Island News

From the Mountain To The Sea: Highlander Teacher, Says Island Life Amazes Him

Coming from the highlands and to experiencing island life has given him a totally new perception of life especially travelling the high seas by boat.
03 Mar 2020 11:52
From the Mountain To The Sea: Highlander Teacher, Says Island Life Amazes Him
Manasa Yavala with the Year 11 students of Ratu Finau Secondary School in Lau. Sitting second from left is his younger sister, Vika Yavala.

Living in the island is amazing, says Manasa Yavala.

Mr Yavala, who got his first rural posting to Ratu Finau Secondary School in Tubou, Lakeba, Lau, early this year, says the experience was something he never expected.

He is originally from Narukunibua Village in Namosi.

Coming from the highlands and to experiencing island life has given him a totally new perception of life especially travelling the high seas by boat.

Mr Yavala was accompanied by his father Joe and younger sister Vika, who now joins Ratu Finau Secondary School.

They left Suva for Lakeba on the MV Brianna franchise last month.

He said they spent two nights and a day at sea before reaching Lakeba.

This is his fourth year teaching Applied Technology. He spent three years at Marist Brothers High School before he was posted to Lau.

Mr Yavala said he was shocked when he received his new posting, but happy at the same time.

“This is my first rural posting,” he said.

“I’m happy because this is the first time I visited islands in Lau.

“I enjoyed the sights, people and the island itself, it’s so beautiful.”

Mr Yavala said he was welcomed by the teachers and the principal of the school.

“I only have five students in my class, so there’s not much to worry about.”

He is teaching Technical Drawing, Basic Technology and Applied Technology for Year Nine to Year 13 students.

Manasa Yavala (left), with fellow teachers of Ratu Finau Secondary School in Lau.

Manasa Yavala (left), with fellow teachers of Ratu Finau Secondary School in Lau.

School location

“The school is located away from the village on a hill, looking down at the sea,” he said.

“Here I go to mass every Sunday in Tubou, and last week was my first Ash Wednesday away from my loved ones.”

The school has internet access where Mr Yavala gets the chance to update himself with the news and also reach out to his family members through social media platforms.

Challenges

Mr Yavala was homesick during his first month.

He said living on the island includes social and geographical isolation, transportation problems and some community challenges.

Manasa Yavala and his father, Joe Yavala.

Manasa Yavala and his father, Joe Yavala.

Food

“I love the food here, we eat seafood every day. It took me time to learn how to eat crabs.”

Savings

Mr Yavala said now he was able to save money compared to his years of teaching in Suva.

Edited by Selita Bolanavanua

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