Saturday, 8 August 2015

A paradise called Fiji

PROJECT: Teaching
WRITTEN BY: Issy Steadman

Our time in Fiji is truly flying by and so week three for the four volunteers meant beach, beach and more beach. Our normal school week meant the usual 7am wake up calls were thankfully getting much easier and we were successfully making the early bus to school in a bid to stay away from the peak hour traffic. Our days at school are also feeling more natural getting as we have built up trusting relationships with most of the students and teachers at the Nadi special school.

This week though consisted of Michaela's class taking a trip to the local swimming pool, which was a bit stressful on all the teachers as the children run a muck in the water but was definitely a worthwhile adventure when you saw the smiles on all the kids faces whether they could swim or not.

During lunchtimes the weekly soccer and volleyball games were in abundance and it may be a stretch to say but we think our skills are improving thanks to the handy tips from all the kids. The schools project for the term is to build a garden for the school community and so this week meant our hands got dirty pulling our roots, raking the soil and planting our vegetables.
We also got creative with our recycling bottles and cartons this week, making coin purses out of milk cartons and candle holders out if coke cans as part of the South Pacific Schools recycling project.

It seems after three weeks we have become accustomed with the lifestyle here and are finding it easier and easier to get around. Afternoons after school involved trips to Denarau, to take advantage of the swimming facilities at the resorts, watching the sun go down at Smugglers Cove and catching up with our in country partner Shabreen.

We can't forget just how welcoming our host family is and it always makes our afternoon when we walk home and from the top of the street are greeted by the excited squeals of our host brothers yelling to play before we even reach the yard.

On Thursday afternoon we celebrated our host dads birthday the Fijian way. This meant relaxing outside all afternoon waiting for the meat and veggies to heat up on the Lovo, essentially an underground earth oven.
How the Fijians manage to not under or over cook the food amazes us, as after only two hours an abundance of foil wrapped food is hauled off the hot rocks and taken into the kitchen and we discover it's all cooked absolutely perfectly.
Once everyone had eaten it was time for birthday cake and to sit back and cheer for Fiji in the 2015 Pacific games.

This weekend all four volunteers headed to a picturesque marine sanctuary in the heart of the Mamanuca Islands; Beachcomber Island. With its white sandy beaches, clear blue water and perfect weather all weekend long there was nothing quite like it.
Our time on the island involved (of course) more kava, snorkelling amongst the schools of fish and the colourful coral, lots of swimming, water trampolines and plenty more beach activities. Night time entertainment on the island included watching the sunset, fire dancing and lots of limbo.

Our time in Fiji is nearly drawing to an end and it's safe to say that for all of the volunteers this has been one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences we have ever done.
We can't wait to head back to school for our final week and we know the goodbyes will be hard, but we are so grateful to have had the chance to fully explore this little piece of paradise called Fiji.

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