I have to sit down for this one. There was still a chair in the office. a bit rickety and I carry some weight extra, but I was willing to try the seat. However miss Rasovanivalu left her chair so that I could sit down. I asked why? and her answer is because you are a man it’s out of respect!

I suppose that my role as a male teacher is experienced differently than a female teacher here in Fiji. It seems that the women here are the caregiver of children and men the raisers. Perhaps when discipline is needed it is men who performs and take the “Necessary” steps.

That is how I experience at this school. My name, position, role, is more often used as a threat, when a child does not listen or behave. And I’m not so happy about that! My attitude towards the children is warm, playful, discovering, open and space-giving accompanied by a smile. I do however am also clear, have a sense of order and sometimes strict, usually accompanied by my glance and voice. And that is what people recognize here. I feel very uncomfortable to be recognizable in this way as if I fit within the culture and position of the man in Fiji.

Also for me it is very recognizable as it reminds me too much at my own experiences as a child and how my parents were.

Meanwhile, after 3 weeks at this school, I find that I better can work on other things than to be busy teaching the children. Within 4 weeks I am gone. I would probably have a good feeling. The children have had a other experience, and that would be it. Be volunteers will arrive and the cycle wil start over again.

I question myself if me being there has an impact on the children and their dreams. Thinking about that, I can hardly see and feel that I contributed to a get better chances in the future for those kids. I mean education is all about getting the opportunity to create ones own future and live.

So I adopted 3 small projects which I have to deliver within 3 weeks. I will not be teaching the children. Where Andrea is aiming on teaching methodes, Creating awareness about effectiveness and a follow / monitorsystem , I will focus on the facility the have, and need.

The projects.

  • Preparing lessons material for the running and coming schoolyear, based on the themes the school uses. Delivering worksheets and coloring sheets. Until today the teachers create them each day just before class.
  • An escape an emergency plan in the schoolbuilding. Think about an escaperoute and procedures how to act in case of emergency. It has to understandable for children!
  • Develop a program for projects abroad, to maintain IT facilities at schools.

This weekend I didn’t plan any activities. Just a weekend at home with my hosts. I sat with Mrs. Singh at my tablet. And showed her how it works and how the internet more or less works. I showed her the results when you google something, and that the world seems suddenly a bit smaller.

I am also preparing our stay in New York. I didn’t book a place to stay yet. The day of us leaving Fiji is close. It must be a culture shock Fiji – San Francisco – New York.

In NY we might meet Katherine. Andrea’s roommate for the past weeks. She lives in Montreal and would like to come to New York.

I watched a rugby match. In 28 degrees Celsius in the sun on a field along the main road a match between two villages. It is a funny to see that many people are coming to watch. Sitting at bus stops, on top of them, behind fences and the mesh, half on the field. Children run through the field while the game is playing. And the field is marked by flags. There is no lime lines to be seen. A lot of dust !! because of a dry sand spots.

Today it’s also time for the monthly balance. So finances. I think I’ve budgeted it all well. I received the tax refund I expected, and the continued payment of my salary. The expenses here are significantly lower than in New Zealand. Everything is of course already paid in advance (room and board therefore)

Tomorrow go to the beach. It is a 10 K walk. I need to do some hiking or walking as a sort of physical exercise , so I do a lot on foot these past weeks.

The thought of returning home a few pounds lighter is proving to be a challenge. The food Mrs. Singh cooks is very tasty. I try not to have a second or even third plate at dinner, but Mrs. Singh sometimes insist and I sure not want to insult her.