Thanks for your email! Please find my responses below.
Highlights of the trip:
Unlike being on a typical holiday, I loved being immersed in Fijian culture by living and working with local people. It’s a really special way to get to know a place! I wasn’t sure how I would deal emotionally with volunteering at an orphanage, but I was pleasantly surprised by how happy and well loved the children were. It was a relatively small orphanage with only nineteen children and therefore the carers (aka “nana’s”) could make it a homely environment. I was touched by what I saw during my time in Fiji. I feel that Fijian people really value their community and are very grateful for what they have, even if it’s just enough to get by. It was nice to be reminded of these values while enjoying the beautiful Fijian hospitality, weather and music.
Comments on the team, food and accomodation:
Just like all of the previous volunteers have said, Masi and Mere were lovely to stay with! I felt very comfortable from the first night I landed in Fiji. It was nice having the lounge and dining area to hang out with the other volunteers and it was always a pleasure to come home to a lovely home-cooked dinner prepared by Mere each day! Mere also helped me to purchase a local SIM and travel card and oriented me to Lautoka town so that I could independently travel to the orphanage each day.
Any improvements to help us be better:
While I was able to assist with the day-to-day activities at the orphanage, I feel it would have been more beneficial if I had contacted the Home through IVI to discuss if there was something specific that they needed assistance with. This would have allowed me to better prepare my time and resources before arriving.
I really enjoyed my time in Fiji and appreciated your help with organizing the trip 😊