Remote Island Teaching Review by Alex

"I left Fiji feeling like I was a part of their family."

I hope its not too long and words are hard to describe the feelings i have after this wonderful experience. Thank you again!! I would highly recommend to anyone!

Highlights:
The whole two- week trip was a highlight from me. From being picked up at the airport by Masi’s son to being driven to the Denaru by a family friend. I arrived on the island with the headmaster’s family in a small fibreglass boat and it is certainly something I’ll never forget. Fiji is such a family orientated culture, which made me feel so comfortable from the start. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and I felt right at home from the beginning. The children melted my heart with their beautiful smiles and cheekiness, the locals always greeted me as I wandered past with the kids and the pristine beaches and coral reefs that surrounded the island were stunning. My host family were incredible, so generous with everything they had. They answered my questions, talked to me, laughed with me and my two Fijian “brothers” I had for two weeks,I will never forget. I left Fiji feeling like I was a part of their family. The teaching staff were so appreciative of everything I did and they made me feel like part of the school.

The island is such a picturesque island with natural beauty everywhere you looked. I loved waking up in the morning to the sun shining and the sounds of the children going about their morning jobs. I felt that I have experienced the “real” Fiji in staying on a remote island and living like a local. I would not have wanted it any other way for my first experience as a volunteer.

Comments on team, food and accommodation:
Lauren was fabulous with her communication and any questions I had were answered promptly. Even though I had no reason to contact her whilst in Fiji, I felt 100% supported the whole time. Masi and his family were incredible hosts and I felt right at home staying with him and his family. He was informative and extremely helpful when my bags went missing (haha) and more importantly a kind soul. The food on the island was quite bland compared to what I was use to back home but there was plenty of it and I enjoyed trying out the various Fijian foods that were prepared for me. As we were briefed, vegetables and fruits were few and far between but this was expected. Once again I was expecting clean but no frills accommodation in comparison to what I am use to. The toilet for me was somewhat of a challenge in the beginning (haha) and the shower was buckets of water. You just have to embrace it and go with the flow because that is how they live and it was important for me to be grateful for what they had given me. This experience was out of my comfort zone but hands down one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Any improvements:
As I’m quite an organised person I felt a little disorganised before leaving but to be honest I felt completely okay once I landed in Fiji. Their carefree nature rubbed off and me and I just felt that everything would be fine! In terms of the teaching, next time I would love to organise in advance what I could do at school so I could help as much as possible (but as I’m a teacher at home I think this why I felt this way). I loved how the organisation did as much as possible to help but on the other hand let you sort some of it out a little bit yourself too. I especially liked how I was on the island by myself for a week and not in a big group of volunteers. I feel you can become part of the community when it is like this and I really got to know the children and teachers during this time when I was alone.

REMOTE ISLAND TEACHING FIJI PROGRAM

Primary school kids fijiKaroline in the school in Fiji as volunteer through IVI - Remote Island Teaching Review by Alex

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