project review

A-Z of Fiji Frontier Style!

Review submitted by Charlotte Richardson
Review date 19 Jul 2010


5 girls from across the world.
32 fun filled days.
17000 kilometres from London to our ‘home’ in Suva.
1 Fijian Mum called Suzie.
38 incredible pupils in Class 403.
20+ KitKat chunkys!
3 days fun at the island of  Leluvia
10 zip lines conquered across the lush Fijian landscape.
1 assembly presented.
4 houses of Red, Yellow, Green and Blue competing in the Inter-house competition at Fiji’s National Stadium.
19 years celebrated on my birthday 22nd June 2010.
7 bartenders who we now call friends at O’Reillys
2 new little brothers Josh and Colin
4 trips to the local cinema in town.
292 hours which disappeared within the blink of an eye.
5 hours trekking through the jungle.
19 days worth of lesson plans.
50+ jugs of Rum and Cola!
1 crazy fundraiser at the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
3 publications in the Fijian Sun newspaper.
0 words to fully convey how life changing the trip Frontier organised truly was.

Amazing food cooked each night by our Fijian Mummy Suzie and enjoyed around the family dinner table!

Bieber fever! The Fijians loves a bit of Justin and we couldn’t go a day without hearing his pitch perfect tones on the radio or sung in the playground!

Charlotte’s Birthday: I spent my 19th birthday in Fiji and it was one of my best to date. Class 403 organised a party for me with lots of cupcakes and sweets. I then came back to Colonial lodge to find two yummy cakes made for me by Gillian, Colin and Josh as well as a BBQ spread! A very yummy birthday indeed. Suva is arguably the place to party on your birthday!

Dealing with school children during wet breaks and lunches is quite the challenge. Tips for future volunteers: play the game heads down, thumbs up. It is a simple game which is easy to grasp and most importantly can be done in silence!!

Evenings in with the family! The nightlife in Suva is great but it is equally fun to stay in with the ‘family’. On Fridays we would have a pizza night, order the biggest pizzas with all the side dishes whilst watching movies. A great way to chill out after a hectic week at school!

Fiji is a beautiful and friendly country which takes great pride in its heritage and rightly so. Every tourist, worker, volunteer will leave with a considerable chunk of Fiji in their hearts.

Go sightseeing! Make the most of every second in Fiji. Use your weekends wisely and any half days, bank holidays and evenings must be used to explore!

Holiday Inn is a relaxing place to chill when school is finished. Buy a drink or snack and you can enjoy soaking the rays by the pool or by the air conditioned bar until the sun sets.

Islands...300 in Fiji to be exact, ready for you to explore and enjoy.

Josh and Colin my two brothers from another Mother. They provided the best company day and night. Whether it be watching movies or playing monopoly these two guys made my trip.

Kava- the notorious Fijian delicacy! Kava is an essential and integral part of life in the Pacific Islands often thought of as one of the most precious gifts from the Earth but really needs to be tasted to be believed! The Kava ceremonies are a great cultural experience and hold some very fond memories!

Laughing all day-every day. You will come away from Fiji with native like abs from all the hysterics, jokes, and cheeky pupils you meet. We tried to keep an account of all the funny quotes from the trip but there proved to be too many- Love it!!

Mango Bay is great resort to escape to for a weekend away and about an hour and a half’s drive from Suva. The resort has a packed schedule of activities each day ranging from jewellery making to horseback riding. You can do as little or as much as you would like. The poolside view overlooking the ocean is pretty spectacular and the sunset isn’t too bad either.

Nadi is where we arrived after our long haul flight and before we headed home the other volunteers and I spent some time exploring life on the other side of the country. Smuggler’s Cove is a great accommodation with a fantastic menu and beach. The perfect combination for any traveller!

O’Reilly’s- the only thing Irish about O’s is that it has Guinness on tap but an amazing place to party or head to for a game of pool. The prices are really reasonable and Bounty Thursday is always a night to remember (if you can). The bar staff are all lovely and friendly as well as the crowd of locals. Do not miss out!

Photos of paradise. Always have a camera handy as you can never quite predict what you will see in Fiji and many priceless moments need to be recorded!  Quite simply the best four weeks I could have imagined possible.

Rainforest- There is an amazing jungle a half an hour drive or so from Suva. The trek through this picturesque scenery is sublime and if you are ever in need of a tour guide Josh is definitely your star man! He took great care of his five sisters and showed us the secret (and best) spots !

Suva is Fiji’s capital city and there is no better place to be situated than here! There are several shops to visit, places to eat, a cinema, nightclubs, a beautiful harbour and an amazing BBQ right in the centre, which is a must go to for any future volunteers!

Teaching is what I came out to do in Suva. For all the lessons I taught and assisted with nothing can compare to the great degree I learnt about myself and lessons that will stay with me for life. As great as it is to ‘give’ to the local community, with this trip you are guaranteed to receive an equivalent amount. Come with an open mind and a generous heart and no matter how small the impact- you will have one upon the pupils and class assigned to you. They will certainly have an impact upon you.

Unique- every volunteer will have a different experience of the Fiji Islands. Yet I can promise they will all be positive. I was fortunate enough to have made life long friendships on my trip, as well as helping a class of 38. I hope that my being there will have had some impact on encouraging them into school. My biggest achievement in Fiji was helping a pupil named Paulo to read. When I arrived his skills were very basic, by the time I left the teacher told him he could read. Watching the shy boy I had met on my first day, stand at the front of the class and read the textbook he shared with his peers with a grin on his face stretching from ear to ear will be an image I will always be proud of.

Various entertaining taxi rides! Always a pleasure to take a cab in, out and around Suva! Most of the taxi drivers are very vigilant but do make sure you always ask for the metre just in case.

Waterfalls in the Fijian forest are stunning and the pools surrounding them are definitely worth a splash in. You may even be lucky enough to see some of the fantastic gymnastics of the locals flinging, flipping and back flipping themselves into the water.

X- Rated Fijian dance moves!

Y- Why would you ever want to leave Fiji?? You won’t. So make sure you make the most of everyday in the Fiji Islands.

Zzz...Teaching is demanding especially at primary school level so make sure you make the most of afternoon siestas and have a good night’s sleep each night because you will most definitely need to be on top form to keep up with the pupils!!

Read more about Fiji Teaching.