Well, it’s December 1st and you know what that means … Christmas is coming! Fiji is no different to most Western countries with the much anticipated build up to the festive season, made even more exciting by the long summer holidays that accompany it.
Since mid-November we have all be serenaded by Christmas Carols blaring out of speakers of the shops and supermarkets and day by day lights and trees are appearing around the towns. (Some of the lights never come down from the Dawali festive at the end of October).
A Fijian Christmas centres around church, family and food so maybe its best to start that diet now so you can fit in all that wonderful Christmas lovo in just 25 days time!
Nadi Volunteers have been busy these last few months giving back to a local less privileged community, taking part in this worthwhile cause, helping families build new houses, become more self-sufficient and to give them a better quality of life. Previous volunteers had become close to Teacher Ini who works at one of Projects Abroad placements, and this is how they first heard of these families that desperatly needed the man power and support. Since then, old volunteers have spread the word to new volunteers and so continued the "golden hands" project solely developed by the Nadi Projects Abroad Voluteers.
Volunteer Michelle Blaesius from Germany with Teacher Ini and local children they are helping.
In the last couple of weeks the volunteers have begun to help the families build a house, with everyone picking up a shovel and aiding to dig the foundations. Once completed they will begin work on another house. Previous to this build the volunteers had visited, armed with rakes, shovels and refuse sacks to help clean up the surroundng area as well as creating a garden for the families with local produce being planted in order to help the families become more self - sufficient.
Volunteers Vanessa Niebuhr from Germany, Katrine Bensen from Denmark and Bernadette Bajorek from Austria helping to build the vegetable garden.
Volunteer Cyril Wertheimer from France putting in the well needed man power to build the foundations of the house.
Throughout the volunteers visit they have made a huge difference to the lives of the families they are helping, which will never be forgotten. Volunteer Michelle Blaesius has raised money in her home country of Germany to aid further developments for the families and a German shoe company is even donating 100 pairs of shoes for the children.
What the Nadi volunteers have achieved between themselves and the families is outstanding and I hope this is something current volunteers can pass on to future volunteers as it really is giving the lives of those less fortunate a better quality of life. Well done guys!!
The first brick being layed!!!
The end of November in Fiji normally marks the last week of school for most Fijian schools and kindergartens. This of course means end of year prize giving and graduation celebrations for the children. Our German volunteer Emine has enjoyed the last week at Deenbandhoo Kindergarten, getting to know the children and teachers before their long summer break. She will be returning there when schools go back in the new year.
It was with great excitement that the kindergarten children got ready for the prize giving ceremony, all dressed up in their graduation outfits and performed a hindi dance in front of their proud parents.
It was a proud morning for children and parents alike!
Our two volunteers, Anja Hager and Rebecca Greer are having a great time at Holy Trinity Primary School. It is a place full of fun and excitement with children smiling and teachers greeting everyone.
They have been to the Deuba Cultural centre as part of a field trip last month after which the children and our volunteers had a lovely picnic.
There is always something fun and lively happening at the school that there is never a dull moment!!
Last weekend the Nadi volunteers jumped aboard a boat from Port Denerau and sailed off in search of crystal clear waters and white sands, and they were not disappointed when they arrived at Robinson Crusoe Island!
Volunteers Kira Crawford-Brooks (Australia), Bernadette Bajorek (Austria), Marlene Wuellner (Germany), Kevin Schreiber (Canada) and Max Reichert (Austria), enjoying the boat ride!
Robinson Crusoe Island is one of the favourite islands among the volunteers as it offers a unique cultural experience as well as beautiful snorkelling waters and a breathtaking beach. The Island offers some of the best fire and knife dancing shows in Fiji, with talented male and female dancers from all over the Pacific.
The volunteers had a fun filled day and night on the island topping up their sun tans, snorkelling in the surrounding waters and learning more about the culture of Fiji and the South Pacific. They recommend this trip to all upcoming and current volunteers as the perfect island getaway...so get booking your weekend away!
An epic life-time opportunity came up for the Hindu faith followers in Fiji when for the first time a 25 member troupe from the Vrindavan Ramleela/ Raasleela Group of Charkula, India came to Fiji to help promote cultural exchange and tourism between the nations of India and Fiji.
