Archive for February, 2014

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Gau Team – Stalls, Games & Races at Vione School and Kindi Fundraiser!

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On Saturday the team, school and Vione community came together to have some fun, entertain, and raise some much needed funds for the Vione village school. The team came up with some fantastic stalls, including “Splat the Rat”, “Crossbar Challenge, “Young Enterprise” Stalls, Face Painting and the “Most Baskets in 30 Seconds”…something for everyone, and the kids were full of enthusiasm and excitement….as were our volunteers!

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The village and teachers were also fully involved in the event, with the families making lunch to be sold, and playing a classic kids game here in Fiji called “Padi”, where tins are stacked and two teams compete with one aiming to knock them down, whilst the other aims to stack them up. And of course it wouldnt be a fundraiser without some old school relay races for the kids, team, teachers and community members, as they competed in leap frog races, “up and under” and wheel barrow. The competetive spirit was there for all to see, with the Fijian lads doing whatever it may take to sneak the victory, even if outside the rules of the game!

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Overall the day was a huge success, with $134 raised to support the kindergarten teacher. We would like to say a big vinaka vaka levu to Master Joe and the school teachers, the Vione families and of course the kids for making it a very fun day for all!

Friday, February 28th, 2014

Gau Team – Football introduced at Vione Village School!

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Following the success of lacrosse the week before, the school girls continued to practice and develop their skills this week. Although the sun was beating down and regular water breaks were needed, lacrosse went on without fail. For the boys a new sport was introduced this week; football. The idea at first seemed ludicrous to the kids but once the balls were out and the fun started a love for a new sport sprung. Although some drills proved a little dangerous for the volunteers (receiving headers and volleys) if they were not switched on fully a few stray balls connected with some intimate areas. Both Joss and Fud had to ‘take a knee’ after such an incident. The boys thrived on a new sport this week and threw themselves right in, loving every minute. On Friday we played a mass game of rugby netball in a torrential downpour. From the youngest to the oldest, everyone was involved. Slipping and sliding in the rain; with one or two of the team even getting ever so slightly competitive as they played, it was a great end to a week of sports as everyone went home happy even though they were soaked to the skin!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Moturiki Team – Frames go up on build ; ABC’s, monsters & “English Olympics” in school; Transport week in Kindi ; and lots of splashing in the rain…week 3 update from our team!

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On Monday the team started their new Rota on project. We had James, Sassy, Will, Jack, Adrien and Jim on the build project, and it was another week of hard graft as the wall frames for the entire kindergarten structure went up, as well as the noggins and braces being measured, cut and nailed into place. The week on build also had its highlights, including lots of hammered fingers, James and Sassy giving their personal rendition of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem (which even had our building manger Sami laughing), ice pops, cold tang and some ‘kerekere’ for cakes!

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In Kindi we had Theo, Morag, Ciara and Martha ready for the wonderful mayhem of Early Childhood Education learning! The theme of the week was transport, so the guys spent time making paper planes, pictures of tractors, busses and boats. They also had lots of fun during song time, and very much enjoyed the Kindi kids version of ‘God is so good’, whilst also embracing being covered in paint, stickers and the usual Kindi shenanigans!

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Rich took class 1 this week and entertained them with paper ducks and helping to teach the ABC. Libby took class 2, and by end of the week was already leading classes. On Friday Libby and her class arranged a birthday party for 3 of the students who had their birthdays during the week. The class had party hats and played games, and of course sang a rather long version of “happy birthday” for the guests of honour. In class 3 and 4 we had Tash, who spent the majority of the lesson time assisting and helping the kids in class 3 who were struggling in particular subject areas, particularly English and Maths. She also had the opportunity to take a few lessons on verbs and pronounciation. In class 5 Jamie stepped up to the challenge and took classes all week, implementing a very imaginative English lesson with some creative writing about birds and giants! He also imparted a lot of wisdom during health education and got the kids to talk about clean water and sanitation. In class 6 Sam got stuck straight in with a huge topic and lesson, with the students being asked to invent, draw and write about their very own monster…the results were very scary!!!! In class 7 and 8 Laura worked alongside Master Mika, taking the children by storm with classroom English Olympics, and in song time she taught them price tag by Jessie J, which has already become a classroom favorite, second only to Laura herself!

