Archive for May, 2012

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

May 2012 five week team enjoy castaway life..


Savuna '12 Team

Here’s the first photo of our May 2012 five week expedition team who arrived into Fiji this week!   Our team, pictured above with members of the Fijian Ministry, are doing fantastically well and after meeting on Thursday for the first time, they’re already such a close group.  They’ve been soaking up the South Pacific sunshine in paradise by spending their first few days of Fijian life on a tiny castaway island.  The last couple of days have been focused on preparing for all the unique experiences that lie ahead in beautiful Savuna village with briefings from our leaders and the Fijian government and day trips to nearby Fijian islands alongside snorkelling the reefs, volleyball competitions and beach time.  We have lots of aims ahead, including building new showers and sanitation facilities for the community of Savuna and leading a programme of teaching, kindergarten, youth clubs and sports development for the kids of Moturiki Island. We can’t wait for the team to head across to their Fijian village on Monday, when the adventures and experiences of Fijian life really begin!

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Fijian fun and adventure! Jungle treks, snorkel trips and village visits..


This week the village boys took the team across to Manuku on the other side of Batiki for a village visit and to trek through the rainforest up to one of the highest points on the island. After a tiring but very enjoyable day the team found the stamina to join the villagers for a party, where grog and dancing continued through the night. With the beautiful weather over the past two weeks, many afternoons have been spent walking along the beautiful beaches that stretch out in front of Mua village. With snorkels in hand and a picnic packed everyone enjoyed a day trip to explore the crystal clear blue waters and the amazing sights that lie beneath that clear water.
As ever almost every evening in the village is filled with some kind of activity, from quiz nights among the team to games nights with the village. This week there was also extra grog parties on the timetable as the villagers from neighboring islands Nairai and Gau visited Batiki for two days for a church meeting and Mua became a buzz of communal feasts and evenings of hop hip.
Another huge occasion was the joint birthday party for Ben and Rob. Birthdays are always very special occasions but having yours in a Fijian village is something not many people are lucky enough to experience. With a huge feast, presents and of course a grog and hop hop session this was definitely one birthday neither will ever forget!
Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (101) Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (106)
Fun and adventure is always central to any TP expedition!  This week the village boys took the team across to Manuku on the other side of Batiki for a village visit and to trek through the rainforest up to one of the highest points on the island. After a tiring but very enjoyable day the team found the stamina to join the villagers for a party, where grog and dancing continued through the night.
Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (98)Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (94)
With the glorious sunny weather over the past two weeks, many afternoons have been spent walking along the beautiful beaches that stretch out in front of Mua village. With snorkels in hand and a picnic packed everyone enjoyed a day trip to explore the crystal clear blue waters and the amazing coral reefs. There’s also been some great spear fishing trips as our volunteers get into the swing of subsistence tropical island life and some great success with our volunteers coming home with dinner!
Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (25) Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (91)
As ever, almost every evening in the village is filled with some kind of activity, from quiz nights among the team to games nights with the village. This week there was also extra grog parties on the timetable as the villagers from neighboring islands of Nairai and Gau visited Batiki for two days for a church meeting and Mua became a buzz of communal feasts and evenings of kava and hop hop.
Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (8) Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (40)
Another huge occasion recently was the joint birthday party for Ben and Rob (picture above, right) Birthdays are always very special occasions but having yours in a Fijian village is something not many people are lucky enough to experience. With a huge feast, presents, a cake baked by the village ladies and of course a grog and hop hop session, this was definitely one birthday neither of our guys will ever forget!
Friday, May 25th, 2012

Thoughts of Fiji from our tp volunteers..


Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (20)

So what happens when the sun goes down? First of all every sunset here is beautiful and unique. We find ourselves playing on the beach with the kids who always seem to have so much energy. Some of us lay down on the hammocks reading after a long days work on the build, it’s really starting to take shape now actually. I have to say even as a vegetarian here with this fish dominated diet I still love the food. After dinner we play cards with our families and drink tea and coffee. AND WHEN I hit the pillow at night, although I do miss my family and friends at home, there is truly no place I’d rather be right now. We have such a good team and our leaders Tom and Nigel are great too. Fiji is such an incredible place with such amazing people…

Rachel Ademokun

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Youth Camp! Volunteers light up batiki island for a week of youth and sports


Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (115) Batiki April 12 - Weeks 2&3 (51)

Weeks 2 & 3 saw Batiki District School on their two week term break. The team decided to get together and came up with the idea of having a Youth Camp which had the theme ‘Pacific Pirates’ This involved splitting the team and kids into 4 different ships’ The Flying Duchman, The Crusader, Starship and Diversity. With a world of talent in our team they decided the activities which the kids would take part in and ultimately win points for their ship would be Arts & Crafts, Sports, Drama & Music and Dance. The theme for Arts & Crafts was to create a flag for their pirate ship, sports was a variety of races and games, drama & music saw the kids act out scenes from Peter Pan and learn the Recorder with Rachel and then learn different moves in the dance class. It was hard to tell who was enjoying themselves more with as many whoops and screams coming from the volunteers as there was from the kids! And one of the biggest highlights of Youth Camp has to have been when Emily made an appearance in her Banana suit, which could have been in the middle of the sports pitch, up one of the hills behind the school or even up a tree. Everyone then had to run and catch her and break into the banana bungalow dance. It has been an unforgettable couple of weeks for everyone with lots of the Fijian parents getting involved also and such a great way to inspire the kids during their holidays. Now it’s time to get back to teaching the traditional lessons, but we will look forward to the final production of Peter Pan towards the end of the project!

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Batiki kindergarten project goes from strength to strength


In Kindi this week it was Thom, Grace, Emily and Hannah’s turn to both entertain and be entertained by the kids of Yavu and Mua. Everyone knows that the way to a kids heart is to let them make a mess and with this clearly in mind, our kindi teachers set about making a mural of a tree with the kids hand prints as the leaves. As you can imagine there wasn’t only paint on the paper by the end but everyone had an absolute blast and managed to create an impressive work of art. Along with arts and crafts our teachers also worked closely with the children to improve their English speaking and also their colour, number and shape identification, with each of these elements becoming a main theme for the day. After settling in quickly in the first week it is clear to see how much our team and the kids are enjoying themselves and the Fijian teachers are very excited by the children’s progress and the improvements that can be seen week upon week.

Friday, May 25th, 2012

Batiki volunteers make great progress on the building project


After spending the first few days of the build laying the foundations and digging holes and concreting posts, it was time for the community hall in Mua to really take some shape. This started by the team laying all the bottom plates and floor bearers. It was then time to start cutting the studs for the walling. With everyone pulling their weight this job was soon complete and add to that Harriette, Kaitlyn and Fiona’s perfect work fixing the noggins, the team could finally get a sense of the size of the hall they were building. Before moving onto the roof there were some wall braces and strapping to be done with Rachel proving a dab hand with a chisel, maybe there’s a future in carpentry or sculpturing for her! Next it was time for some of our team to brave the dizzy heights of the roof while everyone else finished off the walls. By the end of week 3 the roof trusses are cut and nailed in place which means we are almost ready to fit the roofing irons. For a group of people, for whom most had barely ever held a hammer or saw never mind built anything before, the standard of work is really pleasing our Fijian building manager, Jack.  We are well on track to have everything completed in good time and what an achievement completing the entire community center will be!