Here are some great photos from our team over in Fiji, with pictures taken during their castaway island briefing and also during their first week of volunteering and village life in their new Fijian home of Wawa Village! You click each picture to view a larger version and as their experience continues, we’ll also be posting all of their photos onto the Think Pacific Facebook Page:
Posts Tagged ‘fijian village’
Monday 24th January –
This morning the team were packing up their kits and getting ready to head out to Batiki island for the 8 week project phase of the expedition. We picked Jack, our building manager, and made out way to Levuka town where we met the Batiki boats. It was not long before the team and bags were loaded and we made our way out to the island. With the sunshining and no wind it was a quick and easy crossing, and the team were into their new home. After changing into sulus, shirts and jaba dresses we presented a sevusevu to the Ratu and village elders, and the team then headed off to their new homes with their families to settle in. The team and community then attended a welcome church service together before having a huge feast and of course some grog and “hop hop”…it was great for Think Pacific to have finally touched down in Batiki!
Tuesday 25th January –
With projects due to start tomorrow today was spent prepping the various elements. In the morning the leaders took the team through the plans and drawings for the community hall, before taking a walk down to the school to meet the headmaster and teachers and see the classrooms and the kids. Back in the village they meet Liti, who shall be assisting us with the kindergarten, before heading home for lunch. The afternoon was spent relaxing as the expedition leaders took the ppps’ with each of the team
( * ‘ppp’ stands for ‘personal project planning meeting’ –Each volunteer is assigned to one of our leaders and every week, our leaders have a one-to-one talk with each volunteer to discuss their role, their experience and anything they wish to discuss in confidence. This offers individual support to each person in the team).
Following the PPS there was an evening de-brief and the project rotas were pieced together so everyone can play a full role in the teaching, building, kindergarten and sports development project. Everyone is now ready and excited to begin tomorrow!
Wednesday 26th January –
This morning was a huge morning for Think Pacific and our January 2011 Batiki team as projects began on Batiki island for the first time!
On the build Ben, Tavis, Charlie, Georgia, Bryony, Harry, Dan, Rupert and Matt were busy digging holes, mixing cement, setting the posts and carrying timbers, and by then end of the day 20 posts were completed to show the huge effort put in by everyone.
In kindi it was a very good, if slightly chaotic start, but that is the beauty of kindi! With it being the first day ever for the young ones to come to a kindi Fanny, Gillian and Livvy decided to focus on games and fun, before starting to introduce the routines tomorrow. So they sang songs, had outdoor games and played musical statues, before story time to end. And with 9 children turning up it was a very positive first day.
In school it was a slightly slower start, with the children and teachers settling in to the new school year and the most effective roles of the team within the classes still being set. But with Oli in classes 3 & 4, Satnam in 5 & 6 and Kerry in 7 & 8 we will be developing the support they can provide in the classroom so the volunteers roles are fully defined in the next few days.
As ever sports coaching started with a bang, with Kerry, Matt, Gillian and Georgia taking the girls from classes 1-4 for rounders, Livvy and Bryony taking the girls from classes 5-8 for netball, Oli, Rupert, Dan,. Fanny, Satnam and Tavis taking the boys from classes 1-4 for football and Harry, Ben and Charlie taking the boys from classes 5-8 for rugby.
In the evening it was party time as we looked to celebrate Gillian’s birthday! The team and community came together in the shed for a huge feast prepared by the village ladies, and after a short rest (with more food of tea and birthday cake) it was back for some bowls of grog. In true Fiji style the guitars were of course there and the “hop hop” was in full swing, quite a way to spend a birthday!
Thursday 27th January –
On the build this morning the team dug the final 15 foundation holes before setting the posts and cementing them in to complete the foundations which is a fantastic effort in just 2 days.
In kindi the team began to introduce a few of the structures and ideas, including hand washing and tooth brushing club before and after snack time. There were also more games of duck duck goose and song time, before “Alice in Wonderland” was read during story time.
