Welcome to GVI Fiji's Community Development Programme blog. Here you can keep up to date with our projects in Fiji.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A day at Ratu Meli School

Ratu Meli Memorial School is such wonderful place to spend time that I couldn’t wait to visit them again so I decided to go and spend a couple of days there.

I gave Mrs. Sophie (assistant headmaster) a call to let her know about my plan and immediately she pulled out her great Fijian hospitality and arranged the details for my visit. I packed my Fijian outfits and left for the Yasawas the following morning.

Once in Nacula, no one really cared about the heavy rain or giving up their rest time, ALL came out to say BULA! The 8 school teachers, with their families, where there greeting me and ready to have a sweet (very sweet...) cup of tea and fresh cassava. We spent the whole afternoon talking about the GVI project. I had a thousand questions about school life, and they had many questions about GVI volunteers and the upcoming program. They asked me again and again: When Leti? When will the volunteers come?

It was after 3pm, so the classes were over for the day. However, about 50 of the 125 students were there. These children are boarding students from the nearby villages (Navotua and Nasisili). They spend from Monday to Friday in the school, in order to be able to receive school education, as there is no school in their home villages.

They all proudly showed me their dorms and kitchen, which is in fact their home 5 days a week. Even those are pretty basic, all boarding students work together to keep them neat and comfortable . The older ones (12 and 13 years old), busy as they are with their school duties and homework, look after the little ones (just 6 years old), who still find it a bit hard being away from home during the week…

The following day, 8am, everybody was at the school ground. Mr. Manoa (school headmaster) called the “flag boys” to approach the flag pole and run the traditional flag ceremony, while all the other 120 students sang respectfully as the flag was raised and the sun rose behind the rolling lush green hills of Nacula island.

The rest of my stay I went around every classroom assisting the teachers, helping the children with their lessons, playing rugby during break time and, I have to confess, refreshing my math knowledge with class 5 (quite challenging!).