Vorovoro Island Updates Fall 2019
We've wrapped up our busy season on Vorovoro, and what a season it's been! Here's some highlights of what we've been up to this past summer:
Auburn University joined us for the 7th straight year for their "Sustainability in Action" study abroad course! Vinaka vakalevu to our dear friend and long time supporter Dr. Kate Thornton, who brought 17 students to live and learn in Vorovoro and the surrounding community for 5+ weeks. Some of the talented marketing folks from Auburn came as well and produced a video that beautifully captures what makes Vorovoro such an amazing and unique learning experience for students. Check it out!
Arizona State University's Dr. Anthony Lamanna brought a small team to Vorovoro to gather research to inform a feasibility study and sustainable development plan that focuses on solving Vorovoro's ongoing water scarcity issues, which inhibit the ability for the Vorovoro Cultural Centre to grow and expand programming. In addition to his research assistant Patrick, Tony brought Autodesk's Dace Campbell, who used drone mapping and virtual reality technology to assess the feasibility of creating a dam to provide water for agricultural use. You can read Redshift's article about Dace's work in Vorovoro here. ASU's generosity also provided and installed DC solar units in 2 of the visitor dorms and also in one house up in the Vorovoro Fijian village, as well as provided a portion of the solar components needed to install solar power at Nemani's farm (a generous Auburn student donated the panel!) Vinaka, ASU!
Welcome, Earlham College! Dr. Heather Lerner, Associate Professor of Biology and the Director of the Joseph Moore Museum at Earlham College, visited Vorovoro this past May. Heather came to scout out Vorovoro as a possible location for a future study abroad program in 2021. Heather spent time observing our study abroad program in action, and getting to know the BTG and Vorovoro community. She has joined the growing community that is supportive of the goals of the Vorovoro Cultural Centre, and intends to return in Spring 2020 to compile field research that will allow her and her students to assist Vorovoro with Cultural Centre developments such as creating exhibits relating to Vorovoro and Mali culture, heritage, natural environment and archeology and providing the Fijian community with the skills to present professional interpretative tours.
The 2019 Family Adventure Immersion Program = success vakalevu! Back in August, 10 adventurous and openhearted families joined us for 2 meaningful weeks of living and learning together with the Vorovoro community. What a truly remarkable time of connection, collaboration, and community we shared. The feedback from the families and the Fijian community was so overwhelmingly positive that we are offering 2 program opportunities for families in 2020 to live and learn on Vorovoro. Spaces won't last - don't wait! Visit the website to download the 2020 Vorovoro Family Adventure Guide today!
Island improvements! Thanks to the revenue and support created through our programs this year, we were able to replace and upgrade our solar power system, build a lovely new beachside vale (beach house), make repairs to our existing accommodations, and make much needed kitchen and tool supply purchases. And thanks to the generosity of our 2019 fundraiser donors, we were able to purchase tanks to increase our overall water catchment by 10,600 liters!
Thank you for your continued interest and support in Vorovoro and BTG. Stay tuned for more updates and announcements - we are hard at work preparing for the 2020 Vorovoro season - get ready for a year to remember!
Loloma to you on behalf of myself, BTG and Vorovoro,