Last week I went to Nadi, a town about 3 hours from my village, for a training with other volunteers and our head teachers. The training was a time for the head teacher and the volunteer to understand each other’s needs and wants and to be on the same page. My head teacher, Master Seru, and I worked out a plan about teaching P.E. and the healthy living class.
We stayed at a hotel in Nadi and there was … *drum roll please* AIR CONDITIONING. It was amazing but this wasn’t even the highlight of the training.
Master Seru and I had time to talk with each other and get to know each other a little more. He asked me about a video that I made to raise awareness about domestic violence that he saw on my Facebook. He told me the video really spoke to him and sees a need for raising awareness about domestic violence in the village. This absolutely made my day/week! Men in Fiji typically don’t view domestic violence as a problem, it’s a very patrilocal culture and that’s just “what men do.” So for a man to come up to me and tell me that he loved that video was already amazing and then saying he wants to take action to end domestic violence is even more amazing! I feel so lucky to have him as a head teacher, a man aware of women’s issues and respects women even when it’s not a cultural norm.
That was the highlight of the training for me! It may take a while to get the village on board with this, but it’s comforting to know that there is so much hope.
After the training I went to another volunteers house for the weekend, on our way to her house we stopped at Animals Fiji and she adopted a cat. I loved visiting the animal shelter, I sat in the cage with the puppies and gave them all the love!
In the future I hope to do a project with Animals Fiji. I spoke with the owner about having vets come to to village to get as many dogs as possible fixed. I will have to raise 1,500 fijian dollars, about $750 USD to fix about 40 dogs. Which is totally doable, I’ll be posting a link about it soon once I get the ok (set tiko) from the village.
I’m really excited about a lot of things but everything happens so much s-l-o-o-o-w-e-r than I’d like it to. This is my biggest obstacle right now. Two years sounds like a long time to do projects but good things take time and when on island time they take even longer.
After our visit at the animal shelter we all got a call from staff saying that we are put on alert because a cyclone is heading our way. Alert just means that we need to be ready to evacuate our site and have our bag packed with a flashlight, passport, extra clothes, fully charged phone, etc. The weekend was extra rainy and there was some flooding but the cyclone died off in the ocean. I got back to my village on Monday and it’s just been raining on and off since I got back. The forecast says there’s 91% humidity here. I never thought I’d know what that felt like, now I do and it is very unpleasant. But that’s all part of living on an island!
This week I’ll be going to school and continue shadowing teachers and leading gym class.
With so much love,
Your sweaty girl,