Last week everyone from group 94 went to go live with a current volunteer, it’s called an HVV (host volunteer visit). We got to see what it’s like to be on our own, since we currently have host families cooking for us and we’re with other Americans in our village.
Myself and another trainee stayed with a volunteer on the north side of Vanua Levu; if you’re looking at a map, we were near the Great Sea Reef. Not a bad place to visit, if you ask me. 🙂
We took a ferry to Vanua Levu on Tuesday morning then once we were on the island we hopped on a bus and drove for about two hours until we got to Tabia Village. I loved the view on the bus while driving to the village, there were palm trees and the ocean and then the view turned to pine trees and mountains and then to jungle-y mountains. Super eclectic. The pine trees made me feel like I was back home. 💖
The volunteer gave us a tour of her village and introduced us to some people. She vibed with the village so well and seemed to be so at home and part of the village.
We walked around a town near her village and I ate PIZZA for lunch. … except honestly it wasn’t that good and there were spaghetti noddles in the sauce … but nonetheless it was pizza and I will be able to make my own once I’m at my site. While in town we got ingredients to make tacos and made them later that evening. We rolled our own tortillas, made our own salsa, and cooked some lentils. We ate so much that night and it was amazing.
We went on some fun adventures like hiking up a pine tree mountain, which happened to be much more difficult than my typical hike to the pulpit. We were literally climbing the mountain at times but it was so much fun and we could see the ocean once we were at the top, worth the view fo sho. We then slid down parts of the mountain like we were surfing. We earned our bucket baths.
We also went snorkeling and had a picnic on the beach, naturally oreos were part of this picnic. The water was crystal clear, I could see my feet when standing in shoulder deep water. While snorkeling in this crystal clear water I was able to see a bright blue snake sleeping on the coral, I swam away as fast as fast as I could and hung on the tube for the rest of the snorkel adventure. I promised myself that next time I go snorkeling I’ll be more brave.
We also had a grog circle with her village, grog is the slang word for kava. We were all sitting on the floor and everyone was speaking Fijian and I chimed in as much as I could. The volunteer spoke Fijian really well and I hope I can be as fluent as she is next year at this time. Her village spoke a different dialect than what we’re learning so I might be learning some new words once I’m at my official site too. Sega na leqa! (No worries).
This week was so much fun and I am so appreciative that we were able to do this. It was nice to have a week off of classroom trainings and see how current volunteers are living day to day. Seeing another volunteer thriving in her village gave me confidence in my own ability to thrive in my own village. I returned to Narocake Friday evening with a warm welcome from my host family and shared all my adventures from the week with them.
So much love, xoxo