We have made it to the village! This morning, we arrived to a wonderful welcoming in Natokalau. We were greeted with music, flowers, and a light lunch of green coconut and tuna sandwiches.

Isa receives her lei.

Isa receives her lei.

Natokalau is home to 17 families. We got a tour of the village, met the chief, and settled into our new home. Many children live in the village, and we have loved getting to play with them already. Many of the adult residents of Natokalau are talented volleyball players and took some of our students up on a game!

The girls take on our hosts in volleyball!

The girls take on our hosts in volleyball!

It was, also the U.S. Independence Day, and we celebrated by helping cook an American feast with grilled sausages, barbecue chicken, potato salad, and other American favorites with our new friends; and we performed the National Anthem for our hosts.

The group sings the national anthem to celebrate Independence Day.

The group sings the national anthem to celebrate Independence Day.

The next morning in Natokalau started off with a wakeup call from roosters and dogs.

As a group, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast prepared by the village residents. They served us pancakes, which were basically deep-fried dough, homemade strawberry jam, freshly baked bread, and organic orange mango juice. We then began work on the service project aspect of our trip.

To accomplish all of our tasks, the 14 Expedition members were divided up into groups:

Cooking, Supply Run, Cyclone Shelter Construction, and Gardening.

Ava, Ange, Sydney, and Sarah prepare lunch.

Ava, Ange, Sydney, and Sarah prepare lunch.

Camila and Nav sand the shelter walls.

Camila and Nav sand the shelter walls.

Isa, Alexa, Chi Chi, and Grace prepare the sand for cement mixture.

Isa, Alexa, Chi Chi, and Grace prepare the sand for cement mixture.

Nav, Whitney, Anna, and Jon help landscape.

Nav, Whitney, Anna, and Jon help landscape.

Josie beautifies the village by picking up loose trash.

Josie beautifies the village by picking up loose trash.

The group gathers at Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi.

The group gathers at Wailoaloa Beach in Nadi.

After lunch, we had a short break where we played volleyball alongside some of the other villagers. Then we hiked to a nearby viewpoint and experienced an immaculate view. Upon returning from the hike, the kids who live in the village arrived home from school. We joined them in a game of rugby.

Today was a great first day of work!