Day 9: Visit to Yasawa High School

Today, we went to the Yasawa high school in another part of Naviti Island. We went a little further than Soso village. On the way, we divided into two groups and took two different boats to get there faster. As soon as we arrived at the island, students who were waiting for us began singing welcome songs with guitars, gave us homemade flower necklaces and introduced their school briefly.

It was a boarding school from primary school to tertiary school. According to their introduction, we were surprised that they have had high system of education with lack of supply. We could get the positive energy from them smiling all the time.

We were divided into four groups to prepare for lunch and we had a chance to communicate with students and teachers from the school. We saw them create the traditional lovo (fire pit) oven. The students showed us how to weave the lovo baskets using palm leaves and in the baskets the chickens and potatoes were placed. They cooked chickens and sweet potatoes with basam (coconut milk) on it. They put the woven baskets of food in the fire on the bottom of a pit and packed it with coconut leaves, covered it with a tarp and buried it in soil. They allowed the pit to cook the food for about an hour.  We also learned how to make a rose with coconut leaves.

Before we had lunch, we had a welcome ceremony where the students sang to us. The principal and Hailey gave speeches. Tema (one of the Vinaka Fiji coordinators) presented the donations we bought to a school teacher, as well as two sewing machines to be donated to the home economics program at the school. After the ceremony, some of students came to shake hands with us and were interested in us. For lunch, we had sweet potatoes, fried rice, chicken, seaweed, and lemon juice. The plating was special because it was made of woven palm leaves.

Lastly, we had rugby and volleyball games with the students. They were so fast and powerful, but we managed to score one goal. Today was the first and the last day spending time with the high school kids. Even though it was really short, we could feel appreciation from and for them. To end the day back at Botaira (our home base), we had beach fire after dinner at the resort. All of us enjoyed the music and throwing coconuts in the fire.

-Hitomi and Yoora

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