Archive for July, 2013

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Nairai – Rosa & Tiffany share their Kindi experience

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Week 3 in kindi was nothing short of a unique experience to say the least. The usual suspects were all present and accounted for: Eddie, Salome, Bola, Tukana, Paye and of course kindi wouldn’t be complete without the final round of Peter verses Nunia. We followed the usual routine for day one with the chosen theme of ‘under the sea’.

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The highlight of the day had to be learning. No matter how many times you say the word ‘star’ to a Fijian 4 year old we guarantee their reply will always be ‘stark’, unless they happen to be Nunia, who to every question will always reply Monday. As kindi started on a Monday Nunia was in her element, however, as the week progressed she quickly slipped from ‘star’ pupil.

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Arts and crafts was a general success throughout the whole week, following our theme, we painstakingly created a magnificent sea creature mobile, dot to dot fish and paper boats. Surprisingly the boats became increasingly fascinating to the children once they had been submerged in a bowl of water and disintegrated into soggy mush, allowing us to extend arts and crafts for a further 20 minutes.

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Some of the more violent incidents of the week included Peter trying to strangle Bola, first with a piece of string (taken from the beautiful sea creature mobile) and then with his bare hands (needless to say Peter spent a lot of his time in the naughty corner). On top of this there was the usual kindi antics of crayon stabbing, stick swinging and bag throwing. Nonetheless whenever things got slightly out of hand peace could always be restored with a handy game of sleeping lions.

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Despite the seemingly constant flow of urine and strop throwing there was clear progression shown by the children, not only during week three but throughout the whole project. The children were able to say their name, where they lived and age without much difficulty during circle time. They could correctly identify both the day of the week and the weather outside and got into the routine of brushing their teeth and washing their hands.  We even got them running from corner to corner correctly identifying 5 different shapes.

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By the end of our time, we really fell in love with kindi and though each day was a challenge it was amazing to see each child engaged and enjoying their time with us. We hope to have provided them with a strong platform of learning in order to prepare them for their time at school.

Blog post by Rosa and Tiff

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Nairai – Update from the sports & school house cup

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This week our volunteers made use of the school children’s athleticism to nurture their Netball, Hockey, Gymnastics and Athletics skills. Aryan, Tiff and Kate started where they had left off the previous week, working on specific skills and adapting them into a game situation, a highlight definitely being the ‘bully off’ to start the games.  Julia, Rosa, Jasmine and Poppy made use of the bibs, which were very kindly donated by St Nicholas primary school in Harpenden – A big vinaka from the Nairai kids and TP to St Nicholas school! in Netball, there were thrilling end to end matches from all the age groups. A special mention must go to class 3 & 4 who impressed the volunteers with their ability, providing the girls with some vital preparation for their community netball match at the weekend. Gymnastics led by Cat and Cheryl was a unique experience, with some bizarre cartwheels, headstands and forward rolls displayed. A highlight being, Epeli’s entrance into the team huddle when he demonstrated the almost perfect technique of a cartwheel. Shannon, Jess and Alice were left stunned in athletics due to the deceptive speed of Amy, leaving not only them but also the Fijians trailing during the relay. The activity’s introduction was a huge success and looks likely to continue, much to the delight of the children.

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In house cup, the second lot of house cup points have been up for grabs this week, in the form of public speaking. Selecting a poem/speech of their choice, the team educated the children on some of the basics before getting to work on their performance. With the competitive juices flowing, the team made every second of the 30 minute period a day count, whilst the children practiced their pieces in their spare time. Considering the amount of effort put into the performances, it is safe to say that the final showdown was a passionate affair!

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Gau – Bula from Kate in Fiji!


BULA! I can’t believe week 2 is nearly over, this week has zoomed past. Being in school this week has been so much fun, I’m in with classes 7&8 so the 13-14 year olds who are getting ready for secondary school. They’re so friendly and I’ve got to know them so well already, hearing about their aspirations is incredible. They are all so determined.

I’ve done a lesson on WW2 and they’re all so cooperative and willing to learn, they started with a timeline and then games to help them remember facts; hangman and a quiz.

We’ve had a great time in the village this week, we have been making Bilo’s which is hard work but they look so good when they are finished. The Fijian ladies showed us how to make the bracelets and I’ve got a feeling I’ll be coming home with millions of souvenirs! We had family night last night which is so good to get to know the different families, and a quiz that we keep failing at every week! We’ve been assisting with cheerleading for Abbi this week with the older children which has been so much fun, they have picked it up so well and to see their progression is so great.

