Students Travel to Fiji for Service Projects

Members of Nebraska Wesleyan University’s Global Service Learning student organization spent much of their year planning a service trip to Ukraine. As political upheaval and social unrest rocked the small eastern European country, they soon realized their plans needed to change.

That’s when Kelli Wood, Global Service Learning coordinator, helped the organization make plans for a service trip to Fiji.

On May 19, eight NWU students, Wood, and Eduardo Bousson, campus minister, boarded a plane to a small, remote village of 200 people. Their service includes digging drainage ditches, working on the village community center, and sharing activities and games with local children.

Wood said the village is remote with limited access to electricity. Students are learning to live like the villagers; sleeping in small buildings and taking bucket showers.

“The village is a strong community. Villagers meet there every night for music and stories,” said Wood. “We will be a part of that and really integrated into the culture.”

Because Fiji is a former British colony and many Indians were brought there to work in sugarcane fields during the colonization, there is some tension between native Fijians and the Indian immigrants, said Wood.

“We have a lot of political science majors who are interested in that,” she said. “The students are really interested in an opportunity of going to a place where they speak English, but has a rich history, culture, and people that we can learn so much about.”

The students return on May 31.

 

 

 

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