My name’s Kc Miller and I’m a Delta class sister in Alpha Pi Phi. This past May I had the opportunity to travel to a small Fijian village called Nailanga. I went with VESA, a volunteer organization for students who wish to aid communities not only in Fiji but Africa and the Amazon as well. The two week trip was divided. Week one, we volunteered in this small village of Nailanga and week two the group ventured through the different islands and relaxed on vacation.
The volunteer aspect of the trip left us all wishing that we could continue helping for another week instead of taking time for ourselves! We stayed in the houses/huts of villagers in a sort of home-stay set up. Each house hosted 2 volunteer guests. These household members became our family for the week and I have never felt more loved and welcome in a home that wasn’t my own before in my life. Every morning after breakfast, we would walk with the children to the village elementary school where our aid would take place. There were two parts to the volunteer program and the group was divided in half every day. One half of us would play with the kids and hold educational tutorials with them involving math, English grammar and hygiene workshops. The other half of us worked on cleaning and repainting the indoor spaces of the dilapidated school in order to facilitate better learning. We also constructed a massive cinderblock waste incinerator outside that they had not had the funds to construct themselves.
The two pictures I have chosen display our creative artwork on the grade 3 classroom walls. The kids were absolutely enchanted with the colourful paintings and although they were on winter holidays, they couldn’t wait to get back and start learning! The second photo is of some of the school kids. I love this photo because of their massive grins! It felt so amazing to be so appreciated by these children that embodied every aspect of love, loyalty, and friendship, and seeing them so happy made me realize the impact that even a weeks worth of service can have on such a large amount of people.
I still keep in touch with my family actually, and am planning on visiting them once again after graduation. It’s so nice to know that I will always have a place to stay on the other side of the world. They’re also convincing me get married and honeymoon there so that they can have a village celebration!