Wednesday 29th September –
Today was the the first day on project for our gap year team, and what a day it was! Our building volunteers got really stuck in, 20 holes carefully dug, and 11 of the posts being cemented. This took a huge amount of graft and a big team effort in the Fiji sunshine, with lots of shovelling and cement mixing. At 10am the talatala of Moturiki also came to bless the first post being placed for the hall, a significant moment for both the team and village.
In kindi the team did a fantastic job in getting the classes up and running, with circle time before a song and devotion. There was then some lego time, before the team split the kids up into very small groups to start learning numbers, using the lego pieces to help them. It was then handwashing club and break time, where the kids have a snack and some juice before they headed outside into the sunshine for outdoor play, using the swings and sea-saw, as well as passing balls. Before coming back in for story time it was tooth brushing club, with the team helping the kids along the way. We then all sat to hear the story of Cinderela, a classic kids tale. And then it was song time, as the team taught the kids the “hokey cokey”, “twinkle twinkle little star” and “heads, shoulders, knees and toes”, with lots of excitement and funny times all round! To end the day a prayer was said, and with plans for musical statues tomorrow there is lots to look forward to! A great start to the youth projects by our volunteer team.
In school our teaching volunteers were straight into the classrooms, and for Bryony and Thom in classes 7 and 5&6 respectively they had to hit the ground running, as with their teacher covering another two classes they were asked to take the morning maths lesson, and they did a fantastic job! Richard was also straight into assisting in classes 3 and 4, whilst Rose helped Jesse, the latitude volunteer, in class 8. In the afternoon the sports programme also kicked off with huge success, with Sarah,Bryony, Leah and Naomi and Rose taking rounders, Neill, Rob, Ray and Thom taking rugby, Tim and Will on cricket, Alistair and Ellie on football and Zoe, Hannah and Emma on netball.
In the evening it was time for the ‘big fat quiz of the week’, written by our Caqalai winners “It’s better if you do it like this Maurice”, and with rounds including quotes, a catchphrase style “say what you see” and tv it was a close contest! With the scores counted there was a tie for 2nd and 3rd, with the winners just one point ahead, and on the day it was team “Ray-n in the titans” that were our champions. They claim the much coveted pack of oreos, and the opportunity to write next weeks battle of the brains!
Thursday 30th September –
During the kindergarten project, the team continued practicing numbers, using numbers on cards, with the kids running to run to right person when the number was called. The team also practiced colours using the lego pieces, and shapes, and the kids were really responding. In story time it was Snow White, and tomorrow the team and children shall look to act it out which should be incredible!
Back on the building project today there was lots more digging, lots more cement being mixed and more foundation posts being set, and after another mamouth team effort, at the end of the day 29 posts were cemented, leaving just 7 for tomorrow. The two direct posts that shall sit in the centre of the hall were also lifted into place and concreted as the foundations start to take shape!
With the teaching volunteer projects really underway, Richard took Maths in the morning with classes 3 and 4, whilst Thom and Bryony were also taking Maths with classes 5, 6 and 7. In English they also carried out reading assessments with their kids. In class 8 Rose assisted Jesse with English, as the kids were asked to write letters. And in the sports volunteer projects class 7 and 8 boys showed some real talent on the rugby pitch, quickly picking up the handling drills introduced by the guys and using good vision on some 2 vs 1 and 3 vs 2 drills. Class 1 & 2 also showed the quick feet on the football pitch, whilst Emma was working hard during a game of 3 v 3 in Netball with the class 7 and 8 girls!
Friday 01st October –
In kindi numbers were a little low, however they continued practicing numbers and colours in the morning and at story time Tomasi had the crown on to play prince charming as Leah read the story of Snow White. They also made hats for each of the kids so that they could be her seven dwarfs, it looked fantastic!
In school the teachers were in Levuka for the day so it was over to our gap volunteers to lead the classes, a big challenge and one that they really rose to and thrived upon. Thom and Bryony continued with Maths and English for classes 5, 6 & 7, whilst Richard was in charge in classes 3 & 4. And with Rose also away our expedition leader Tim stepped up to take class 8, his first experience of being “Master Tim” and one that saw him take a maths test and teach them 12 capitals of the world!
In the sport coaching projects, Friday means game time, with rugby and netball matches for classes 5, 6, 7 & 8, rounders for classes 1 & 2 and football for classes 3 & 4, with Richard’s team sealing a close fought victory! After the kids had headed home some touch kicked off in the village, with the “British Lions” taking on Fiji in 7s as a warm up to starting training next week!
On the building volunteer project today there was more hard graft as the team completed the cementing of the final foundation posts, a great achievement in just 2 and a half days and we are now looking forward to beginning the timber work for the frame on Monday morning!
At the afternoon project de-brief there was time to reflect on a hugely successful first week of volunteering, and remember some of the best moments during the “highlight of the week”! The evening was free to relax as we look forward to the weekend in Uluibau.