Monday June 18, 2018
BULA! GREETINGS FROM FIJI!
ALTHOUGH TODAY MAY OF FELT LIKE THE LONGEST DAY EVER, IT WAS WORTH EVERY TIRING SECOND OF IT. MOST OF US LANDED IN THE COUNTRY AT 5:35 THIS MORNING COMING FROM LAX, SOME LANDED FROM SAN FRANCISCO, AND ONE CAME FROM AUSTRALIA. WE WERE ALL DRAGGING SO THE STAFF BLESSED US WITH BREAKFAST. FOR BREAKFAST, WE HAD FRUIT, EGGS, BEANS, SAUSAGE, AND MUCH MORE. LUCKILY, AFTER BREAKFAST WE ALL HAD ABOUT TWO HOURS OF FREE TIME TO GET SITUATED AND RELAX. THROUGHOUT THE DAY WE DID A LOT OF NAME GAMES AND ICE BREAKERS TO GET EVERYONE COMFORTABLE WITH EACH OTHER. EVERYONE WAS EXCITED BECAUSE WE KNEW THAT LATER ON WE WOULD BE WALKING 15 MINUTES TO WAILOALOA BEACH. WHEN WE WERE THERE, WE MADE SKITS ABOUT THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND LEARNED HOW TO HAVE A SAFE BUT FUN TRIP! LATER, WE GOT TO LISTEN TO A PAST GLA STUDENT’S STORY ABOUT THE IMPACT THAT THIS EXACT FIJI TRIP HAD ON HER. WE LEARNED THAT SHE WAS SO INSPIRED FROM HER SERVICE WORK THAT SHE ACTUALLY CAME BACK THIS YEAR ALL BY HERSELF FOR 6 WEEKS WORKING AS A TEACHER IN THE SAME SCHOOL THAT SHE TAUGHT IN. WE WERE ALL AMAZED TO FIND OUT THAT SHE WAS THE SAME AGE AS MOST OF US. (17) AFTER OUR GUEST SPEAKER, WE HAD CHOW CIRCLE WHICH IS A PLACE WHERE OUR GROUP JUST CONNECTS FOR ABOUT FIFTEEN MINUTES ABOUT THINGS THAT HAPPENED DURING THE DAY AND WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING THE FOLLOWING DAY. LASTLY, WE ARE ALL SITTING AT DINNER LISTENING TO A MEKE CELEBATION TAKING VIDEOS AND ENJOYING THE MUSIC OF THE FIJIAN PEOPLE. WE ARE ALL SO EXCITED TO SLEEP AFTER THIS THRILLING YET NEVER ENDING DAY. MOST OF US WILL FALL ASLEEP THE MINUTE OUR HEADS HIT THE PILLOW!!! JUST WHEN WE ALL THOUGHT THAT WE LOST OUR ENERGY, THE FIJIANS ENTICED EVERYONE TO GET UP AND DANCE WITH THEM. THIS TURNED INTO EVERYONE DOING A SNAKE DANCE AROUND THE POOL LAUGHING AND SCREAMING BULA. THIS WAS THE PERFECT FIRST DAY THAT DEFINITELY BROUGHT EVERYONE TO DEVELOP STRONG RELATIONSHIPS.
BY: BRIANNA GARRISON
Tuesday June 19, 2018
Bula! It’s our second day in Fiji and we’re having so much fun! Today we visited an Indian community where we cooked our own lunch, which consisted of coconut chutney, roti, pumpkin soup, and rice. The Indian church is the only community in Fiji to fully practice their Indian culture. Next, we visited several markets and stores in Nadi. We perused fresh produce in an open-air market. We stocked up on sulus (sarongs) at a local souvenir shop called Jack’s. We finished our long, exciting day with a yummy Asian Fusion dinner and chocolate cake!
As they say here in Fiji, “Moce”, which means goodnight!
