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

Friday, July 1, 2011

Enhancing Education in Paradise by Sara Clark

Arriving at base camp

Class 7 Project – Cleaning up rubbish
We arrived at Ratu Meli School after the most beautiful commute I’ve ever had – a 20 minute boat ride past sandy beaches and palm trees with turtles and fish poking their heads above water.  As soon as I saw the ear-to-ear grins on my student’s faces, I knew I’d fall in love with the community.  I was anxious to start teaching and the kids were eager to learn.  The teacher I worked with greeted me with open arms and let me participate at whatever level I was comfortable with. 

I couldn’t have asked for a better class; the students were all very bright, well-mannered, and an absolute joy to be around.  The curriculum was in English and despite it being their third language, the students had a solid grasp on the language.  The sounds of my class singing in early morning devotional were magical and I’ll cherish those moments forever.

When we weren’t in the classroom, the program allowed for plenty of free time to explore the islands, swim in the ocean, and enjoy the camaraderie of the fellow volunteers.  The program leaders were passionate, well organized and provided an abundance of support throughout my duration.  Everyone in the community had a true appreciation for our efforts and welcomed us warmly into their lives.
I’ve been to 24 countries and participated in short-term volunteer projects around the world and without hesitation this was by far one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had.  I wish I could go back!