In school it was another slightly difficult day for the team, with their involvement limited as the school teachers get everything ready for the new term. In the afternoon the attention turned to sports coaching, with our volunteers leading the coaching for all the age groups, who rotated between different sports.
In the evening it was quiz time, written by “Team Canada” which of course included a round all about Canada, as well as song intros and more. And after the battle of the brains it was team “Quiz on your face” who won the day!
Friday 28th January –
With the posts completed yesterday this morning the team began sawing the posts to bottom plate level, before measuring and cutting the studs to size and nailing on the outside wall bearers. It has been a big few days on the build, and next week we shall look to have the frame up.
In kindi the kids went through their shapes and colours during lego time, and during arts and crafts they painted their hands to print onto the card which they absolutely loved. For outside play there was a wheelbarrow race, a hopping race and a skipping race!:)
In school it was a far more productive day as the teachers and team begin to settle into a rhythm. Oli read a story on droughts with classes 3 & 4 before asking them to draw a picture and write a few lines about what may happen during a drought. In class 5&6 Satnam was assisting with their work on tens, hundreds and thousands, and also took comprehension for English, and in classes 7 & 8 Kerry read a poem and then took the classes through the questions.
Sports coaching was once again in full swing in the afternoon, with classes 5-8 boys doing some tackling drills and some 2 v 1 before playing a controlled match, whilst in football the team split classes 1-4 boys for coaching before playing some 5 a side. In netball the 5-8 girls were showing some real talents, and the little ones were striking the ball nicely in rounders.
In the evening the team and community came together in the shed to play some cards, have a few bowls of grog and “hop hop”, and the atmosphere was absolutely amazing, exactly what life in Fiji is all about!:)
Here are some great pictures of our gap year team as they arrived into Yanuca village last week. The local people gathered on the sea wall to meet the group and sang welcome songs and presented the team with garlands of flowers as they stepped ashore to Yanuca. It doesn’t take long in a Fijian village to feel well and truly part of the family! Our volunteers enjoyed a welcome ceremony as they were introduced to every member of the community, before moving into their new Fijian homes. The team also took a tour of the neighbouring island of Moturiki and visited the students in the district primary school, ahead of the volunteer projects which begin in the next few days.
I’ve officially been back in cold, snowy England for three days now and I already want to be back in Fiji! I miss everything about it so much; seeing the children’s happy smiley faces, everyone saying “Bula” and inviting me into their house for food, all the banter and laughs with the tp team and just feeling such a part of the village. I really can’t believe how quickly the 10 weeks has gone.
Every single part of the expedition has been amazing and I loved being involved in all the projects, spending two weeks in kindi, two weeks teaching class 8 in Uluibau Primary School and three weeks on the build. The build was personally my favourite as I really enjoyed getting stuck in with the walling and flooring, doing plenty of sawing and hammering in the nails whilst hanging out of windows or up the handmade ladders. It was always so much fun, the music would be blaring and plenty of banter going on.
Even when we weren’t on projects I still had a brilliant time with coaching netball to the school kids, forming a netball team with the Fijian ladies and playing at tournaments. There were quiz and movie nights, we learnt the art of weaving and cooked with our families. We performed the traditional meke and sang in church every Sunday.
Bonfires were made on the beach, I went on snorkelling and fishing trips. We organised a variety show, a juice party for the children and the village fun day. We climbed Ruku Ruku, swam in the rock pool and enjoyed plenty of grog and hop hop sessions.
One of many highlights for me has to be the opening of the community hall as you’ve seen it go from scrap land to a beautiful building that we are able to give to the village. It’s something that will always remind them of us and represent our time spent in Uluibau.
Eventually the day to leave the village crept up on us and we all found it so hard. My Fijian mum had been crying all week and the night before we left my family organised a leaving feast for me and Hannah. Before we started eating, Gordie my Fijian dad gave a speech saying how much he’ll miss us, that he could always trust us 100% to leave us in charge of the house when they had to go to the mainland and that we are part of the family and always welcome back.
