It was a nice relaxing first weekend here in Qarani After Friday night’s Hop Hop the team enjoyed a leisurely stroll to a waterfall for a cool down. The temperatures have been reaching 30c on most days and we haven’t seen any rain yet on the island (tempting fate?) so a tranquil dip in the pool was great to refresh.
We then headed down to the school compound (about a 10 minute walk) with some of the villagers from Qarani for some rugby and netball……………….
After the energetic afternoon we all came back to the village, showered and had the usual big Fijian dinners (’kana Levu’ – ‘Eat big!’) and had an early night. Sunday saw the team going to the first church service on the island. The villagers are currently building a huge church at the top of the village which has been under construction for the past few years. It will be a big focal point for Qarani as it is an imposing building which overlooks the whole of the village. So for the time being, they hold their service in the community village hall. All the team were present in their obligatory Jumbo dresses for the girls and Bula shirts with a pocket sulu for the boys and we were treated to some resounding hymns from the congregation and welcomed into the village by the Tala tala (Reverend) and the Elders.
The majority of the service is in Fijian, so rather difficult to understand but it is a great spectacle and sound for us all.
We started the 2nd week of our rotas on Monday and have Angela, Katie, Leah, and Hollie with the in Kindi. The theme of the week is Under the Sea, so we have been playing some fun sea creature based games and along with the usual nursery rhymes with Leah has been teaching the children some Irish shanty sea songs! The children are settled well in Kindi now and are used to the team being there so it’s always great to see their smiling faces as they come in the morning!
It is the last week of school in Qarani – as they have a 2 week break during our last 2 weeks here. During this time off we will be doing a ‘Summer Camp’ for the all the children in school. This will be not as formal as classroom learning but still will keep the children occupied and learning as they have such a huge desire to learn and are very motivated with the Think Pacific team in the village! So Sally and Lottie have been in classes 5 and 6 with Hollie and Angela joining classes 7 and 8 after Kindi. The lessons have been going really well and the girls have been doing a fantastic job in there. They all continue the programe set by the school of English and Maths in the morning and then after lunch the girls can teach anything they are interested in. Sally and Lottie have done some great geography lessons and Hollie and Ang even did an impromptu French lesson!
Its been a busy few days on he build too! We have Dan, Richard, Abbey, Charlotte, Laura, Rupert, Will, James, Nathan, Hannah and Steph working on there this week. After the first week we have the posts cemented and cut, so we have been putting the flooring joists in and the supports. Even though conditions are hot the group are storming through the build – the village will have a nursing station in no time at the rate we are going!
In the house cup after school time, we have continued to learn our 4 songs for the houses. It is amazing how fast the pupils learn the songs and now the team are fitting in some dance routines to the songs to maybe earn some extra points from the judges?!
After the house cup we do an hour of sport with the school children and we have been coaching Football, volleyball, Lacrosse and some gymnastics! It is a chance for the kids to try other sports other than rugby which plays a huge part in Fijian life and Lottie is happy too with the continued Lacrosse training – we are going to have some professional players by the end of the 4 weeks! Gymnastics has been excellent too with some impressive dances taught by most of the girls.
The team have also started going spear fishing this week as well, with Dan, Rich, Will and Nathan taking the first shift at night, let’s hope they catch a lot for tomorrow, otherwise no fish, no lunch…..
So all is well and everyone is happy here in the village of Qarani, it is crazy how quickly the time goes so everyone is taking advantage of every moment and really getting involved in all aspects of village life!