~Daniel and Faith
Wednesday June 20, 2018
Just keep swimming-Dory! After breakfast, we had a Leadership workshop with Lisa. Then we had some free time before we discussed Fijian culture with Bruce. We went to a fish n’ chips restaurant, ate some ice cream, and took scenic photos. From there we went to the Sleeping Giant Gardens and Hiking Trail. Our guide, Howard explained the Fijian culture and the story behind the sleeping giants. There were hammocks on the were relaxing and enjoyable. After the hike, we all sat down with some mango fruit punch. From there we traveled to the hot springs. We then enjoyed the “soso” mud baths and the 2 other hot springs. We also participated in friendly competitions of sack race, egg toss and over under. We came back to the resort and winded down with some wifi and free time. Some of us enjoyed the pool while others relaxed in their rooms. We all got to experience a beautiful, breath-taking sunset. We had chow circle and discussed how the day went. From there we enjoyed some Indian food for dinner and prepared ourselves for the big trip tomorrow to Naviti island where we will be for the rest of the program.
-By Ellie & Preston
Thursday June 21, 2018
This morning we had breakfast at 6am because we had to catch a bus that left at 7. We got our luggage together and got on a boat for three hours until we arrived at the Yasawa Islands. We will be staying here for the next sixteen days. Upon arrival, we were given fresh coconuts, flowers and a warm Fijian welcome. We met the local staff that will be helping us through our service days.
After a delicious lunch, or “kana vinaka” in Fijian, we took a swim test to a dock about 20 yards away from the beach. There, we snorkeled above beautiful reefs with lots of fish, and jumped off the high dive on the dock.
At night, we had an activity that taught us about stereotypes and respect with the local Fijians. Funny enough, our word of the day was respect which is “vilomani” in Fijian. We are all looking forward for the great adventures that await us tomorrow. Vinaka vaka levu for reading and we all say moce here in the Yasawa Islands as we fall asleep to the sounds of waves!
Friday June 22, 2018
Today we woke up and had breakfast at 7am. We had our first boat ride to the Gunu village. The two boats we go to service in are usually used as school boats for Fijian children! They are pretty small and a little hot, but fun. The boat rides ride had beautiful sights of the sea. Students figured out how to wear the life jackets and noted the importance of them. When we arrived at the village we saw an extremely different way of living from our own. We introduced ourselves to the school children and talked about where we are from. They performed a traditional Fijian welcome ceremony and entertainment. We then departed for the Somosomo village which will be our service site for the coming projects.
In Somosomo, we were introduced to our service projects and learned about the impact we will have. We ate lunch together and saw Fijian wildlife and domesticated pet animals. Students loved seeing the dogs, cats, and chickens. Students were in their designated groups to learn about their first specific project. The three groups included education, sustainability, and agriculture. The boat ride back to the home base was long and everyone was tired. We had a short break prior to our tea time and team building exercises. During team building exercises we learned how to work together and how communication leads to success.
Team building was facilitated and lead by student leaders of the day, Lauren H. and Robert. After our fun activities students had free time and were able to snorkel, play volleyball, or just chill with their friends. We had a short debrief before going to dinner at 7:30 pm. At 8 we split into mentor groups and talked about various things. Students were then dismissed to their bures before bed time at 10 o’clock.
Saturday June 23, 2018
Today was day 6 of our trip of a lifetime and since there was no school because it’s the weekend we engaged in day long activities that helped us grow both individually and together as a team. We were BLESSED with an extra hour of sleep in the morning before beginning our scheduled activity groups, which included Fijian language lessons, a hands on craft session, and a hike across a mountain to the Kese village. Activity groups either did the Fijian language lessons and crafts or just the hike. In the Fijian language lessons we learned a lot of basics about the language and also how to introduce ourselves in Fijian, which will be very beneficial in communicating with Fijians in the villages. Next the groups participated in a hands on craft session and handmade bracelets made out of leaves of a tree that are native to Fiji . The last group participated in a two hour hike over a mountain to a village.
It began with a steep walk up the mountain, of which we had to take multiple breaks in order to catch our breath. When we eventually reached the top, we were overwhelmed with the gorgeous views of the island and the sea surrounding it. We then continued our trek down the mountain to the village. During this time we were challenged with crossing over mud as well as maintaining our balance and making sure we would not fall off the steep decline. Finally, we reached the village where we were welcomed into a Fijian home and given orange juice. Soon after, we were guided into the homes of the local residents to take showers before creating virgin coconut oil. We are all very appreciative of the locals for inviting us into their homes.
When we learned how to make the virgin coconut oil, we were taught step-by-step of how the coconuts from a tree become the luxurious product. After this, we left the village after a warm goodbye and went back to our home base via boat. Immediately, we were immersed in the fun activities of spear throwing and Fijian bowling. We competed in our activity groups and had a great time. After this, we enjoyed dinner and were surprised with a viewing of the movie Moana. Overall, today was a great day as we enjoyed numerous activities with our newfound best friends.
