Meherin Khandker - General Teaching Projects in Fiji
My name is Meherin, after graduating in music, and going back into working in retail, I decided that I needed a change, a challenge and do to something different. I have always been interested in teaching, and thought why not volunteer abroad.
"Why Fiji??" some people might ask, "it’s on the other side of the world" - exactly. I chose Fiji because it was the furthest away from home and from any distractions that would make me want think of home. I wanted to be completely independent and focused for this trip.
My Host Family
I was placed in Nadi, and I'm very glad that I was. As soon as I was on the plane: I knew I would fall in love with Fiji. I was met at the airport and taken straight away to my host mum- Shailini and met her and her little boy Khartick. They are an Indian family, living very close to the school which is a nice 5 minute walk or maybe 20 minutes if you are looking at the scenery! I was very welcomed in a friendly way into their home, Shainili is an amazing cook!
My Placement - Nadi Airport School
My placement was at Nadi Airport School, helping out in Class 2L and Class 2S. Each Class had about 37 very happy and excited 6 year old children. Of course I fell in love with all of them and wanted to take all of them home with me. I was the teacher’s assistant: and was in charge of the homework, marking the children's work and helping the children in the classroom. I also took lessons when I felt more confident.
The first week was very intense for me, as the children were still very excited to have someone new in their classroom, but as the second, third and fourth week came they calmed down. They were very respectful and truly amazing children. The teachers and all the staff at the school were very welcoming and happy to have a volunteer.
I made a very good connection with all the children, in the mornings they would run up to me, hug me and ask me how I was that morning. I took a few lessons alone with help from the teacher Mrs Lal by my side and taught them about telling the time and reading to them about the importance of dealing with your rubbish, and that recycling is very important.
I brought chalk, flashcards and reward stickers to the school at the beginning of my placement, which was very useful. After a while in Nadi town one day I saw a children's book shop, and bought books for their library. I wanted to help out in any way possible for the school, and knew that helping the library would be my best option.
Travel time in Fiji
The way of life in Fiji is very happy, relaxed and peaceful. Everyone lives at their own pace. During my spare time I went to Robinson Crusoe Island and stayed at The Beach House, which is on the coral coast of Fiji. Everything is Fiji is so beautiful and peaceful. The scenery is truly just breath-taking and amazingly magical.
At night the moon acts like a spot-light and the stars in the sky shine so brightly. You do wonder at times if you aren’t imagining it. Although I did have weekends where I went away and saw beautiful islands and stayed at a beach house, for me the real Fiji is in the town and in the schools.
Overall I would completely recommend volunteering in Fiji. You get to meet so many wonderful people, make friends for life and do something very worthwhile. You can be proud of what you can do to make a difference. I loved my time in Fiji very much and it was very hard to say goodbye, so I didn’t, I said “see you later”. I’m definitely returning to Fiji next year to help out again. Come to Fiji and volunteer it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life ever!