Past volunteers

Volunteer stories: Hanna Martindale

Hannah Martindale

The final day has finally arrived,  I cant believe it. I am writing this as I sit by the pool at Mama’s soaking up as much sun as possible before i leave! The last week has been absolutely amazing. From the Daku fest last Saturday which was such a brilliant day, it felt like a school fete! Kids were running around going on all the stalls with the biggest smiles on their faces. The food and drink stall was selling so fast, everyone loved Jessie’s samosas! The highlight of the day had to be the Meke’s, us girls went frist and after only a few practices banged out a shaky performance but it was funny! Then the mixed meke which we had all mastered so well, finishing with the boys meke which was hilarious to watch, they all looked awesome! It was brilliant that we were able to raise 600 dollars for the village whilst having so much fun.  After a final Sabbath, we got ready to leave the village.

The atmosphere Monday morning was intense, everyone still tired from the big grog night before, which went on very late with lots of dancing. Saying goodbye to the village was so sad, I have not felt anything so emotional. They walked us out to the boat and started the Fijian goodbye song which set everyone off with the tears. I was fine until my nan followed by my mum both cried into my shoulder, that was it, I was then in floods of tears! I miss all of them so much, they were such a fantastic family and made my experience so unforgettable.

After one night back on Caqalai, we headed to Pacific Harbour, where we arrived at what seemed to us complete luxury! It was a gorgeous resort. The next few days were fantastic, the kayaking was so much fun, trying to stay on your single kayak whilst steering through the rapids was a challenge! We also.stayed in a village, whch was interesting to compare to Daku but definitely made me realise how special Daku was, the people were just not the same!

Sitting here reflecting on my time in Fiji, all I can say is that it has been the most amazing experience of my life. I have met some lovely people both fellow volunteers and also Fijians. I will never forget my time here, it has been a huge eye opener into Fiji life and I feel lucky to have lived in the most beautiful village with the most incredible kind and loving people. I would like to thank Simon, Harry and Benji for everything, they have been amazing and I am already planning a trip back to Fiji to see my family and to explore more of this fascinating and beautiful country.

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I'm so grateful that I was able to be a part of Think Pacific. You have really created a great organisation and I love the fact that it is so small and personal.
Joe Lawrence, Shropshire
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