Monday, November 10, 2014

Village Life On Nugu

I followed the beach around from the Nugu Beach Resort where we were staying, leaving my group behind, to get a glimpse into the village just beyond. Such an isolated place to live, tucked away from the world, I wanted to see what these people were up to on a Sunday.

I had missed the church services of the morning, but as I wandered through the first cluster of homes, I could sense a quiet and a sleepy feel to the day. Not many people were seen in this first area, but soon I was to find my first companion.

He was shy at first, but seemed to determinedly tag along behind me, as if he had seen me first. He hesitated, but seeing me not worry too much about his presence, he continued.

Soon, other kids must have asked him about his walking partner out on this Sunday, and they joined us too. Before I knew it, I had a trail of very simply-clad children following along behind me, on my wander through the village.

I had acknowledged the first boy with a smile and a nod, and a couple of the other joining companions, but not made a fuss about them. My aim really was just to walk through the main path of the village, sticky-beak at life going on, not disturbing anything, and then return to the side of the island of the Resort.

But then I got to a point where I needed to cross a creek, and the first boy following along showed me a better way. This started our interactions. I asked him where his school was, and then he was proudly determined to show me.

A couple of older boys gathered around this white girl and her trail of village kids, and apparently upon hearing that we were headed for the school, ran off ahead.

I nodded greetings to people out on their basic wooden porch as I passed. To women going about the days work. I stopped at a gathering, as one man came up to introduce himself, and chat about where I was from. The kids then must have announced we were headed to the school, because he then saw me off, and I was walking once again.

I wasn't entirely sure what they were up to, as they guiding me down the path to the building at the end which they indicated was their school. The older man earlier had mentioned that there was a new teacher, and new teacher lodging just completed, and it seemed that the older boys from before came to join my little procession of kids from there.

As I reached the school building, a man appeared at the top stairs and came down to join me. He introduced himself as the new teacher, and proceeded to show me around.

He explained that some classes have been off for a few months now, but were due to recommence in the next month.

I wandered through the bottom floor classrooms, which we open, for a look at the setting and took in the lessons still on the board. Simple seating and desk, maths was the last class it appeared.

The teacher then invited me upstairs to more classrooms, and also unlocked a room to the office. He asked me to sign the visitors book, as we continued to chat about his class, and the gathering of kids from the island to attend. The high school he advised, was on the other side of the island, through the middle.

I left him to continue to enjoy his day off, and said bye to all the kids, and started my walk back through the village and back to the inlet where I was staying.

A couple of kids trailed after me for a bit, making sure I could find the way. I waved to the gathering of families sitting by the community hall and church.

A brief look into the life on the island. Simple, basic, but happy and content. Schooling and family, and a beautiful setting.

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