On a recent trip to Fiji for a family wedding I spent a day in the Fijian hinterlands with some locals. We were lucky to see some local sites that are not on any tourist maps … it was an amazing day.
IFS had agreed I should take some footballs and other items in the hope of this kind of encounter. After having lunch in their village and a bit of a dance we were taken to the village’s primary school where we met the principal and a classroom full of kids. Our visit with the IFS gifts was excellent timing as we were told that two weeks later they would be playing in a gala day and the balls would be put to good use.
Football and League goals – Fiji style
My boy disrupting class
My daughter giving high 5’s
A couple of things stood out for me:
- After lunch all students have to brush their teeth as this does not always happen at home and our hosts believe that having healthy teeth and gums is very important as it helps prevent expensive treatments later in life.
- Students are issued with one lead pencil every four weeks as funding from the government is extremely tight. The school was also saving up for a computer for the students as they can’t let them use the one in the office. (I would like to investigate the possibility of fundraising for these items in the future).
- Everyone seems very happy. My thoughts on this is that everyone has a large family base around them for support, some students even walking home for lunch with their families as their homes are literally across a track.
The biggest thing I took away from the trip is that you don’t need a whole lot of objects to make you happy – family and friends are the most important commodities you should be holding on to.