I'm not talking about Trix cereal. I'm talking about the Nakavika Project classes we've been conducting here in Fiji. Within the first week of teaching the children about English and hygiene/health, the young men of the village expressed their interest in learning what we have to teach. Classes with these boys began immediately and covered such things as vocabulary expansion through spelling tests, explanations of concepts and grammar, the encouragement of personal reading and even explanations on how to manage money wisely. Some of these guys have spent far too much time buying Fiji Bitters for withering stares in Suva.
After speaking with the youth for weeks, it came to our attention how many ways we could positively affect the village minds by offering knowledge and tools they could use to better themselves. Coming back from our wee vacation in Rakiraki and Pacific Harbor over the holidays, we came equipped with new ideas for reaching out to everyone and tried two days later to hold a meeting at Fane's (our) house in the evening - a question/answer session that would involve clear explanations of what we were doing with the kids and what we could offer to the adults in the future.
No one showed up besides Abel and our friend Carlly.
We quickly learned priorities were a little skewed among the adults in the village. A large part of the lack of attendance was due to village hierarchy and who was spreading the message about our Q and A session: Abel. Abel isn't a head man or the spokesman. He doesn't command the same level of respect, and unfortunately respect isn't dished out on everyone's plate at the dinner table. It's something that's only really applied by a title. Add that with the fact that everyone was mildly stoned on kava, and we had our recipe for an empty room.
So instead of sulking in our own dismay, we walked around the village to the house with the most people - and more importantly the one that wasn't drinking kava. On our whiteboards, we displayed the topics for future classes:
Budget/Money Cuts/Basic Aid Healthy Habits Accidents/Diseases Nutrition Injuries in Athletics
After taking a poll, we began announcing classes in the evenings at various houses around the village. The first one conducted took place at a centrally located home, the mother of the rugby manager, and we talked about cuts and athletic injuries. Garrett talked for about two hours straight, wrapping ankles and shoulders, treating open wounds, explaining the need to get germs out of the body, and I wrote important words and drew images on the whiteboard for further explanation.
Since this successful evening, we've had two more classes with the adults covering budgeting and nutrition, the details of which will be published in the coming days.
Do you have any ideas for additional topics and ways to impart knowledge to the adults of the village? Do you know anything about diets during pregnancy and breastfeeding? What about bacterial diseases common in tropical areas? We'd love your help and encourage your participation remotely or locally ;)