Sarote came through our hostel and school system and is now staff and responsible for the older girls in the main hostel. As all Fijian ladies have, Sarote has a lovely smile and when she smiles, her whole face lights up and her eyes twinkle. If anyone is unsure of a sign, Sarote will know it, and make sure that the sign is correct before she carries on with whatever she is doing. The younger children love her and she is often seen giving one of them a hug. Sarote, we hope you are with us for many years to come.
Asenaca also came up through our hostels and school and is now a very important member of our team. She and Sarote are both frequently asked to lead our morning devotion and we are left with some really encouraging thoughts and verses from the Bible to think on as we go about our day. Asenaca is a great worker and is often washing dishes and sweeping the floor. Once again, the children know where to go when they need a cuddle. She is also a “sign expert” and is able to show us the correct way to place our fingers!! Please stay with us Asenaca.
Asinate is Liti’s helper and is responsible for the meat and market shopping as well as balancing the books. She knows where she can get the best deal, the best produce, and a ”wheelbarrow man” to take her purchases back to the supermarket to meet up with the grocery shoppers. Asinate is also “fun loving” and some of our trips to and from shopping are very entertaining. Asinate is day staff and we miss her when she goes home to her family in the evenings. Vegetable preparation would be very quiet without Asinate!!
Fine is Tema’s mum, and a wonderful mum to six of our senior hostel girls. Fine is about to turn 70, is full of energy, wisdom and very humble. When Fine speaks, everyone listens, and is grateful for the advice she gives. On the other hand, she is quite capable of a good “one liner” and can have us all laughing at her humour. Parents of her girls can rest assured that their young ladies are well cared for, and living under the guidance of a wonderful lady. Thank you “Ma”, and we wish you a very happy 70th birthday this month.
Miriama first came to the hostel in 1997 so has been around for 22 years. After being a student, Miriama became hostel staff and worked tirelessly washing and cooking at the main hostel, until more recently she became a teacher aide at school. She still lives at the hostel and has carried on with some of her duties, including taking her turn at rising very early to prepare breakfast and lunches for the children before she goes to school, and then helping with the evening meal after she returns. Miriama has a great knowledge of the workings for both the hostels and the school. She loves her sport and doesn’t like to be beaten in a running race!!
Mela has been part of HDM for many years as well, and after completing her schooling, left for a while and then came back. She too lives at the hostel and is a teacher aide during the day, but still takes her turn with the duties. Mela loves to run, and most evenings can be seen pounding the streets of Suva in the heat. As are all the staff, Mela is very protective of the children, and anyone else, who may need rescuing from the many dogs which wander around our streets. She has worked out that rocks are a good deterrent to any dog who is getting too close, and has a supply in various places!! We owe you Mela!!
Tomasi, who is also a teacher, lives in the boy’s hostel and is often “on duty” when Tony and Tema are required to be elsewhere in the evenings. Tomasi is a great organiser and is often our up front person on special occasions. He is also our games man and the children love to join in on the fun and are ready for some rest after he has had them running around for an hour or two. Tomasi has his licence and is our driver when more than one vehicle is required to transport the children or when Tony is not available. Whenever we have a lovo, Tomasi with the help of the senior boys, is responsible for putting the lovo down and making sure the food is cooked to perfection. He is a man with many skills!!
Thank you for taking the time to read about our current hostel staff. We are grateful for the commitment they show to our “big family” and please pray for each of them, that they will have patience and wisdom as they love and care for the children.
We will introduce you to our dedicated teaching staff sometime in the future.
Our children have enjoyed the last two weeks of holidays and this week they will all gradually arrive back at school and the hostels, for the second term. Our teaching staff started back at the end of last week in order to prepare lessons, and work on different options for the next 13 weeks.
As there hasn’t been any action with the children, let me introduce you to some of our amazing hostel staff:
The team is headed by Tema (right), our Hostel Director, who oversees and is ultimately responsible for all three hostels. Tema and Tony and their four-year-old son Temnik, are house parents at the boy’s hostel. Apart from her daily duties of being “Mum” to six teenage boys, Tema spends a lot of time working with Fiji Immigration on behalf of students and anyone else who requires a visa to come and help with the ministry. Tema also accompanies any students requiring a doctor after hours, and has spent many nights
sitting waiting their turn at the local medical centre. She is often out and about interpreting in the evenings and her position is certainly not a nine – to – five job. We often witness the great rapport she has with the children’s parents. Tema has been working with Harland Deaf Ministries for nineteen years and has had a huge impact on many lives. Thank you Tema
Mere (left) is responsible for the daily running of our main hostel and each evening after the children have gone to bed, she will be found writing up the white board with the next days’ timetable. Mere looks after her 16 boy’s downstairs and keeps them looking “loved and well cared for”, and the new little boys who come to our hostel are soon into routine under Mere’s guidance. She keeps her “flat” spotless, well organised, and all her boys have their own basket where they can find their clean clothes. Keep up the great work Mere!!
Liti has been with us since 2008, and is our cook. She does a fantastic job of preparing food for around fifty every week day, and organising for each hostel to do their own cooking over the weekend. Liti who is day staff, rises at 3.30am, leaves home at 5am and is often not home in the evening until about 7pm, depending on when she can leave the hostel knowing that everything is under control for the evening meal. Liti with her team of four, heads off to the market and supermarket on Tuesday and Friday mornings, returns to the hostel and sets to work on her cooking. She is “full of fun” and is often found entertaining the other hostel staff. Liti, we couldn’t function without you!
Ana was one of Vivienne Harland’s first pupils in 1995, and went on to become hostel staff. Ana is an amazing worker who never seems to sit still for long and will always offer tea to anyone who turns up at the hostel. She sleeps with six of the younger girls in her room and it is quite common for her to be woken in the night by one of her girls needing attention. Please pray for Ana, that she will get a good night’s sleep, as it is very hard to convince her that she needs to rest in the middle of the day. Ana’s day off is Friday, when she will often travel by bus, to see her mum and care for her. We love you Ana.
Va has been with us for four years now and has quickly picked up sign language through living in the hostel. Va is also responsible for several of our younger girls and we have recently bought her some new bunks so that they all have a bed and she no longer has to sleep on a very thin mattress on the floor. Her bedroom is a little like a jig saw puzzle, and if it was taken apart, I suspect no one but she could put it back together again. Va is a “thinker” and often comes up a way “things” could be done differently. During the first term, Va became quite ill and was back in her village for some time. We are thankful that God answered prayer and she was able to come back to us.
Please pray for these wonderful ladies and the balance of staff will follow in the next blog.
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