Meanwhile, Somewhere in the South Pacific

November 18, 2011

I am in such admiration my wonderful friend and old New England Aquarium cohort, Christine, that I had to share with you what she is up to.  She is an Environmental Resource Management volunteer with the Peace Corps in Fiji!  Sure Fiji can be a tropical paradise with azure waters and some of the most pristine coral reefs still in existence, but her small village is a far cry from the resorts of Bora Bora.  We are talking spiders hiding in your rolls of toilet paper and no power outlets.  The only source of energy are solar panels on each roof to provide electricity for lighting.  Needless to say I would last about 45 min there. She is amazing.

A project in which she is working involves the children of the village.  She works on group teeth brushing every morning, as well encouraging trash and litter clean up.  For completing these tasks the children get fake coins or money, which they can then use to purchase small toys and games from her little “store.”  Here is where we can help.  Christine needs some help in stocking this “store.”  We are talking about small, dollar store items, nothing too big or expensive.  The items need to fit in with the other toys she has to offer and allow the children the opportunity to save up enough coins to get something.

The hope is that through this program, the children of the village are learning trash management skills, dental hygiene and also learning a bit about handling money and a sense of appreciation for saving it.

If you want to help she would love it!  Here is a list of good items (we are talking dollar store items) and her address in Fiji.  Normal, slow mail will be fine.

• pretty pencils/stationary items

• crayons, colored pencils

• slinkies

• silly putty

• cheap jump ropes (other such outdoor toys)

• bouncing balls, inflatable balls (beach balls

• simple and cheap children’s picture books

• fake jewelry items for the girls

• matchbox car type things for the boys

Christine San Antonio
Box 831
Savusavu, Cakaudrove
Vanua Levu, Fiji
South Pacific


More pictures from her village


Christine’s house



I have a trip to the dollar store on my to do list and a bunch of things I want to send Christine.  I hope you can join with me.

3 Responses to “Meanwhile, Somewhere in the South Pacific”

  1. cecilia said

    Count me in! It will be my Black Friday project. Not buying for ourselves but for others! Perfect thing to remind us of all that we are “thankful” for.

    • Sarah Winchester said

      Fabulous. Thanks for joining in. I just went to the dollar bins at Target and got lots of goodies. I’ll make sure to have Christine update up with photos.

  2. Christine said

    How did I never see this blog before?! Sarah you’re so wonderful and the toys you all sent were spot on! Naturally, they’re used up by now but we’ve gotten by with a steady flow of donations:) I only have three months left in my village!

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