Welcome to my global village!

Sharing with the readers my experiences through my travel, interaction with different cultures and my involvement through community work! Hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Photos from the first project that I coordinated in Fiji

Some photos from the first project that I coordinated in Fiji. The photos were taken by Ankita at the 'Inaugral Fete and Open Day' that I coordinated for the 'Fiji Vocational and Technical Training for Persons with Disabilities', it was a huge not only a huge success in terms of the funds raised but very popular among the students too.

The final meeting with the staff and some volunteers that helped me with the project.

Students dancing and enjoying themselves with the Japanese Ambassador to Fiji, Mr. Namekawa.

No function can be complete without kava ceremony. Kava is Piper methysiticum, the roots of kava are masticated and mashed further in water to squeeze out all the juice out of it, which is considered a social drink. Below is the photo that shows kava cermony being performed in the honour of chief guest Mr. Namekawa.

Mrs. Namekawa enjoying the day, standing with her in the photo are computer teacher, my friend (the chinese lady and a volunteer) and myself.

Final moments: anouncing the raffle prizes and standing with me are the Centre Manager, Sumasafu Vilisoni and Senior JICA Volunteer (who was on a 2 year attachment with the Centre), Kinji.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

LIfe in Suva, Fiji

The very first day I went to FVTTCPD with the president of IWA and my daughter to talk to the centre manager, my daughter took some photos. I have uploaded some some of these photos here from 'Fiji Vocational and Technical Training Centre for Persons with Disabilities' (FVTTCPD) here for the readers to see what a brilliant group of people we have at FVTTCPD. They have a range of disabilities but there is no stopping for them and the work done by these students from the various sections is incredible. There are 11 different sections: cooking; sewing; offset printing and book binding; agriculture and horticulture; screen printing; art & craft; light metal works; sheltered workshop; computer centre and administration. If anyone would like to help the centre, please let me know and I can help you get in touch with them.
Life in Suva, Fiji is absolutely fantastic. If anyone gets a chance, one should not just miss it. Currently, I am busy with a fundraising dinner which is to support the 'Caregiver funds' for disabled people, I am once again with the same group of people coordinating this exercise. On the other hand, I am busy coordinating a project which is to light up a village called 'Matainadoi' in 'Vanua Levu', the appeal came from a group called 'Macuata Soqosoqo ni Marama'. Intially I was excited since it is a renewable energy project and thought we would get into the nitty gritty but realized we will be involved only to a certain extent. Nevermind, the idea of helping a village still makes me happy and satisfied. So we would be organising a fund raising dinner for this close to 'Diwali' (Hindu festival of lights). So the two exercise are keeping me busy for time being. There is lot to see and we are also getting around to do this slowly.

Iam asking all my friends and close ones to come and visit Fiji while we are here. So, we should soon be having friends/ relatives visiting us. I miss PNG every now and then, but this always happens. Right from childhood, I have moved so much and its always painful to leave friends behind. I have made some good friends here and we are still meeting more people. Its now been 3 months and we feel very much at home in Fiji!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Sorry to have taken up the web space and keeping it inactive

I feel bad for not having posted on my blog for over a year. A lot has happened since. I travelled to and fro Australia a lot due to personal reasons besides work and community service and that kept me extra busy. WE spent 9 good years in PNG and decided it was time to move on. With heavy hearts we bid farewell to PNG and moved to Suva, Fiji. I am absolutely in love with Fiji, beautiful country with beautiful and warm people.
We, after much thought decided that it was time to pack bags and move on to see a new place. So when Atul got this offer from Suva, Fiji, we decided to take it against all odds and now have absolutely no regrets whatsoever. Fiji, as I said is a beautiful country and people are very friendly and warm, so we are very pleased that we decided to come here.
There is so much to see and do, we are overwhelmed! Its been 3 months since we came here, we left PNG on 18th May and arrived here on 20th May, still settling down. I resigned from my job to come here with Atul and not working here as yet. But I have kept myself very busy ever since we arrived here.
After a week in Suva, I started looking around for "Soroptimists of Suva' (there are five different Soroptimist International clubs) and different women's group that engage themselves in community work. I came across 'International Women's Association' and attended their meeting the second week, It is a nice mix of women who actively fund-raise and hand out money to different groups for some project work. In that meeting, the President announced that 'Fiji Vocational and Technical Training Centre for persons with Disabilities' (FVTTCPD)wanted IWA to look for a person who could help them coordinate their 'Open Day'. After the meeting, I asked the President if she could take me to this Centre since I was interested in fullfilling their request but before I commit I wanted to see for myself what it was like and whether it was worth it. I am very pleased that I went the IWA meeting because then I went to FVTTCPD and my heart fell out for them and I took up the challenge. I got four IWA members to assist me (they came forward and expressed their willingness for which I am so grateful to them) and all the section heads, JICA volunteers and centre manager himself. Because they wanted to use the exercise to fundraise too, I asked them to call it 'The Inaugural Fete and Open Day' and we set for the task, it was to be held on 27th July. My daughter once again helped us with flyers. She made 7 different flyers and each consists of image which is actually the work done in different sections. If you look at the 7 flyers carefully (I am attaching it here), each contains an image which is adapted from work done in different sections. It was a lot of work since I was very new to the country, I had to establish a rapport with the business houses with intention that they had to be convinced to donate, and I am very pleased we did it very well. Also the media coverage was there, the centre had a very good exposure during this time. It was a very successful event with Japanese Ambassador as the chief guest and students had a good time dancing with the Ambassador. To top it all, the centre made a handsome profit. This was a good 2 months effort.