Archive for January, 2014

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Moturiki Team – Expedition underway for 10 week & 6 months volunteers!


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Our Moturiki January 2014 expedition is underway, with our 10 week and 6 month volunteers making the winding journey along Fiji’s beautiful coral coast, before boarding the boats and travelling to our castaway island briefing spot of Leleuvia, where their project island of Moturiki awaits just across the water. 

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There was a “tropical” feel to the weather, with wind and rain greeting the team this morning, however that did not dampen the spirit of excitement to be underway, and the air of celebration with volunteer Jim Shaw celebrating his 21st birthday! There was a cake and birthday songs during the dinner, and the team then enjoyed a kava ceremony and a few bowls of grog through the evening, with the guitars and “hop hop” for all!

Tomorrow the team shall be briefed on the immense project aims by Provincial Council and Ministry of Health representatives, including the construction of a kindergarten classroom at Moturiki District School, educational assistance to the primary school students, extra curricular youth activities, and daily PE and sports coaching workshops. There shall also be briefings with the expedition leaders on Fiji’s cultures, customs and traditions, with further team building exercises, before the team travel to their new home of Nasesara Village, Moturiki on Monday morning. It is a hugely exciting 10 weeks ahead!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Gau Volunteer Stories: Immersing into Fijian Village Life by Calum & Cora


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In true Lion King style we stepped, blinking, into the hot Fijian sun over Vione as our troop of boats sped through the Mangroves and we got our first view of our new home. Since that moment we have become truly immersed in the life and culture of our new found families. It’s hard to put in writing just how different the Fijian way of life is to our hard, cynical British mentalities but the notion of ‘keri-keri’ or the idea that everything is shared is a decent way of summarising their truly spectacular attitudes towards community and human life in itself. It’s impossible to walk through the village without being offered at least a cup of tea, at most a place to sleep and a membership to the clan. Although there was some fear that we could not sustain our rather hefty appetites, this apprehension was immediately diminished as we realised Fijians loved their food. Were it not for the sweltering heat and hard work we’ve been putting into our building and playing, the breakfast, 11s, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner would quickly lead to us obtaining some seriously comically-round figures.
 
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 It did not take long, however, for certain members of the gang to quickly lower the tone with some seriously mis-judged haircuts. From Jake’s simple ‘Mr-T’ to Callum’s slightly more conspicuous ‘T-P’ etched into the side of his head we caused a stir with our mass-hairdressing in the centre of the village. Other highlights of the week included our first experience of Fijian ‘hop-hop’. The men particularly enjoyed sweeping the girls off their feet for some brilliantly old-school dance moves. As exhausting as the dancing was, it had nothing on our games of leap frog and duck, duck goose. Playing with the children and teaching them our favourite games was a definite experience and quickly made us realise we would need all the energy of the Duracell bunny to keep up with these kids. Preceding our afternoons at the school were mornings filled with the start of our building project. So far we’ve been counting and moving the timber, mixing and setting the concrete and generally just giving shape to our future community hall.
On our first free day off, most of us got stuck into our first Fijian fishing experience. It may have started with nets and hooks but the spear guns and snorkels were quickly deployed and we found out Fijian fishing was done slightly differently. Although judging by the amount we caught we may still need some practice. While we definitely returned to the village fairly toasted, it was a good first free day out and we look forward to many more to come, not to mention our first proper week getting stuck in at the school, Kindi, the House Cup activities and the upcoming sports.
Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Gau Team – Foundations Completed on Build & Sports Games Underway!


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Build kicked off this week with the heavy graft of the foundations for the community hall, and thankfully the build involved the whole team for the first few days. We had to stack and count timbers insuring we had all that we needed to transform the empty space into the soon to be Vione village hall. All before we got going with some equally hard work in the form of mixing and digging for the foundation posts, which by Friday were all cemented in place giving the first visible layer to our build.

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With few numbers at the start of term, first week sports consisted of several silly games including leap frog races, duck duck goose and songs; all of which the children absolutely loved allowing our volunteers to get to know the school kids in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. They also gave our guys an insight into how much endless energy the Fijian children have (and the teachers!).

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From the outset we have all been shown a very hearty welcome into the village that can only happen in Fiji. We have been made to feel like a part of every family already, and the enthusiastic ‘grog’ party on Friday with singing and dancing (hop-hop) only accentuated this! We are all very excited for the 8 weeks ahead!

 

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Koro January 2014 Project Begins!


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Our Koro January 2014 project is underway, with our volunteer team on Leleuvia Island for a 3 day castaway island briefing. With this being our first development implementation on Koro Island it is an extremely exciting time for Think Pacific, the Government stakeholders and the Koro Island communities and schools, as we launch our youth and sports intitiatives to support and promote the aims of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Youth & Sports!

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Following the briefing the team shall board the ferry for the 9 hour journey to Koro, arriving at their new home in Nasau village on Tuesday morning. It is a big 5 weeks ahead!

Monday, January 20th, 2014

More Photos From Gau Team Castaway Briefing


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After 4 days of team building, project briefings and games our Gau January 2014 team are very excited to be travelling across to the village of Vione on Gau island this morning, which shall be their home for the next 8 weeks as they complete building, teaching, youth and sports development aims for this remote and rural community. Here are some photos from their castaway island briefing!

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Gau January 2014 Project Begins!


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Our Gau January 2014 10 week project is underway! With all team members arriving in early,  the project began singing happy birthday to our Fijian Expedition Leader Saki, who celebrates his 22nd birthday today!

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It was then on to the team bus for the 4 hour journey winding along Fiji’s stunning coral coast, and after a brief stop in the capital city of Suva to pick up traditional sulus, bula shirts and dresses it was on to the landing. Here the team loaded onto two boats for the 40 minute crossing to our beautiful castaway island briefing base of Leleuvia Island.

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The team shall spend the next 4 days preparing for the huge project aims ahead in Vione Village on Gau Island, including briefings from the Fijian Ministry representatives and our expedition leader team on the construction of a brand new community centre for the village, teaching assistance at Vione primary school and kindergarten, and daily sports coaching workshops and PE lessons. They will also be guided on local customs and cultures as we look forward to living and working alongside the community of Vione village, and immersing into the ‘Kaiviti’ way of life!