After the party filled arrival and a hectic first week how wrong were we to think that project life would begin to relax, life on the expedition has continued to get busier by the day.
Added to this week’s grog and hop hop has been the school fundraiser, an evening making bilo’s (cups from coconuts) and a trek around the island that included our second wedding in the space of 3 weeks. Making a name for ourselves as ‘THE’ best wedding crashers in TP history! All of which has taken place around our daily routine in the school, kindi and on the build. Fuelled by the advice of our families- “kana vaka levu” (eat plenty).
In school this week; Alejandra has brought a breath of fresh air to the children of class 1&2. The two Jody’s have taken to the role of teaching class 4 exceptionally and Alice has been rewarded for her enthusiasm to teach in class 7 & 8.
Before daily sports coaching we have worked for half an hour in our houses, preparing the children to go head to head in debating the effects of tourism. Judged by the teachers the first semi-final saw the blue house beat the red house, and in the second semi, yellow beat green. The house debating points will be up for grabs on finals day in our fourth week. The winner of Blue vs Yellow will decide 1st and 2nd while red vs green will settle 3rd and 4th. The topic of debate will be… school uniform.
In the fun house that is kindi; Natalie, Craig, Steph, Ella and Holly have utilised the parachute in facilitating the children’s learning through playing a range of new games.
On the build this week, we have turned to the hand tools in assembling our timber frame. Working through some challenging weather with the hammers, saws and chisels we have put ourselves well ahead of schedule. The walling and the roof is now completed, we have ourselves a building! With that goes a special mention to Steffi who was the first up and last down from the nailing down the roofing iron.
Having spent the afternoon preparing curry, cakes and cookies we hosted a school fundraiser on Wednesday evening. In the community hall the villagers gathered to buy the food, glasses of juice and friendship bracelets- followed by a heads and tails raffle. The cake proved to be most popular in what was a cheerful evening which raised $115 to go towards stationary and learning resources for the children of Uliubau.
Soon after breakfast on Saturday morning we filled our water bottles and headed out of Uliubau on a trek of the island. Visiting eight of the nine villages we trekked along footpaths through the jungle and strolled back along the beach. Despite the odd slip and trip – albeit entertaining slips and trips – we made it to Navuti all in one piece. After a quick change into our formal Fijian dress we dropped into a wedding ceremony where we keenly accepted the offer of lunch, a cup of tea and a well-deserved rest. After our second successful wedding crashing we got ourselves back into trekking wears and made it home before dark.
Heading into our third week project life looks set to throw even more our way. With the fun day coming up on Saturday we shall begin rehearsing the Fijian warrior dance we will be performing- langa meke!