Thursday, July 8, 2010

My first month in Fiji has been an experience I will never forget. The people and the culture are amazing! I am project lead over health and we are mostly working with the hospital in promoting health. Every day volunteers go over to the hospital to teach lessons on hand washing and other various health subjects like scabies, STI’s, family planning, drug abuse, cough, fever, and hygiene. We teach about 50 people a day. We taught a lesson in Nasomo village on STI’s, family planning, and drug abuse. After the lesson they all wanted to get tested for HIV, which we were so happy for. We were excited that we had finally got through to the people that they need to get tested and it’s good to get tested. It was a big accomplishment for the health team.
We just recently taught a dental hygiene lesson to the kids in the Vatutavui village. We just taught your basic teeth brushing and why it’s important to have healthy teeth. At the end of the lesson we gave out tooth brushes that one of our volunteers brought over from her sponsors. The children were so excited to receive a toothbrush. It made me so happy to see that giving them a simple toothbrush could make a difference in their day and life. It was a wonderful experience I will never forget.
I have also worked on adobe stoves, fitness, and nutrition. Stoves are really exciting to do because they whole village or community will generally get involved while you are making it. The experiences are never the same and they are always great. They love to help you out and make things better while we are teaching them at the same time. The last stove I did in Lautoka took us and hour and a half because we had so many people helping us build it. It was fantastic to see the community come together and build something that will improve their health and save them money. They were so grateful for the stove we built. Nutrition usually goes with the health team to the hospital to teach lessons on diabetes and hypertension. Those are two of the biggest problems here in Fiji. We are working hard to teach them about diet and why it is so important to eat right. Fitness is a lot of fun because you really get the women of the village involved. The women in Narkorakoula absolutely love fitness classes. They get so excited when we come to teach them. We finally have them teaching the classes now which is great because it will continue when we leave Fiji.
Fiji is a great place and I wish everyone could experience what the rest of the volunteers are doing here. I feel like we are really making a difference in the lives of the Fijian people, and that is all that matters.

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