Week five has continued the snowball of fun and been one, which has blooded the future Richards Branson’s of Fiji and included an age old picnic that has been enjoyed along our beach for centuries.
On build this week, Phil has continued his invaluable work towards Naigani’s community hall, heading up the ladders at the apex his focus has been on the aesthetics. Caroline, Rachel & Eddie have come together to nail down the second half of the flooring whilst Will, Amber, Ellen and Sarah faced off in a race to complete the front wall, of which Amber and Ellen forfeited under claims of wallsmanship! Culminating the end of our second rota the build team displayed some unique moves most definitely to be seen again in R & R during Friday afternoon’s musical statues. Notably Phil’s night fever finger combo with the dirty dancing hips.
On the opposite side of the island Alice’s remarkable diagrams have taught ‘the time’ to class 1 & 2, Mike has sat at his very own teacher’s desk with an endless row of children waiting for his approval in class 3 & 4, Tommy seems to have ‘found’ himself whilst leading lessons in class 5, his endless enthusiasm knowing no bounds and, Rory was a keen invidulator for the exam he had prepared the children of class 7 & 8 for this week.
This week’s lesser Kindi team made up for their lack of numbers with their passion and organised mayhem. Singing and stamping their hearts out with their infamous Grand Old Duke of York performance and working on their arts and crafts piece was a daily highlight. By the end of the week the children had produced a vibrant and decorative alphabet display.
The house cup competition engaged the children in and out of school hours this week. House enterprise was a resounding success! The children designed and created their very own products to sell at Friday’s school fundraiser. Selling hand-made necklaces, mats, belts and bracelets the children were involved in every aspect of the enterprise from the marketing, production and sales. Logologo ran out winners producing $60 profit in comparison to Vono’s $40 profit. Adding that to the $50 raised from the sale of the cakes and cookies the team made the previous evening we have a reasonable amount to supply each school member with new pencils, rulers and rubbers.
It is safe to say the team ate well this week. Evening visits from Mua, Manuku Wednesday and Yavu on Friday brought gifts of food as the islanders came to witness the progress of Naigani’s soon to be community hall and celebrate the team efforts over a few bowls of grog. It was not only gifts of the palate for Rory and Tommy who also received some priceless relationship advice they are sure to treasure for a lifetime from the Yavu turrani.
The girls plus Tommy and Will were treated to a Kaviti (Fijian) day which involved catching their lunch, cooking and eating in the most traditional of ways. The girls made lovo (an earth oven) with their families, whilst Tommy and Will went line fishing to catch their lunch resulting in a great feast. Not even the rain could dampen their spirits as bure’s sprang up along the beach. Providing a priceless moment when 2 year old Whammy was recovered from the ruins of a fallen bure covered head to toe in sand.
Sunday’s tea parties brought reflection of this week’s goings on and talk of what’s to come in week six…most notably we have the inclusion of Dodgeball to the children of BDS. It’s going off!
Week six has provided an insight into the remarkable hospitality we all receive on our remote island and has rewarded those for their extra efforts.
Rory and Phil’s relationship has flourished on the build this week. Discussing walling methods over breakfast they joined heads to figure out the finishing touches to the apex. Inside the near completed community hall Ellen, Alice, Hannah and George worked tirelessly to finish the flooring and complete over half of the window frames.
A memorable Kindi party and Kindi ‘mosh pit’ brought the house down on a fantastic week for the children. Celebrating their endeavours in completing the colourful and educational garden display their flowers, bees and butterflies have spruced up Yavu’s Kindi tremendously. Huge thanks go to Tommy, Will, Mike and Amber who’s enthusiasm has rubbed off on the children, despite the boys tone deaf rhymes and songs. Ha.
Passing their wealth of knowledge onto the youth of Batiki this week was;Mr Lawrence, who taught metaphors and similes to class 7 & 8 through poetry, Rachel whose creative writing lessons on the beach inspired class 5 and 6 to produce some imaginative stories of their own,Carolinewho was a great asset to class 3 and 4 most notably in her support of the high flying childrenand, Sarah who has been doing some one to one teaching with our newest member of class 1 Tatui…without forgetting her traffic light display!!
The new to project intervention group has come on leaps and bounds this week. With all the credit going to Rachel,demonstrating her passion and knowledge of teaching she has taken a leading role in the delivery of small study groups aiming to decrease the range in learning abilities at BDS. With the undoubted help of Tommy, Hannah, Amber, Ellen and Mr Lawrence the group have worked after school hours to develop the highlighted children’s Maths. Culminating in an end of the week quiz the children’s improvement has been monitored and having ironed out the early creases we are proud to say that the classes have been a resounding success.
Speaking of out of school hours the house cup took an interesting turn towards Vono. Debating the issue of school uniform Vono has Saki to thank for a remarkable summary which proved to be the difference between the two houses.
Furthermore of the extra-curricular activities, Sarah and Rachel’s effort were rewarded on Friday when the full school came together to perform the dance they had learnt throughout the week. This was a beautiful contrast to the anarchy which unfolded in the school week’s crescendo activity which was a…whole school game of Dodgeball!
Outside of our daily routine, this week’s evening activities included a laid back night weaving bracelets and bookmarks in the shed with ladies of the village. This week’s family night had an interesting twist which we all very much enjoyed. Exchanging families for the evening we dined at different houses and later gathered in a packed ‘house of pain’ to compare Na’s and Ta’s over a bowls of grog. Those on the weekly spear fishing trip brought the evening up in their highlight of the week, including those who sat and stargazed on the boat. As Alice, Will and Amber followed the villager’s torch with the spear gun they hunted fish around the pitch black reef, spotting a looming reef shark on numerous occasions provided a thrill.
An invitation from Mua was an opportunity for them to display their chiefly status on the island. On Friday we spent the night there drinking grog, chatting to villagers and singing along to the band after being spoilt with a huge feast of chicken.
The week concluded with our standard highlight of the week during our Sunday meet, of which the Boiler Boys jamming session gained special mention. A session the Blues Brothers’ themselves would have been proud of! Planning our activities for next week we have continued with the one week rota’s in order for everybody to have the opportunity to paint part of the build…yes in week 7 we shall complete the hall and whack out the brushes to add the finishing touches…
We send our best wishes to our families and friends back home.