Past volunteers

Volunteer stories: Nicola Waite


Nicola

Bula!! I was told before I left England that Fijian people were the friendliest in the world, and so far, I am happy to confirm this statement.  I have been blown away since we arrived in the village by the community’s efforts to ensure we are comfortable and happy. 

Even as I write this it is pitch black here,  a young boy is holding a lantern for me so I can see, whilst others watch on, trying to read what i am writing. The community share everything and work together, whilst the children run around, screaming and laughing. Its a privilege to be part of this for a month. 

This community spirit has been clearly demonstrated through our building project-just two days in and the foundations have already been laid for the community kitchen-speedy work and testament to the village’s ability to work together. Most of us also have our own beds whilst family members sleep on the floor, we have been eating well (lobster for dinner last night!!!) and are greeted with smiles and ‘bulas’ whenever we step outside.

I am living with a family with six boys, all under 11 and despite the lack of sleep(!!) I am loving it. Plenty of cuddles from the teeny ones and the older ones are always keeping an eye on me, running over with fresh water or helping me wash my clothes.  They seem older than 9, 10, 11 year olds in the uk and take care of their younger siblings and their homes like little adults. 

They’re also excellent company and love hearing about England and telling me about their Fijian culture.  We have plans in the kindi to introduce British songs and dances and make costumes to perform in our last weekend here..as well as making displays to brighten up the walls and planning some hygiene lessons, such as brushing teeth and washing hands, all of which I’m excited about and cannot wait to start.

Despite some minor problems-mosquito bites and a serious lack of the Fijian sunshine (not actually that much of a problem when lugging about sacks of sand!!) being a couple of examples, its has been an incredible start and we all look forward to what the next four weeks may hold.

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The whole 5 weeks was absolutely amazing, never a dull moment, it really was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Katie Thorn, Derbyshire
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