The Batiki team have now completed their 4th week of project and cannot believe that they are half way through their expedition, the last week has flown by with the team hardly able to take a breath. Last weekend was a very packed few days for the team, after grog and hop hop in Mua village last Friday night they had breakfast in mua before heading back home to Manuku. Once back in the village the team relaxed for a bit before trekking over to Naigani village for a sevu sevu and some tea and cakes prepared for the team, it now means that the team have visited every village on Batiki Island. Sunday and the entire team and village headed over to Naigani village – along with the rest of the island – to have an island church service in Naigani.
As for the last week of project, Anisha, Chloe, Kirsty, Ben Grant and Josh have been on the build again, after spending an entire week on the roof, the guys are now back on the ground level and have been completing the frame and supports for the sides and floor of the hall. They have also been measuring out where all the windows and doors will be going so now the empty frame of our community hall has been completed. But as there is no stopping our team by the end of the week they have even started on nailing on the walling so the building is really taking shape. They have put their all into it knowing that it is the last week of their two week rota on the building project. Our building manager jack has thoroughly enjoyed working with them these last two weeks, so we want to say a really big thank you to them for it. Neither Anisha, Chloe, Josh, Ben Grant nor Kirsty have done building before so for them to have completed everything that they have in this short period on build they should all be very proud.
Over to the school side this week and it has seen the team introduce house speaking and house debating, so with Alex in class 7 & 8 they have chosen to learn certain paragraphs from Martin Luther King’s speech, “I Have A Dream”. Alex has written his own poem for the kids called Sea Snake, which he read out and performed in front of the class on Friday afternoon. In class 5 & 6 Ben File taught the kids a speech called “Into The Valley” from the film, The Blind Side, as well as the children learning a story called The Hunter. For Emma in class 3 & 4 her kids learnt a Fijian song which they performed to the school at the end of the week, Emma also taught her class a speech from the film Tomb Raider which the kids are learning for their house speaking competition.
Unfortunately the kids in classes 1 & 2 don’t participate in house speaking but that didn’t stop Danny from teaching them songs and rhymes throughout the week, he has also been making up stories for the kids about the team and leaders, one being called “Lulu the Bear” and another “Luke’s Ever Growing Beard”. The kids really enjoy their story time with Danny and his story time is a highlight for the rest of the team too!
In Kindi this week, Natalie, Tom and Frankie have had the theme of ‘letters’, so during the week they have been getting the children to do different activities and games combining learning with fun. Natalie and Tom were alone for a couple days in kindi this week as Frankie injured her foot and was resting back at the village, but Natalie and Tom ploughed through together with the kids. When Frankie did return the team got the kids to draw and colour in all the letters in the alphabet, issuing a different latter to each child so they could have their own little projects. By the end of the week the kids had completed the alphabet and the team stuck it up onto the wall so that other teams can now use it with the kindi kids in projects to come.
For sports this week the team had a change to their usual plan. All the kids were put into their classes and the kids had a week of Olympic trials! On Monday the kids had trials for the 100 metre sprint and the 100 metre hurdles, Tuesday was the long throw and the long jump, Wednesday was the 100 metre relay and on Thursday the kids had tug of war. During the weeks’ event the winning kids from each year were put through to the final, which will be taking place on the last day of school in two weeks, where the kids will run for their houses earning points which will then accumulate into an overall score to see which house will win the Olympic house cup.
During the week the team were also taught by their families how to make Fijian bracelets out of leaves as souvenirs to take home, but it didn’t stop there, once the knowledge of how to make a bracelet was shared, the team were then making rings for their fingers and even hair bands as well. Wednesday night saw the team stay behind after sports at school and went for a swim in the sea with the children who are boarding, after which all the boarders and the team stayed on the beach to have a beach bonfire and watch the sun set over the distant island of Ovalau, an amazing view and night had by the team.
Thursday and Friday night saw Yavu village, Mua village and Naigani village visit Manuku to see the team and look at how the building project is coming on, so that meant two things, grog… and hop hop. Both nights the team stayed up drinking and dancing with the villagers until the early hours of the morning.
So with the weekend here and after another big week of volunteering, they are all glad to have a Saturday off, where they have been catching up with sleep, snorkelling, spear fishing, going to plantations with their families and generally relaxing.
Some of the girls started to play a game of rounders in the village and before long everyone was outside playing, with balls flying all over the village, before a very relaxing Saturday night, with nothing planned most of the team had an early night. With Sunday here again the team have been to church with the families and sorted out what they would like to do for their next 2 week rota, before preparing themselves for what will be the start of the second half of their project and a very busy week 5 indeed.