Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Veivatuloa Village School

 We had a chance to meet some Principal's from other schools last week, and many of them wanted us to come and visit their shool.  One man was from a small village about 45 minutes from Suva, so Brother Qaqa (Gan-ga) the principal from the LDS Primary school accompanied us to Veivatuloa (Vay-ee-vah-too-low-a)  village.  It was a beautiful sunny day.  We had to drive about 15 minutes on a dirt/gravel road and we came around a curve and saw a beautiful view of the ocean.  We could see the small village below us right on the shore. 

The picture doesn't show the varied turquoise hues of the water, but we were awe-struck by the sight!
The school was very small, with 5 classrooms + a tiny office.   This is  Principal Qaqa and Saimone, the Villiage School Principal in the school's library.   Brother Qaqa went to a boarding school with the Principal from the village school, but they were in rival dorms, blue dorm and green dorm.  Ironically, the school uniforms for each Principal is the same as the rival dorm from their youth.
 The small library also serves the village.
Every teacher taught 2 grades.  This is the 1st and 2nd grade class.  All the classrooms were set up with 1 grade facing one side of the room and the other grade facing the opposite side. 
Below are the classroom rules for 1st and 2nd grade.

Pick your favorite rule.  We like  #4 & #9.

The entire school, 87 students, grades 1st - 8th waiting for the assembly to start.  They sang beautifully for us. 

Mike wowing the kids with his energy lesson.  He said."The students were easily entertained."  Some watch the lesson others watch the camera.  Here are a couple of questions with the generally called out answer.
Q:  What color are Elder Tait's eyes?
A: White
Q:  What is the baloon made out of?
A: Air
They did answer the questions about potential energy and kinetic energy correctly after the lesson.
Class 1-2 and Principal Qaqa.
Where's Waldo?  No matter how hard you try to assimilate you still look and act like a "pelagi" (pronounced pay-lon-gee) Fijian for "gringo". 

The school bell is a WWII gas cannister that you beat with a metal rod.  It works pretty well bouncing the sound off of the tin roof.

Dinner is served.  Scallops and dalo (a root like a potato only drier and much more starchy and no butter, sour cream, and chives)

A traditional bure (bur-ay) . This reminds Mike of where he lived his last year at BYU.

The Chief's house.  Of course it's the best house in the village.  It looked like the only one that had indoor plumbing.  Most of the homes, have no furniture in the living room, just woven mats on the floor.  Sometimes they had a small chair or two.

This bure had a prime ocean front location.

The ocean view.  You can see part of the fishing fleet. Most of the people here rely on fish and what they can grow for food.  The common recipe is fish cooked in coconut milk.

Everything in the village is community property.  So the village chickens are for eggs or dinner. 

1 comment:

  1. I love these pictures. Life is so simple there and they are still happy and successful. It makes you wonder why we have so much and still not happy or successful. Living is the barn was wonderful. We all have indoor plumbing, Stoves, heat, furniture,lots of clothes and store to buy what ever else we want. We have it so good here in America. America is a blessed land.