Posts Tagged ‘fiji gap project’
The village have been preparing all week for the Grand Opening of the bridge and the Community hall and the day arrived in style and of course in Fiji time! Seeing the Tala Tala open both the bridge and the hall was a very proud moment for the team as they were able to really understand what lasting impact they have had upon the wonderful community of Nasesara and appreciate the compliments that they deserve.
Our Government partners kindly joined us for the day, arriving by small boats from the Capital, and they were very impressed with all that has been completed and of course the spectacle of the Think Pacific mekes that the team have been working hard towards for the past couple of weeks. It wasn’t Nasesara without the multiple smotherings of talcan powder to the faces during the routines!
The morning was non-stop for the team; following the mekes, they headed straight for the various stalls that they had set up for their fun day. It was a carnival atmosphere! The laughter roaring through the village amongst the children and parents proved the success of the chosen stands; guessing family photos, refreshments, whack the rat, the coconut shy, face painting, flour bobbing and lunch sales all contributed to the incredible total of $421 for the village which the villagers were overwhelmed with.
With the formalities completed for the day, the grog (started at around 10am this morning) continued for the remainder of the day with the added bonus of hop hop later in the evening. The team enjoyed their final family suppers together and emotions were definitely building about the departure on Monday morning.
Sunday 21st February –
This morning our gap year team attended church with the village, whilst Vicky and Immi went to Daku with their family to attend church there. In the afternoon the Entertainment Committee got together to plan for the kindi fundraiser this Friday evening, and the Health Committee also had a meeting to finalise plans for the health workshops this week. The evening was a quiet and relaxed one, I think everyone was enjoying the rest after a big week on the projects and a big couple of days in Levuka.
Monday 22nd February –
Back on the projects this morning the build was a very busy place to be. There was a small section of flooring to completed, although the direct posts and proximity to the walling meant that it was the most intricate part of the job, and it was a slow process for the team with Jack close at hand throughout. There were also windows to be measured and made, and with the margin for error growing increasingly smaller as the build enters the last days it was another job that takes time, with two windows completed by the close of play. The village had also asked Jack to erect a third set of stairs for the door on the sea side wall, and in the afternoon Jack did his thing to have them completed by the evening.
In kindi it was another action packed day. At outdoor games there was duck duck goose to enjoy, and before break time they also had “drama”, acting out little skits of Fijian culture with the kids. After running through numbers Sam, Rob, Vicky and Hannah then looked to introduce colours, starting with Red, Green and Purple and using coloured lego as examples. Each day they will then look to introduce another colour so that the kids can keep learning more and more. After break time, and the daily hand washing and tooth brushing club, it was meke time, the kids (and team) absolutely love dancing to The World’s Greatest, it will be quite a show on Thursday!
This week the gap year teachers rotated, with Immi heading into class 3, Becky taking up the challenge of class 4, Chris going into class 5 and Michelle starting in class 6. The day was a good one for all of the team, with Immi getting class 3 all excited telling stories, whilst they all assisted with Maths and English lessons in the morning. And in sports coaching there was also a rotation of the sports being taught, with Rounders and Cricket replacing Frisbee and Volleyball to join Rugby, Netball, Football and Hockey being taught. Class 1 & 2 rugby was another clash of the titans, with Sam and Will believing they have found the next Rupeni Caucau!
Yesterday John and Isoa also went to Ulibau village to throw down the challenge of a game of 15s a week on Saturday, and Ulibau responded by saying they wanted two matches with one two weeks later…and so the two main clubs of Moturiki will go head to head, with the think pacific guys at the heart of it. This afternoon we therefore started training, with the three weeks of 7s putting us in a good position in terms of fitness for sure. The drills focused on communication and running lines, and the village guys really responded, I think everyone is clear that losing on our home turf is not an option!
At the de-brief the entertainment committee introduced the ideas for the kindi fundraiser for this Saturday night, with the team looking to host a Fiji’s Got Talent evening, with everyone having to perform, it should be a hilarious event! And with a village meal planned for Wednesday evening for Jack’s farewell, movie night was moved to tonight, with the quiz planned for tomorrow. It came down to Con Air and Pirates of the Caribbean, with Con Air winning the day.
