Archive for March, 2014

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Moturiki Team – A fantastic weekend for our volunteers; Village visits, birthday parties, snorkelling trips, island treks and a Lovo feast!

Pic 1- weekend

On Friday the team raced back from school, got their best jaba dresses and bula shirts on, and set off our families from Nasesara on an adventure across Moturiki to Niubasanga village..and what a night to arrive into! It was a double birthday party in the village which we had been invited too, and the amount of people there was incredible, Fijian communities certainly know how to host! After a huge feast of fish and local foods, we had some beautifully baked cake, followed by many many bowls of grog and great dancing with hundreds of people! The team were also happy to see so many of the school kids invited to join the party, as they spent the evening singing together and playing games! The party, and the grog bowls, flowed until morning, with the last standing being our “grogaholics” Libby, Tash and Adrien, who staggered in at 5am!

Pic 2 - weekend

After an amazing night we headed back home to Nasesara, before surprising the team with a boat to a tiny island near Moturiki called Yanuca Laialai, where we cooked a traditional Fijian feast in a lovo, the underground earth oven. Whilst waiting for the Lovo, the team went snorkeling, spear fishing and made a camp fire, with some of us off exploring as we trekked up to the highest point of this small island to enjoy the most amazing view! After weeks of hard graft and huge efforts the team defiantly deserved a day on the beach, and we were all quick to make the very most of it!

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Gau 5 Week Team – Youth projects kick off with Kindi, School, House Cup and Sports initiatives.

Pic 1 - youth

The first few days in the school and kindergarten allow the team to observe the daily programmes, develop their ideas and concepts, and plan their lessons and initiatives with the staff members. In kindi this week Katie and Rebecca have been working on a weather chart, day chart, daily routine poster and a wide range of nursery rhymes. This all awaits the kindi children over the next few days. They are also planning to introduce elements of the Think Pacific kindi routine on Monday, and the girls are looking forward to it!

Pic 2 - youth

In school Tasha, Freya and Kate began assisting the Nacavanadi District School teachers, whilst the team as a whole also began the House Cup programme with the arts & crafts competition for the students. The house cup programme aims to introduce extra curricular opportunities in the remote and rural schools, and shall also include a photography element, public speaking, singing and sports in just 3 weeks…lots to look forward to for youth development in Nacavanadi!

Pic 3 - youth

In sports coaching the team were off and running with warm ups, warm downs and basic coaching drills in netball and volleyball, with everyone having a lot of fun and enjoying the matches being played!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Moturiki Team – Volunteers coach MDS Under 10, 12 & 14 Rugby and Netball teams as Ovalau tournament approaches!

Pic 1 - sports

With the Ovalau-Moturiki schools rugby and netball tournament approaching, this week the team were asked by the MDS headteacher to entirely focus on these sports during the sports coaching and PE workshops, so that the students could be fully prepared and focused, with MDS having a stron track record in netball within the province!

The Think Pacific lads split into 3 groups, each coaching and mentoring different age groups at Under 10, Under 12 and Under 14 level, with this weeks objective being to coach the correct techniques for rucking and mauling. There was also some time spent looking at how to tackle correctly, as even at a young age the Fijian kids like to go high and hard! The kids were really responsive and enthusiastic, and next week the team shall begin building them up with set plays and handling drills before the tournament kicks off in Levuka on Saturday morning.

Pic 2 - sports

The TP girls were busy taking the MDS netball teams by storm, immediately putting them into game situations, passing drills and shooting practices, whilst making sure the kids were having fun along the way. There is a huge amount of natural talent within the Moturiki District School netball teams,including an Under 14 Fiji international, and the team therefore simply wanted to refine those skills, and encourage the girls to play with confidence, when they meet the Ovalau schools next weekend!

Those of the team not coaching took the younger classes for a big game of rounders, which the children always enjoy, with the volunteers joining in to provide that competetive edge!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Gau 5 Week Team – “Messy, sweaty and cement-y”; It’s foundation time on build! by Izzie

Pic 1 - build

Nacavanadi’s vision was for Think Pacific to aid them in building a toilet block for the whole community to use. The toilet block will consist of two male and two female toilets. On day one, eight of us volunteered to crack on with the first week of the build. Our first job consisted of profiling the area using wood planks and branches, machetted into pegs. Some of us were quick to realise nailing wood to pegs wasn’t our forte, although having our team joiner Craig, we all soon mastered the hammer. Trench digging became our next challenge. Everyone really got stuck in, but the Fijian boys could resist offering to help. We split up into two, half the team digging the foundations, while the others created a 5 foot deep hole for the septic tank. When Soph and I went home for lunch with our family, they were all howling with laughter, calling us tomboys because we could dig. The team had to saw planks of wood and metal rods to erect the frame of the first wall. Well let’s just say that by the end of the week we will all have huge guns!! By the end of the day the area was starting to look like a proper building.

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Day two. Messy, sweaty and cement-y! Foundation day was such a laugh! The whole team did not hold back, all eight of us were on hand mixing and laying cement. Some of the village men got stuck in too. The team and the villagers were both starting to feel more comfortable around each other and by the end of the day loads of banter was being flown around – all of us covered in sweat and cement. For Emma, Hettie and Elsa, covered head to toe. After one final push the team, with the help of our on-site building manager Semi, we finished the foundations and concreting for the porch..all of us desperate for another Fijian feast for lunch!

Friday, March 28th, 2014

Volunteer Stories – A surreal first few days in Nacavanadi village; Teaching, fishing trips and river jumps! by Natasha

Pic 1 - Natasha

My first week in the village has been full of ups and downs. I’ve been blessed with a good home, with good food and most importantly, an amazing family. The culture shock has been difficult, but has made easier with the positive energy from the villagers.

Well I had no idea what I wanted to do in the first week in the village, so I through myself in the deep end and decided to do teaching In the school. The first day was simple observation, but the second, Kate and I, did an art lesson, teaching years 1-3. To get their creative minds going, we made snakes from paper and to get them to use as many colours as possible.

Pic 2 - Natasha

Yesterday Sophie, Izzie, Katie and I, went out on a fishing trip; firstly on a bamboo boat, then on a speed boat. The coral was amazing; so many beautiful colours – literally looked SO unreal. We then went down the river and all felt like we were floating down the Amazon in Brazil – it felt so surreal. Wise and Mika – our personal tour guides, lead us to a smaller part of the river, where we all jumped off the edge and dived into the water!

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Moturiki Team – Painting and flooring continues as the kindergarten school nears completion!

Pic 1 - Build

The final stages of the build are upon us, and this week the team managed to paint the inside of the kindi, concrete the steps and start the flooring! And there was even a little time in the afternoons to create a temporary gym out of bits of extra 4×2 that were being cast aside!

As always the painting provided entertainment for our team, and we had our very own “chuckle brothers” Libby and Tash on site, who completed the paint work on the inside whilst also adding some colour and decoration to eachother’s faces!

Adrien finished off the painting for the outside walling, with little touch ups on the window sills, door frames and frascia boards. He also proved to be a master dj, revealing the greatest song selection Think Pacific has ever seen with songs encompassing a jazz and rap mix…very catchy!

Jim and James were also busy on site with the paint work and flooring, and the team once again have done an amazing job this week, working hard and keping spirits high throughout!