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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last week of 2011!!

Another productive week was had by the construction team as Davros, Big T, Kenobe, MD, Dan (the Man), Amangelo, Debbie and Sophie. The team’s first task of the week was to start work on the new Dive Centre that will be used for the marine project that is starting in January. We began by making a box for the cement foundation of the building, set gathering gravel from the other side of the Island as well as refurbishing the dorms. Despite all this hard work, Big T still found time to take a morning tea break in the tree house with the new members of the team. On Tuesday we carried on with our work on the dive centre by digging holes for the supporting timber posts whilst other members of construction began the job of cutting the posts to measure and by the end of the day we had gone a long way to building what we all hope will be a very beneficial addition to local communities and allow them to have a greater understanding of the state of fish stocks that they so depend on.
Meanwhile on Monday and Tuesday, in Nacula, the education crew had a lot more kids turn up than at the previous villages, so organizing was a bit more challenging. Steph implemented a new game of “Get the Keys” which involved a child sitting blindfolded on a chair with jangly keys underneath it, and another child would have to retrieve those keys stealthily without being caught by the Chair master. It was loved by all, and every kid wanted to go next. “Me, madam! Miss, me, me!! Madam! Me!” Katie did a huge round of Simon Says which the kids loved, because they continued to follow Simon even after they got out. Outside the weather was scorching, but James and Matt were troopers and led an energetic game of soccer. Meanwhile, Mel, Jess, and Katie hung out with the little ones by playing Duck Duck Goose and “What time is it Mr. Wolf?!” On both days the ladies of the village prepared snacks for us, and we had the pleasure of indulging on homemade bread, Topoi, Fijian donuts, fresh bananas, and Tang (Again, Lenny would be jealous!).
Back at base, Alice, Keddy, Mel, and Charlotte had a “Mothers Meeting” and planned a Fun Week for our last week at Tovuto which involved the Village, Secret Friends, Spoons, and a party! The “Village” turned out to be quite eventful – Amy committed Werewolf Suicide, Charlotte was werewolf 3 times, and James actually got voted as Mayor!! Secret Friends was a pleasure for all – for the whole week, our hearts were filled with warm fuzzies and ARK’s (Acts of Random Kindness J). On Tuesday night, Amy, Steph, and Charlotte prepared a picnic dinner which we enjoyed on the deck to say farewell to Tamu and James. The sunset was incredible, and we were so sad to have to say goodbye. The time has certainly flown by!
Wednesday saw the construction team split into two groups: one to collect gravel for a base and another to work on attaching guttering to the Church that sits in the centre of the village. We hope that the Church’s large roof will provide enough rainwater to keep four ten thousand litre tanks full. Meanwhile the other half of the team did a great job of collecting enough gravel to allow us to start a seven by seven foot base the next day. All this meant that Thursday was going to be a busy day.
Thursday was Owen’s birthday, so we had a special breakfast of banana pancakes and scrambled eggs, with NUTELLA thanks to Caitlin and Lisa (who are absolute angels for sending us such lovely things!).Then it was off to work!!!
The first job for construction was to clean two of the tanks and install them in the village. It was very satisfying to see bases being completed and with any luck a few days of rain will see them fill up quickly. After a quick lunch we set ourselves the task of building the base we had gathered gravel for the day before. The weather was very hot and we had to work very quickly to get the job done by the evening. However, with big contributions from everybody we finished in good time and were fortunate enough to be able to enjoy and afternoon tea with some of the villagers.
Naisisili was very chaotic for all the edu crew, yet full of so much fun and laughter. Masks by Alice were a hit, and Keddy’s snowflake-making station had the whole wall covered in unique snowflakes. We also played a game of “I am riding on a Donkey!” with the young kids, which the volunteers may have actually enjoyed more than the kids! It involves galloping around a cirlcle of people while singing a song, and then dancing with a partner. We can thank Steph for that one! To wrap up our Summer School, we gathered the kids outside and played a final round of Taki Taki, had them sing “Okendanadah” for us, sang the Goodbye Song, and had a group picture underneath the tree followed by 3 super-enthusiastic cheers. Although we left the villages for the last time, we left our hearts with the kids of Nacula island. After an afternoon of serious cleaning and packing, (and some feng shui done inspired by Dan) we had a very special dinner prepared in a lovo (underground oven) by Lice and Terri. It was absolutely incredible – there was pork, chicken, spinach, taro, potato, and cassava. Keddy also prepared some side dishes... More fried eggplant than you have ever seen in your life! Thanks to
Dan there was also barbeque sauce and mustard, plus a birthday cake for Owen. An epic meal and an epic night.
Friday morning was a blur of cleaning, packing, eating, writing, presentation-watching, and organizing helped to distract us from comprehending that we were leaving Tovuto and all the amazing people we have met during our time here. It has truly been an incredible time, with countless incredible memories that none of us will soon forget. We have accomplished a lot and are so proud for those accomplishments, and are also exceedingly grateful for the constant support and guidance from the staff. We will miss you Fiji! MOCE AND VINAKA!