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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Marine – by Alice
The weather set in on Friday last in what was the beginning of the worst floods since 1974. Luckily for us nothing on base flooded, but we were left with the task of indoor entertainment. The wet weather and cyclone threats continued for a week, leaving the marine team unable to dive. Instead, we helped make the base for the compressor and joined in with cooking classes from the local ladies. In this time the marine team all passed their fish test, ready to get surveying when the sun came out.

The sun was back out come Monday morning which signalled serious tanning was in order and some surveying. Iain was fortunate enough to see an octopus on one survey and Candice, Alice Dalton and Kristina came across a scrawled file fish. Tuesday was the meeting with the Yasawas King, High Chief Ratu Apeli who was delighted to give us full access to all marine areas and blessed the work we were doing. Wednesday was shark dive day, Krystina, Alice Dalton, Matt, Candice and Lydia all joined in and were lucky enough to come across lemon sharks, bull sharks and reef shark, not to mention nearly every fish on the species list. Meanwhile the marine team has also managed to fit in at least one survey a day.

Sadly the marine team is losing some members on Friday as their stay is coming to a close. Alice, Dalton , Krystina and Lydia leave Iain and Matt to carry on surveying for us. Thanks for great company over the last few weeks, hopefully the weather stays as good as it is now!

Education - by Lena
During the past couple of weeks activities at school have been halted by some sever wet weather. With strong winds and rough seas the volunteers were unable to leave Tovuto Base. Instead we cleaned and tidied the tree house, organised lesson plans and spent the week making repairs and improvements around base, such as painting the GVI mural in the living room. Thankfully Jackie provided a yoga session, Lice gave us a Fijian cooking lesson and various film nights kept us entertained.

By the following week the winds had abated and it was finally safe to take the boats out. So we all piled into Ratu’s boat for our first full day of teaching. The volunteers were particularly excited about the English workshops, Music, Art and P.E lesson when they would have free reign of the classroom. The school day runs from 8.30 until 3pm and the volunteers assist with every lesson apart from Fijian. Although it was a little intense at first, we soon found our feet and immediately started to enjoy the challenge.

Sadly Thursday was the last day at school for three of our volunteers - Angela, Sanna and Ann. The children gathered for a special assembly where they sung farewell songs which made even the most hardened volunteers’ lips tremble.

Construction – by Charlie
These 2 weeks have seen highs and lows. We set off to Malakati last Monday with the sun shining down on us. Two new team members joined us, Claire and Emily, they were keen to get started. A productive day ensued. We cleaned the tanks ready for installation, completed guttering on the church – no mean feat considering the height involved. We also dugs holes by each completed base ready for installing filters. We were treated to a lovely Fijian lunch – taro leaves in coconut cream, bread fruit and refreshing lemon tea. However, this was cut short as we had to hasten home to avoid the approaching tropical depression.

The rain fell for 7 days. Tuesday was a damp no-starter and all teams were confined to Tovuto Base. Thankfully the tea and biscuits never ran out, nor did the excitement for cards. We set about making improvements to our camp, starting by building a concrete base for the compressor next to the Dive Hut. In no time we had a team of cement mixers working hard despite the damp conditions. Other team members worked hard building shelves and renovating the vege patch.

On Tuesday we were able to return to Malakati where the sun shone! We finished everything we could, including gluing the guttering which wasn’t possible in the rain. We connected another tank so the water could be collected and began the huge job of gravel collecting for our final base. Once we have completed the base it will signal the end of our time at Malakati. The next village will be Navotua.