So here we are, end of week three and the end of another brilliant week here in Uluibau and what a week it’s been!
We had rain and wind blasting through the village for most of the week postponing many of our activities such as sports with the kids after school and mat weaving too. Our trek at Ruku Ruku is now postponed to Saturday week 5 because the route would have been too treacherous. The build had the roofing started on Tuesday which meant a celebration in the village that evening with the traditional drink kava and hop-hop (or dancing) all round.
There are four clans in Uluibau and it was my clan’s turn to host the kava night on Tuesday so I was nominated spokesperson for “talo” (serve) meaning I said when the next round of Cava was to be drunk and then me and a few others in the team served the Cava to the village. This was a sincerely humbling moment for me, serving a village in a ceremony so key to their way of life and being fully accepted in doing so. Tuesday night is usually film night so we pushed that through to Wednesday and sat down to watch Secret Window with some of the villagers, I quite enjoyed it but I’m not sure it was well received across the board. Thursday night was quiz night were team “It’s better if you do it like this Maurice” won by a massive margin of 9 points.
This week I started on my two week build rota wich has been more than enjoyable. Working on the roof and climbing rafters to fix strapping to purlines and then seeing the roof go on. Wednesday saw the rain come down so we started the flooring and working in “pods” was the name of the game for the rest of the week because of the wet weather. Friday saw the assembly of A-pod. The flooring team extraordinaire that consisted of Will, Ray (Tom Weeks), America (Ellie) and myself. Our flooring was second to none, the perfect selection of flooring pieces and our chiselling, wedging and nailing meant that gaps between pieces were none existent, tis was until pseudo A-pod took over and left a gap big enough to swallow up the ratu if he’s not careful but Jack, our one man wrecking ball and foreman of the site, will soon fix it with his immense forearms and brute strength.
Friday saw the weather subside enough for some sports in the afternoon and I joined in with the lad’s rugby training which concluded with a game of full contact rugby sevens and yes Sean I played, and played well, apparently… I scored at least!
Last Saturday after a trip to Levuka we had a fancy dress evening with the team which was “T.P themed” meaning we could dress up as anything beginning with T or P. We had a Pinocchio, Teenange muTanT ninja Turtle, Pirates, The Prince of Persia, Three Packs of cards, Two Presents, Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Tiger lilly buT whilsT The Party was geTTing sTarTed, across the Playing field came a Twinkling Pair which PerPlexed The Team somewhat buT as They Tip Toed closer iT became aPParenT That iT was ali and myself dressed as Twin Performing Tin PeoPle ToPPing The use of T’s and P’s sTarTing the name of our costume. (if you think your computer’s gone awol with all the Ts and Ps capitalising, I was actually keeping myself amused by keeping this bit of the blog in the T.P theme… sorry)
Week three has seen many highs for the team and for me personally and although I am feeling well integrated into the team and village I have started to get a little home sick. Thinking about home and all the things I miss having has started to take its toll but it’s all a part of the experience and just something I’ll have to get over.
I’m looking forward to continuing the build and starting on the Joseph project on Friday!
An awesome experience and an awesome time.