Reports from the Field

Fiji Volunteer Teacher Program 2018

I have just completed my four week teaching program in Fiji.  For my first experience, I could not have chosen a better location.  What a gorgeous place.  The Fijian people are also incredibly friendly, happy and so welcoming.  They always seem to be smiling and happy.  But I can understand why, living in a paradise such as this.  From the moment I got off the very long plane ride – until the moments now leading up to my departure I have felt nothing but warmth and love from the Fijian people.

Teaching was an adventure.  I was with the 6 year olds. There are two first grade classes and each one has 50+ children in them!  WOW!  The teachers are so overwhelmed each day, keeping up the classes and keeping the children attentive.  They seemed to need help with just grading the work, as they each told me how they either stay into the evening or come in a spend another whole day on the weekend just grading the work from the week.  So my task was to do the grading.  They were so incredibly grateful for that assist, and I was happy to do it.

I did occasionally have time to assist in the class itself.  Assist with teaching and doing some one on one assist to the students who either did not understand the assignment or needed extra tutoring to get through it.  I was happy doing any task I could do.  the kids were so adorable and receptive.  Most if them, anyway.

The volunteers were also asked to assist another local village with afternoon tutoring.  They had a spot for 10 of us to go, and as those groups were smaller (4-6) students, I was able to feel more successful in helping the kids progress.  They sang songs with us before and after each session which was incredibly fun.

I thank Global Nomadic and The Green Lion Volunteer organization for helping this old girl get prepared and comfortable with this adventure.  The Green Lion made every volunteer feel special, they noted birthdays and each week we had a celebration and thank you Kava ceremony to send those that were done with their program on their way.

The housing was comfortable and adequate.  We did have issues with bed bugs – brought to the center by several volunteers who had gone away for the weekend to Nadi, and returned with the bugs.  Green Lion was diligent and worked feverishly to rid the house of the critters.  I did choose to relocate to another house so as to not become  effected by them.  I was fortunate to not have had any in or on my bed.

Fiji is a beautiful place. I could not have asked for a better more enjoyable experience.  I look forward to many more.


Language and Cultural Exchange in Fiji

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Theresa Healy