Kicking off the Qio club

Today we headed over to Uluibau Primary school on Moturiki to start up a conservation club for the kiddos. We started off the hour by doing a phenomenal rendition of the Harry Potter Puppet Pals (you tube it if you haven’t seen it), Blue Ventures style. We were dancing and chanting and wiggling around while shouting out things like ‘recycle!’ and ‘ecotourism!’ Immediately after our chant a few of us got the kids pumped up by performing a rap we had written. While the kids enjoyed it, I can assure you that our rap careers both started and ended in that one performance. J We then split into small groups to chat and really get to know the kids. Conversations ranged from things the kids like to do (swim, fish, play sports) to family life to favourite animals to things they’ve learned about conservation already. It appears as though they’ve been taught about re-using and are attempting to put recycling into practice. We’re hoping to teach them about endangered species, recycling, ecotourism, energy, rainforests, water, and other things related to the environment and conservation through games, activities, field trips and crafts. One of our other objectives of the day was to come up with a club name. Peter and I were with two boys who were adamant about being named the ‘shark killers.’ Hm… It seems as though this club is coming together at exactly the right time! We ended up dropping ‘killers’ and Club Qio was born. After we had voted on the club name, we headed out of the classroom for a relay race. Each person had to wear fins, a mask and a snorkel and run (I use that term loosely… ‘Flop’ may be more accurate) across the school yard and back. It was great fun and got the kids really excited to come back for more Club Qio fun!  Katie

The Rap:

Hey kids, what’s the deal?

Do you know what’s up with your favourite meal?

Do you know where it’s from; do you know what it eats?

Well then listen up to our awesome beats!

We’re gonna play some games and we’re gonna have some fun

Maybe even learn about the reefs and the sun

Together we can snorkel and swim in the sea

Check out all the fish and where they like to be

We’ll walk on your trail and take trash that we find

Use it to make something one of a kind

We’re here to learn and teach some too

Come join our club and we’ll kick it with you!

A week later we had the opportunity to go back to Moturiki and plant indigenous trees with Club Qio. We brought over three different kinds of trees donated by the Ministry of Fisheries and Forests and got to work. One of the highlights of the day had to be watching the guys gardening in skirts (okay, technically sulus, but still breezier than their average shorts). Of the three species we took, we planted the one that would end up being the smallest throughout the school yard and surrounding hill. We’re hoping to get back to the school to plant the remaining two bigger species along the students’ nature trail. Some of the volunteers experienced a bit of culture shock when the kids started hacking away at dead branches with machetes, but we all got the chance to talk some more with the students and learn about their lives. The kids who weren’t planting were in the school yard jump roping, playing volleyball and taking pictures with us. There was also a group of 7, 8 and 9 year old boys playing rugby nearby. It was especially exciting for me, as I had heard loads about rugby from all of the UK volunteers, but had yet to actually witness a real life game.  We all watched as the boys tackled each other and took each other down… they were tough! We ended the day with a trip to Eleanor’s house (she’s a staff member on Leleuvia, but lives on Moturiki during the week so her children can go to school), where she treated us to huge mugs of hot chocolate, cake, and fried Cassava sprinkled with sugar. Needless to say, we ended up having to roll ourselves back to the boat J \Katie

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