Tuesday June 18, 2019
BULA!!! Oh what a day!!!!! Arrival day, we can’t believe it’s finally here! Almost everyone arrived very early in the morning, there were only missing two people who were arriving in the afternoon. After arriving at home base, the students had breakfast and settled into their rooms.
After hanging out for a bit, they took their swim test & everyone hung out by the pool! We played a bunch of name games to get to know each other & then headed to the beach to do a little clean up! The kids picked up a lot of trash!! The sunset was beautiful there at the beach and then we were treated to a traditional Fijian dance show back at home base. The day was full of activities but everyone was so excited to get some sleep after traveling from so far away! Can’t wait for tomorrow!
Wednesday June 19, 2019
Bula Mom and Dad! Today we started day two with having a nice breakfast as a group by the pool. We then practiced our acting skills by acting out the code of conduct (don’t worry we are all rule followers!). Following this activity, we took a bus to an Indian-owned resort where we learned why there is a heavy Indian presence in Fiji. The local women taught us how to prep the ingredients to make today’s lunch. We made some roti, cut up potatoes and eggplant, and grated coconut which was used to make chutney….SO GOOD!!! During our lunch, Ella received a birthday surprise with a beautiful chocolate cake and a serenade by everyone.
The resort that we were at was really nice and had a waterside, mini golf, and many hammocks, so it was a nice bonding time for all of us! We then hopped back on the bus and headed into the town Nadi where we bought our traditional sarongs which we will need soon when we are working in the village. We also had the opportunity to buy some Fiji goodies! We came back to the our resort and ate a lovely dinner. Then, we met as a group after and learned who was in our mentor groups. We got some free time after to hang out before we went to bed. It was a splendid day with delicious food, and I can’t wait for tomorrow when we get to experience a traditional mud bath here!
P.S. We learned another Fijian word today: Vinaka which means thank you!
See you tomorrow,
Thursday June 20, 2019
Bula! Today, we woke up to a lovely breakfast made by the wonderful hotel staff. since Hope and I (Jakayla) were the leaders of the day, we organized a fun game of human knot. It promoted team building and communication, not to mention it was a blast. Once we finished, he hopped into the bus and drove to get the “Best fish and chips in the world” Debatable, I might say.
After stuffing our faces, we headed to the sleeping giant. There, we hiked up the mountain and ended our journey with panoramic views of the surrounding islands. Despite Fiji’s beauty, that incline did not sit well with us. We were so sweaty and exhausted from the hike that the next stop was just what we needed. Mud. We covered ourselves with authentic Fijian mud, which supposedly makes us ten years younger. Expect us to look 6 or 7 when we return home.
To accelerate the drying process, we entertained ourselves with lawn games. After washing off, we soaked in the thermal pools while others got massages, which were amazing btw. Upon returning home, we ate an amazing dinner and learned more about Fijian culture. In conclusion, we are well- exfoliated, well-fed, and still jet-lagged.
Friday June 21, 2019
Bula from our new home island, Naviti! This morning we packed up our belongings, and after breakfast, we left our resort and took a bus to the port where we took a three hour boat ride to our island. On the boat, we were able to sit on the top deck and enjoy the open air, the many Fijian islands, and the clear blue water. We received a warm welcome and a big “BULA!” from the staff once we arrived, and we were given fresh coconuts to drink from, which were refreshing after our boat ride.
We then had some down time to spend time swimming in the pool, to walk down the beach, and to tan (still wearing sunscreen though- don’t worry Mom!). The leaders of the day, Michael and Zoe, led an intense game of Mafia that brought everyone together through a little conflict. We ended the night with a wonderful meal, which included carrot soup, fresh vegetables and fruit, chicken, baked potatoes, and chocolate cake; lastly, we ended the long day with a big bonfire on the beach. We can’t wait for our next two and a half weeks on this beautiful island!
-by Micheal & Zoe
Saturday June 22, 2019
BULA from Finlay and Sonya, coming at you with a blog post about day 6 in Fiji! We woke up, and got right to it with breakfast that included cocoa pops, an omelette station and yummy muffins! Next we split up into two groups which both did different activities (we all get to do everything just on different days). The first group did a Fijian lesson were they learned how to count to 10, learned the months, and different animals. Then they had a Fijian music lesson where they sang traditional Fijian songs while the other group was returning from their long hike up the mountain and down to the village, where they learned how to make virgin coconut oil and coconut milk.
The second group took the long way back to the resort, going all the way around the island showing everyone the amazing views and the beautiful island we get to live on for the next 2 weeks. They both went back to their rooms and had some off time that most of us students spent snorkeling. Isabelle also saw a lion fish, but was very careful not to touch it after remembering Trent and his safety talk!
After some fun water adventures they went out to the beach to play some upbeat ultimate frisbee. Sonya even dove to try and catch the frisbee! Then they went to play some volleyball where Finlay and Zoe were talking some trash back and forth as obvious token players of each team. Next we all split off to shower before dinner which had some incredible rice and stew! The local staff taught us a local dance after dinner & then we were off to bed! Goodnight everyone!
