With the waterfall trek still fresh in the volunteer’s minds, the team were on a huge high leading into the penultimate week. Fully aware that we need to make the most of our remaining time on Nairai, the team were straight into getting to grips with each aspect of project life.
This week the school was occupied by Danni, Aly, Bronwen and Johann. Dani worked alongside Master Fara in classes 7 & 8, helping the pupils with their revision by introducing some fun games such as the million dollar drop and snakes and ladders. 1,2 & 3 were delighted to have Aly working alongside them this week as she introduced the basics to graphs and charts, with the children managing to produce their own. In Classes 4, 5 & 6 Bronwen and Johann were making the most of his own and Aly’s world map from the previous week with interactive geography games. It is now clear to the children that we don’t all live in Buckingham Palace and we are not all related to the Queen!
The building work has finished, with all the flooring and walling completed the tools have been locked away and out with the paint brushes. With more paint on the volunteer’s rather the walls it was surprising to see all the build coated with the primer and the roof with its 1st coat. A relaxed atmosphere with some dubious song choices made for a great week on the build.
This week Bryony, Fiona, Becky, Nathan and Fabio joined the mayhem of kindi. With some glorious sunshine, it allowed for some active and fun filled outdoor playtime. The daily routine is now firmly in place and likewise with the kindi in Tovulailai it’s great to see the progression of the children.
House singing got underway this week and has proved not only the children’s but also the volunteer’s favourite house competition. The Barracuda’s opted for a Grease classic, Stingray sang Imagine by John Lennon, accompanied by props. The Sharks a rendition of Viva la Vida by Coldplay and the Dolphins produced one of the ‘hall of fame’ TP performances with a mash up of Justin Beiber and One Direction, the highlight being a mind blowing solo rap.
After school sports has brought many new activities to the island over the past 7 weeks. Non as unfamiliar as that of which Ally, Fiona and Lizzy have introduced, Cheer! Yes, the girls of Davuareta school have all been practising the same routine and hope to perform at the fun day next Saturday.
Following our last week of structured sports coaching sessions which included, Rugby, Volleyball, Hockey and Football we have played some TP games before heading home at the end of our day. Contributing to a few highlights of the week has been the comedy 5 a-side game of football, which had a surprise turn out from an all-star Man Utd team. The line up being; Diego Forlan, John O’shea, Eric Djemba Djemba, Jaap Stam, and Phil Neville. Also what could be described as some ‘competitive’ games of dodgeball, all in good nature of course, added a great touch to our day. Of which has nothing to do with any of the boys getting smashed in the face in the midst of their testosterone.
Tuesday night the team were given the chance to fill the void of any souvenirs they may have missed out on. Baskets, fans, bracelets are the usual souvenirs the volunteers get a chance to make, but the villagers again went that extra step with some of the guys leaving with weaved fish, birds and bookmarks. It was a relaxed night with the usual village craic flying round the hall over a few bowls of grog.
Wednesday and Thursday night were occupied with the start of our Meke rehearsals, a traditional Fijian dance telling ancient stories of their ancestors. Some complicated hand movements had the team worried of whether they do such a treasured custom justice, but after a few more practices and excited cheers from the villagers the team were soon in the swing of things. Bronwen making the extra effort to even learn the words, putting a Welsh twang into our Meke. Friday night saw the team again hop onto the boats for another village visit, this time to Waitoga. Again we were greeted by the whole village as they escorted us to the hall where a huge feast awaited our arrival. After a huge ‘kana va levu’ the team were straight into the grog and hophop as the villagers were treated to our ‘tight’ Fijian moves.
Nathan woke a year older on Saturday and to keep our eldest team member’s mind off getting old we headed out on another waterfall adventure. This time making our way through thick foliage to discover a secluded, sunken waterfall we snapped some sensational team pictures, before lunch it was already a birthday to remember!
In the evening, we attended a traditional Fijian birthday party, whereby the birthday boy was dressed in tapa clothing (made from tree bark) and we all gathered for a huge feast. Followed by a big grog party in the hall we hugely appreciated the efforts Nathans’ family had gone to in preparing a once in lifetime birthday.
Following our project planning on Sunday we hope to leave nothing in the tank and blow the project out of the water in the final week with the house cup finals of sports, quiz, debating and photography, the opening ceremony of the dormitory and, the fun day.