Thursday July 12, 2018
Bula from Fiji!
Early this morning we arrived and got a traditional Kava greeting ceremony on the deck of our hotel. We then hung out and made friendship bracelets by the pool until our rooms were ready. We had orientation rotation and a tasty lunch! We had time to rest before we walked to the beach to do more introduction and name game activities. When we got back from the beach we had a few hours to rest and some people went swimming. After that, we had dinner which was a delicious salmon, chicken, salad, and spring roles. For dessert we had ice cream! Fiji has been an amazing place so far and we are very excited to explore even more of the gorgeous island. We had an earlier night because we were jet lagged. 🙂
-Madeleine and Sammy!
Friday July 13, 2018
Bula!!! From your kid in FIJI!!!! 😁 today we had a wonderful breakfast to start out our adventure for the day. We first learned how to tie sulus (aka sarongs) the correct way! We had a blast. We learned about three different way to tie them. We then hopped onto the bus and sped away to the stunning Indian community. Half of the islands of Fiji are made up of Indofijians. We made homemade authentic Indian food from scratch. It was delicious. We also got to try lemon juice with pure cane sugar. It was very refreshing. We then went to Nadi town and shopped around and in an open air market where they had amazing fruits. Then we went to Jack’s which is a souvenir shop. Then we went to the hotel and had a fantastic dinner. We then met with our mentor groups for the first time. Now we are currently sleeping. Thanks!!!! From Madeleine and Ainsley!!!!!!
Saturday July 14, 2018
Bula! Today was an awesome day. First, we woke up and had breakfast and afterwards we made a social contract for the duration of the trip, we also watched a ted talk about how to be leaders. After that, we played a couple fun games until it was time to leave for lunch and the rest of our day. For lunch we went to “The best fish and chips place in Fiji!” according to our mentors. From there, we went to the sleeping giant gardens and a short hike with an amazing view while we were there.
After we finished the hike, we were given some delicious “Guava Lava” juice. Then we went to the mud pools and hot springs and spent a lot of time there, some people even got massages! We came back to the hotel and had some wifi and chill time before dinner. After dinner we are preparing for our journey to the Yasawa Islands tomorrow morning. Mothe!! (This means good night in Fijian)
-By Brooke and Sammy
Sunday July 15, 2018
As we departed from Nadi, we left behind a city of smiles and waves, only to be greeted by more of the same. Though the three hour boat ride to the Yasawa islands was nauseating, the first touch of the sand made us feel at home. The clear water reminded us of our intention we set for the day, service, as we are continuing to have an open mind about our new daily life at Botaira. After snorkeling among different corals and fish, and finding our spirit animal, we all found ourselves exhausted from the long, eventful day. We were then introduced to our Fijian support staff — Jim, Ross, and Tema. After meeting the Fijian staff, we broke into our service groups, where we met our service leaders. We look forward to spending a day of service at Gunu, beginning with an introductory ceremony from the village.
-by Bryce and Caroline
Monday July 16, 2018
Our names are Isabelle and Kate and We are the leaders of the day for July 16, 2018!
We started the day by traveling to the Gunu Village to meet the local villagers and children. We traveled via water taxi that took about 30 minutes.
When we arrived, we met the elders and the chief of the village, and the welcoming ceremony commenced! All students were given the option to drink kava, a root-based drink used during a welcome ceremony.
After the welcoming ceremony, we met the children of the school and were greeted with smiles and practiced dances and songs. The children were overly excited to meet us, as we were to them. The GLA students also gave a common known cheer to show our gratitude to our welcome.
The women and villagers prepared a yummy lunch for us to show their thanks. After lunch, the GLA students split into their service groups and discussed their future projects for the next coming days.
After, we left the island and returned to our home base. We spent our afternoon in the ocean snorkeling and exploring.
Overall, we had a very eventful and exciting day with promises of service to come. Fiji has been treating us very well and we can’t wait to start our service tomorrow! Mothé or goodnight!
Kate- shoutout to My family: love you all!
