Volunteers treated to Thanksgiving dinner

Peace Corps volunteers int he North during their Thanksgiving dinner over the weeked. Picture: LUKE RAWALAI

THOUSANDS of miles away from their homes and families, more than 20 Peace Corps volunteers celebrated Thanksgiving Day last Saturday.

In the spirit of the celebrations, Labasa’s Ami Kohli and North Pole owner Vinesh Dayal hosted the Australian and American nationals — who were based in the three provinces of Cakaudrove, Bua and Macuata — to celebrate the annual American Thanksgiving Day.

Officiating at the dinner, Mr Kohli said they felt it was their duty to thank the volunteers for what they were doing within the communities.

He said the local communities benefited from the sharing of knowledge and skills.

He said the work and sacrifice of volunteers was deeply touching and commendable because they chose to leave their homes and loved ones to help Fijians.

“This is what Thanksgiving Day is about, it is about being grateful for the gift of life and those that help make it more meaningful,” he told volunteers.

“Even though you are far away from your families, please know that we the Fijian people are your next of kin.

“We appreciate you and want to thank you for the selfless dedication that you have made to come and serve our people.”

Mr Dayal said the get-together would now be a monthly meet as a platform for volunteers to meet and share their experiences.

Meanwhile, volunteer Daryus Person, who is based in Kavula Village, Bua, said even without the traditional Thanksgiving Day turkey, they were grateful for the kind gesture adding it meant a lot for him and his friends.

Mr Person said even though they missed their own homes, they had to come to accept the villages and communities as their own homes.

In his native Kavula dialect he said with a smile, “Sa re vahalaevu a vei nanumi (thank you for thinking of us).”

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