It was right then that it really made me realise how much of an impact we’ve had on them, the difference we’ve made and how after only 8 weeks I feel so comfortable and at home in the village. I did not want to leave. Then on Monday morning the whole of the village were standing on the beach crying as we said our goodbyes. It meant so much to me seeing all the kids, women and even the men crying because they didn’t want us to go. All the team were exactly the same, crying as we sailed away from Uluibau.
Our last 10 days in Fiji were spent at Pacific Harbour, Beach House and Smugglers Cove. I did plenty of sunbathing, eating and chilling out with the team, white water rafting, horse riding on the beach and a 14,000 feet skydive.
It was an awesome end to honestly my favourite 10 weeks ever. I’ll never forget my time in Fiji and the people I’ve met.
To the leaders- you were awesome, thank you.
Emma McKelvie (Mrs Kipling/ Meme)
Monday 08th November –
With the school and kindergarten projects completed last week this morning saw the whole team make their way to the build to continue painting. With rain falling over night they began inside with the timber primer, and after a couple of hours of sunshine we were outside before lunch to continue the primer there, both on the walling and roof.
In the afternoon the team headed down to Daku village for the kindergarten party and “graduation”. The kids looked absolutely fantastic in their sulus, bula shirts and jaba dresses, with salu salus that the parents had made. A sevusevu was given by the community before the kids and those from the team who were in kindi for the last week performed their mekes, with everyone doing a fantastic job. There were then some speeches before Ulamila, Eremasi and Reitena got into their gowns with mortar boards and were presented with their graduation certificates as they shall be attending class 1 at Uluibau Primary School in the new year. The grog was then mixed and the guitars came out for a few rounds of “hop hop” before we headed for home.
In the evening the team and community came together for a farewell dinner for Ellie, who sadly will be flying home tomorrow for family reasons. Once again the food prepared was incredible, and after a few words were said everyone enjoyed some grog. Ellie, or “America” as she has come to be known, has been a fantastic character throughout our time on expedition and she will be very much missed by her Fijian family, the community as a whole and of course the Think Pacific team. We wish her all the best and look forward to meeting her again some day very soon!
Tuesday 09th November –
After meeting on the beach this morning for a sad farewell to Ellie the team once again headed to the build to continue the painting, whilst Naomi, Leah and Sarah headed out fishing. The undercoat was applied to the inside walling and the primer completed on the outside.
In the evening it was once again party time for the team and village, with Ali celebrating his 19th birthday. Ali and Rob were dressed by their family in the traditional masi dress and looked fantastic. As is custom a feast was prepared for the team and village to enjoy, and this was followed by a speech from Ali entirely in Fijian, a reflection of his interest and eagerness to submerse into the culture of those around him! And of course it was then grog and hop hop time, and the party continued into the night!
Wednesday 10th November –
With the rain once again falling this morning the team began the top coat on the inside, a sky blue colour. The frascia boards were also undercoated on the outside and the roof primer was completed. There were also fishing trips through the day, with Ray, Zoe, Hannah and Tim heading out to see, whilst Naomi and Sarah went up to the plantations.
In the afternoon it was also time to begin learning the traditional mekes ready for the village “fun day” next Saturday and the opening of the hall. With the kids from the village getting involved it should be allot of fun learning and performing! In the evening it was movie night once again, and with Men In Black and Bad Boys going head to head it was MIB that won the day.
Thursday 11th November –
On Sunday last week we were very sad to hear that Lulu, one of the Fijian lads in Niubasaga village where our May 2010 team were based, had lost his father after a battle with illness. Lulu has been a constant presence for our volunteer teams over the last 6 months, particularly in the rugby fixtures and during the castaway briefing, and all our thoughts were with him. We therefore stopped our project work for the day as a mark of respect, with Richard, Thom and Tim joining Harry in attending the funeral service. With it being Remembrance Day the team also came together at 11am for a minutes silence in respect of those who served and died in the wars.
Friday 12th November –
Back on project this morning the team continued with the painting, with a team on the roof applying the finishing coat and teams on the outside walling and inside windows also putting the top coat.