Sunday June 24, 2018
Today, we woke up to a nice breakfast consisting of oatmeal, eggs, toast, cereal, and fruit. Afterwards, we split up into three groups and went snorkeling, sung Fijian songs and danced, and art. After having a delicious and nutritious lunch, we switched groups. Then we enjoyed some free time during which we chilled on the beach, showered, washed our undergarments, and played volleyball. After free time we got ready for dinner and Jonah and Anika lead us in chow circle in which we reflected on our day and gave positive shout outs to one another, then we sat down and the leaders (Jonah & Anika) lead us in a game of trivia to see who got to get dinner first. We then had a service debrief on what we would be doing the following day.
Thats all folks 😊
Monday June 25, 2018
Children of the South Pacific Session 1 Day 8: Bula! Everyone started their service projects today, with 3 groups each focusing on education, sustainability and agriculture.
The agriculture group started off with learning what tools to use for certain scenarios. Then we gathered soil to plant tomato seeds. After planting ths seeds we set off Somosomo village to plant tomato plants. When we arrived at the farm after a short hike we started diging holes to plant the tomatoes. Once we planted the tomatoes we put fertilizer around the plant to help stop weeds from affecting the plant growth. Then we started to create a patch of soil to be ready for when we plant the cabbage.
The sustainability group is putting a water tank in place and attaching gutters to a house, so the first thing that we did was collect sand and gravel to make the concrete base for the tank. At lunch, the ladies in the village made us an amazing lunch consisting of roti with curry potatoes, sea grapes, fried rice and types of Fijian potatoes, all of which were really fresh and tasted amazing. After lunch we got to work preparing the wooden frame to put the concrete in and levelled out the ground to make it flat.
The education group arrived to the local village school a poster telling us that this week is drug abuse and illicit trafficking awareness week. After our Local Director Tema gave a speech about personal health to the kids we got to play with them during recess and then we got to tutoring. We got to spend about 30 minutes with each kid during which they read to us while we helped them with pronunciation, spelling, and grammar. All the kids were so enthusiastic to learn and tutoring them was so much fun.
After we got back we had tea time and then Lisa led a talk about SMART goal setting and we began to discuss capstone projects. We then had dinner and afterwards Tyler led an activity on slam poetry. A few kids shared their poems and everyone had a great time.
– Sofia and Michael
Wednesday June 27, 2018
Today was the last day for education in my service group. We all had established great relationships with the kids the previous two days. Today we mostly read books with each others usual but, had a little more time to say goodbye and play games. For me, I had a kid named Samuela. On top of being a very good reader and writer which surpassed my expectations we talked about way activities we enjoy and really connected. He wanted to be in the NFL but clearly understood that it takes work and he told me he always tried 100% everyday in school. I’m glad we were able to establish a friendship but unfortunately that would be the last time I would probably ever see him. I would end up getting a photo with him and I ended up making it one of my screensavers. Education is great opportunity to help kids that are willing to work to improve in whatever they struggle with. It is very worthwhile to get to know these kids. Doing this impacted me and gave me more confidence in myself.
Saturday June 30, 2018
Today was Saturday which means the GLA team did not have service. Half of the students went on a hike on the mountain to the village Kese. After a bit of huffing and puffing the students descended down to the village. When they arrived they were greeted by locals. They participated in learning how to make virgin coconut oil.
The other half of the students started the day off by taking a Fijian music and dance class. They also participated in a weaving lesson where they made rings and bracelets.
When the hikers returned, we all had our daily tea and then gathered together for an activity. In this activity we debated about how the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics impacted Brazil as a whole as well as the locals. After dinner, the students discussed ways to take actions sustainable environment.
Overall all it was an amazing day and lots of fun.
From Paola and Hannah 🙂
Sunday July 1, 2018
Today was a very relaxing day with a lot of free time. Before free time started some people did a weaving activity with Solo and he helped us make rings out of leaves and finish making our coconut rings. I really enjoyed it and I thought it was cool that the coconuts we used were found on the ground on the island.
The other people went into groups and learned two Fijian songs and a Fijian dance. One was a farewell song that is going to be sang to us when we leave Fiji.
Another group went snorkeling, and saw amazing coral and sea life.
