Researchers, Rocky and Riverdance…

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Team building takes on a new meaning…. It has only been about one week since Expedition Two got together so it was pretty important to have an intense bonding experience over our first Saturday night together on Leleuvia. Saturday night is ‘night off’ and with no diving on Sunday, the beer restrictions no longer apply J Howard organised us all into teams and progressed to make us do everything from building sandcastles to answering trivia questions (Rocky IV? Really??), to a bunch of stuff that it is better future volunteers experience for themselves rather than read on the blog!  A great time was had by all over a few civilised and well mannered beers. The lucky winning team got treated to a night dive the following week. Perhaps if I had known the prize in advance my rendition of ‘River dance’ could have been more convincing!

After more than a week on Leleuvia we were a bit excited to leave the island to visit a local community. Those of us who had passed our fish and benthic tests got to go with Howard to Daku village on Motoriki Island for a sevusevu. The purpose was to introduce Kalisi, a guest researcher from the University of Hawaii, to the village elders; she will be staying with them for a week to assess algae and herbivorous fish in the village Tambu (marine protected area).  We all dressed up in our bula dresses again and I think they appreciated it. (It’s hard to know when you don’t understand what they say about you but they smiled and what we had translated was that we looked nice.) The sevusevu itself was without Kava this time because the village has a banned kava drinking the last two weeks of each month. (Apparently the guys were more interested in drinking kava than in girls so the numbers of kids on the island were dropping.) Leaving the island we had to walk around to the next village; it started off as a nice walk along the beach but soon became more adventures as we waded through a flooded piece of the trail and carefully moved through the muddy and slippery reef flat. But we all got back safely and could wave to the cruise ship in the distance.