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Residential Project

Location
Our group was given the opportunity to visit a village known as the Nausori Highlands.
We were distributed in groups of two between 5 village houses and lived among the
families for 5 days and 4 nights. The whole experience in itself was eye-opening and the
whole group was definitely touched by the unity and love that the villagers presented to
us the entire time. There were very few challenges that I had to overcome throughout the
duration of the trip, however the major two challenges were sanitation and working
groups
Purpose
The main purpose of visiting the highlands for our residential project was to construct a
pathway for the villagers to walk on, and improve the living conditions of the teachers
within the village. In saying this however, a personal goal was to successfully embed
myself into the village culture and really understand the morals and values of the local
villagers

Composition/Travelling Partner
The entire trip consisted of 21 girls travelling to
Fiji with the school to complete the Gold Duke of
Edinburgh award, however this group was split
into two groups which alternated after the 5 days
were completed. My group consisted of 10 girls
who I knew relatively well but did not interact as
actively with at school, and my sleeping partner
was Emily Huynh. Emily and I were close friends
before the trip having gone on other overseas
school trips together, and also being in the same
classes during school. Overall I was content with
the group I was apart of, and I was able to form a
closer bond with each and every one of them
throughout the duration of the trip.

Service Work
By immersing ourselves in to the remarkable culture that is Fiji, we immediately
recognised that they prefer to walk barefoot, even around the village where their paths
are commonly made from dirt. By doing this, they are exposing themselves to potential
diseases and other threats as there is likely to be animal waste and sharp rocks/glass that
could seriously harm them. Building the walkway ensures that they have somewhere safe
to walk and will unlikely pose a threat to their health and safety. It also ensures that

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during the wet season, they are not walking along muddy paths, which would mean that
they would dirty the floors of their houses, creating an even more unsanitary environment

The second part of our project was to paint the primary school teachers homes. By doing
this, we were improving their living conditions, which is important in order for them to
be motivated and driven to educate the students. In addition to this, the teachers will be
living in more comfortable and refreshing conditions compared to previous conditions.

Challenge 1 - Sanitation
One of the major challenges I had to overcome throughout the entire trip was the low
level of sanitation. Not being able to shower with hot water and safe (in terms of
sanitation) conditions proved to be a problem for me, however by observing the
conditions and personally reflecting, I was able to surpass this challenge as I was
reminded that people are living in even worse conditions and are still content and happy
with their lifestyle

Challenge 2 - Working Groups


The other major challenge that I had to face was my working groups. I was not unhappy
with the group that I was working with for the service project, however I did have a
preference with who i’d liked to have been with as at the time, I was more close with
other students. There were moments where I would envy the experiences that the other
group would encounter, but despite this, I became content with the new bond and
experiences I had with my working group.

Conclusion
Overall I am extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to visit and live among such an
amazing village in an amazing country. The experiences and friendships that were
established both with other students and with the villagers will forever be remembered
and will hold a special place in my heart. The residential trip in itself was very perceptive,
and I was able to learn a lot about myself and other people through the short period of
time we had

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