Communication blunders

Jul 08

Communication blunders

Time is not the only thing that’s different here in Fiji. For some reason, both my husband and I have (on completely separate occasions) asked two different ladies if they have children, and have been told no (or so we thought). After we got to know each lady better, we found out that each has one daughter. That is still a puzzle to us both. One aspect of this...

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My first Barangay fiesta

Jul 07

My first Barangay fiesta

So, what exactly is a Barangay fiesta? My account of it included minimal sleep, loud and I mean LOUD commercial pop music and lots of food! It’s an important time in every barangay (community), most often coinciding with summer, and is the one time of the year where everyone can relax, do nothing and catch up with family. Well…. except for the female head of the...

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It all starts with a vision

Jul 02

It all starts with a vision

Malo e lelei The financial education program at SPBD Tonga begins at every centre with a vision exercise in which clients are asked to draw their vision for the future. I had the privilege to see and hear some of the clients’ visions this week ahead of the introduction of the new financial booklets in all of our centres. It is such a powerful exercise. Some of the...

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Help International Field Trip

Jun 27

Help International Field Trip

I have been working for the past couple of weeks with some student volunteers from Help International, an American NGO that sends student volunteers to a number of countries across the world during university holidays. SPBD is currently hosting four volunteers, who are assisting me with the Financial Education Program. We are working together to conduct an evaluation...

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FSO diaries: This month in Tonga….

Jun 26

FSO diaries: This month in Tonga….

1. Cycling to secret beaches I’ve bought myself a bike in Tonga. It has zero suspension, a rock hard seat, the gears don’t work, and has crooked front wheel alignment… but it has survived. This weekend I took it out with some friends and visited a secret little beach and a spectacular land bridge about an hour out of town, through farms with tall grass and...

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Adventures on the road!

Jun 23

Adventures on the road!

Last week, I accompanied Rico (SPBD Fiji’s General Manager) and Nathan on a visit to the Sigatoka SPBD Centre for their first Financial Education Facilitator (FEF) training. A significant part of my role with Good Return will be supporting SPBD in developing this training, which will soon see an FEF trained in each village. These ladies are village women who will...

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