After our groups finished, we got free time, lunch, and then dinner. During free time some people went snorkeling out to the floating pontoon and some people relaxed on the beach while the sun was still out. Once it got a little colder people were playing soccer with Fijian staff before everyone got ready for dinner.
After dinner, we were able to choose whether we wanted to star gaze or play cards and games. Then we all went to sleep.
Today was a relaxed day, and we all had a lot of free time to enjoy ourselves and relax before continuing our last few days of service.
– Lauren D & Hannah G 🙂
Monday July 2, 2018
Bula from Fiji! Today was our final day of the second rotation. Speaking towards education, we specifically worked one on one with 4th through 8th graders teaching them reading and writing skills. We watched them grow socially and academically in the past couple of days and had a heart felt depart from our new best friends. On the way back from the village, we experienced a little more than slight turbulence. Even though we were soaked, our spirits weren’t dampened. The rest of the day was full of relaxation. Our activity following dinner was lollipop moments where we shared appreciation for kind moments we had with one another.
Goodbye and goodnight. See ya on the flip side.
-Ginger and Liv
Tuesday July 3, 2018
We woke up and had breakfast at 7 as usual. It was the last rotation of service projects. In the morning, education and sustainability departed.
Agriculture had a briefing on the deck with Ross, created a plant nursery, and then had lunch. Afterwards, we departed on the boat for Somosomo. In Somosomo, we picked out the baby banana trees that were growing too close to others so that they didn’t have to share a food source. We replanted them deeper in the woods so they could grow stronger. Then, we thinned a patch of dirt to prepare for the cabbage patch we were planting the next day. Then we departed and came home.
Education met their students and started to tutor them. They were able to grasp a feel for where each student is at. They met with 5 students for the day ranging from year 4 through 8.
Sustainability departed at the same time as education. They gathered materials for their project. They created a frame and wheel barreled dirt, gravel, and sand. The women of Somosomo village made them a traditional, gourmet meal and it was delicious.
Once everyone got back at 5:15, we left for our sunset hike. We saw an amazing view and hiked along the ridge of the beautiful mountain. We had quite a few stumbles on the way down, but all made it safely back down to the home base. Once we got back to the home base, we had a late dinner that included an amazing chicken stir fry and rice. After dinner, we had a leadership workshop involving the ways we identified ourselves and others. Hi mom, thanks for reading!:)
Rubie and Robert
Wednesday July 4, 2018
This morning we woke up and had breakfast and shortly after, sustainability and education left and agriculture had a meeting and had lunch before departure to SomoSomo village. Agriculture planted over 2,000 cabbage seads and around 30 watermelons. Sustainability made the base of the water tank during which they mixed sand, gravel and powdered cement to made a firm concrete platform. Education continues teach the children of the South Pacific how to read, write and speak English.
After a long, hard, get fun day of community service work our leaders of the day whom names are Anika and Jonah (littasdayphotography) lead us in a game of Capture the flag where team 2 CHEATED and took the dub. After a delicious dinner of burgers and fries we sang the national anthem and had a bonfire to celebrate our most patriotic and hottest days aka 4th OF JULY! The fantastic leaders of the day responsibly sent all the kids to bed so they could have an amazing night sleep where they dream of MERICA.
WRITEN BY – JONAH KORNBLUH & ANIKA MANDAVILLI
Thursday July 5, 2018
Started with a bit of toast n’ eggs Breakfast. Departure. Sustainability finished up the water tanks. Ate a beautifully prepared meal by the women in the village. Agriculture Finished building a nursery for the plants. Left to finish some watering plants at the farm in Somo Somo. Education had a great day, they enjoyed a nice lunch and had finished up with some multiplication problems. Then we had all come back and relaxed. After a long shift of service we had eaten dinner and done a gratitude circle. This was time for all of us to reflect on our time here and how it impacted us.
Today was Saturday and our last day in the beautiful resort Botaira.
We started the morning early with an optional sunrise hike. Despite the early start it was definitely worth it when we reached the top of the mountain and saw the amazing view.
Today was a travel day. After breakfast we packed and prepared for home. We learnt a fun Fijian group dance and then said our goodbyes. We will miss everyone at Botaira Resort. Soon after, we traveled via ferry back to Nadi. Our last event of the day was a slideshow showcasing our adventures in Fiji. Thank you to all the friends we made in Fiji.
Hannah and Danny 🙂