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Published: October 27th 2008
One of many wood sculptures on Leuleuvia
Moturiki School Fair Saturday 25th October 2008
Today was probably the highlight of our whole trip so far. We got up, chucked the hermit crabs out of our sand-floor bure hut, had breakfast and then Elena and Simosi invited us to go with them to Moturiki island, where the children go each day to school by boat. On Moturiki there are just three villages, no tourist accommodation, one school and three village churches. Today was a special fund-raising event for the school, to buy library books and shelving to put them on. We felt very honoured to be invited. Many tourists pay to visit villages but to be invited to go along with the family to an event not organised for tourists but for the community was quite special. All the family went to Moturiki, all the kids, Bandi the dog, Freddie, John, myself and Hiro, one of the Japanese girls who arrived this morning (as did five more Japanese girls and two Australian lads so we’ll have a good Saturday night ‘lovo‘ feast). On the way to Moturiki we were especially lucky to see a school of dolphins, about ten of them; they jumped and played all around the
But we also saw some real ones!
Managed to catch one out of about 10 or 12
boat as we all banged on the boat sides to call them; only got one photo because they were so fast! We arrived at the village on Moturiki and were greeted by everyone there. Two girls, one Australian and the other English work as gap year volunteers with the three teachers at the school and they were really surprised and pleased to see us and made us so welcome; they have all worked so hard to organise this event, the school is very short of materials, 73 kids are taught in three small classrooms, half use the desks and the others work on the floor and then they swap over. The girls are just eighteen, doing a grand job but there is a real need for some qualified English teachers to help out here. I seriously think that I would like to return to Moturiki and give some months of my time as a volunteer if I can before I‘m too old. Sam, the Australian girl’s dad was over visiting from Brisbane; he is very proud of her, as he should be. The day was great, there were volleyball competitions (Leleuvia won). Netball, tug of war and best of all,
Oluibau village green
One of the three Moturiki villages.
“Billibilli” racing (rafts which the kids had made themselves). We had tea and cakes and great fun. The villagers wanted us to all stay for their lovo feast (lovo food is cooked in a coconut palm-lined pit in the ground) but we had to get back because of the other new guests. We got on the boat, the sun was setting as we got back, then we had our own lovo of chicken, breadfruit, coconut and Red Snapper which Buka, one of the boys caught this morning. Doei and Doka got out their guitars and played and sang traditional Fijian songs (as well as “Country Road’ requested by one of the Japanese girls) and we had a great Saturday night; one of the best days ever!
Sunday 26th October 2008
This morning we saw the sun rise (first time that we have woken up early enough) and packed our rucksacks. One of the boys is taking us to Levuka on Ovalau island today. We are tempted to stay longer here but there is still so much to see in Fiji so we are moving on. Maybe we’ll be back one day; simply put, Leleuvia is another name for
Each village has a church but the school is for all three.
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