project review

I WILL FOREVER CHERISH THE MEMORIES MADE!

Review submitted by Teaching assistant
Review date 13 Aug 2018

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On my arrival at the airport in Nadi I met with the Frontier project coodinator and the other volunteers. That evening I settled in at my home stay and was welcomed by a 4 piece band and Kava drinking ceremony. Talk about starting my experience with a bang! My Fijian family are wonderful. They come from one of the Southern Lau Islands called Komo which is renowned for entertainment claiming that every day on Komo is Christmas day. This boded well for the rest of my stay and I sure was entertained. My whole family were welcoming, loving and overall very caring. I was so happy to become a member of their family and my home (later known as the Fijian Palace) was extremely restful and I felt safe in the knowledge it was my home too. 
The following day was orientation and we were shown around and taken to a market to buy Sulus, the traditional Fijian dress before heading to another Kava welcoming into another Fijian family and the house that became known as "The Hub".

 

During the final part of the first week on the healthcare placement we wrote surveys on general health and lifestyle patterns on the Island. On Friday night there was a red and white themed party put on by the Women’s Christian Fellowship at my home. The band played all night long into the small hours of the morning and whilst we sang, danced and drank kava. It was really fun and I was reminded of the words said to me the previous Monday, “every day in Komo is Christmas day” words that were definitely ringing true. 

 

On my first weekend I went to the waterfalls and rain forest with some of the other volunteers. It was absolutely stunning and we were lucky enough to go swimming in the beautiful fresh water pools. On the Sunday I went to church with my family which was an experience I would definitely recommend. After church I was showed around the city! In the afternoon I went to Pacific Harbour with my Fijian family. On Monday after work I attended the Christian Youth Fellowship meeting. It was such a good atmosphere; we had a short service followed by a choir practice and Kava. I thoroughly enjoyed my Mondays spent at youth fellowship in particular the singing with the choir.

 

The next day on placement we taught the children at a local school about health, hygiene and exercise. During the evening I had the volunteers over for dinner at the Palace. It was delicious as usual and we enjoyed a relaxing evening out on the balcony. On Wednesday we used the survey in School as well as performing health screening for the teachers on blood pressure, suger, cholesterol, iron levels and height, weight and hip to waist ratio. Wednesday night I was lucky enough to get tickets to see traditional Fijian meke meke dancing. This was an excellent opportunity to broaden my knowledge of Fijian culture. At work we also took part in the launch of mYouth at Vodafone. mYouth is a text messaging service used to give health and general advice to youths across Fiji. 


On the weekend I went to a local Island with the other volunteers. It was absolute paradise, white sandy beaches, clear blue sea, excellent snorkelling and hammocks for the ultimate relaxation. 
Week 3 included the Hibiscus Festival and ANZ health screening. I also gave a talk at Youth Fellowship on healthy eating and lifestyle as well as answering any health concerns raised. On the Wednesday of Hibiscus we used a new survey that had been developed on the cancer and the HPV vaccine, as well as helping out on the cancer society stand. On our 3rd weekend we visited a local Island where the marine conservation project takes place. This was definitely worth a visit and we had great fun with the marine volunteers and it was great to meet a new gang of people. We ate lovo (the Fijian equivalent to barbecue) on Saturday night which was delicious. During my final week at work we write up the results of the health screening at ANZ and prepare a presentation to be given on Friday. 

 

 

On the final weekend I stayed at home in Suva. Following this I went out and met with the other and we all had a great night doing the Taki in true Fijian style. On Sunday I went to church followed by another Sunday feast. On my final evening I had a farewell party with my family which included a Kava session and singing songs including Isa Lei the traditional Fijian farewell song. On the Monday morning my family saw me safely onto the bus to Nadi about to embark on a long trip home. Overall I had a fantastic time and will forever cherish the memories made during my time in Fiji. My stay was too short I wish I was still out there! I will miss my family immensely and hope to return to Fiji soon.

For more information about our Fiji Adventurer project click here!