-Finlay & Sonya
Sunday June 23, 2019
Yadra mom and dad! That means good morning in Fijian, it’s Gabi & Gianna! Today some of us went on a beach run with our mentor, Brenda and couple of other runners from the group, while others did yoga with our mentor, Neha, to start off our day. I, gabi, went running and it was pretty tiring I must admit but absolutely beautiful. And Gianna got up early to do yoga! (Am I already defying your expectations?) It really made us all relaxed and put us in the zone for the day.
After breakfast Group 1, went on a snorkeling adventure while Group 2 took the Fijian language and culture lesson. Sammy showed us some coral reefs and a lot of the beautiful sea life here and we saw the biggest manta rays ever! Once we were done, we all came back and had a delicious lunch, group 2 went on a medicine walk where we learned all of the medicinal properties in the plants that the Fijian people use. We also saw our guide climb one of the really tall coconut trees with no ladder and throw down coconuts for us to eat. Abo (the guide who climbed the coconut tree) showed us how to first husk a coconut. I (Gianna) as expected, could not crack the coconut open and instead hit the bead from my bracket into my hand (repeatedly). Despite this I am alive and thriving!
After yet another delicious dinner we ended our fun filled day with a movie night where we all sat under the stars and watched Moana before going to bed.
We love and miss you guys so much!
-gabi & gianna
Monday June 24, 2019
Hey blog! Quinn and Ella here. Our service has finally started! Today we went on a boat and we sailed off to an island with many wonderful kids and people. Then, what we did was we split off into two groups; one group helped with rainwater in the village, while the other helped the school children with a one on one reading English program in the village. This helps them to read more fluently and efficiently. The rain water group learned about the struggles Fijian family’s face when trying to have enough clean water for their family’s. The rain catching and filtration system collects rain water and houses it in a plastic cylinder that is accessible to each home.
By the end of today the rain group completed the mold and base for the cement. This will allow them to then move forward with the project and add the roof gutters and the plastic rain container. For the reading group, we all sat in a classroom and were assigned one child each. My child (named Kalesi) was assigned to me (Quinn) and we read one small book. She read fluently and then after we played games that would help her with conversation and comprehension. We’ve found that Fijian people are incredibly welcoming and one person even invited the rainwater group to come onto their porch and served tea and snacks without expecting anything from it. It was a real naenae.
Miss you all back home!!
-Ella & Quinn
Tuesday June 25, 2019
Today we started with a traditional Fijian breakfast and prepared to head to the village for service. after our relaxing 30 minute boat ride we split into our 2 groups to start our service . The groups really worked hard and there was noticeable change in the community almost immediately from the children becoming better readers in the span of a few hours or getting the majority of the concreting done for the rain harvest project. We then headed back to home base for some tea and snacks . After tea time the group had a moment of bonding by playing some games. This was followed by some relaxing free time and a great dinner.
Overall another successful and exciting day in Fiji.
-by Gordon And Ilir
Wednesday June 26, 2019
Bula from Fiji!
We started off the morning as usual with a great breakfast and headed off to the village for another day of service. Today each group finished up their projects. Group one finished working with their kids, and group two completed their rainwater collection tank. Throughout the first few days of service, we have embraced the friendly Fijian culture and all that the kind and welcoming people in the village have to offer.
We also formed amazing bonds with the children at the primary school. We all felt very fulfilled and accomplished after seeing all of our hard work turn out well! We returned to the resort and relaxed on the beach. We finished off the afternoon with some challenging but fun bonding games. After a delicious dinner, we completed a leadership activity and went to sleep.
Another amazing day in paradise!
-by Belle and Isabella
Thursday June 27, 2019
Today we started with a delicious breakfast at our home base, as per usual. Soon after, Groups 1 and 2 headed off to the village begin our new projects. Group 1 began building the foundation for the rainwater harvesting tank. We mixed the cement and laid it in the ground to dry, making our mark with a snazzy GLA signature and our handprints. We also began to attach the gutters to the outer rim of the house. Group 2 began teaching with the children in the village. We made it through 4 of the 30-minute rotations of reading 1-on-1, and finished off the lessons with some games with the kids.
Both groups found it very rewarding to see the difference we were making in the community, whether it be through building tanks for clean water during the dry months or helping children improve their reading ability. After we finished our service for the day, we headed back to the home base to have a refreshing dip in the ocean and some of us went snorkeling. We worked on posters to bring to the school in celebration of the end of Drug Free Week. We finished our day with a scrumptious dinner and a lovely leadership activity lead by Rein. Each of us wrote a “Where I’m from” poem, and took a look into where everyone comes from and what makes us all unique.
Another great day of service and fun, catch you all tomorrow!
