Tuesday, October 19, 2010

 Kindergarten, they always fed us
 Yasi Yasi Womens group, they were great!
 Women from the Village of Nakorokula, they loved exercising!
 Teaching in Yasi Yasi, they always provided a snack at the end of the lesson and exercise
 Eating sugar cane
Square meter garden with Mere

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Brita, my fitness partner, and I taught 3 exercise classes yesterday. First we taught a huge class of kindergarten children, then a group of older women in Yoladro and women in Nakorokura. The women in Nakorokura are very excited about our exercise classes and I love going to teach them. There are about 10-15 women in their group that come to our lessons and they are just wonderful people.
We decided that in the future we won't schedule 3 exercise classes in one day :)

Living Conditions
I have been living with 13 other volunteers in a house that has 3 bedrooms, 1 toilet, 1 shower, a small fridge, and 2 sitting rooms. The only real chair we have is a hospital chair and we also have 4 little chairs that you would find at kindergarten. I can't wait to sit in a couch! Luckily we have all gotten along very well and it hasn't been a problem sharing the one shower and toilet between all of us. I am so grateful for washing machines. While living here I wash my laundry by hand and it takes quite a while. For transportation I ride the bus and I actually like it. I love looking out the windows at the beautiful countryside while riding the bus and occasionally making conversation with the locals.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Busy Week

Bula! It has been a busy week. I helped build more gardens, a stove and we had some very successful exercise classes. On Friday we went to a town called Nakorokura and they really enjoyed the exercise routine. This week we are going back to that village and Yoladro to do a follow up lesson with the women's groups there and teach them about setting exercise goals. Brita and I made a handout that has exercises on it that they can chose from if they can't think of what to do and we also made a weekly exercise log that they can use. Our goal is to get them to commit to exercise on their own and have someone in their group that they report to each week.
We aslo taught the importance of exercise to a big group of kids and taught them a routine and dance. They really enjoyed it too.
Tomorrow I plan on working with the doctor I talked about earlier. His name is Animesh and he is the one who works in the states for 3 months then volunteers in Fiji or India for the rest of the year. A very poor but happy man.
Culture Experience
On Saturday evening our team was invited to an Indian wedding ceremony, it was so interesting. Everyone there was dressed in their bright colors and the bride and groom were dressed very ornately. The groom reminded me of Aladdin. Throughout the wedding they did many rituals and it lasts for a long time. The married couple don't get to go on their honeymoon for another 2 weeks, I am so grateful for our faster weddings! I am sure you have seen how married Indian women have a red dot on their forehead, I saw how and when they do that. After they marry the couple a blanket is placed over their heads for about a minute and when they take it off the woman has the red dot on her forehead. I took many pictures to share when I get home.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Time is flying by here in Fiji! I gave my first exercise class last week on Wednesday at Golds Foundation. It was really fun and the women enjoyed it but there are definitely things I need to change about the routine to make it easier for them. It is amazing how not exercising can have such an impact on your body; some of the women had a hard time even hopping. I have helped build 4 square foot gardens and I am going to start teaching piano lessons today.
After building a garden last week the village invited us to a cultural event where they were welcoming home one of their Rugby players who had just come from France. It was wonderful to experience helping the people and being involved in their culture as well.
My home in Fiji
Building a square foot garden in one of the villages

Sunday, May 16, 2010

For the weekend my team and I went to Lautoka and found a beautiful hike to do. Luckily it was overcast and rained a little while we were hiking.
Most of my time has been spent partnering with Gold Foundation and visiting women’s groups in small villages and they are very excited to have us come teach them. Since I am in the first wave of volunteers we are doing a lot of the ground breaking for the rest of the summer, making contacts, and starting up the projects.  We have set up a couple commitments already. This Wednesday I will be teaching the importance of exercise and I’m working on coming up with a routine for them. We also have plans to teach next week too. I will report on them when they are closer.
I have had some questions about the adobe stoves we are helping build. People here cook over open fires either inside their homes or outside and with an adobe stove there is a chimney and this is important because it helps the people not breathe in all the smoke. It also gets hot faster and uses less wood than an open fire.
Today I visited more women’s groups and went to some schools to see if there was anything we could teach the kids. I have already found a couple people that are excited to learn piano or that want to have us teach the kids songs/music.


Mixing clay for the adobe stove. I tried to get a better picture but it wasn't loading.
This is the first day waiting for our transportation from the airport.
A carrier that we rode in a couple times.
Learning to make roti
These two pictures are from my hike on Saturday
This working in the garden at the hospital.