The feelings I had at the beginning of my placement in comparison to the end of my placement were quite different. I remember feeling overwhelmed, nervous and uncertain when I arrived in my new home to be for the next 5 months. At the beginning attending school was the easier part of placement for me, as the concept was familiar. On the other hand, getting to know my host family and adapting to a new way of life was a little trickier, but a process I really enjoyed and gained much from.
I remember one evening on a Friday after school, one of the younger siblings in my host family found a golf ball. We decided to create our own version of mini golf using a hammer. We used the hammer to putt the golf ball into a cup, and would move it further and further away to create challenges and competition for ourselves. I just remember how much fun we had from such a simple activity and how easy it is to create your own fun. It reminded me that appreciating the smaller things in life really can make you feel happier and more fulfilled if you take the time to give them this attention.
Throughout my months in Fiji, I was constantly reminded of this, whether it be helping my Lewa (host mum) cook, helping my family on their farm, working one on one with students in class, or going to the shop across the river to get flour for roti and then walking back devouring choc chip cookies. All these moments brought me closer to my host family and students and staff at school. They made me appreciate all of my valuable relationships at home in Australia so much more, as well as the little things, which can be often easily overlooked.
By the end of my placement I’d made so many beautiful relationships with my host family, my placement partner, students and staff at school and other people in the village. It was very hard to let go, even when I arrived back in Australia I found it difficult to adjust back to normal life at home. This just goes to show how much I valued my experience and the people who made it so memorable.
- Isobel Bobbera , Volunteer Teacher - Fiji