It was with great sadness that I said good-bye to the beautiful village of Silana, after spending 6 weeks living there and volunteering in the school. The village and the people there are truly special, and staying in Silana gives you a real sense of what it is like to live in Fiji, away from any tourist trappings.
After a rainy week, the sun luckily came out for our last day at school, and after lunch we were treated to a special assembly, and also a goodbye tea, which included plates loaded with home-made cakes and biscuits – always a happy moment for any volunteer! The music was cranked up and we were all dancing and taking lots of photos with our various classes.
The celebrations were far from over, when school finished we had a little time to relax and visit our Fijian families, before being due at the community hall for a feast with the entyre village. We were treated as guests of honour, for as well as a goodbye dinner this was also to celebrate the completion of Babale base’s new bure – the kitchen and common area that we had spent our first two weeks helping to build.
We were given a huge dinner of fresh fish and other Fijian specialties such as rou rou, dalo, and curry. GVI’s director of programs Danny was also at the feast, his first time visiting the new Dawasamu project. Along with getting spoiled with delicious food, some of the ladies of the village presented us with traditional flower garlands to wear and members of the youth performed the Meke, a traditional war dance.
After dinner we drank kava with the local men, and before long the guitar was brought out and the dancing began. It was a fantastic evening and an amazing way to end my time in such a wonderful village. Thank you Silana!
Emma Burgess – Fiji Education Volunteer for 20 weeks