Yesterday was the start of an amazing journey here in Fiji. As we got off the plane we were welcomed into open arms by the GLA leaders. After that we then headed to where we were staying and unpacked followed by a tasty breakfast. Later on in the day we began playing games so that we could all remember each others names. Then we headed out for a walk down to the beach and saw these beautiful tall palm trees. When we arrived at the beach we had seen that there was garbage all over the ground so together as a team we decided we were going to help out by picking up the trash and putting it all in bags. Once we cleaned up the beach we played a game that helped us all work on different abilities of working together. The day was full of laughter and joy. Even though it was our first day together and we were all exhausted we had an amazing day and it was the start of an extraordinary adventure along with great friendships.
– Aubrie Cross
We woke up today before the sun rose around 6:30 A.M. for some exercise. There’s nothing like an early morning run along the breathtaking Fijian coast to start off your day! After showering up from that, we headed off to breakfast for another delicious meal. After that, we got to meet Elle who runs the organization Vinaka Fiji. After lunch, we got to venture out to the Gardens of the Sleeping Giant and went on an incredible hike. We finished our day by going to the natural hot pools and getting a natural mud body mask. We got to play relay games with some of the children of the community. Needless to say, we are all had such an experience of a lifetime yet it is only the second day! We all have never met more kind and welcoming people than the members of this community.
– Jessica Pollock
Today we woke up early and had the option to watch the sunrise while meditating with yoga on the roof. We gathered together for morning circe soon after and discussed our attention of embracing differences. After breakfast we took the bus to the local Indo-Fijian village to learn about traditional Indo-Fijian food. We helped create delicious food for lunch while enjoying the company of 3 fluffy cats. Once we said our goodbyes we headed out to the local Hindu temple. We learned about the different gods that the religion is based upon. We than headed out to the town to gather necessities for our next 16 days on Barefoot Island. Tonight we all packed our luggage and are ready for an early rise tomorrow!
8/1 and 8/2
Yesterday, we arrived at the beautiful Barefoot Island. Everyone was exhausted from waking up early and the 3 hour boat ride but we were able to gain energy after seeing the incredible scenery Barefoot has to offer. After receiving our accommodations we dove into the warm ocean water for our swim tests. Even though Rosa had a tough time floating at first we all managed to pass. After a little relaxation time, we enjoyed an intense volleyball match with the resort staff. After losing, we all were ready to take a break and write what service project interested us the most. We heard informative speeches about service in 3 different areas: Education, Rain Water Collection, and Marine.
The following morning Jessica led us in a beach yoga class. After Aubrie made everyone die of laughter, we all finished the session rejuvenated and ready for the scavenger hunt. Kevin gave everyone detailed tasks which had point values ranging from 1 to 4. For example, one of the tasks said to bury a fellow team member in sand and shape her as a mermaid. After tallying the points Bura Vitu (Bure 7) came out a victor. Bura Vitu consisted of Melissa, Riley, Megan, and Haley. Even though a little rain delayed some activities we finally found out which service would take part in. After meeting with our service groups, everyone was extremely excited to start our first day of service tomorrow. Moce! (A word we learned in our Fijian language class)
– Addi Mackenzie and Riley Mahoney
August 3-5, 2015
Over the past few days on Barefoot Island, weather conditions have prevented us from attending our service projects. However, the weather has not kept our spirits down and we have managed to make the most of all this island has to offer.
On Monday, we started our morning off with a delicious breakfast that included fresh papaya, yogurt, and pancakes. The leader of the day today was Emma. Abby was originally supposed to be her partner but did not feel well. Lemeki brought some fun in to the day with a rugby tutorial. After learning the basics everyone got really competitive in some intense games. In the afternoon, we got a taste of Fijian culture with learning how to basket weave. Rosa was a true basket weaving natural.
On Tuesday, Jessica and Kevin let us have a little extra sleep before starting our day. Once we were up and going, our morning activities consisted of learning how to make coconut jewelry and snorkeling. We had the option to make coconut bracelets, rings, and bowls. Next we split into two groups that went either hiking or collecting coral on the beach. Betani educated the coral group on different shells and types of coral. The hiking group climbed to view an amazing sight at the top of the mountain and took lots of pictures. We played another fun game of volleyball with the staff.
Today, the morning started out with either the choice of making thank you notes to Barefoot Staff or participating in a morning work out on the beach. These activities were led by out leaders of the day, Shania and Megan. Following these morning activities, we took a boat out to a neighboring beach for snorkeling and beach clean up. The coral reefs were breathtaking and only inches from our toes. The sun finally came out and we took full advantage by lying out on the beach. Shania even decided to have her own instagram photoshoot. Afterward, we did some team building activities and wrote in our journals as the sun set. To wrap the day up we had a powerful dinner circle about appreciating the little things.
Haley Malewicz and Abby McCollough
Aug 5, 2015
Despite weather conditions today we were able to get off Barefoot island and travel by boat to Soso village. We had the opportunity to hike to a beautiful mountain top and spend the afternoon reading books and playing games in the local primary school. Weather conditions this morning were questionable but the end of the day turned to a beautiful sunset which we got to watch on the beach amidst a workshop. Our workshop consisted of an exercise of cultural norms which worked in accordance with our intention of the day: Respecting Others. It was a beautiful ending to an amazing day. Leaders of the day today were Melissa and Anna. Tomorrow’s leaders of the day will be Aubrie Cross and Riley Mahoney.
– Riley Jo Busby and Melissa Bowman
All students have departed and are on their way home!