The other day I asked Abel, our friend in Nakavika, to write something for the website - as someone with the insider perspective on what we were doing there. Though he could have been persuaded to write something extra kind from my request, I think he wrote what potential he saw in his own community through the project we constructed. He wrote the following list. I didn't correct any non-native English grammar, but he explained every point to me in detail for a better understanding.
Why Nakavika Project is good...
1. It helps the village people.
2. Take care of the personal life.
3. Show them good attitude.
4. Know the things that happening around the world.
5. Live in the good ways of life.
6. Good discipline.
7. Kids will be more educated about learning English.
8. People of Nakavika will live longer in life.
9. They will eat what supposed to be taken (meaning they will eat healthy foods).
10. Helps them build up their bodies.
11. People will not drink so much liquor.
12. In sports help.
14. For the kids in Nakavika, they embarrassed about speaking but when Lindsay taught them, they react in doing it.
15. Help them good spelling.
For all the steps forward and subsequent steps backward we've witnessed with this project, it feels good to hear those affected appreciate the work we're trying to do in Nakavika. And though it is customary for the Fijians to be grateful of anything, whether they like it or not, we sense these exclamations aren't just for civility's sake.
It wasn't even our intention to approach the adults and convince them to drink less liquor, but the concept emerged as we started conversations about healthy living. Garrett and I both drink, but as we all know, that's an activity that requires a great deal of responsibility and an awareness of what your body can tolerate or desires. Learning limits and the effects of a borderline fun/dangerous seems like a conversation worthy of our time and lip action. We've witness the extent of the bad drinking habits here, and it's safe to say they could use some education in alcohol abuse.
I think we've planted a seed, but it's going to take a lot to make that thing sprout.