style mix up with the boats but it turned out to be a really good day full of clichés like us playing shoulder wars in the sea shipwrecked style!
We all appreciated the village so much more having had a day away and realize how little time we have left of this amazing experience having finished this week off on a high. Last full week on project next week – we’re not going to waste a second of it.
Tegan and the TP team in Daku
So week 7 has begun and it’s a strange reality I can’t quite get my head around, all our families are starting to bring up the sad truth that we’re leaving in 10 days at meal times. Seems pretty real how long we’ve been here when you look at the build too. Last week we had to face the fact that we were a bit behind on it instead of ahead of schedule like we’ve been used to, the boys did not take this well seeing  as last week there was only 4 real workers and ‘a girl’. I think I hopefully proved them wrong and became an honorary ‘lad’ for the week – although if anything went wrong it was of course my fault! Have to say that I’m a bit sad that the actual building part of the project is drawing to a close.  I know I’m not the only one that feels like a bit of a pro builder now! Sat in a neighbouring village’s hall built by past TP volunteers, Katy and I were, in pretty much all seriousness, saying how their ‘braces’ didn’t look as strong and that the windows were perhaps a few inches out! I reckon Ikea furniture will be a breeze when we get back!  Week 6 was always warned to be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster and I’m not going to deny the fact that  a mixture of feelings were flying around the group but personally I would say it ended on a (to use Nige and Tom’s favourite word) ‘massive’ high. Thursday was the house debating competition which we were all slightly skeptical of seeing as at the start of the week not one pupil knew what a debate was! Especially worrying seeing as when we let the teacher know of this he said ‘you all have dictionaries? Look up the word debate’ – not quite the explanation all of us were hoping he’d give! But we were proved wrong because it turned out to be one my favourite school moments because the house spirit was so great and blue teams emphasis on hitting the desk to make a point was truly inspirational – not that there is any personal bias whatsoever!  Friday was my roomie Jess’ birthday which her section will go into a lot more detail of but I think I can speak for the team when I say how much Friday made us appreciate and love the village for everything. From Jess’ favourite breakfast to the feast, outfits and hop hop so much effort was made. My Bubu (grandmother) barely speaks English and has only said 3 words to us since we arrived ‘kana vaka levu’ (eat more!) but went to such a massive effort for Jess’ birthday. The next morning she came up to both of us and gave us kisses on the cheek and called us her granddaughters.  For me it sums up the friendliness and kindness that is so  part of the Fijian culture. Saturday was our down time trip to Caqalai that Tom and Nige organized and with the absence of Jessie we were all a bit down, especially when we thought we may not go due to a Fijian style mix up with the boats but it turned out to be a really good day full of clichés like us playing shoulder wars in the sea shipwrecked style! We all appreciated the village so much more having had a day away and realize how little time we have left of this amazing experience having finished this week off on a high. Last full week on project next week – we’re not going to waste a second of it.
Tegan
Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Moturiki team take a trek to the jungle peaks of Ovalau Island!


Rukuruku (11)