My time volunteering
1963-64 assigned to teach at the Teacher’s Training College in Bikenibeu Tarawa
An unforgettable experience of life on a tiny atoll
After a month’s wait in Fiji we boarded a small ship delivering and collecting goods at many of the islands in the Gilbert and Ellice Island chain. Seven days later we were at our destination Tarawa.The capital what is now is Kiribati .
As a recent school leaver all of the students at the TTC were several years my senior
Their generosity and kindness knew no bounds
I shared a house with 5 other volunteers, 3 school leavers and 2 graduates. Three taught at the local high school and the fourth built the new landing strip!
Our house was adjacent to the beach and thus evenings and weekends were often spent in the water, canoeing, surfing or catching fish
In our time there we built a youth club, a runway for the first land planes, organized the first inter-island sports competition, and ran film nights at the local TB clinic.
A very sad for all of us in the summer of 64 when we flew back to Fiji and on to the UK
The impact of my placement
I went on to become a teacher and have travelled extensively
I am now retired and once again living on an island
My unforgettable moments
My best memories were the the Gilbertese people and their very simple but very beautiful way of life
The impact my placement has had on me
I remained a teacher all my life