Mount Saint Mary's School is situated in Martintar, about 15minutes from Nadi Town and has approximately 600 students ranging from age 6-12years old and also has a small Kindergarten. Louise Papworth arrived all the way from England, tired but very excited to start her placement at Mount Saint Mary's Primary School, and how quickly her month with us flew by!! The children at the school love having volunteers to help them in their studies, and their love for Louise was no different!
Louise spent her days at Mount Saint Mary's helping the children with maths,english and science, assisting the teachers with homework allocations and marking of school work. Louise worked alongside three other volunteers, Alice Milne, Claudia Vonier and Sophia Radtchenko all of which made her experince there a great one!
Above: Lousie with some of her students.
The experience she has gained whilst with Projects Abroad and teaching at Mount Saint Mary's has been of great assistance to her further studies back in England where Louise is completing a BA Hons in Primary Education, so it was extremely valuable for her to see how the eduction system varies from English schools. All the children were very sad to see her go but hopefully in the future she will return to fiji :-)
Gospel Kindergarten is home to about 30 children between the ages 4 and 5 from 8.30am to 12.00pm each school day. This is also where Anja Hager, our six month volunteer, is placed. Her supervising teacher is a pleasant and welcoming lady, Mrs Kissun and she has previously had another volunteer from us, so she had a lot of advice for Anja.
The children are really adorable and Anja has become quite attached to these children. She will see them through till the end of this year, which will mark the end of her project with us along with her kindergarten student graduating preschool and preparing for Class 1 at primary school. This will mark changes for both in Anja’s life and her children’s.
She has said that there are moments when 10 noisy children become too much for her to handle but the rewarding thing is when they do little things to show their affection for their “Teacher Anja”. She has learnt to control the class and some of the more rebellious children but at the end of her day, she is happy at the Kindergarten. She cannot begin to think how much she will miss them towards the end of her stay here.
Last sunday Yoshifumi Ochi and Oripa embarked on a thrilling fishing trip!! They sailed close to the Mamanuca Islands on a small (but speedy) fishing boat on a mission to catch dinner, and they were not dissappointed!! Leaving at 6 in the morning the two sailed from Port Denerau with fishing lines at the ready, setting a challenge to see who could catch the biggest fish! Yoshifumi catching the first fish of the day.....
Not to be discouraged by Yoshifumi's prior catch, it was Oripa's turn to find her inner fisherwoman and catch herself a good sized fish, showing the men just how it should be done.....
The day was a great success, with Yoshifumi catching a total of three fish and Oripa not far behind catching two fish!!! The two of them returned to shore,tired, but extremely pleased with their prize catches ready to show those on dry land what they had accomplished, Yoshifumi taking his catch back to his host famioly for dinner!
Time to get your dancing shoes on as Tadra Kahani comes to Suva next week on the 18th of August for the finals in the junior and senior school divisons. It is a showcase of young local talent as children from all over Fiji will compete for the honor of winning this competition.
Tadra Kahani is a word that comes from the fusion of the Hindi and Fijian language translating into "DREAM STORY" (Tadra = Dream in Fijian and Kahani = Story in Hindi). Each year it gets bigger and better as school adopt a thema on which to base their performance. These themes are largely reflect the current socio-economic issues face by Fiji and are depicted in forms of dances and plays. This year marks the 16th year for Tadra Kahani with over 100 schools competing since 1995 when the show began. This year 16 school will feature in the competition.
Tadra Kahani is anticipated by both the school children and the genral public alike as it is full of vibrant and soulful music incorporated in an amazing display of costumes, arts & designs and ofcourse the perfomance itself. This show allows children to convey messages which they feel strongly for through song and dance.
Our Suva volunteers will have a chance to experience the excitement and watch the performance live this coming Thursday to show support for the local talents of Fiji.
Now, the Hibiscus festival is coming soon, with contestants already practising their winning smiles and talents ready to show the judges and public in just 10days time! The first festival was back in 1956 started by some new Zealanders working in Fiji who decided to create an event to promote the beauty of the Fijian women and men! This years Hibiscus has the theme "Our children our future, love and protect them" with all the contestants supporting the Child Protection Organisation and promoting children's safety in todays society.
Last years winner Sera Tikotikoivatu!
During the first Hibiscus festival it was realised that with so much good will from the public and the contestants that it should be channelled into a worthwhile cause so the "Hibiscus Charity Chest" was created and an additional prize for the contestants "Miss Charity" being presented to the contestant who raises the most money for charity!
An exciting aspect of any festival is the float procession with the procession route becoming a sea of many colours with adults and children lining up the streets to catch a glimpse of the contestants as they ride atop the beautifully structured floats. The Hibiscus Festival float procession is an eagerly awaited event and is one of the highlights of the festival, so dont miss out on going to see this
The Female Contestants practising their routines!
This year's festival will run from the 19th of August - 27th of august at Albert Park Suva with entertainment and stalls, opening at 8.00am till late in the evening, all preparing for the big crowning night on the 26th/27th. This competition is not just for the beauty Queens, but Kings aswell, with the gentlemen battling round by round for various titles such as ,"Mr people's choice" "Mr Internet" and "Mr Personality"!
The Gentlemen contestants this year!
So why not go and take a look at one of Fiji's Festivals at its best and see if you can pick the winning contestants!
Listen up rugby fans there is only 35 days 10 hours and 3 mins until the 2011 rugby world cup kicks off in new Zealand on the 9th of september, and the Fiji team are going to give everything they have with the help of the rugby fanatics here in Fiji cheering them on! The Fijian team is the most improved in the South Pacific and has a fighting chance of making it to the semifinals, having reached the knock out stages more times then any other South Pacific team!
Fiji has some of the fastest and strongest men in the world coached by Illivasi Tabua, and have worked hard over the past few years to become more structured and disciplined in their games allowing them to be ranked 10th in the world in the latest IRB rankings, their certainly a force to be reckoned with!
The team will begin their fight for the title with their opening match against Namibia on the 10th of September followed by South Africa on the 17th, Samoa on the 25th and Wales on the 2nd of October! Good luck boys!!
It was time to say goodbye to one of our Nadi volunteers Elise Teixido this week, having been here since the 4th of July! Elise taught at Nadi Airport School where she formed a close bond with all the children and when it was time to say goodbye they had a little farewell party to thank her for all her hard work!
Elise spent her final weekend beneath the palm trees and beside the crystal clear waters of Bounty Island alongside another volunteer Amanda Metrikin, the both of them having a fantastic weekend, filled with laughs and giggles!
A massive thank you to Elise for all her hard work and dedication to Nadi Airport school, she will be missed but maybe another Fiji trip is on the cards soon!?
Our Suva volunteers had a unique experience with our monthly social as they visited Mokani Village. This village is located close to Bau Landing approximately 30minutes from Nausori town. Upon our arrival, we presented a sevusevu whilst the men of our group sat on the left of the chief (a place of honour).
The villages had organized a tour around the village and we shown Fijian earth ovens where Fijian bread was made from pounded cassava, the village church and the kindergarten. Activities included coconut husking (traditional style), coconut scraping, mat weaving and fan making. Our volunteers really got into the spirit with husking coconuts, enjoying the delicious coconut water, making fans and of course the dancing. They had also prepared afternoon tea for us with yummy cassava savouries, sandwiches, cakes and lemon leaf tea. We ended the day by dancing and the villagers singing “Isa Lei”, a farewell song in Fijian. Surely this experience will not be forgotten!
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