BEING posted to a rural school has come as a blessing for 22-year-old Rajinesh Chand, the only Fijian teacher of Indian descent at Ratu Emeri Catholic Primary School in Kubulau, Bua.
Originally from Bulileka, Labasa, and for someone who grew up among Fijians of Indian descent, the new environment of having to work and live with the iTaukei is an eye-opener.
Wandering along the school compound during Library Week celebrations, it was easy to single out the slender Fijian of Indian decent teacher laughing away with men from Kilaka Village in Bua as they prepared a lovo.
There at the edge of the lovo sat this young man talking away in the Bua dialect as if he were a local.
Mr Chand said the experience of being at the school was challenging at first but fitted in once he began to know people from neighbouring Kilaka and Nakorovou villages.
"When I started teaching at the school I had to go on a trip to Labasa every weekend for a trip that I usually call the 'in touch with civilisation' trip," said Mr Chand.
"Now things have changed. I make trips when the need arises or when I get a call from my worried mother wandering what is keeping me away for so long in the jungles of Bua.
"The friendliness of these wonderful people has been the special glue that is keeping me in the village to the point that I start missing dalo, rourou and prawn with lolo when I am away from the village."
Mr Chand said during his stay at the school, one thing has become clearer to him and that was racial harmony was possible if love was the true basis of relationships.
"This career has been a blessing for me when I come to think about the experiences I have shared with all these beautiful people," he said.