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

Sunday, October 14, 2012

GVI represents at local tournament

It was a dark and stormy day. Gray clouds blanketed the sky and rain pounded against the tin roof of the dorm. Winds hit us from the southeast as the waves churned like the seaman’s stomach. It was a day made for tea drinking and cuddling, but alas, there were crucial games to play. We ate our porridge and beans in silence, mentally preparing ourselves for the competition ahead.

We arrived at the pitch at half past eight in our navy GVI jerseys that we were proud to wear. We had been preparing for these games for days, weeks, months and now it was finally time to test our skills. We watched as Welsh netball legends, Sian and Jolene walked to the court. They blended in exceedingly well with the Fijian women’s team they were playing for, besides their white skin and being about a foot shorter than all the other Fijian women; they worked it on the court with their plaits, speed and ferocious netball skills. The game was “hot, muddy and extremely tiring,” Sian the Centre for the Rangers describes, who had not had chance to acclimatize to the tropical Fijian conditions.  Jolene remembers the game to be “new and exciting! It was the best day of my young life!” And boy, oh my, was it a game for the books my friends! Mud splattered everywhere as they got down and dirty on that Fijian turf. The team ended the day with 2 wins, 1 loss, and a draw, which unfortunately could not carry them through to the semis. However, Sian and Jolene both agree that the experience was an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To be adopted into the Rangers team at such short notice and shown so much love and appreciation was an honor.

The volleyball team was comprised of Team Coach Esava who had years of experience on the court, Team Captain Nathan Sessions, known to the Fijians as “Arnold Schwarzenegger” due to his “solid, muscular build,” as Sian admires/fantasizes, Navi, Kerstin, Maria, Martin, Xavier, and Madison. They were a force to be reckoned with to say the least. As they took to the court, adorned in war paint, the Fijian teams trembled in their boots/barefeet. Regardless of losing every game, let alone set they played, the team showed spirit and heart- the GVI team will not soon be forgotten in this region. Nathan describes the day to be “totally awesome,” while Martin, who travelled all this way from Ireland, exclaimed “potatoes!” in response to the festivities. Kerstin speaks of the “smiles and laughter had by all on the GVI squad.” It was a memorable occasion, “fo sho,” agrees Madison.

The rest of our day at the Ratu Meli Memorial School, where the games took place, was spent eating Roti, chop suey, BBQ, and watching the incredible rugby talents of the Yasawa islands. It was a privilege to be apart of the annual Fijian celebrations and exciting to see the strong sense of community held by the players and their numerous supporters. We even had the chance to meet Fijian international rugby players who would not miss the opportunity to return home to represent their