After a few days spent relaxing on their castaway paradise, the team took a boat to Savuna, their Fijian village and home for the next month. We were welcomed by all the villagers as they lined the shore eager to meet our volunteers and a huge welcome sign hung from the village to greet think pacific’s May 2012 team.
The team presented a Sevu Sevu to the community and they were then introduced to their families before taking time to explore their village and island. Our first full day on Moturiki was spent visiting Nasasara village, Navuti village and the school compound where our team will soon be teaching, leading kindergarten classes and organising youth projects. Each day will involve getting a boat to Nasasara from Savuna and then trekking along the coast to school, so it was great for everyone to get used to their surroundings and the tropical commute ahead required to inspire the Moturiki Island kids!
In the afternoon our volunteers planned their first rota for school, Kindi and build and spent the evening relaxing as a group and getting to know our new families before the work begins. The first week then got into full swing, with 5 of our team heading into school to teach all different levels and many diverse subjects. We’re lucky that in our group of volunteers we have a good number of people with experience in teaching at home and also abroad and their skills in the classroom started to shine through from the start.
Our volunteers in Kindi were introduced to the manic pre-school mornings! With lots of games, singing, arts and crafts, maths and English it’s been a busy start to the kindi project! Highlights of the week included kindi games on the field in the sunshine, story time and children and the team making a ‘Kindi garden’ out of paper and paint which they put up on the wall for later groups and kids to see.
For our building project, the team started off by renovating the church hall, making scaffolding from wood for the outside of the church so they could paint the walls and window frames, they attached the window louver frames and glass and also fixed both of the doors.
The main building project ahead is to create new toilets and proper sanitation facilities for the communities, which will begin in the coming days. Starting with the church renovation has been a great introduction to test everyone’s building skills and practise some hands on team work before the major work begins to improve the basic living conditions for the amazing people of Savuna.
Sports coaching with the children of Moturiki District School got off to a flying start also, with cricket, netball, rounder’s, hockey and football coaching sessions all proving very popular and with the kids rotating through each sport, they’re enjoying the experience of so many new activities as part of one busy weekly after school timetable. After a full day of kindi, teaching and sports for our youth volunteers, it’s been an adventure trekking around the island and taking local motor boats back home to Savuna each afternoon, ready for dinner and the evening fun to begin.
At the end of their first week the team were invited to Nasasara village for a big feast and then grog and hop hop, which the team thoroughly enjoyed and danced until late into the night before heading back home to Savuna. At the weekend, the team took a guided trip to the jungle plantations with their families to learn how to farm for traditional crops. They also took a tour out to the nearby reefs for their first taste of spear fishing. The first Sunday in the village involved a church service and a feast in the afternoon followed by a team meeting with the leaders as everyone prepares more project ideas ahead. All in all it’s been a superb start to the youth, sports and building aims and with so many more volunteering aims and adventures ahead, it’s going to be an immensely busy and rewarding few weeks in the Fiji Islands.