Bula! Time is absolutely flying here in Uluibau as the TP team have just completed our last week of project. The week’s activities have been especially memorable for us all. Every morning and afternoons we’ve been having hymn practice for our leaving service in Church on Sunday. This was tricky to begin with but has progressed over the week with the team now even trying out harmonies!
What has been emphasised more this week than anything else has been the kindness and generosity of the Fijians, shown on Monday when we were invited to a meal as a whole team hosted by one of the village families. This was an extremely enjoyable evening as we dressed up formally for the family to show their appreciation towards us. Following on from this we held our last team quiz, it is something we have done every Monday, and something we have enjoyed every Monday!
Terrific Tuesday was another cracker starting with Meke practice after sports, where we practiced the mixed Meke dance. This was great fun and we have all started to get the hang of it and are all excited to perform it for the village next week. Tuesday was a free night of kava drinking for most of the team. However, Harriet H, Clemmie and I went out with our leader Charlie and some of the village boys for a night of spear fishing under the stars. This was an amazing experience for us all as we were all quite nervous, which made actually doing it so much more. We were out for about 2 hours and caught lots of fish and I even got a lobster. Spear fishing has been something everyone would call a highlight of the trip.
Following onto Wonderful Wednesday, the afternoon activity was collecting wood along the beach for a bonfire later that night. Getting all the bamboo together was a big team effort but stands out as one of my highlights of the week as we watched one of Fiji’s famous sunsets over the ocean. The bonfire itself was so much fun chatting, taking pictures and listening to music under the stars, a truly incredible night.
Thrilling Thursday was a rainy day which means one thing …. Touch rugby! We had a great game with some of the volunteers carrying on to play netball with the village ladies. In the evening the generosity of our new friends was demonstrated again with another invite extended to the whole team for another delicious meal. It was caught, cooked and served by two of the village boys, Asaeli and Manasa, two of the people we have grown closest to in the past two months. The feast they had prepared for us was incredible being two key spear fishermen in the village, the meal consisted largely of huge fish. We all then went to the beach, stuffed, to discuss ideas for the fun day on Saturday.
Funky Friday was already so focused with the whole team on the build, and then going straight into another game of touch under the hot sun. The night was perhaps the most memorable for all of us. It began with another feast for us all, this time put on by the chief, with a delicious variety of food, finishing up with a nice cone of ice cream. We then all headed to the community hall for cross dressing evening! The girls got into their bula shirts, even drawing on facial hair, and the boys put on their colourful dresses which were accessorised with hair clips, jewellery and hand bags! It was a hilarious evening that we will never forget.
Sunny Saturday was our village fun day! The team were all assigned a different stall, for example a cake stall, an assault course, lime bobbing, and throw a sponge at a TP member! The day was a success with the team raising money for the benefit of the village. In the afternoon we practiced our Meke, and then spent the night drinking many bowls of kava.
Special Sunday was another absolute highlight of the week as it was our farewell church service. The team prepared a speech which was ready by Olly, Finn and I to the congregation. We also performed our song for the village which was a special and emotional moment for us all.
Rounding the week up we would all agree that this has been one of the best yet for activities and have given us some of our greatest memories from the trip. I love Fiji!