Volunteering in Fiji, day 2.

Karen and I chose to join the work group for the Friday morning as we weren’t going to be teaching until the afternoon. One group were renovating bench seats and teaching the local men how to use power tools which we had bought with us but would be leaving with them.

imageHowever our task was removing louvre windows, washing them and then using cloths and paint scrapers to remove dirt, paint and general grime to clean them.

imageWhile this was happening the internal part of the levers was pulled apart and greased. Many louvres were finished and reinstated before morning tea was delivered by the minister’s wife. We continued for about half an hour more then the minister returned in his Hilux to take us to the village for our teaching sessions. We walked through the village to the school again. I worked with a year 7 group of 26 students and Karen was in a year 6 class. It was ‘free dress’ day and the students were mostly taking advantage of the chance and looked very colourful. After introducing ourselves I again drew a map of Australia and Fiji and talked about where we live. We talked about ourselves and why we were visiting. Then I told them they would be writing a profile about themselves in their English books. We discussed each item with a few students and then they all wrote.

imageThis continued until they had finished a profile about themselves, their family, their likes etc Finally they drew a small picture of themselves. While all this was happening we heard beautiful singing from next door, the class Karen was in. So it was agreed that the students would sing at the end of the session. Next John told them about John Flynn of the inland and we looked at him on our Australian $20 note. Finally the class sang three songs – their National Anthem in Fijian, a thank you song and a farewell song. It was a real goosebumps experience. They sang beautifully, loudly but not shouting and with real passion. John and I felt quite privileged to have had such a wonderful experience. Again I discovered that the young male teacher was in his first year of teaching. Meanwhile Karen’s year 6 class had similarly chatted about where we come from in Australia, created a profile about themselves, sung and played games. We walked back to the village for lunch of battered fish, salads and local veggies. Juice, tea and coffee were available to drink. Lots of discussion between the teaching group followed until the minibus took us back to the hotel in two shuttle trips.

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