Isabelle- shoutout to my family and my dogs: I miss you all so much! (Especially Stewey)
Tuesday July 17, 2018
Bula beautiful people!😊
Today was full of breathtaking scenery as well as hard work and perseverance. Kate M. And I (Kaylee) started the day early, picking up fallen flowers to decorate the breakfast tables:)! Then we grabbed our lunch and headed off to the village! The sustainability group spent 5 hours working hard to begin making water filters.
The education group were introduced to children grades 1-4, and were able to hang out with some of the elder students as well. We assessed where the students were in their learning journey and taught them a little song. All of them were super exited and held my hands as we walked around the village. (Also like 3 kids asked if I was Taylor Swift)
Before Chow circle, we ended off the long day with an incredible hike and were blessed with a once in a lifetime view of the Fijian sunset and the islands surrounding.
P.s. I love you lots Mom, dad, Gavin, Edan, Bella, Beau, and my lil Olly boy ❤ -KCM
Hey mom and dad!! Love you!
-Kaylee Caitlyn Meyer and Kate the Great
Wednesday July 18, 2018
Bula! Waking up to paradise once again! Excited to get back into the community we prepared for another day of service. In agriculture we got down and dirty, expanding the new garden by adding our baby tomato plants and cabbage seeds. Education continued their work with the amazing kids in the school. Sustainability mixed cement and made the base for the rain catcher. They also added in the gutter system that will catch rain water running down the roof.
Once again the women of the village treated us to the most delicious lunch. After returning to home base we greatly enjoyed some free time. Some got back out in the ocean to do some snorkeling. Others relaxed on the beach, read their books, or dabbled in some beautiful henna! We then had another awesome curry dinner. We finished our day with a great Ted Talk from Tyler and reflecting on our time here in our mentor groups.
Love Kelly and Nick
P.S. Love and miss my family back home😘
Thursday July 19, 2018
Bula! Here’s Tilly and Megan recapping the day! We woke up at 6:45 and headed to breakfast. At our service groups, sustainability finished our rainwater tank and worked on beach cleanup. In agriculture we finished planting the tomatoes, built them shelter with palm tree leaves, and even planted a few banana trees! In education they said their goodbyes to their kids because today’s their last day in these service groups. At lunch all of the groups got to play games with the kids which was a lot of fun! After a rocky boat ride back to base we played soccer, volleyball and got together for a round of mafia before dinner. For dinner we had chicken and fish and soup! After dinner we discussed our smart goals and how to set them. In our mentor groups we used them to begin thinking about our capstone projects. And now we’re off to bed, moce!
Ps love you and miss you mom dad and sienna (and nova and lincoln)❤
Mom, dad, Annabel + Elsie i love and miss you guys SO much😚 having a great time here:)
Friday July 20, 2018
Today we started our new service tasks. It was neat to see another project and why it was important. There was also a funeral in the village today’s After we came back from Gunu village we had free time from 4pm to 6:40pm. During our free time some played volleyball and some others tanned on the beach and swam. We then had chow circle and talked about our highlights of the day and how we liked our new jobs. For dinner we had delicious fish and spinach. Afterwards, Tyler lead a slam poetry workshop that was a lot of fun. Overall, today was another great day in Fiji.
Written by the leaders of the day, Love and Mia
Saturday July 21, 2018
Bula!! Olivia and Payton here starting the weekend off right with lots of fun activities! Both of us were separate groups.
(Olivia) My group left at 9:30 to start the trek up and over a mountain to the village of Kese. After a short boat ride, we found ourselves on a seashell littered beach. Our trusty guide, Ros*, led us to a narrow path winding into the Fijian jungle. The hike proved to be more of a climb as the incline of the trail increased with every step. Blasting music as encouragement, we reached the top of the mountain. After wiping the sweat from our eyes, we took in an amazing view of the beach we had come from and the bright blue ocean below. We made our descent down the other side of the mountain while trying to keep our eyes off the ocean view and on the tricky path below. We hiked for about and hour before finally emerging at our destination – Kese. All of the sweat and scratches were worth it because we were going to get to make VIRGIN COCONUT OIL!! The wonderful women’s club of Kese helped us husk, scrape, and do everything needed to make coconut oil before taking our very own bottles back to homebase with us. Thankfully, we took the boat back and had a relaxing rest of the day
(Payton) Today was a very relaxing day. After Oliva’s group left at 9:30 we had Fijian lessons from our local director Tema. Then after free time, we learned how to wash our undergarments with buckets because our clothes were washed by the ladies at our service village. We also wove bracelets and also had a dance off by the deck and enjoyed sunset with tea time. Later that night we had dinner and celebrated a good friend of ours Isabell 18th birthday. We finished the night off with more dancing and a movie.