Tuesday 23rd February –
This morning saw the completion of the flooring, a big achievement for the team and I think everyone is happy to have seen the last of the floor boards go down. More windows were also made, and in the afternoon Jack hung the doors and trimmed the window frames ready to be hung tomorrow.
In kindi it was another big day, as in the morning they headed out around the village with buckets for certain colours, with the kids and team collecting whatever they could find of that colour around the place, including leaves, packets and flowers. After lego play time they then used the coloured card to make collages for the particular colours to help the kids with their learning.
In school the team continued with their classes, with Chris leading a number of lessons with the teacher having other duties to fulfil. In maths Michelle was looking at monetary values with class 6 as they learnt about relative expense, whilst Becky helped Megan in class 4. It was also the first day of health workshops, with Will, Fi and Michelle going into class 7 & 8 to talk about the negative affects of alcohol and smoking, as well as ensuring a healthy diet and issues relating to sexual health. By splitting the boys and girls during the discussions they were able to overcome the embarrassment that can be associated with discussing sexual health, and it is an important subject for the kids to understand.
Chris, Rob and Hannah went into classes 5 & 6 and looking at similar themes, including smoking, drinking, drugs and healthy living. It was a very good start to the health programme, and now attention turns to the younger years tomorrow. For the gap year sports team it was another epic class 1 & 2 football match, whilst 7 & 8 were knocking the ball out of the ground in rounders!
At rugby training in the afternoon the drills did not go as hoped, with a few of the village guys laughing and joking rather than putting in the hard graft, and it was good to see the tp lads stand up and be counted and talk straight at the team huddle, everyone knows what we need to do tomorrow.
In the evening homework club was as busy as ever in the shed, and then it was time for the big fat quiz of the week written by the “Norfolk Massive” of Rob, Immi and Paskey, alongside our resident PM Gareth. There were some great questions flying around, including a “geographers geography” round (Rob was tired of capitals and rivers!), and a multiple choice round based on our “quizers”…i think we all learned a little more about them! In the end the scores were very close, with a reshuffle in the quiz teams apparently making it a battle royale…but ultimately it was the “We want to party like it’s 1985” team of the leaders and Anthony, Will’s brother who is here visiting, who came out on top by one mark. We then had a team meeting about the “Fiji’s Got Talent” night on Saturday so that ideas could be thrown around, and it should be an entertaining show with talk of Soldier Boy dancing, a Will & Rob duo, and Tim doing a “Peck dance”…what more could you ask for!
Wednesday 24th February –
With Jack leaving us first thing tomorrow today was all about completing the finishings on the build, so that we were left with just the painting to complete. The team therefore broke into pods, with some completing the windows, and Steve and Paskey screwing in the hinges for them to be hung. Lal, Tom and others also made the sticks to hold the windows open, whilst others carried the excess timber to be stored in a shed in the village. By the afternoon the hall was set, with Jack screwing in the last few windows, and what a structure it is, the whole team can feel extremely proud!
In kindi the kids enjoyed a relay race in outdoor games and had singing and dancing before break time. After break, and handwashing and toothbrushing club, the team did numbers and colours, with Sam taking one group for colours whilst Vicky took numbers, and the groups then rotate between them. Tomorrow the kindi will be having a party before their meke show, and so they were making party hats and getting ready for the fun and games.
During the volunteer teaching project, it was the second day of health workshops, and in the morning Rob, Chris and Hannah took on the challenge of class 1 & 2. They were focusing on dental hygiene, washing hands and healthy eating. To start they drew a giant tooth on the board and had the kids come up to show how they brush their teeth. It was a great exercise. Although it did end up with Chris’s tooth brush being rubbed across the blackboard!
They then talked through good and bad foods, and took the kids outside with them having to run to one of the team who each had a food associated to them, depending on whether that food was healthy or not healthy…hard work, but lots of fun for the kids! In the afternoon Will, Fi and Michelle went into class 3 & 4 to look at healthy eating and dental hygiene, with sugar being a major point in the diet. Yet again the day was a big success, and now the halth team will formulate a basic first aid practical to go through with classes 5, 6, 7 & 8 next week.
In sports 5 & 6 once again impressed in rugby training, with a game of British Bulldog working their defence, whilst Classes 1 & 2 were also incredibly controlled in hockey practice, the work of our gap year volunteers is really paying off! And the afternoon rugby training proved allot more productive, with the concentration massively improved and the rucking drills raining the intensity. The club also chose Saula as their captain.
