It's been a couple weeks since I've gotten anything up here, but in my defence, I've been doing quite a bit of traveling. The first training session I did with the new group went really well, and during that week I was able to get some good meeting in with WWF and a few other people to line up some future work. I took advantage of the long weekend (June 16th was the Queens Birthday observed holiday) and spend some time traveling around the big island. I spent a couple days over in Sigatoka (on the Western side of Viti Levu) and actually got in a bit of diving. It wasn't the best that I have ever done, but it was nice to just get out there in the water again. That side of the country is pretty difficult to get over to on any regular sort of basis, so it was nice to see some of those volunteers and hang out for the weekend. When I got back to Labasa from that trip I had a meeting with a some local stakeholders and officials about the environmental issues that we are facing here in Labasa. I didn't get as many people out as I had hoped, but the meeting went really well, and looks like it is going to be a group that gets together regularly. We discussed several different things, but we layed out a framework for addressing some important problems (like litter control and waste disposal). It was just an initial meeting, but I'm excited for the direction it looks to be heading. Last week I was also in Suva for a couple more training sessions with the new group. It's good to see some new blood coming in, and I am excited for those volunteers that are coming up here to do so. I just got back on Saturday, and am trying to get back in the groove.
During the next couple weeks the group that came in before mine will be departing. It only reinforces how fast the past year has seemed to go. It also looks like I will be invloved with starting a youth organization in the area. A local NGO (Save the Children) is looking to expand a branch of one of their programs up into my provenence, and they are planning on using my position here as a facilitation point to make it happen. It should be a good project; it deals a lot with empowering children and young adults to take leadership rolls and such. I don't have a whole lot of experience with these kinds of things, but I'm looking forward to the prospect of it. I go back down to Suva in a couple weeks for another training sessions. The new groups finds out their sites in July 4th, and we are all eagerly anticipating it to find out which of the new volunteers are coming up to our area. I have a few other things going on here and there, but I should be able to get back up here next week.