On the fifth day experiencing the Fijian life – and after a lot of adventures and learning from the Fijian culture, people, and beautiful nature – we as a group finally had the chance to get our hands to work and help the Soso village.
After having an amazing breakfast with a beautiful ocean view, we left for a forty-minute boat ride around the island. We were amazingly received with a welcome song, which later you will have a chance to experience in our video projects. The students of The Ratu Apenisa Memorial School had smiles on their faces and were grateful for our help. Our task was to help rebuild from the 2016 cyclone and make some improvements around the school. After the rain passed and all the planning was organized, each group went to work, while wearing our sulus (sarongs) as a sign of respect to the people from the village.
One group started in the toilets – cleaning, painting and installing a new plumbing system – which finally will allow the kids from the village to have a basic clean sewage system. Another group did the concrete base for the bathroom’s water tank. The last group did the first step for the gutters system, which will make the water flow more accessible for the village.
Me, Joao Paulo, stayed in the group that took care of support for the water tank. This part of the service was really hands on, shoveling holes in order to get the soil for the concrete mixt, building a wooden frame for the concrete, digging trenches for the frame, and finally breaking a lot of big rocks in order to give a strong base for the concrete.
Me, Gianluca, worked in the first group, painting all the walls and doors from the bathrooms, and uninstalling the old sewage system from the bathrooms. This part of the service was also really hands on, like the other groups.
It was hard work and hot outside, but the thought of providing a basic need to such amazing people in order to make their lifestyles better motivated each and everyone of us every second. After the hard work and the amazing progress we made as a group, we had the chance to play and enjoy the sun with the kids. We ran around playing soccer, talking to them, and experiencing happiness and satisfaction in our hearts and minds.
This is what this trip has been about – finding happiness within each, and as a family, by giving to others basic needs and receiving life lessons from them at the same time. This is something we will take on for the rest of our lives.
The wonderful school from the village made a surprise for Kai by gathering the children to sing “Happy Birthday” in Fijian. They also gave him a native Fijian coconut drink. When we arrived home for our dinner, where we commemorated Kai’s birthday with music played by native Fijians. In addition to all of that, our resort’s chef cooked an amazing buffet.
-Gianluca and Joao