Random Acts Of Kindness In Fiji

Tacilevu Village receives donated goods

Thank you to all who helped donate!

It is Saturday and it has been raining for days here on Savusavu Island but its time for our first major Random Acts Of Kindness. Over the past two weeks, we have been receiving monetary donations to help a village about 40 km away. Tacilevu (pronounced Tathelevu) village has no electricity and is quite remote. Thus, they have very little in the way of clothing and other supplies.  Learning of such communities has made us understand why those on a family travel adventure, especially single parent travel, need to make the culture of helping other families part of their overseas experience. It is something they will not hear from luxury travel experts who tend to steer you only toward resorts, but the one thing that sets them apart as more human and humane.

Alas, it is also the week I have experienced my laptop having problems, and had quite a drama to find someone in this little town that had both the knowledge and time to repair. So I had not the opportunity to raise as much support as I would have liked. But in saying that, I am really thrilled and thankful to those who gave.

 

What we purchased For Our Random Acts Of Kindness

Clothing

I was also able to go to a sale and make a deal with the manager of Bargain Box here in town. They sell second hand rejected thrift store clothes, but I picked through and found a stack of great items, and took them back to the house and washed them all.
Random acts of kindness
©Exploramum and Explorason – Clothes we purchased to give to the Fijian Village
I also got a great range of new baby and toddler two-piece outfits and cute little dresses for all at $3 AU / US each.   We had a box of other items to take along. We also had a heap of donated clothes.
Clothing for the poor
©Exploramum and Explorason – Clothes we purchased to give to the Fijian Village

Underwear

I was able to buy a stack of underwear for the kids. Most have little or none as it is about 3 – 5 hours wages to purchase one pair.

underwear
©Exploramum and Explorason – underwear for the poor children

Shoes

From Paddy’s (is a Fiji-Indian, not Irish bargain store) I was able to buy about 100 pairs of adult and kids thongs/flip-flops.
Shoes for the poor
©Exploramum and Explorason – Shoes we purchased to give to the Fijian Village

Vehicle Hire Troubles

So when Friday afternoon came (the day I was to pick the rental car I had booked), I discovered that it had “broken down”.  Unfortunately, there is a Conference in town that has attracted 400 attendees, all of who would definitely make a better deal than mine to secure a vehicle. So it is torrential rain and no car.

The roads to the place are so bad, there are no taxis to take us there. After unsuccessfully trying every other rental car company in town – and there are not many – I sit in the rental office at a loss.

We have bought all the items to donate. This is our last weekend here. We can only go to the village on the one specific Saturday ahead of us. The children are expecting us that day. We have made a promise. We will go.

Then along comes a Christian Head Teacher (Principal) from the conference who is in the same predicament. They have also rented out his promised vehicle!

We talk and discover his colleague and he wishes to go to the village next to the one we wish to go to. So we form a team and rent a car that is worth three times the amount of money we had separately budgeted for (also the only vehicle left) but haggles a deal due to the rental company’s stuff up.

Next morning I am collected along with a car full of our “Random Acts Of Kindness” items, and we load up and “hit the road”.

muddy road
©Exploramum and Explorason – Driving in bad weather

The road is now slush and mud and it continues to rain. Master Beci is driving, and it is a relief – the roads are way worse than when I drove there 2 weeks ago! Albeit his driving is way too fast for my liking (lack of rear working seat belts), but a thrill to my seven-year-old. We slide and bump across the tracks and arrive about an hour later.

Arriving At The Village

We arrive and the kids start running towards us. It is slushy and wet.

Fijian Village
©Exploramum and Explorason – arriving at the Fijian Village
As the village knew we were coming back for our Random Acts Of Kindness, the kids had dressed in their best and/or borrowed clothing, as they knew they would be photographed. The kids all ask for their picture to be taken. (They will come and tell me if I missed them. Then they gather around the camera and look and giggle. The women shriek with delight.)
(I will do my next blog showing some of the kids we were able to give to).

We Are Treated To A Show

They had made leaf decorations and prepared a “song and show” for us.

leave skirt
©Exploramum and Explorason – Fijian dance

I realized the lady (she is a Mum at 20 and looks 14) hasn’t informed all the kids – or they are busy elsewhere, so it is just this corner of the village. So not all 100 kids were there by a long shot. But the pastor came, and we discussed the need to ensure that the donations are shared with the other village kids – which they assured me they do anyway.

I’m treated like royalty

I was told I was “Queen” and given a special chair – must say I didn’t feel too right about that!  But I am given a fabulous show and I just love all of the children’s enthusiasm!

performnce
©Exploramum and Explorason – The children perform for us

Giving Out The Donations

So the kids go wild when we start to give the underwear out.
clothes for the poor
©Exploramum and Explorason – Clothes were handed out to the Fijian Villagers
I have never seen kids excited over underwear. We had enough for all the kids and the ladies too.
helping
©Exploramum and Explorason – Ex[orason selects some helpers
We then gave out the baby and toddler outfits and clothes. Bill – a cruiser on one of the yachts had donated over 30 t-shirts, and so these were given to the men and older boys.
Fijian village
©Exploramum and Explorason – Clothes for toddlers

Next were well over 100 pairs of thongs. These were a massive hit!  The kids and adults all received a pair. Most have no shoes.

clothes
©Exploramum and Explorason – Children receive clothing

They held up all their gifts.

Fijian children
©Exploramum and Explorason – Children showing the donated goods

Thank You

Then they all grouped and held up card letters of ‘V.I.N.A.K.A.’. This is Thank you in Fijian to all of you who donated towards this major Random Acts Of Kindness event.
Vinaka
©Exploramum and Explorason – Vinaka
They then sang thank you songs from Sunday School to us, and I had tears in my eyes. It was the most touching experience to see their joy. I guess pretty much like Christmas Day in mass form for a western child. It was playtime then for the kids. I have never heard my son’s name shouted so often. They all wanted to play with him.

The village’s only nurse – who administers all the medical treatment – has come along, and she makes me some tea. We are given papaya they had just gone out and picked – freshly prepared and it was so lovely.

Walking Sticks

I had also brought 2 extra folding walking sticks from Australia. I asked who in the village needed them. We met a lovely old lady and she was ‘all smiles’. We helped her off the floor and helped her walk with it.
walking stick
©Exploramum and Explorason – Random acts of kindness to the elderly

Meeting The Village Chief

And I was very honored to then be asked to meet the Chief. He also had problems walking, and was really grateful of the other walking stick. It was great to spend time with such an honored man amongst the clans and to see him walk back inside using his new walking stick and wearing a big grin.

random acts of kindness
©Exploramum and Explorason – Giving to the Village chief

Time To Sightsee

We have a bit of spare time so the two gentlemen with us want to go sightseeing. So we get to visit the coastal bay of Buca at the tip of the island. It is beautiful. We stop off for a photo and then head back ‘home’ over the slushy roads.
sightseeing
©Exploramum and Explorason – sightseeing on a rainy day

Bathtime

We see all sorts along the way. I love the way these people are having their bath in the part made road-side.

bath time
©Exploramum and Explorason – taking a bath in the drain

We get back just as it stops raining. Really tired. This is our first official trip to do our “Random Acts of Kindness”. We want to do this the world over as we travel.
We thank the many who have supported us, and who have blessed this village with kindness. Your donations brought so much joy to these people.

They have asked us to tell you all “Vinaka Vaka Levu” – Thank you very much!

Questions and Comments

  • How often do you volunteer for charitable activities?
  • Please share your comments below.

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