Location: Suva, Fiji
All the students at Bishop Kempthorne were delighted with their visitors from New Zealand and responded with energy and enthusiasm to all activities. On the way home we stopped for more supplies at the local supermarket and then the Y13s spent some time playing with the children who live in St Christopher's home. Dinner was another fine meal of pasta and sauce and we all then attended the children's service at St Christopher's. This is an evening service comprising mainly singing of favourite hymns, closing with a special Psalm recitation and blessing. It was a very spirited and moving experience. Back in our lodgings and the Y13s all settled into their study for an hour, then we spent some time planning what activities they might run with a class of 55 Y9s! This is clearly going to need to be split into smaller groups! 10pm bedtime was slightly disrupted by the discovery of a monster cockroach in Mrs W's room. Josh was marginally helpful in that he dislodged it but then lost it! Half a can of Raid brought it out of hiding and it was finally dispatched with a can of tinned pears. Today the boys have been involved in preparing a lovo. This is the Fijian version of a hangi and involves making a pit in which meat, fish, taro and cassava are slowly cooked over hot rocks. We will be sampling the results of their hard work shortly. Tomorrow we visit the Diocesan Office and the House of Sarah and spend the afternoon working with Y9s at Basden College.
Location: suva, Fiji
Another brief opportunity to access internet so a quick rundown of the past few days. Saturday morning we all headed into Suva town and went shopping for souvenir and gifts. There were some bargains to be had and it was a successful trip. Then we hopped onto our shuttle van and headed out towards Pacific Harbour for a swim. Our driver recommended Uprising as a better alternative and he was quite correct! We all swam and enjoyed the beachside atmosphere. Would be a lovely place to stay with bures right along the beach front. Back home and another delicious meal of pasta with a delicious sauce plus extra vegetables and fried potatoes. No one is going hungry on this trip. Sunday we met with Sister Kalo who runs St Christopher's Home and we attend a service at the local church along with the sisters and the residents of the orphanage. Back to our home base for lunch and a delicious egg fried rice whipped up under Ms Methorst's expert guidance. Then we headed out to St John's parish with Mr Senagar. This is a 5 village parish run by 3 non-stipendiary priests. The service was outstanding with tremendous singing and dancing. Afterwards we were treated to a lavish afternoon tea after Ms Methorst and Mrs Winnall had accepted kava on behalf of the group. Back home late and this time bangers and mash for dinner. A brief report back on our activities so far and then bed. Today we are at Bishop Kempthorne Primary School and the students are variously working with pre-school, Year 1 and Year 2 students. Everyone is having a blast! Tomorrow we will be presenting our gifts to the school - sewing machines and a laminator and the boys will be digging the lovo pit ready for lunch in the afternoon. On Wednesday the group will be working with Y9 students at Basden College.
Location: Suva, Fiji
So it was an eventful start to our travels. We flew out of Wellington on a bumpy night and arrived in Auckland on an even bumper one! Flights were delayed all round by the wet weather so we didn't arrive in Auckland until after 9pm. Baggage was picked up without incident and then we checked in to the Jet Park Hotel - abeit briefly as the alarms were set for a 4.30am shuttle pick-up. Back to the airport and checked onto our Air Fiji flight and then a rather quick breakfast as we walked down to our gate. The flight over was very smooth and uneventful and as we exited the plane the heat and humidity of Fiji made its presence well and truly felt! Customs was all good and our bus driver was there to meet us. A short journey to St Christpher's Home and some time spent settling in and unpacking! Duty groups were organised and then everyone visited the local supermarket to buy food to make their designated meals for the next 3 days. Everyone is very friendly and helpful and we are greeted with warm smiles everywhere we go. The first group's vegetarian take on Butter Chicken was a great hit - especially with Ms Methorst! Some quiet time spent reading, playing cards and then everyone hit the sack very early! After a good night's sleep we were ready to face the day. Some had not taken on board the advice about not leaving food lying aruond in rooms, however, so a small mouse came to visit. Much screaming and shouting all round but hopefully a lesson learned :-) After breakfast was had and lunches prepared our van and driver came to drive us into Suva. We spent an interesting time looking round the shops and the handicraft market. Souvenirs and keepsakes have been bought and we have contributed in no small way to the Fijian economy! Off to the beach this afternoon and everyone very keen to get into the water to cool off, if only temporarily. We have very limted access to internet so blog entries may be few and far between. All is going very well however and the group is very excited about getting to meet the orhanage inhabitants and the school children once the visit really gets under way! Ni sa moce (see you later)!
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Not too long now until we meet at the airport for the first leg of our journey to Suva. Up to Auckland first and then a few hours of sleep (too short to qualify as an overnight) and then on to Suva at 7am tomorrow! Hope to have access to internet enough to keep you all updated with the group's activities and adventures