Saturday 29th January –
After a big first week on the gap year projects last week, today was an opportunity for the team to have some fun with their families in the village. After breakfast Harry and Matt headed up to the plantations with their dad, whilst groups also headed out around the bay for some snorkelling and spear fishing, with the fish caught being cooked on an open fire by the beach!
Others spent the afternoon swinging in a hammock and relaxing, and with everyone back in the village by late afternoon a community football game kicked off, with some nice touches from the kids and some great goals being scored. It has been a big week and I am sure everyone will enjoy a Sabbath rest tomorrow.
Sunday 30th January –
This morning the team attended divine service with the community, a chance to hear the unbelievable voices of a Fijian village singing. There was also a welcome for our new building manager Jimmy Manuel, who works closely with Jack, our head building manager and we are very excited to be working with Jimmy for the coming phase of building projects here in Batiki.
In the evening the team came together in the shed to play some cards, an evening which ended with very impromptu human pyramid building, with a 4-3-2-1 stack being our greatest achievement to date!
Monday 31st January –
Back on with the projects this morning the volunteers were quickly into their rhythm. On the build the bearers were completed early meaning that the team could crack on with the joists, and with Jimmy setting a target of all 30 joists on by lunch the team were working hard, achieving the goal with 5 minutes to spare! In the afternoon they were straight on with nailing studs the top and bottom plates, and before the end of the day one wall of studs was lifted into place and braced.
In the kindi and youth projects, our gap year volunteers Gillian, Fanny and Livvy have established a great little routine, and after morning prayer and circle time the kids were singing songs including hokey cokey and twinkle twinkle little star. In arts and crafts they were colouring in, and during outside play time they introduced the “tree game”, which is where the kids have to run to different trees without being caught in the middle.
In school Oli assisted class 3&4 with their story writing, whilst Satnam had classes 5&6 writing a diary of what they did over the weekend before reading it to the class. With classes 7&8 Kerry was also busy assisting with English and Maths before taking arts and crafts.
On the sports coaching projects – rounders and football were the sports of the day for classes 5-8, with some keen football skills being shown by the boys during some heading and footwork drills. In rugby Harry and Charlie did their best to introduce defensive and offensive lines with classes 1-4, whilst in netball Bryony and Livvy also looked to run through some basic training exercises.
Tuesday 01st February –
On the building project this morning the team checked their measurements of the wall studs before lifting and nailing the final three frames into place. In the afternoon they then began measuring and cutting the window noggins, as well as cutting the extra wall studs to be placed around the structure.
In kindi for early learning they went through their numbers from one to five, using marbles and number cards. At outdoor games we played duck duck goose and the tree game, before having sleeping lions and story time.
With meetings taking place in Suva for the school placements Kerry, Satnam and Oli joined the build. Sports coaching was in full swing in the afternoon, with classes 5-8 taking rugby and netball ,with a match planned in Netball for Thursday with the school kids taking on the tp team. For football and rounders it was classes 1-4, and what they may lack in concentration they make up for in excitement!
In the evening it was movie time, and after narrowing it down to The Hangover and Taken, it was Taken that won the day, everyone loves a little Liam Neeson!
Wednesday 02nd February –
With the frames up yesterday this morning on the building project the team nailed on the double top plate, finished nailing the studs and completed the window and door noggings.
In kindi the face paints were out during arts and crafts, with Gillian, Fanny and Livvy transforming the kids into tigers! They also had song time, early learning and outdoor play, and it really was a great day!
In sports, Charlie was playing in amongst classes 1 and 2 as they had a structured game to finish, whilst in rounders Ben and Matt took classes 5-8 girls through some catching and throwing drills before playing a game. For football the young ones actually seemed to understand and use the skills being shown by Satnam, Rupert, Fanny, Tavis and Dan which was a huge improvement.
At the de-brief the team decided on the committees for the Health, Environment and Entertainment programmes that shall run through the project. These are smaller aims which each gap year team has to deliver as part of the overall volunteer project, including leading health awarenss initiatives in school, environment projects within the village and a youth festival for the community. The first job for the entertainment committee was to choose the theme for Saturday night’s village fancy dress party, with Tribal being the choice!
In the evening it was cooking time for the team as they helped their mums in the kitchen to learn some of the Fijian dishes. And after dinner there was a very relaxed grog session in the shed with a few of the village, whilst others had some family time in their homes.
Thursday 03rd February –
On the building project today the focus was on the ridge and on the rafters, with our building manager Jimmy having Ben, Tavis and Charlie help him centre and nail the ridge, whilst the rest of the team marked where the rafters would be placed on the top plate and ridge board itself. After lunch they began to cut and nail the rafters into place, and with 13 completed before the end of the day we are very confident that all will be set by the end of the week tomorrow!
In kindi the team used the glue, sticks and felt paper to make houses and gardens with the kids during arts and crafts. There was of course circle time in the morning where everyone sings, and games of hokey cokey and row row your boat too, another day filled with fun!
In the sports projects it was game time for the girls in classes 5-8, as they took on the tp team! After some great netball, at half time it was 20-8 to the TP girls, and with the village ladies also looking to play they came on to replace the tpers. Mistress Litia also joined the school team, along with our leaders Paskey and myself to try and turn the game. After some excellent netball, and some laughs, it finished 33-16! In the evening it was quiz time, written by Quiz on your face and including rounds on Tevita, the turaga ni koro in Yavu, Sweden and Movie quotes amongst others. With the scores counted it was team Fanny Bashers who won the day by one point, and took home the oreos, as well as the privilege of writing next weeks quiz.