Nothing could possibly compare to my Silana experience. Living in the village and being so flooded with culture and seeing how genuinely grateful the community are is something I definitely can’t take for granted. Everyday you’re welcomed with the warmest hearts and the biggest smiles and everyone is so willing to help in whatever you may need. For me, teaching in school has been the highlight of my experience – having my own class who are all so eager (and super competitive to learn!) makes teaching even more rewarding. Although to begin with it was scary and challenging, it didn’t take long for me to really feel like part of the school community.
On top of teaching, I also helped out with the community work around the village during the school holiday s, and did lots of environmental work guided by the super enthusiastic Kendra! This included building a compost frame up at the school, creating awareness pamphlets for the villagers and planting lots of fruit and veggies in the community garden.
Living in the village also meant I got my own Fijian family who I could visit whenever I wanted, have delicious dinners with or simply just pop in and say “Bula”. On the weekends I was lucky enough to visit Moon Reef which is home to over 70 very playful spinner dolphins which was an unreal sight to see!
Days in Silana fly by, but without doubt they always end with a kava session in the community hall where you can wind down with guitars, silly songs and lots of dancing.
My short two month expedition has absolutely flown by and I feel incredibly lucky to now be a part of Silana, and it is now officially my second home! Being part of GVI allowed me to be surrounded by likeminded volunteers and enthusiastic staff who are incredibly passionate about everything that they do. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the most beautiful village in the world.
Serena Prelec, 8 week Expedition Volunteer on Babale Base, Dawasamu