Capital City mesmerises island children

Jone Draunidalo with his students after visiting the Fiji Times office. The group were visiting landmarks around Suva as part of their sightseeing visit. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

WHEN schoolteacher Jone Draunidalo set foot on Suva with his students from the Lau Group, he couldn’t help but smile at his students’ curious stares and excited chatter.

“Most of them have never been to Suva, so to see the cars and buses is quite a sight for them,” he said smiling.

The students are from Totoya Island in Lau. They attend Ketei District School where Mr Draunidalo has been teaching for the past six years. They were in Suva to make use of the school holidays.

While on their trip, Mr Draunidalo decided to take the children on a tour around the city. Most watched open-mouthed as the busy Suva streets greeted them. It certainly was a sight.

“It’s a long way from the swaying coconut trees and the quiet island life back home,” the schoolteacher said chuckling.

“But it’s quite an experience. I want these kids to experience what city life is like and an eye-opening experience as they visit landmarks around Viti Levu.”

The children aged six to 13 had paid a visit to The Fiji Times office earlier this week where they were shown how the newspaper worked including the production area.

“We had just returned from attending the 13th Fiji National Jamboree Scout event in Labasa the previous week, and while we are in Suva waiting for our boat back, I thought to take the students around and give them an educational tour of the city and businesses here,” he said.

According to Mr Draunidalo, the students have managed to visit the Weather Station at Laucala Bay in Suva, the Fiji Naval Base, and around Suva City. “Life in the outer islands is wonderful, you eat fish every day — breakfast, lunch and dinner,” he says.

“This was my first posting to the islands and I’ve really enjoyed every moment of it. “The boat comes to the islands only twice a month and it’s the only time you can leave.

“But life has been great. Teaching is a calling and you make do with what you have. “I’d like to thank The Fiji Times and the other organisations for accepting our visit at such a short notice — you don’t know what an influence you have made on these young kids and I hope it has inspired them,” he said.

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