The performance was hosted by the Indian High Commission in Fiji and was supported and organized by the Santan Dharm Sabha of Fiji, the largest organization promoting the Hindu faith in Fiji.
Present at the Suva Civic Center auditorium was the President of Fiji his Excellency Ratu Epeli Nailatiku, the Special Administrator, Chandu Umaria, wife of the Indian High Commissioner and the director for the Indian cultural center. There were around 500 people.
The performances were of international standards and kept the crowd captivated for the entire 2.5 hours with an enticing performance /musical drama of the Ramayana.
It was definitely a show worth watching and for Hindu’s a good reminder of the teaching of the Ramayan etc.
With the greatly anticipated Coral Coast 7’s tournament rapidly approaching (Friday November 18th and Saturday November 19th) in Sigatoka, Suva teaching volunteer Belinda Sheehan from Australia was lucky enough 2 rugby greats as they visited her placement at Suva Primary School with their team.
Australian rugby legend David Campese and Fiji 7’s legend Waisale Serevi were both at the school with members of their team to talk to the children and were more than happy to pose for photos with students, teachers and of course the volunteer.
It was an exciting day for everyone involved and a great build up to an exciting weekend of rugby ahead.
This past week has been an exciting time for fashion lovers all over Fiji, with the annual Fiji Fashion Week Show being held in Suva and Nadi. This event brings together designers from all over the Pacific, old and new, and gives them a chance to debut or continue broadcasting their beautiful outfits and styling techniques.
Both younger and older models strutt down the catwalk displaying fashion influenced by the Pacific Nations and the Western World. This year a charity event was held on the 10th of November in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness where a substantial amount of money was raised for this worthy cause with the help of the designers and guests who attended. From the 12th to the 14th of November the show began with a glamourous debut at Tapoo City, Suva, where the Pacific Island Designers had the chance to take the Pacific designs and colours to a whole new level...as shown below...
Fiji Fashion Week comes to an end today with the finale, "Best Of The West", taking place at the Sheraton Hotel at Port Denerau, with lots of guests guaranteed to attend. This years show is going to be bigger and better than the previous years, providing a great oppertunity for locals and tourists to get involved with this exciting event as well as potential future designers gathering inspiration!
Greeted with smiles and hugs, the children of Dilkusha Children’s Home are always ready to welcome our volunteers into their lives. Dilkusha orphanage is the home to 3 toddlers and 3 handicapped people in their teens. It is the home for 40 children altogether and they are all so affectionate that you don’t want to leave once there.
Dilkusha Home is located in Nausori and is under the Methodist Church. The Home houses only young girls and the boys are sent to Happy Home in Suva to further their education. We have had volunteers in Dilkusha Home who have had wonderful experiences with the friendly staff and children.
A basic day would include helping in the kitchen, playing with the toddlers, helping the handicapped children take daily walks, providing some educational games for the children not at school yet and if you are willing to stay on to wait for the girls to come back from school, you can help with supervision and homework.
Dilkusha Home is a place with heart and it tugs on your affection. Truly an amazing place to be.
Saturday the 29th of October was a diffferent and exciting day for the children at Treasure House Childrens Home, Nadi. Volunteer Anna Rutter from England decided to spend her last weekend with the children she has spent her two month placement with, treating the younger children to Macdonalds and the older girls to a fun night with nail painting, icecream and DVD's.
The boys and girls aged from 3-6 walked hand in hand to Mcdonalds,just around the corner, with great excitement at the promise of icecream and the chance to play on the playground. The children had a fantastic time running and playing and left with smiles on their faces and sticky icecream fingers!
In the evening Anna Rutter spent time with the older girls aged from 11-17 years old, who live in the house next door to the other children in their own house. Projects Abroad donated money for Anna to buy nail varnish, icecream and chocolate which went down a treat! The girls had a fantastic time singing and dancing while their nails were drying! Anna really enjoyed spending time with the older girls as they really appreciated the time donated just to them!
Above picture of Anna Rutter and Treasure House's House Mother.
A big thanks to Anna Rutter from Treasure House staff and Projects Abroad for organising this day as all the younger and older children really enjoyed spending their weekend with a difference...smiles are still on their faces!
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