Project Fiji Participant Info.

See required forms below.

Dear Fiji Missionary Participant:

I would like to extend a personal welcome for joining our mission work in Fiji. This is going to be a great opportunity to do positive, uplifting works in the name of Jesus Christ. A critical aspect of our work in Fiji is to help change our own lives by doing His work. I hope you will be understanding if a few things go wrong here and there, but they will be opportunities for extra adventure and a learning experience to get it right next time.

The main goal is to build our mission facility to support all of our work in Fiji. The long-term goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Continue to develop our mobile medical and dental clinics.
  • Provide educational assistance to Vatuvonu & Nagigi SDA Schools.
  • As the mission grows, we are extending our services to other schools and communities in Fiji.

An important consideration for the interdenominational aspect of the the Dream Machine Foundation encourages all
Christians that truly follow Christ’s teachings to work together. As a Seventh-day Adventist Christian I am eagerly looking forward to having other Christians see my church laboring at what it does best, bringing the love and word of God to all the countries and peoples of the world through a health and educational ministry.

Now some practical considerations. The town of Savusavu is 80 kilometers or two hours of driving time from our mission facility and Vatuvonu School. Our dormitory has sleeping pads on cots with springs in a metal frame. There are hot showers, flush toilets, and 110 volt electricity (the generators are mostly run in the evening for three hours and for work projects). Food is provided, and clothes are washed by hand. Everyone should be aware that the Fijians will try to treat you like honored guests and do everything for you. As such, we need to work extra hard to share equally in housekeeping. Project Fiji will provide for all the necessary provisions, which will include lots of fresh fruits and local foods. Even people who don’t normally like cooked greens are going to be surprised by the wonderful diversity of taste of the Fijian garden-fresh green vegetables.

There will be a charge of $10 per day per person for building and equipment maintenance. We will prepare a profit loss statement to outline your other actual costs, which will include, food, fuel, transportation salary for the cook, local transportation, etc. Please note that the charge per person will be determined by the actual cost, we do not profit from these charges, even though we have other operational costs to support each mission group. Depending upon what projects your group will be participating in will determine the need for build materials, etc.

In reference to clothing, Fiji is in the tropics with weather very much like Hawaii’s. Since Fiji is in the southern hemisphere anticipate that the seasons are the opposite of what we expect in the good old USA. March is the threshold of the fall dry season. It should be very comfortable. Expect to wear shorts, T-shirts, and tennis shoes a lot. You will want to bring long-sleeved shirts and pants for evenings to protect from mosquitoes.

Especially for women: Fijians dress very modestly, particularly outside of the city, where most of our mission groups will spend their time. You will rarely find a woman wearing pants or shorts in the village. In fact, it is disrespectful for a woman to enter a village without wearing a skirt or sulu (traditional Fijian wrap around skirt) that reaches below the knees, and Fijian women will deliberately avoid going to visit even their best friend at a neighboring village if they are not dressed appropriately, so as not to offend anyone. We highly encourage the women in our mission groups to respect the culture as well, and to pack plenty of cool, comfortable skirts to wear while in Fiji. The Fijians will love it if you try to wear their traditional sulu as well, however these can take some getting used to, and you’ll probably be more comfortable in a skirt from home for much of the time. If you plan on doing construction work, very modest shorts/capris/pants are acceptable. Scrubs are also appropriate for ladies doing medical work. When swimming, bathing suits should be worn with shorts and t-shirt. Spaghetti strap, tank top type shirts are not very appropriate to wear in Fiji.

Note: there is the threat of getting dengue fever in Fiji, particularly during the rainy season (Jan – Mar). Of the three thousand volunteers that have visited Fiji with the Dream Machine Foundation, I am only aware of one person who has gotten it. A mission group with another organization had six people come down with it. Simple mosquio precautions prevents infection.. It is a mosquito-born disease that can cause fevers of up to 107 degrees. Victims experience pain in the joints, severe headaches and requires rather simple medical attention…which we can provide. Dengue fever is more likely to occur around major cities. This disease is nowhere near as severe as malaria, however we do need to take precautions. (The Dengue bearing- mosquito is a day-time biting bug…that means take precautions from a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset. I find insect repellent that contains neet to be excellent). Everyone must take an adequate supply of mosquito repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts with pants at night and sleep under mosquito nets. The dormitory has mosquito netting on the windows and individual mosquito nets hang over each bed. Be sure to tuck the net under your mattress.

While on the subject of diseases it is critical to know what precautions to take in advance. The below listed diseases (click on hyperlinks for more information) are present in Fiji, however we do take serious precautions to limit their presence at Vatuvonu School. All of these diseases are actively present in the United States. Please note that the Fiji Tourist Board, nor do I know of any travel agency or resort, that advises tourists of these diseases. They tend to be mostly a problem for villagers that don’t practice good housekeeping or take simple mosquito precautions. All our volunteers are cautioned not to eat food or drink untreated water in villages away from Vatuvonu School. Our water is treated and food carefully prepared with full precautions.

Dengue Fever click here, Hantavirus click here, Leptospirosis click here, and Hepatitis A click here.

Now back to clothing. Consider a pair of good hiking shoes. The school is surrounded with ridges, hills, and a lush rainforest. If you take plenty of clothes, no one will have to worry about doing very much laundry. Helpful hint: on departure, leave your clothes with the villagers who will greatly appreciate them. Plus, it will leave room in your luggage to take presents home. This is the tropics so don’t forget hats and sun tan lotion. Rain- coats are an unnecessary bother in the tropics. An umbrella can be very helpful for shade as well as rain. Shorts and T-shirts are comfortable for day-wear and easy to wash. Local women tend to dress very conservative. Modesty is important. It is OK for women to swim in swimsuits with a T-shirt and shorts.

Enclosed is a personal information questionnaire that needs to be filled out and returned as soon as possible to Stephen Arrington, PO Box 3234, Paradise, CA 95967. Read our checklist for clothing and personal items. Everyone can take one carry-on bag and check one bag. This is a great opportunity for you to consider bringing extra soap, toothbrushes, etc.

We have now treated not 25,000, but over 30,000 patients, flown 7 fijians to the USA for life and limb saving surgeries and saved hundreds of lives.  Really feels good being able to write that.

For scuba divers we have access to two of the world’s best dive sites through local dive shops, which also offer scuba instruction. All equipment can be easily rented, but it is best to bring your own mask, fins, booties, and snorkel. This is tropical diving so divers need only 3mm wetsuits. In the town of Savusavu, the Cousteau Resort offers incredible diving at a reduced rate for Project Fiji missionaries.

Thank you again for participating in the mission project. May the Lord bless our work.

Click on the following forms for printable copies.

Personal Items Check List

Release, Consent and Assumption of Risks

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