During the first week of the Term Two holidays a group of Aquinas College students along with a parents and teachers, were lucky enough to travel to Fiji. This was to be part of the Fiji Service Trip that takes place each year, to help provide a helping hand to the people of Vanuakula. We began each day with a 50-minute drive to the village of Vanuakula which was located just out of Suva. Here we would then spend the next 6 days laying tons of concrete to create paths and bases for water tanks.
We also cleaned and re-painted the inside and outside of the school dining room and kitchen areas. A small group of students also collaborated and came up with the idea to create a mural that we would leave behind as a token of our support. Our biggest task was to build from scratch four individual outside shower cubicles. The villagers showered with a small outside tap and no shelter or privacy. This meant that women usually showered during early hours of the morning, or late at night when there was less sunlight. Now, they are able to have a shower at any time of the day in privacy, and they do not need to fear people seeing them. The impacts of this achievement were incredibly rewarding for both us as student helpers and for them.
This was an experience to remember for each and every one of us. To see first-hand the way in which the villagers lived was eye opening. The relationships we have made with them will forever be cherished and held close to our hearts. Their beaming smiles and positive, welcoming attitudes made our experience unforgettable. A huge thanks must go to Paul Callinan for making this experience possible and to Mrs. Skelton, Ms. Harrison and Mr. Roberson along with the parents who took the time off to provide valuable skills and support for us on this trip. If you are given an opportunity to provide your service to those who are less fortunate, I strongly encourage you to take on the task. It is an incredibly rewarding and genuinely life changing experience.
A Reflection by Yr. 13 Student Jess Phayer.