Volunteer: Molly Powers
I was born in Boston and grew up in Lexington, MA. I attended Vassar College where I got a BA in Religious Studies in anthropology after which I traveled about for a few years, working as on an organic farm and later on boats as a cook and an environmental educator.
I applied for Peace Corps and was posted to Fiji in 2005. I fell in love with the country immediately and over my two years I learned to speak Fijian and my local dialect fluently. My site was in the rural province of Ra on the coast, and I was working in environmental resource management with my counterpart the village chief. I also worked with two local schools, a women's club, and a maternity hospital within walking distance of my village. We accomplished a number of projects including a beekeeping project for the women's club, a composting toilet, world map projects, village clean up initiatives, and a footpath through the village.
I continued to live and work in Fiji for a private foundation after my COS date, and during my time in the captial city, Suva, I met my current partner, Jim Tora. I left my position in Fiji last August to return to school for my masters degree in development practice at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, but I'm excited that Jim will be joining me here in just a few weeks for Christmas. Fiji is truly a part of me and always will be!
Contributions from Molly Powers
After completing our World Map project at Saivou District School, I wanted the kids to see themselves how much they'd learned. They'd taken a pop-quiz before the project began and few could name more than 5 countries around the world, or tell you which continent was where. After the project, I clipped up all my precious newsweeks and on each photo wrote the name of a different country where the picture was taken. The kids lined up in relay teams to see who could get rid of their stack of phot...
This was part of a ceremony to officially honor the opening of the Ra provincial meeting house- a building that took many years to fundraise and build. cheif guest of the day was then Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase (who was ousted in Fiji's 4th coup later that same year). In any case, native Fijians love a good celebration and they take their local protocal very seriously, especially with such an important guest. These local men are dressed in traditional leaf skirts and slathered in coconut ...