What to pack for a volunteer trip in Fiji
Volunteering in Fiji is an amazing experience however most experiences, need preparation! Here are a few must-haves when volunteering in Fiji.
When travelling to and through a village, respect and culture is heavily observed. The dress code in traditional villages is modest (particularly for women) and this includes covering the shoulders and wearing “sulus” (sarongs).
It is important that traditional customs are followed if you are visiting a village for the first time. A huge part of Fijian custom is the “i-sevusevu”. This is when the visitor presents the host village with a gift of Kava. This must be observed before permission is given to trespass on communal land.
Basic Fijian Language
Although this may not be super essential, it’s refreshing to greet Fijian people in their native language. Simple phrases like “Bula” (hello) to “Vinaka” (thank you) will take you a long way here in Fiji! Get familiar with some basic phrases to impress the local communities.
Fiji is most definitely the place where happiness finds you, and you’ll want to be sure to capture these happy moments. Hashtag #Fiji #FijiHappyMoment #Bulanaires when posting on social media.
Fiji is sunny all year round and staying hydrated is crucial.
You’ll be keeping your hands busy in Fiji, so don’t forget to keep them clean too! Hand sanitizers can be purchased from any local pharmacy or supermarket to ensure that you always have some available on your volunteer projects
For the safety of yourself and people around you, be sure to bring basic supplies such as plasters, antiseptic cream, antibacterial hand wash, sting relief cream, antihistamine tablets, re-hydration salts, and water purification tablets.
When the sun sets, villages can be very dark with minimal artificial lighting. For your convenience, it is advisable to bring a head torch, hand torch or even small solar powered lanterns to use when necessary.
You may be required to work on reefs or mountainous landscapes, it is best to pack durable footwear for any terrain.
A positive attitude
It may sound cliché, but a ‘can do attitude’ and sense of adventure is a key ingredient for any volunteering program. Starting with the end goal in mind is one way to go!