We also attempted a human pyramid with the children for house cup (which could not have been more painful!) We managed it in the end though! Crazy to think we leave this Island two weeks today, going to miss my Fijian family especially baby Susana and little Alla & Lucyanna.

Heard the Royal baby has been born, yaaaay! Hope you’re recording my criminal minds and not deleting anything of planner!! I’ve got a food shopping list I’d be very grateful of a Tesco shop before my return, I’ll send it you when I get to R&R, give ginger Jack a cuddle from me :) Love yaaaaaa,
Kate xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Gau – A tough and rewarding week on the building project

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After another hard and labouring week at our Fijian build site, with more concreting, mixing and digging, Rich, Michelle, Laura, Charlotte Ombler, Lydia and Jess had a sigh of relief when it was finally time to do some wood work. Once all the floor was concreted the guys were then able to start on the frames. Nailing the bottom plate of wood into the concrete and then putting the uprights in place, measuring out the distance for the toilets and showers and then attaching the rafters on top before the purlins were strapped up and then the fascia boards and braces were attached. All our volunteers took to the tasks as if it was second nature. Building must be in their blood! So from what was just a whole in the ground at the beginning of the week, the team can now see the entire size and shape of the new sanitation facility. We are ready for the walls, roof, doors and of course the plumbing to start. A superb effort from the whole team as the structure really starts to take shape!

Thursday, July 25th, 2013

Nairai – Some Unforgettable Times For Our Volunteers In Lawaki Village

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Rosa’s Birthday – written by Rosa

A day I’ll never forget. What can I say about having a birthday in Fiji, the first things that spring to mind are certainly a lot of food, a lot of grog and an outfit fit for a forest queen! As my two bom boms (grandmas) wrapped me up in layer upon layer of skirt hand made from bark and a flower garland weaved at breakfast that morning, it is safe to say I was certainly apprehensive about the evening’s activities. However, within minutes my mind was put at ease.

The most touching thing about turning twenty in Fiji was the love and effort which surrounded the day, not only from my family but the from whole village. The children at school presented me with a birthday card signed by all the students and many personal cards from individual children. Including a card from a little boy in class seven named Simelli which read simply “I know you will love your birthday in Lawaki. Be happy forever”. Even kindi made (albeit with a little help) a card of hand prints signed by the team. In the evening the women in the village prepared an enormous feast, with more food than is humanly possible to consume. My highlight has got to be my magnificent cake, made in the next village and painstakingly trekked through the forest to my house. Definitely one of the most impressive birthday cakes I have eaten. After the feast there was plenty of singing, cards and grog in the hall. The team actively encouraged me to down a grog tsunami for every year of my life. I managed eight. Although that may not hold a candle stick to twenty, it is still a feat I am very proud of, it may even make it onto my CV!

Leaving my teens in Fiji is without doubt something I will always treasure, although far from my life in England it was never short of family or friends. I feel everyone should experience a birthday in Fiji. Turning twenty one definitely has some big shoes to fill!

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Spear fishing by Tiff…

On Saturday evening the team gathered together to set off fishing. Half the group went line fishing and the other spear fishing. Those spear fishing were Jas, Amy, Alice and I along with an over-excited Jenny and of course the Egg. By the time we set off it was dark, the best time to spear fish! On route to the reef, we felt like the SAS…Nige was making inspirational comments while we sat on the floor of the boat with rain slapping us in the face and lightening across the sky. Jas likened the sky to ‘mood-lighting’ and the weather really did add to the adrenaline! Flippered and snorkelled up we fell backwards into the sea and followed Raka and Tusay as they led the way with torches and spear guns to hand. Straight away we spotted a fish and I dove down a couple metres with Tusay to take aim, it was an insane experience. Just as I was about to run out of breath I took the shot and hit!

The team then became blood-thirsty, especially Jas the veggie of the group! She seemed to become infatuated with making a hit, her motto was ‘I’ll kill a fish but I won’t hold it’. In the end, she came back with a monstrous lobster and almost shot Raka in the process! We continued to follow the two torches that lit up the dark sea and in our path swam a reef shark and before we knew it two massive turtles, it was amazing! After that, Nige caught a really pretty red fish and of course Raka and Tusay were like underwater ninjas spearing multiple fish and lobsters.

Once we had all flopped rather graciously back into the boat we headed back to the village with our winnings. The whole experience was so surreal, and definitely the highlight of the trip so far!

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Gau – More pictures from our volunteers in Malawai Village