Saturday 14th August –
Early this morning our gap year team were into the Rivers Fiji bus and heading up into the Namosi highlands for the Upper Navua river rafting. With clear blue skies it was a beautiful day to be on the water, and the canyons that you paddle through are stunning. As ever the lunch was a joy to behold as we stopped beside the waterfalls. Reaching the end the teams were all smiles, and we made our way back to the resort in Pacific Harbour for dinner and few drinks.
Sunday 15th August –
With today being a day off for the team there was a chance to relax and have some fun in the sun at the resort in Pacific Harbour. A few headed over to the Pearl Resort for a massage, whilst others took a walk to the local Arts village to buy some gifts. In the afternoon there was some swimming pool fun, attempted human pyramids, volleyball and lots of bridge jumping!
And in the evening, when the team were back from enjoying some cocktails at the Pearl, it was time for the final July 2010 “Quiz Night”, written and orchestrated by the team leaders. There was also, in keeping with July 10 quiz events, some fun and games….a Stars in their Eyes contest! The teams were asked to pick a pop group, dress accordingly and enter the stage to say a little about those they were there to impersonate with their best singing voices. We also guest appearances from a few who we had met at the resort, and I’m not sure they knew what they had got themselves in for when they joined us for a drink or two! They looked fantastic in costume, and when the singing began Pop Idol would have been hard pushed to pick a winner, with some funky dance moves adding to the event! However the job did fall to the leaders, with team “Effort” winning the battle of the voices!! The rest of the evening was spent with the team enjoying a few coctails and having a boogie before we head Nadi side tomorrow.
Monday 16th August –
This morning the team loaded onto the tp bus for one final road trip along the coral coast to Smugglers Cove in Nadi. Arriving on another beautiful afternoon there was some time relaxing in the sunshine on the beach. At 5pm we came together for the expedition de-brief, when the team offer very valuable feedback on the expedition, the projects completed and their experiences as a think pacific volunteer. Whilst we may be reflecting on an unbelievable 5 weeks, we are always very aware that we can always improve to make the expeditions that little bit better, and we are grateful for all the ideas raised by the team. It was then dinner time as we sat together in the bure by the beach, with stories told of times gone by. And after dinner it was time for the July 2010 “TP Awards”, with a chance to acknowledge memorable moments and characters from the journey past. The awards were:
Master Mika Award – Frankie = for her fantastic job in the classroom with class 5 which caused Master Simi to approach me to ask if she may stay on beyond her rota during project time as she had shown such a genuine interest and passion to support the children.
Picasso Award – Katie = for the incredible logo drawn to encapsulate the achievements of the team in Savuna village which meant so much to the volunteers and the community as a whole.
Fiji Time Award – Richard = for embracing this beautiful aspect of Fijian life and never being on time, but always arriving with a smile and a sense of reasoning, with his watch proving 20 minutes slow and a belief that the meeting was merely scheduled for half an hour later!
Robert Carlyle Award – Cat = for being a tough Scottish lassy and conquering all that TP could throw at her with a smile and sense of quiet determination. An absolute star on project who was a real asset to the team and community, and who also celebrated getting into Cambridge whilst with us in Fiji
Forest Gump Award – Kerrie = for a particular moment on project which left us all with smiles when, during a tp relay race, she lost her footing and stacked in, only to hear her expedition leader calling “run…keep running….”
Dirty Sanchez Award – Amy = for a very special moment on project when, for just $5 and a single oreo, she licked the community hall wall that had not seen a wash in more than 20 years!
Big Daddy Award – Sophie = for having the love of a child thrust upon her (little Mele) and for growing to love and cherish him as her own in a special bond!
Three Musketeers Award – Chris = for a special bond between himself, Fijian Tim and our Mata ni Vanua Esala, who lived together in the village and will miss each other very much. Where there was one there were the others!
Dr Doolittle Award – Lindsey = for her love of one little animal…”TP the Cat”….who was brought from Nasesara and lovingly raised by Lindsey, and who quickly became a team mascot for our July 2010 team!
Mr Kipling Award – Hannah = for her absolute love and devotion to cake during the project. It is fair to say that Mr Kipling himself would have been extremely proud of the cake that was enjoyed in “Cake House”.
Happy Gilmore Award – David = for always being on top form, keeping the team laughing and entertaining the kids and community with his fantastic sense of humour. And for one moment when Happy Gilmore was all he could think of!
Unsung Hero – Alex = for her huge courage and determination throughout the project, particularly when her Fijian mother passed away and when delivering a very moving personal testimony during the final church service in Savuna village.