Aberystwyth Rotary offers an annual scholarship supporting local youngsters to travel abroad for humanitarian and experience-widening purposes.

Last year’s recipient was former Ysgol Penglais student Millie Hore, who is currently studying Geology at St Andrews University.

At last week’s lunchtime meeting she gave an interesting illustrated talk on her month-long visit to Fiji. Her visit was organised by Fijian charity, Think Pacific, which supports ethically-run development programmes and skills training.

Millie joined a team of over 20 others from various countries, and the first days were spent team building and learning about the customs and culture of Fijian village life. She settled in the village of Wailotua; each team member assigned to a ‘family’ enabling them to experience village life.

The daily routine included attending workshops, developing an understanding of the impacts of climate change and global health from the perspective of a lesser developed country. There was an opportunity to sample cooking and crafts such as weaving and matting, and river rafting, a means of transporting people and goods between villages in Fiji.

There were also sporting activities, exploring caves and waterfalls. Sundays were observed by attending church followed by an extended family lunch.

Millie said the experience was most rewarding in terms of skills development, understanding another culture, and the chance to make a contribution to the community that welcomed her.

“The basic amenities and slower pace of life, along with the positive outlook on life in Fiji, was inspiring to witness, and put into perspective things we take for granted back home,” she said.

She thanked the club for the support that enabled her to have the experience.