Fiji Kinde Team – October 2011 Thank You from Karen McSunas

November 17, 2011 · 0 comments

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Dear Friends and Family!

Thank you sooooo very much for your words of encouragement, prayer, and financial support of me and the Fiji Kinde Project.  It was an amazing trip and I felt honored to be a part of it!!  We were there for only ten days but excited to see the many ways in which we were able to help train and equip the Fijian people who came to learn and make a difference in their country’s early childhood education.  They are such a lovely people with big hearts I couldn’t help but fall in love with them!  Their desire to educate and raise up their children for the next generation, as well as using their own gifts and talents in a meaningful and life-changing way was truly inspiring.

We had two different training sessions in two different locations while we were there.  The first village was called Nabila (pronounced Nambila).  We were hosted at a nearby resort (Tavarua) because they wanted to be part of giving back to the village that most of its employees come from.  Each day we would wear clothes respecting their culture (the Sulu and Sulu Chamba), take a 20 minute boat ride (small boat with outboard motor – waves often splashing us in the face – haha! : )  ) to the village school where there was a Kindergarten that had been established a year prior by Fiji Kinde Project and was up and running with the rest of the 1st-8th grade classrooms.  We demonstrated the lesson plans, music, p.e. games, reading, learning aids, etc. with the existing Kindergarten class in the morning. Then, after lunch with the trainees, we had an afternoon session without the children to go over different teaching skills.  On the last day of the training, we gave them the opportunity to teach the K classroom and observe each other.  At the end we had a graduation and a traditional Fijian ceremony to mark the occasion.

I would say in many ways they are a Christian nation as they easily integrate faith in the public school.  They value teaching their children scripture, songs and prayer in the school setting!!  The official from the Dept. of Education opened our training with words of encouragement and prayer!!  For a minute I felt I was back at Mariners Christian School!!  They place a high value on leadership, education, and honoring each other.  I was touched to see the value they give God and His word.

The second area we went to was in Vunaniu Village – another part of the country, where again we stayed at a nearby resort that wanted to support the Fiji Kinde Project.  We couldn’t have been more blessed with the accommodations, and although it wasn’t my expectation, I enjoyed having the time to refresh and regroup before heading out to the villages again.  We met the most lovely local people who were so appreciative and hospitable, who prepared traditional meals for us and welcomed us into their homes.  Their smiles, faces and caring ways will never be forgotten!

I’ve attached a short slideshow I hope you will enjoy and perhaps you can catch a glimpse of what it was like.  (Kristi, my niece is in many photos with me – so great to have her on the trip too!)

Thank you for sharing in this adventure with me!  The support of my family (especially Tim) and friends are what made it possible for me to go!

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=2EbMmzVs2YuLg (make sure to expand the screen to see it larger!)

With love and thanksgiving!

Karen McSunas

(Fiji Kinde Team – Oct. 2011 – Ann Cooper, Devon Kelly, Kristi Bjorkman, Karen McSunas, Marilee and Allison Schneider)”This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down His life for us.  And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”  I John 3:16

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