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For house cup this week we had Debating, with the topic being “Should there be school on Saturday?”. We held the semi finals on Wednesday, before the play offs and finals were held on Friday afternoon. Debating is a very new concept to the students, and the team and kids worked really hard to practive and organise the debates throughout the week. The representatives from each house all did wonderfully and it got very competitive and rather loud on finals day, but in the end the victory went to Kula!

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For Sports coaching this week the team organised Netball, Rugby, Cricket and Hockey, sending the week teaching different techniques for their sports before holding matches and small tournaments on the Friday afternoon.

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As it is wet season here in Fiji it was only a matter of time before the scorching sunshine finally broke…and during the week we had a lot of rain, which of course means play time in the puddles…for the team! This was great fun and everyone was loving playing games like kids, until of course lightning decided to strike and the team all slipped and slided their way to safety undercover!


On Friday the team enjoyed a visit to our neibouring village of Navuti, where we enjoyed many many bilos of grog, a lot of crazy “hop hop” dancing, and wobbly walk home!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

Gau Team – Basket Weaving, Spear Fishing & Visit to Lekanai Village!

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Kaiviti life this week was in full swing when the team had the chance to transform palm leaves in to stylish weaved baskets. Even the chief relished the chance to show off his skills and got involved showing the team how to add the delicate finishing touches. The baskets quickly had a double purpose as they were turned into helmets as well as very stylish handbags.

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Our first Night spear fishers Fi, Matt, Jake and Joss ventured out into the sea and guided only by the moonlight, torch light and a few amphibious Fijians they returned home triumphant with bundles of fish. 

Friday was yet another party and highlight of the week; this time Lekani village was treated to our extensive and scintillating dance moves after they had treated us with some amazing food. Once the grog started flowing we danced the night away with our Fijian friends. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed their night with Fijian laughter ringing in our ears as we jumped on a boat for the moonlit ride home.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – My time at Nasau primary school, by Ruth

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Teaching at Nasau Primary School has been an absolute pleasure with never ending daily rewards. Art classes were not very frequent in the school prior to our arrival and I have managed to engage the teachers into giving art classes more of a chance. The children have been doing lots of observational drawing, which we then displayed within the classrooms. The teachers have really enjoyed having more colour on the walls rather than just concrete. Word has gone around the teachers to bring more art into the classrooms, which is really great too!

Sports lessons in the afternoons have also gone down a storm at the school as well. The children are bursting with excitement after lunch ready to get outside and exercise. Some games we have been playing they already know how to play, but they have also been learning new games such as Rounders. Dancing has also been a real hit, I have taken part in assisting Laura teaching a few classes and when walking through the village later that day children are still repeating the dances that have learnt earlier that day. Spectators of the dance lessons are also brought in to provide the music through beats and clapping. Dance lessons are real highlight.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – “Revision Tips” study groups at Koro High School, by Tyne

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This week I started my ‘revision tips’ study groups with year 13 and year 12 pupils to help them prepare for exams. I focused on the importance of passing exams, but also making learning enjoyable and exciting. I encouraged the students to make use of the facilities they have and explore further reading. I discovered that children re-read their notes and didn’t know how to make mind maps, colour code, have group discussions or test each other with friends and family. Therefore I provided an optional guide to making learning more interactive. Students were very receptive and feedback from teachers and students was fantastic! Hopefully it will give them the opportunity to raise their grades and enjoy their last years in school. After a great week we were treated to an overnight stay in Cade and what better way to celebrate our homecoming to Nassau than some barbequed fish on the beach! I will miss the high school and that stunning view but am excited to go back to primary for our last week, it’s going to be a big one! Stay tuned for a very teary update next week!