Sunday July 22, 2018
Today we began early, when a few brave souls awoke at 5:15 to see the beautiful Fijian sunrise atop a mountain peak. We returned to breakfast, after which we divided into two groups — one that planted coral, and another that weaved bracelets. Just before noon, the former group boated twenty minutes away for some snorkeling. What an amazing sight! We swam amongst three manta rays and other ocean life. Upon returning, Tema taught a Fijian lesson, teaching us how to say our name, age, and where we are from. Another groups made bracelets from coconuts. As we close our night, we relax and play some games.
Bryce and Jo
Monday July 23, 2018
Bula! We started our day with a delicious breakfast at 7 am! Soon after, we set off to the village for service on an exciting boat ride. We split into our previously established service groups and spent the day completing and enjoying our service tasks, being agriculture, education and sustainability. Education had the honor to participate in the Gunu school’s ECE ceremony and marched with the students. After enjoying a feast prepared by the women at lunch, we set off back to home base where we played local Fijian games lead by the Fijian staff. We then l for dinner while taking part in the traditional chow circle to briefly summarize everyone’s day. This was followed by a yummy meal and took part in a model UN type activity called stretching your lens.
-By Sigal and Cloud
Tuesday July 24, 2018
Bula from behind the postcard!!
We all started the day quite tired, but were quickly woken up by a breezy and bumpy boat ride to Gunu for our last day of service in the second cycle. Sustainability rolled the water tank from the beach to the house where we were building it and placed it on top of the foundation. Agriculture wrapped up their day by watering all the plants and planting some cabbage and banana trees. Education had a busy day wrapping up with the kids. Once we came back, we thought more about our capstone projects where we try to influence our communities and the greater areas.
After an inspirational spoken word on humanity’s influence on the environment we broke out into mentor groups where we imagined our favorite place in nature. Then we were asked to think about how we would feel if that place was destroyed. From there we thought of how we could make a positive impact on the environment. Overall it was an eye opening day.
-Moce (goodnight) from Ains and Torcat
Wednesday July 25, 2018
The day started off with a mad rush for toast. Then we headed off to our final rotation of service at Nunu Village. The education group taught year 1 and 2 by reading books and giving spelling tests. The agriculture group planted the food of gods aka yams and tilled soil to get ready to plant cabbage tomorrow.
The sustainability group accidentally did twice the amount of work because they got the wrong gravel to mix cement. We had a wet boat ride back to home base where we enjoyed tea time and free time. We kicked off dinner with a friendly dancing competition brought to you by your amazing leaders of the day Brookie Cookie and Nycky C! We ended the night with an identity workshop. Overall another amazing day in paradise.
Love the best leaders of them all,
Brooke and Nyck
Thursday July 26, 2018
Bula! Our names are Isabelle and Caroline and we are the leaders of the day for Day 15 in Fiji! This is our second time being leaders on the trip. We started our day leaving for Gunu village and starting our work for our third and final service project.
Isabelle: In Agriculture, we planted a big set of Yams and had a local villager cut coconuts and make us coconut water drinks. After lunch we went on a small hike to collect saw dust and planted more seeds!
Caroline: Today in education, we met with our first, second and third year students. Most of us got to meet with the children we had the day before, we also got a new group of kiddies from third year. My group of kiddos all read a book of their choice to me (all amazing readers btw), they then told me the days of the week and how to spell them. Most children can speak English but some do struggle with little words. Being with the children has taught me more than I have taught them and I will forever be grateful for their acceptance and patience with me. (If I come home with six Fijian children I promise I don’t know how they got there..)