-Hannah and Sara
Friday June 28, 2019
We started the day with some unexpected obstacles,the weather did not allow the group to head to the village for service as it was very windy and not safe for the boats to go. Nonetheless we still had an eventful day. The group split into their service groups to get a better in depth understanding of what we are actually doing for the community. After the explanation of the impact we are making in the community we had lunch which were delicious chicken sandwiches with salad.
The locals then grabbed us to participate in some Fijian games . We played Fijian bowling and other small fun games, followed by an exciting game of capture the flag. The beach was our field and after a fun filled hour group two came out on top with a score of 2-1. Neha then lead the group to take some downtime to reflect on ourselves and how we can improve to become better leaders for tomorrow. After this period of reflection the group had a positive attitude to finish the night off with some different but very fun Fijian dances. All the way from the beautiful nation of Fiji -ilir Antonio
Saturday June 29, 2019
Hey mom and dad it’s Gabi and Maya. Today we had quite a relaxing day due to the weather, sadly we could not take part in the activities we had planned but it was still nice to take part in the Fijian dance lesson, make brackets and other stuff from palm leaves and practice all the songs we had learnt.
We also had a yoga session lead by Neha and was fun to stretch and laugh out trying some new yoga postures.We all had a bunch of free time today to stay warm from the cold rain and bond with each other. It was nice to see the other side of the weather here in Fiji. Overall it was a very calm day but we hope to take part in our planned activities tomorrow.
We love and miss you guys alot!
– by Gabi and Maya
Sunday June 30, 2019
Hello again blog!
Quinn and Ella here.
Our weather today was rainy yet sunny during different times of the day. Because it is the weekend, our day didn’t consist of any service work in the village, therefore instead we went on a short hike to a beautiful beach. There, Trent and or Trenton, and Jakie taught all of us how to play rugby for a couple hours.
It was a pretty eventful game to say the least and many laughs were involved. After that we returned to home base and did beach clean up. Quinn and Ella both have a thing for hermit crabs so we collected many tiny crabs, in addition to picking up trash. We then had lunch followed by tea time and beach time.
We just had a pretty relaxed day with good vibes and overall good times. Everyone is pretty good friends at the moment and the staff is incredible. Quinn and Ella, made really good friends with Sam, Annie, and Sara, who are staff members. They are so welcoming and hilarious.
I miss you Judy and Merle and Rani and the dogs! Wish we didn’t have TMobile so I could text you, but it’s alright. Love you! ~Quinn
Hey mom, dad, and Gig! Miss you lots. 🙂 ~Ella
Monday July 1, 2019
Today we were finally able to return to the village after a weekend of rest and play. Our (Sonya and Hope’s) group headed to the rainwater tank to finish up our work from Thursday, while the other group worked with the children again in the school. The rainwater group spent most of our time with the village’s children, playing tag and running around instead of working like we were supposed to, but that’s okay. It ended up being a highlight of the day. Then we returned back to the the home base where we laid out in the sun and had chicken fights in the ocean. We then ate dinner where we had a amazing dessert cooked by the legendary staff. We’re finishing the night off with star gazing because we never saw such clear stars.
-Sonya Sultchouk & Hope Robinson
Thursday July 4, 2019
BULAAAA!!!! Happy 4th of July!!!! We hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating America’s independence day back home! We miss you & can’t wait to see you guys in a couple of days!!
– Everyone 🙂
Friday July 5, 2019
Hannah and Quinn here. Today is Friday and we had a family fun day. Our large group of 17 people split up into smaller groups. One group chose to weave, and walked through a pathway and saw how palm trees were cut by a kind woman in the village. Then, we went back to someone’s house and watched them weave sleeping mats. Another group husked coconuts and created a lobo (an oven in the ground) and then went back to the common hall where we eat lunch.
Another group helped out at different households with whatever the people needed help with. After all of the groups finished, we went to eat lunch that the village prepared. They surprised us with a large feast as a thank you for our hard work. After our lunch, we played with the village children who are super kind and outgoing. The women in the village put out their jewelry and crafts to sell as a local marketplace, and we said our goodbyes to everyone.
When we came back to the home base, group 1 made coconut oil and group 2 had free time. Then after, we played a circle game to bond further, chow circle, dinner, and stargazed (the sky is really clear here at night). That was about it. I miss you Merle, Judy, Rani, aunts and uncles, Miss Nicki, Steve, and all of our friends.
See you all soon!
Bula family and friends! Today was a very sad day for us all because today we had to say goodbye to the beloved staff at Korovou. We watched them perform their final goodbye song, Isa Lei, and there was not one dry eye in the audience. After saying goodbye, we boarded a boat heading back to Nadi that took about 3 hours. Once we arrived, the group stopped by a local grocery store for snacks for our long plane ride. We arrived at the Nadi bay resort shortly after shopping and ate our last dinner in Fiji. Although we all were sad to say goodbye to Fiji, the Vinaka Fiji and Korovou staff, and all of the villagers we are glad to have had this experience. I think it’s safe to say we’re all really excited to go home and share our stories.
See you soon!
Jakayla and Gianna