Invaluable Experience Teaching Abroad in Fiji
What is our volunteer teaching project in Fiji all about? Well, Nicola gives us an insight into her daily life teaching abroad in this amazing country.
In the morning I would wake at half-past seven, get ready for a busy day ahead then head for a delicious breakfast with the other participants in the centre. Here we would chat about our day and compare what tasks and lessons we had planned. I looked forward to breakfast on a morning as it gave me an opportunity to chat amongst the other participants and learn about where they were from and what they wanted to gain from the program. At 9am a taxi took us to the project where we spent three hours with the children of the Kindergarten. Together we sang, did crafts and played a lot. From 12 o’clock, we went back to the apartment, where all participants enjoyed a delicious lunch together and chatted about their morning.
At half-past two, the participants would often reconvene, so we could prepare the tutoring for the village. The children in the village were always very happy to see us. They came voluntarily to improve their school performance and meet the newly arrived participants. Here I usually taught the third and fourth grade maths. But singing, crafts and games were also played daily. After about one hour of lessons and singing together, we went back to the centre and feasted on a dinner whilst chatting amongst ourselves. Following dinner, we would often play games, go for a stroll around the village and plan excursions for throughout the week. At ten I usually went to bed and looked forward to another eventful day.
The first weekend we went to the beach house, a hostel on a beautiful beach, which is perfect for relaxing. Whilst at the beach house we went snorkelling and enjoyed a nice long swim in the warm waters. The following weekend we went to Nadi, a popular tourist area full of bars, restaurant and beautiful beaches. On another weekend we stayed in alternative accommodation and made a little trip to the capital Suva.
My experiences with the new culture: The people are very friendly and warm and bring a lot of energy and temperament. The children are very open-minded, they immediately come running towards you, hug you and want to play with you. You develop such a fondness of the local children and saying goodbye to them at the end of your trip is one of the hardest goodbyes to make.
Right from the beginning, I noticed that the children have a lot of creative ideas even with few toys and get along with little. Many children have very little but are so very content. Every morning you are greeted by several people with a friendly “Bula”. The warmth and friendliness of the locals is contagious and they’ll have you smiling from morning through to night.
Teaching abroad in Fiji provided me with invaluable experience and was better than I could have ever comprehended. It gave me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and to get an open-minded attitude. It taught me to appreciate the little things and never to forget how fortunate I truly am. It was wonderful to get to know another culture and to experience how different children can be and how much energy and vitality and joy they radiate despite the simple circumstances of life. This journey was a time I will never forget.