Monday, October 22, 2007

A connection between Geelong and Vanua Levu

from w
I was surprised to read about our friend Joy in an article in the Fiji Times though we know how she loves Fiji and especially the people of Vanua Levu.
from Fiji Times today. The photo of Peceli with Joy was taken in September in Suva.

It is manna from heaven: Villagers
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A friendship formed in 1985 between a Nabavatu villager in Macuata and a retired nurse from Geelong, Melbourne in Australia has reaped sweet rewards for the villagers who would soon witness a great change to their living standards. The villagers have considered themselves lucky after the Geelong Rotary Club, of which the retired nurse, Joy Baxter, is a member, offered to help improve the living standard in the village.Planned developments includes, home renovation, improvement on water supply and sewerage system and electricity supply.

Village headman Sekisalia Taione said the help was manna from heaven because requests for development aid made to the ousted Soqosoqo Duavata ni Lewenivanua Government and the interim regime had fallen on deaf ears.

"It is indeed manna from heaven because we have done our part in fundraising and waited for the Government to put in their share and help us improve our water and sewerage systems and electricity supply to the village, but nothing came through," Mr Taione said.

He said the generosity of the club could never be compared to any local help because the areas identified to be fixed by members of the Geelong Rotary club were enormous.

"We are just grateful and without the club's assistance, I don't think we would easily achieve our goals in making a better life for our future generation."

The friendship between Kelera Ligairi and Mrs Baxter was conceived during a a Methodist church choir visit to Geelong Methodist church in Australia.

"When the group came, we made friends and got to know one another and Kelera and I became friends then and have always been in touch since the visit," said Mrs Baxter. "Our friendship has also seen my frequent trips to Nabalebale village, where Kelera lives and I have enjoyed my trips to Fiji.

"I don't go to any other parts of Fiji but to the North because it's peaceful and I enjoy it better then Viti Levu and for all my trips, the villagers have been friendly and made me feel at home with drinking kava and experiencing the local life," Mrs Baxter said.

Through Mrs Baxter's recommendation Nabavatu, was identified by Mrs Baxter. This resulted in a special trip to the village two weeks ago by Mrs Baxter and the club's international director David Barkley, who is an engineer by profession.

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