Tonight was all about Jack, and after dinner the whole team gathered in the shed to hug the big man before a flurry of flashes went off as lots of pictures were taken. Jack is a huge part of the team and project life and everyone will miss him and his big smile and great sense of humour. We all sat and told stories together, and with Jack heading off to pack there was time for an epic team game of “Down in the Jungle”…with each person who was out sitting in the middle of the circle it quickly became cosy and loud as they sang and clapped the song, and after Benjy was ruthless in picking people off ultimately it came down to myself and Chris, with Chris slapping my hand to take the crown…what an event it was!
Thursday 25th February –
With Jack leaving in the early hours the build this morning was a quiet place as the team looked to complete a few little jobs that the village had asked for, including a medicine box for the village nurse and book shelves for the new school library. We then broke for a half day to enjoy the kindi party, and tomorrow the team shall be attending a funeral in Ulibau village for a lady from Nasauvuki who married there, and so the projects shall stop for the day as a mark of respect. Funerals in Fiji are also very special events, with the communities of the whole island coming together, and it will be a great experience for the team.
And what a party it was in kindi! The morning began as usual with the name song, and then the team hung sulus of different colours in the four corners of the room and asked the kids to run to the correct colour they were saying or showing. With the “work” done, and sweets for those who got their colour right, the fun and games began. They started with pass the parcel, and quickly the kids seemed to realise that the trick was holding on to the parcel for as long as possible to try to win the sweet hidden under each layer…it’s great how you think it’s all luck at that age! They then did the limbo, and Naulu proved very flexible for a small lad, whilst others treated it more as a finishing line and ran straight through it! It was then balloon time, and inside each balloon there were sweets, so the kids had lots of fun bursting the balloons by throwing them around the room.
It was then meke practice before break time with lots of lego. And after break the kids put on their party hats (made especially by the volunteers) and bounced their way to the shed for lots of cake, biscuits and juice made by their mums. Of course when word of a party spread the tp team quickly made their way from the build to join the fun, and with juice and cakes finished it was the grand finale…the meke…and the kids absolutely nailed it! As the danced to R Kelly’s The World’s Greatest there was poise and precision in their moves, and then they burst into YMCA, a late edition by the team and a hilarious little extra. The last 2 weeks have been fantastic in kindi, and the kids really did them proud this morning. Next week Will, Paskey, Tom and Chris will look to carry on the excellent times in kindi!
With the school having a visit from the District Educational Officer today the team were not in the classrooms, and with a new week on the horizon at the de-brief today it was set for Fi to head into class 3 next week, Ashleigh D to go into class 4, Sam class 5 and Vicky class 6. With just one week left for the team in the school I am sure they will really make the most of their time with the kids. And in sports it was business as usual, with class 7 & 8 taking on a tired tp team and coming out on top, although there will be a re-match of course and I am sure tp will come out fighting, the girls have far too much spirit!
At rugby training the squad were working through a number of different handling drills as we look to combat the expected drift defence from Ulibau, whilst Rob was also named “pack leader/vice captain” for the games, a role he fully deserves for the effort and commitment he has shown. And Will, Rob, Gareth and Sam are also up there leading from the front in effort on the training field with the Fijian guys, we are really starting to come together as a team!
In the evening homework club was running and busy as always, and it seems to be a very valuable time for the kids as they can work through the subjects with the team and get a better understanding of their subjects. And after homework club the guys had a run through of their dance ready for the show on Saturday night…”I need a hero” could be heard across Nasauvuki!
Friday 26th February –
With the funeral in Ulibau this afternoon the build and kindi were not running, and the majority of the team made their way with the village to pay their respects to the family. Schol was however still on, and Michelle continued her excellent work with class 6, whilst Cat, who would not otherwise have had the opportunity to teach, took class 4 for the morning, and with Megan away in Suva it was a baptism of fire! Sports in the afternoon was also cancelled due to the team being in Ulibau, and so it was left for just the de-brief where we prepared ourselves for the Rukuruku trek tomorrow. After dinner there was also a dress rehearsal for the “Fiji’s Got Talent” kindi fundraiser tomorrow night….and what a night it shall be!