Monday 13th June – A sad farewell as our gap year volunteer leave Nasesara
With the entire gap year team dancing through the night with their family and friends in Nasesara, there was little sign of anyone heading to bed. They gathered on the sea wall to share the sun rise together before returning for yet more hop hop as the guitars rarely stopped in the hall. After breakfasts with families that consisted of the team’s favourite dishes (custard pie was a common choice in the majority of households), final dances took place and emotions were higher than ever.
The village created a line leading from the hall all the way out to the boats to say their final farewells to the team. Words cannot quite justify the surreal feeling felt in the village this morning as we pulled away from Nasesara for the final time; tears filled the eyes of each and every villager and volunteer as they waved their final farewell.
Arriving back to Caqalai, our gap year team were not really sure what to do with themselves, many slept or lay on the beach, simply taking in the impact that the previous 8 weeks has had upon their lives. After dinner, a spontaneous hop hop session suddenly emerged as the Caqali band played the team’s favourite songs from the village, it was an amazing feeling for us as we really realised what had been achieved over the project. The team congregated for their final de brief before heading to the main land tomorrow. We discussed highlights of the trip; both laughter and tears filled the room as we shared the individual impacts that Nasesara and Moturiki has had upon us all.
Tuesday 14th June – Back to reality!
Our gap team have landed back on the main land and we headed straight to the capital, Suva to pick up necessary supplies for the final 10 days in Fiji. The bustling city with everything from Nandos to little coffee shops was quite a difference from subsistance life on Moturiki! We continued further along the coast and arrived at our first stop of the R and R stage in Pacific Harbour. The team found their bearings of the resort and local area. Rob and Handsome Tom were the very first to book their much needed massages tomorrow morning! This evening, the team enjoyed supper together and relaxed over drinks and dancing with the bar man unsurprisingly being their new best friend!
Wednesday 15th June – Relaxing at Pacific Harbour
The gap year team relaxed at Pacific Harbour today and despite the constant rain throughout the day, great fun was had by all. Whether having massages, playing golf (James had his first ever game), or playing Marco Polo and the Category game in the pool, the team were extremely content! Many of the team had an early night in order to be ready and raring to go for the big day tomorrow. The partyers of the team saw in Miranda’s birthday with their favourite songs from the village on the playlist…”Hey Soul Sister…”
Thursday 16th June - River Rafting!
Happy birthday Miranda! 19 today! It’s always incredible to celebrate your big day on your gap year and today promised to be one to remember with adventure sports and parties to come! Today was an early start for the team as Miranda’s birthday would be spent on the Upper Navua River white water rafting with Rivers Fiji. The team had such a great day on the rapids and a lot of piracy took place on all boats. A particular highlight for the lucky ones that were able to see it was our very own team leader Ronnie flying over the top of two boats when trying to save fellow shipmates aboard HMS Gavui! Vinaka for the effort Ronnie! After lunch with some rather bizarre concoctions of jam and guacamole in sandwiches and a stop at the beautiful massage waterfall, the team continued down river to join the bus home.
Happy Birthday Miranda!
This evening, Club Oceanus kindly prepared a lovely meal to celebrate Miranda’s birthday followed by possibly the biggest and best chocolate cake known to man! Miranda was certainly a very happy birthday girl. Shortly after, she was not shy to hit the dance floor with fellow TPers late into the evening! A great day for the April team!
Friday 17th June – Relaxing in Paradise at the Beachouse!
The volunteers hopped aboard Veejay’s wagon this morning to travel to the Beachouse and were met with sunshine and golden sands to excite them for the next few days ahead!
The gap team enjoyed each other’s company by the pool accompanied by a game of Mafia that hasn’t been played since the village as well as tanning competitions, mainly between Ronnie and Miranda. I feel this is going to be a well fought battle that will only be settled on the final night! Others enjoyed the pool table and table tennis as they really unwinded in the new resort. This evening, following a curry night with other guests, the team unleashed their competitive nature with multiple games of beer pong!
Saturday 18th June – Swim time and games time.
The gap year team had the chance to really relax again today at the beautiful setting of the Beachouse. Whether by the pool or out on sea kayaks, the team were having great fun. They obviously all congregated for afternoon tea at 3.30 as everyone loves the scones, especially Mamma Mia! At sunset, the majority of the team gathered on the beach for a sandcastle competition judged by our very own leader, Ronnie! It was a fierce battle for first place and joint winners were the creative duos of Mia and James with their TP Shark as well as Handsome and Rob’s snake. How much fun can a group of gap year students have? The sunset was beautiful this evening and some awesome group shots were taken on the beach.
Sunday 19th June – Exploring the reefs by kayak and thinking of dad!
Happy Father’s Day to all back in the UK! Today was another chance for the gap team to rest and recuperate in the glorious surroundings of the Beachouse. Many chose to explore the reef on the kayaks once again with Adam and Georgie forgetting the tide and having to walk back in! Others began the first rounds of the TP table tennis and pool tournaments. After the incredible scones at afternoon tea, the team took part in their final quiz of the trip written by the leaders. Handsome, Matt, Mia and Calum were the worthy winners of the epic final quiz which included much randomness including family fortunes, R and R chants and even a spot of synchronised swimming, why not? A great team day with lots of fun and laughter as we chatted about our favourite Nasesara times from our gap year volunteer project on Moturiki and even acted them out, much to the bemusement of other Beachouse guests!
Monday 20th June – Gap year Surf lessons and pool competitions
Georgie, Miranda, Anthony and Adam hit the waves early for a surf lesson this morning which they greatly enjoyed while others continued with the on-going table tennis and pool competitions. Handsome was the eventual winner of the table tennis after a fierce final with Henry. The pool competition took a little longer than expected but the eventual victor was Ronnie with Matt taking the runner up prize! Today was our last full day at the Beachouse before heading Nadi side tomorrow, our gap year team relaxed by the pool and played volleyball before enjoying a quiet evening at the bar.
Tuesday 21st June – Sky dive Fiji
Happy birthday Harry Hunter! Wheyyyyy! Today, the gap year team left the Beachouse early and headed Nadi side for their final stop of the Think Pacific. After a quick stop in Nadi town to pick up all the last minute souvenirs for all of you eagerly awaiting the team’s return back in the UK, the team hit Smuggler’s Cove beach to relax for the afternoon. The adrenaline junkies amongst our gap team were up, up and away into the South Pacific sky this afternoon to fall 14,000ft from a two seater plane! One of those things that must be done on any gap year! Ann and Julia were the very first two to go and beaming smiles could not be removed from their faces when they landed on the beach for hours after. This was a very similar response to the eight that followed; Ellie, Georgie, Handsome, Matt, Calum, Anthony, Miranda and Sazzerooooo! This evening, the gap team had their final de brief with Harry, where they could chat over their whole gap year and volunteer experience in detail before celebrating his birthday in style, party hats, Fijian sandals, cake and all!
Wednesday 22nd June – Tall ship sailing cruise
Today the gap team boarded the Whale’s Tale tall ship and enjoyed a day sailing to Snorkel Island with other guests. What a way for Handsome Tom to spend his 22nd birthday! It was a great day, plenty of tanning, snorkelling, jumping off the boat and volleyball on the island, with the team keeping a close proximity to the bar! Returning to Smuggler’s Cove this evening, the team had their final farewell party with the leaders before the majority fly out tomorrow. The emotional evening also saw the awards presented to each person before they embark on the rest of their travels.
Vinaka April 2011 team for a fantastic gap year project.