Today in sustainability, the group made concrete out of the gravel, sand and water that were all collected in the village, Gunu. (It’s pretty amazing that the island naturally has all of these items to where they spend no money.) Once the concrete was made, we filled the area where the water tank is going to be located. We then placed gutters on the house where the water tank is going to be located so that the water tank gets water!:)
Once we got back from service, us girls (Caroline and Isabelle had a little event planned for the whole group. We wanted to have a fun surprise for the group so before chow circle we played dancing musical chairs!! We turned the music all the way up, put on our competitive pants on and got ready to win musical chairs!!! In first place… TILLY!!!🥇Second place… NYCK!!!🥈Third place… SIGAL!!! 🥉 Tonight was curry night for dinner and it was so so good!! After dinner, we had a goodbye gift for Ross, the agriculture director, some tears were shed but we are so extremely grateful for his knowledge and kindness. Ross was our dad away from home and we are going to miss him so much!:( We then had an activity that involved Fijian lollipops!! We told one person from the group how they have had an impact big or small on our lives here in Fiji.❤
We have six days left in Fiji and as we’re winding down the days, we grow stronger and prouder of our accomplishments! We’re all so sad to leave such an incredible place, but we are all so excited to see our friends and family! This trip has been an amazing opportunity and we can’t wait to tell everyone about it!
Isabelle: shoutout to my family! I can’t wait to come home and see my dogs!! (Miss you Stewey!!)
Caroline: I miss and love you mom and dad!!! Thank you for being my heart & soul❤ I can’t wait to be home and talk your ears off!! (I miss you Carson & my fur babies & crab babies) friends & family I’m alive but having no connection to post has been very relaxing! Miss you all very much.
Friday July 27, 2018
We started off the day with a delicious breakfast where we were treated to Fijian donuts. Sustainability did some final touches with the water tank and saw a spider attack a millipede. Agriculture planted red and green lettuces. Education saw a ceremony and the kids danced and sang. Then we played games with them and ate cake all afternoon.
Tonight we have a fun activity planned- a bonfire on the beach!! Also… Tomorrows the weekend! So we get a relaxing day with sleeping in. All in all, great week. However, it was sad today cause we had to say goodbye to the kids- last day of service 😞
-Kate M and Tori
Hi mother and father I love you!! And hi little brother ❤❤❤❤❤miss you guys so much!
Sunday July 29, 2018
Bula from Fiji!
Today was another amazing relaxing day by the beach and snorkeling. We split up into two groups and half of us chilled at home base all day and the other half of us went snorkeling and saw 7 manta rays! One group learned how to sing a goodbye song in the Fijian language while the other group created coconut jewelry! We then got to have a picnic lunch wherever we wanted to eat. Then we had free time and we swam and snorkeled while others of us chilled out in our bures and on hammocks. It was a very nice relaxing day so we got to regroup and we are so excited to continue our adventure tomorrow with our final day in the village! Lots of love from Fiji!
❤ Madeleine and Love
Monday July 30, 2018
Today we went back to Gunu village for the ceremony. When we got there we helped decorate and prepare the food. Then, we went into the Fijians houses and helped them with daily chores, cooking & weaving. After, we went to town hall and drank kava and introduced ourselves in Fijian. Next, we ate all the food that the women had prepared for us and shopped at a market where the woman were selling jewelry and souvenirs. After a sad goodbye, we returned to Botaira where we had free time before mentor groups. Then after dinner, we had the talent show and everyone laughed and danced. Now we’re off to bed for our last night at the resort :,(
Love you and miss you mom dad Annabel and Elsie can’t wait to see you!! -tilly
See you in a few Deb and Paul -Mia
Isa Lei! Today we said goodbye to Botaira:( The staff sang us a beautiful song and many- MANY – tears were shed. After a 3 hour ferry ride, we arrived in Nadi and settled in Nadi Bay Hotel one last time. We had lots of free time after a delicious dinner and around 9, we went to the conference room and watched a slideshow of our experience in Fiji. This a life changing opportunity and we are all so grateful and humbled because of it. Moce Fiji!!
Can’t wait to see you mom, dad, and Preston ❤