Sunday, September 30, 2012

Tacilevu Village receives donated goods – thank you !

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It is Saturday and it has been raining for days here in Savusavu.

Over the past two weeks I have been receiving donations to help a village about 40 km away. Tacilevu (pronounced Tathelevu) village has no electricity, and is quite remote. Thus, they have very little in the way of clothing and other supplies.

Alas, it is also the week I have experienced my laptop having problems, and had quite a drama to find someone in this little town that had both knowledge and time to repair.

So I had not the opportunity to raise as much support as I would have liked.

But in saying that, I am really thrilled and thankful to those who gave.

I was able to buy a stack of underwear for the kids. Most have little or none as it is about 3 – 5 hours wages to purchase one pair.

I was also able to go to a sale and make a deal with the manager of Bargain Box here in town. They sell second hand rejected thrift store clothes, but I picked through and found a stack of great items, and took them back to the house and washed them all. 

From Paddy’s (is a Fiji-Indian, not Irish bargain store) I was able to buy about 100 pairs of adult and kids thongs / flip-flops. 

I also got a great range of new baby and toddler two piece outfits and cute little dresses for all of $3 AU / US each.   We had a box of other items ourselves to take along. We also had a heap of donated clothes too.

So when Friday afternoon came to collect the rental car I had booked, I discover it has “broken down”.  Unlikely! More likely is there is a Conference in town with 400 attendees all who would have made a better deal than mine to secure a vehicle. So it is torrential rain, and no car. 

The roads are so bad there are no taxi’s to take us. 

After unsuccessfully trying every other rental car company in town – and there are not many – I sit in the rental office at a loss. 

I sit and I wait – over 1 hour – I figure it is his problem, and he can help me solve it. 

We have bought all the items to donate. This is our last weekend here. We can only go to the village on the Saturday. They are expecting us. We have made a promise. We will go. 

Then along comes a Christian Head Teacher (Principal) from the conference who is in the same predicament. 

They have also rented out his promised vehicle! 

We talk and discover he and his colleague wish to go the village next to the one we will go to. 

So we form a team and rent a car worth three times as much (also the only vehicle left), but haggle a deal due to the rental company’s stuff up. 

Next morning I am collected and we load up and “hit the road”. 

Well after a visit to the Hot Springs Medical Centre to see Dr Ishaque Mohammed, as my son now has quite a few staph infected sores and requires antibiotics and dressings.  Dr Mohammed gave my son excellent treatment and asked if I could mention his clinic in the blog.  It is a clinic where the bandages etc are donated and is set up to service the less fortunate who cannot afford medical care. We can pay the full rate as we have travel insurance though.  Please contact him direct if you wish to donate (

The road is now slush and mud and it continues to rain. Master Beci is driving, and it is a relief – the roads are way worse than when I drove there 2 weeks ago! Albeit his driving is way too fast for my liking (lack of rear working seat belts), but a thrill to my seven year old. 

We slide and bump across the tracks and arrive about an hour later. 

We arrive and the kids start running towards us. It is slushy and wet.

As the village knew we were coming back, the kids had dressed in their best and / or borrowed clothing, as they knew they would be photographed. The kids all ask for their picture to be taken. (They will come and tell me if I missed them. Then they gather around the camera and look and giggle. The women shriek with delight.) 

(I will do my next blog showing some of the kids we were able to give to).

They had made leaf decorations, and prepared a “song and show” for us. 

I realised the lady (she is a Mum at 20 and looks all of 14) hasn't informed all the kids - or they are busy elsewhere, so it is just this corner of the village. So not all 100 kids were there by a long shot. But the pastor came, and I spoke how they had to share it all with the other village kids – which they assured me they do anyway.   

I was told I was “Queen” and given a special chair – must say I didn’t feel too right about that!  But I am given a fabulous show and I just love the kids enthusiasm!

So the kids go wild when we start to give the underwear out. 

I have never seen kids excited over underwear. We had enough for all the kids and the ladies too. 

We then gave out the baby and toddler outfits and clothes. Bill – a cruiser on one of the yachts had donated over 30 t-shirts, and so these were given to the men and older boys. 

Next were well over 100 pairs of thongs. 
These were a massive hit!  The kids and adults all received a pair. Most have no shoes. 

They held up all their gifts. 

Then they all grouped and held up card letters of ‘V.I.N.A.K.A.’. This is Thank you in Fijian. 

They then sang thank you songs from Sunday School to us, and I had tears in my eyes. 

It was the most touching experience to see their joy. I guess pretty much like Christmas Day in mass form for a western child. 

It was playtime then for the kids. I have never heard my son’s name shouted so often. They all wan to play with him. The village’s only nurse – who administers all the medical treatment - has come along, and she makes me some tea. We are given papaya they had just gone out and picked – freshly prepared and it was so lovely. 

I had also brought 2 extra folding walking sticks from Australia. I asked who in the village needed them. 

We met a lovely old lady and she was ‘all smiles’. We helped her off the floor and helped her walk with it. 

And I was very honoured to then be asked to meet the Chief. He also had problems walking, and was really grateful of the other walking stick. It was great to spend time with such an honoured man amongst the clans, and to see him walk back inside using his new walking stick, and wearing a big grin.

We have a bit of spare time so we get to visit the coastal bay of Buca at the tip of the island. It is beautiful. We stop off for a photo and then head back ‘home’ over the slushy roads.

We see all sorts along the way.
I love the way these people are having their bath in the part made road-side.

We get back just as it stops raining. Really tired.
This is our first official trip to do our “Random Acts of Kindness”.
We want to do this the world over as we travel.
We than then many who have supported us, and who have blessed this village with kindness.
Your donations brought so much joy to these people.

They have asked us to tell you all “Vinaka vaka levu” – Thank you very much!

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