The Freedom of the village
Saturday 23rd July 2017
Today we welcomed our trainee teachers / volunteers to Fiji. It was an early start for the staff, travelling down to the international airport in Nadi which is approximately 85km from our village base in Namatakula.
As a provision this is the moment that we have been preparing for since our conception. We were able to sense the excitement and intrigue from our volunteers as they climbed aboard our seven seater mini bus.
Individuals from a variety of backgrounds coming together to form a community, this is the environment that we have intended to build and it is evident that there is an extremely positive harmony amongst our volunteers.
After we reached base camp we whisked the guys off for light refreshments at the beach whilst breakfast was being prepared back at the house. This gave us some time as a group to discuss our schedule for the forthcoming days. Afterwards the guys got their first taste of the crystal clear waters of the Coral Coast and were taken back by its beauty.
The weather coupled with the immaculate appearance of the beach front provided a formidable 'wow' factor. It was great to see lots of smiles and emotion. The guys got to spend a few hours relaxing and swimming in the sea before heading back to the village.
As a way of welcoming our volunteers to the village we arranged for them to participate in a ceremony which promotes unity within the local community. This was a traditional method of welcoming individuals to the village of Namatakula. We took a short walk to the church hall where we were welcomed by a number of locals sat in anticipation ready to embrace our group.
It was a unique insight into Fijian culture and provide our guys with some unforgettable memories. The ceremony was rounded of with a traditional 'giving' of Kava. Known as yaqona or simply grog in Fiji, kava is a mildly narcotic drink made from mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant (piper methysticum) with water and results in a numb feeling around the mouth, lips and tongue and a sense of relaxation. Our volunteers embraced this gesture and were awarded with the freedom of the village during their stay.
The day drew to an end with dinner - in the form of 'lovo' (cooking underground) served on the beach with a spectacular sunset and bonfire. Our volunteers had the opportunity to sample traditional Fijian dishes and immerse themselves in an environment which is truly splendid.
We look forward to bringing you further instalments of our activity on the magnificent island of Fiji.
To find out more about how to apply for our programs visit our website