My time with my host family and training is quickly and bitter sweetly coming to an end in about 3 weeks and I now know where I’ll be living for the next two years. Eeeeep!
Earlier in our training we had site placement interviews, which ended up being a nice discussion about personal and professional goals, needs and wants for our site and a check in with how we are adapting and feeling.
For my needs and wants I stressed about the importance of safety, good cell phone service and running water. I also talked about how I’m certified to teach children swim lessons in hopes that that would up my chances of being placed on the beach. Hehe. (My plan did not work, but I’m on an island so all sites are close to the beach).
I’m happy to announce that my site is on the same island that I am on right now, Viti Levu! I’ll be in the Ba province, on the north west side of the island in a village called Toga (tong-uh).
My village consists of 384 people and is right along the Ba river, the second largest river in Fiji. I’ll be teaching at a primary school that is about a 5 minute walk from my house, the school has only 78 children so I’m excited to really get to know all the kids!
My house is a two bedroom home with electricity, running water and good cell phone service. To some good cell service might sound like a superficial desire since it’s not a basic need, but I’m so glad I advocated for having it at my site. I’ll be able to freely talk to my family and friends and feel like I’m still a part of everyone’s life back home. Advocate for yo self.
There is a Catholic Church right next to my house, so close that I will be sharing electricity with them. My plan is to attend church even though I’m not religious nor will I understand everything they’re saying, but it will be a great way to integrate with the community and get to know everyone better.
The expectations the village has for me is to be flexible and willing to work with children, adolescents and teenagers in the village and be easy to work with and have a professional and positive attitude towards work. They would also like me to work with the health committee and waste management committee.
I have ideas in my head that I’d like to do, like have sessions about healthy relationships, yoga and meditation, proper disposal of rubbish and recycling. BUTTTTT I’m putting those ideas in the back of my head and keeping them there. It will take time, a long time, for these things to happen and the first step is to integrate with the village and see if there’s a need and want for them.
I’ll be volunteering at the school 3 days a week assisting the teachers with their healthy living classes, supervising PEMAC (physical education, music, arts and crafts) classes, help with the schools garden for the boarding students and help children improve or develop their reading skills. If any of my teacher friends have any classroom ideas and activities I’d love to hear about them!
Although my site is not on the beach, I couldn’t be happier about it! I’m not worrying about anything about my site at the moment and plan to take each challenge as it is when it arises. Roll with the waves. Oi! Once I’m all settled in I’m going to rent a PO Box in the closest town and I’ll have an official address to accept letters! 🙂
So much love,