After lunch it was time for the performance of Joseph by the class 5, 6, 7 & 8 children, supported as ever by Richard, Thom and Millie. Before they sang the kids presented salusalus’ to the team, and after doing a fantastic performance a word of thanks was said by Master Joe on behalf of the school for the teams time spent in the classroom which was incredibly emotional and moving for everyone. The parents had then prepared tea and cakes for the team and children to enjoy together.
After a hymn practice of Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer rugby and netball practice kicked off ready for the matches tomorrow against Nasauvuki, and then it was part time. With Richard having his birthday tomorrow, and Save, his Fijian dad, having his birthday yesterday, they chose to celebrate together! Once again a huge feast was prepared as the team, family, village and Ratu came together. They had built a “shed” especially, and with the food cleared away the grog was mixed as the kava session began, and it was not long before the guitars were out and the “hop hop” began. With everyone in such good spirits the party carried on into the night!
Saturday 13th November –
This morning the team were able to relax and catch up on some rest. The Entertainment committee came together to discuss next weeks village fun day, before the team met and made their way across to Nasauvuki for the sports matches. In respect of Lulu, who was a huge support during our May 2010 project, and who has been a constant presence in our rugby teams over the last three projects, a minutes silence was held before the game for his late father Serevi. And then it was game time in both the rugby and the netball!
With the rugby boys taking an air of “barbarians” for this fixture it was always going to take the team a few moments to settle, and in just the first minute Nasauvuki exploited a drop ball to run in their first try and take a 5-0 lead. But gradually Uluibau found their feet and started to really compete both up front and in the backline, pushing Nasauvuki back. Penalties cost both teams as the scores moved to 14-3, before the half was cut short by an accidental knock to the head which sent the Nasauvuki flanker Biss fast to sleep! Early in the second half a simple mistake let Nasauvuki in for their second try. But that only galvanised the Uluibau team who came back really firing, putting together a very neat set of hands to put Sami in the corner to make it 8-19. With the crowd making some noise and with the intensity rising the boys again rose to the atmosphere, and a strong forwards effort saw John crash over in the corner. Rob then stepped up to nudge the conversion from the far right which really got the crowd going, and suddenly at 15-19 it was all to play for. But sadly it wasn’t to be as Nasauvuki kicked a penalty to take a winning score of 15-22. But the moment of the match came with just a few minutes to go as Richard, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, and who hadn’t played rugby for some time, ran on to join the boys as the crowd cheered and sang happy birthday! At the end both team came together to sing I know the Lord, a chance to reflect on a fantastic game of rugby!
In the netball the Nasauvuki ladies were out for revenge after Uluibau’s victory three weeks ago, but once again we started well taking a 9-3 lead after the first two quarters. However Nasauvuki came back strongly and were not to be denied, and after a good battle they were the eventual winners 23-18.
After taking our showers the team made their way to the community hall in Nasauvuki for tea that had been very kindly prepared by the village, great chance to see the hall that was completed during our January 2010 expedition. The grog was then mixed and the band assembled to get the songs and “hop hop” underway, and what an evening it was as the team and village partied together!
Sunday 14th November –
Once again Sabbath came at a very welcome time, with the team looking forward to having a rest and relaxing around the village. The team attended divine service in the morning, singing Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer, and in the afternoon came together to play some cards and tell stories together.
This week saw an absolutely monumental moment in Think Pacific’s development projects as our July 2010 team successfully provided a water system to Savuna village!
After weeks of hard teamwork – digging, carrying, carefully laying piping to the village homes and fitting the giant tank in the community, it was a huge moment to finally be in sight of the finish.
As the pump started up we were so excited to see the water going into the tank. Tim, our expedition leader who is a plumber by trade, turned the motor on and in it was then a nervous wait in the village. But everyone was so so happy and massively proud to see the water come running out into Savuna.
A massive day for the team, Savuna village and Think Pacific as the villagers finally have the simple pleasure of turning on a tap and recieving clean water, and we achieve our dream to bring a fresh water source to this tiny island community!
Here is a video of the moment the water was turned on as well as a selection of photos of all the hard work our July team went through to get there!