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Fish identification, Shark Stanley and Rubbish Relays – My first two weeks on Caqalai

By Alicia Falkenhahn 4 years ago
Categories Fiji Islands

Fish identification, Shark Stanley and Rubbish Relays – My first two weeks on Caqalai


I fell in love with Fiji from the very beginning when a group of Fijians were singing and playing music in the airport. Fijians are always laughing, helpful and friendly! Everything is so different from Germany and I really enjoy every minute, especially Kava time and Fiji time.


Now to Caqalai, the island where I’ve been living for over 2 weeks. At the beginning I had to study and practice for my Advanced 0pen Water Diving License. Afterwards, I was able to focus on the fish species for the survey dives which I will commence very soon. Besides the amazing diving, we go to school once a week and teach awareness lessons to the primary school students.











Last week our topic was sharks. Did you know that there are more than 400 different species and the smallest shark is only around 20 centimetres ‘long’? Did you know that over 90% of some shark populations have been wiped out? Did you know that humans have explored only 5% of the ocean? Or that the biggest fish is the whale shark? They can be over 12m long! The first question I asked the children was, “Are all sharks dangerous?” The next second I could see 24 arms in the air and the words “Yes, Madam!” Their answer was actually a surprise for me. By the end of the lesson the children had learned through games, stories and drawings that sharks are not that dangerous and that they are very important for maintaining the balance in marine ecosystems.






Healthy reefs need sharks






Today we started with the problem of waste, why we have waste and what waste is. After some conversations and a little story about a plastic bottle in the ocean we played a quiz about how long it takes for different waste items to decompose. Did you know that a plastic bottle needs 450 years before it breaks down or that a glass bottle takes 1 million years?

Then we went out and played a rubbish relay game. The kids had to separate different kind of rubbish (aluminium, steel, cardboard, glass and plastic). They loved the relay and they became really good at separating the five materials. At the end we played Bingo using rubbish words, which was a huge success. Finally, we used their new recycling point to dispose of some of the waste we had brought for the lesson.


Alicia Falkenhahn