Here’s the latest round up from week three of our gap year project in Uluibau, Fiji;
Monday 11th October –
Today was a bank holiday as Fiji celebrated its independence on “Fiji Day”! There was therefore no school and kindi, however the building project rumbled on under the ever watchful eye of Jack, our very own building manager. The wall bearers were completed above the top plate and the purlins were nailed onto the rafters ready for the roof to go on tomorrow, a big day!
Whilst the building team cracked on the rest of our gap team headed up into the bush with Tomasi to look for timbers to create some hurdles ready for athletics to start tomorrow. With machetes in hand the timbers were cut and brought and in the afternoon the hurdles were created.
In the afternoon we came together to form the next sports rota, with athletics replacing rounders and hockey and Jijitsu replacing football. With Will introducing Jijitsu to the kids for the first time, and Zoe and Neill looking to coach athletics, it is a big two weeks ahead!
Tuesday 12th October –
After the bank holiday the volunteer projects were back in full swing this morning. On the build all the roofing purlins were strapped and the entire roof was tacked on before lunch which was fantastic. In the afternoon all the remaining timbers on the beach had to be carried to be put in the hall, and after a huge effort from everyone, and some fun along the way, it was a job very well done.
In kindi Rob, Hannah, Zoe, Rose and Bryony made their way to Daku for their first day, and with 12 kids arriving it was a busy first day. In the morning they practiced their numbers, colours and shapes, and in arts and crafts they made crowns to wear. To end it was story time, with Zoe reading “Three Little Pigs”!
In school Sarah went into class 3 and 4 to shadow Master Ipeli, Alistair and Leah went into class 5, 6 and 7 to shadow master Joe, and Emma went into class 8 to shadow Jessie before they start taking their classes tomorrow. They were introduced to the children at school assembly, and had the opportunity to plan their lessons through the day so they are all set for tomorrow! In sports coaching Athletics got underway with classes 3 and 4, whilst Will took classes 7 and 8 for their first ever Jijitsu lesson, of course explaining that they were skills not to be used at home! With Fijians being an extremely physical nation, they had a natural eye for the marshall arts being shown to them. And Zoe was pushed all the way in her sprint race with classes 3 and 4!
With the roof going on today the village asked for us to join them for a grog party, and so movie night was of course postponed until tomorrow, although during the de-brief “Secret Window” was chosen. At the grog party the guitars were out with lots of hop hop, and Thom and Tim took the chance to serve the grog to the team and community, it was quite a party!
Wednesday 13th October –
On the build this morning the gap team began to put on the walling timbers. However with the heavens opening before lunch Jack then asked us to begin the flooring in the afternoon to prevent the walling getting wet, and so the first line of flooring was measured and hammered into place, the building is really starting to take shape!
In kindi the team used the “join the dots” to teach the children writing numbers and their names, and after outside play time they then made boy and girl stick puppets in arts and crafts. It was Rob who took up the challenge of reading for story time, choosing the story of Pinochio.
In school Sarah, Ali, Leah and Emma were taking lessons for the first time, and they did really well. Hannah also went into class 8 in the afternoon to help them with a 1st aid lesson. And sadly due to the heavy rain sports was cancelled, and the team played cards and relaxed in the village. In the evening it was movie time as we came together to watch “Secret Window”.
Thursday 14th October –
Back on the build this morning flooring was the name of the game as the team split into two pods and continued measuring, cutting and nailing the floor timbers. At the end of the day 8 rows were completed, and Jack, our building manager, was extremely happy with the quality of the work.
In kindi the team continued with numbers and colours, and after break time they had the paints mixed as they cut out and painted their hand prints to add to the tree started by our July 2009 team more than one year ago! At story time it was “Three Little Pigs” before the kids headed for home.
In school Emma was assisting Jessie in testing the children on their spoken English, as they were asked to read a stroy and re-tell it to another student. In class 5 & 6 Ali took them through perimeters in Maths, whilst Leah took English and Social Science with class 7. And with Master Ipeli away Sarah had the daunting task of leading class 3 & 4 for the day, and did extremely well taking them through English in the morning before the headmistress came to teach Fijian in the afternoon. With the rain still falling sadly sports coaching was cancelled once again, but with Daku village visiting the team and the projects there was an opportunity to sit with them for a few bowls of grog in the shed during the afternoon.
Friday 15th October –
With the rain having passed this morning the team continued with the flooring, but also cracked on with some of the walling to reach the windows so that Jack can begin to put on the window sills next week. It was a productive day, with the team really finding their rhythm on flooring and completing a further 8 rows before lunch.
In kindi the kids were full of excitement and were quick to call out answers as Rob took them through animals with picture cards, whilst Hannah had the young ones practicing writing letters. Zoe also had numbers on the board to test how well the kids could pick them out. After an energy filled break time a game of “sleeping lions” was much needed, and during arts and crafts they were making paper chains, colouring in each of the strips before we hung it up across the room. And with them having so much energy there was a game of “hokey cokey” before Zoe read “The Gingerbread Man”!
In school the team continued with their classes, and with the sun thinking of putting his hat back on sports coaching was back in the afternoon, with the girls from classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 playing netball, Will having a great response from the class 5 & 6 boys in Jijitsu, and rugby, hockey and cricket also running well.
After school sports it was the youths turn, with our expedition leader Tom taking a rugby training session and Hannah leading a netball session for the girls as we look ahead to the matches against Savuna and Nasauvuki respectively next Saturday!
At the evening de-brief the Entertainment Committee announced the “School Fundraiser” theme as the Ratu’s Variety Show, and the team shall now come together to make some acts ready for the big event. The evening was spent in the “hop hop shed” having some bowls of grog and a dance, a chance to party with the weekend having arrived!
Saturday 16th October –
With so much rain falling through the week the Rukuruku trek was pushed back to week 5, and today was therefore a chance for the team to enjoy some village time, with lots heading out to sea for a fishing trip and others heading up to the plantations with their families.
Sunday 17th October –
This morning the team attended church with the community, singing Jerusalem during divine service. There was then the customary Sabbath feast before an afternoon of sleeping, cards, music and relaxing ready for another big week on our gap year project in Fiji!