Group Formation by Participants
in the Mott Community College
Fiji Study Tour
Selected and annotated photographs from
Fiji Study Tour
|Friday, July 13, 2001 -- Students,
some with family or friends, wait in the Art Center parking
lot for the bus to arrive that will take them to Detroit Metro
|Friday, July 13, 2001 – Waiting to board
the long haul flight to Fiji at the LAX airport. Typical of
several family groups, this mother-daughter group stayed close
when travelling to Fiji.
|Sunday, July 15, 2001 (3 AM, Fiji Time) –
Participants wander through Nadi Airport in Fiji with no distinct
group formation. Their body language indicates both their fatigue
from travelling and the lack of any group identity.
|Monday, July 16, 2001 – During a guided tour
of the Fiji Museum, students tend to stay closer together, often
standing in pairs or keeping watch over each other. However,
body language and expressions still indicates a certain degree
|Monday, July 16, 2001 – Outside the Fiji
Museum, a group of students, both younger, older, different
races, etc. start to bond together. They are beginning to share
in the "adventure". However, arms are still in front of them,
held in and away from the other students.
|Tuesday, July 17, 2001 – At the Art Opening
of the students’ exhibit,
Fiji Museum, these four participants step into the hallway as
emotions ran close to the surface. Several expressed a sense
of being overwhelmed by the outpouring of deep sharing and support
of their art by both the local attendees and each other. All
artwork was intended as a "conceptual self-portrait" and was
accompanied by an artist’s statement which provided others with
insight into the meaning behind the imagery.
|Wednesday, July 18, 2001 – Low tide at the
Beachouse backpacker’s resort which served as home base. Two
of the younger female participants explore the water’s edge
before the first workshop begins.
|Wednesday, July 18, 2001 – The workshop on
traditional Fijian pottery-making techniques begins. As the
day progresses, students become more interactive with the instructors.
|Wednesday, July 18, 2001 – Three from the
younger group try out some fresh coconut juice (a local treatment
|Friday, July 20, 2001 – Third day of workshops,
this one was on Masi-making (bark-cloth). At this point, participant
FST-1007 had been moved to separate quarters onsite and generally
did not participate in any additional scheduled activities due
to his condition. Also, participants FST-1016 and 1017 joined
the instructor and her spouse on a shopping-banking trip to
a nearby city. FST-1022 had already gone off on her own with
old friends (she’s the instructor’s daughter and former resident
|Saturday, July 21, 2001 – In
four separate long boats, the main tour group travels up the
Navua River to the waterfalls. They begin to really take on
the notion of "watching out" for one another.
|Monday, July 23, 2001 – A 5 km trek along
the Sigatoka Sand Dunes continues to physically test the students.
The two oldest do not make this trek but are bussed to meet
the group at the end. Also, FST-1016 and 1017 "oversleep"
at the Beachouse and miss the bus to the dunes.
|Tuesday, July 24, 2001 – A week later, outside
the Fiji Museum, just before the students get ready to pick
up their artwork that was in the Art Exhibit. A real sense of
camaraderie is beginning to form. They’ve also adopted the busdriver
|Tuesday, July 24, 2001 – Mott
students meet with some of the Journalism students of the University
of the South Pacific. The interaction leads to a lively discussion
and a growing awareness of their own level of "privilege" and
|Wednesday, July 25, 2001 – The trip nearly
completed, the participants take "their" bus back to Nadi where
they’ll stay in a local mid-level resort for two nights before
heading back to the USA. A strong sense of camaraderie and comfort
with each other is demonstrated here.
|Wednesday, July 25, 2001 --
Same as above.
|Thursday, July 26, 2001 – A Conga line forms
as some members of the Fiji Study Tour celebrate their last
night in Fiji. Emotions ran very high this night with many personal
expressions of "family" solidarity.
Thursday, July 26, 2001 – The last hurrah
before the very long series of flights back to Flint and the
"real" world. The closeness among the group is very apparent.
FST-1023 had already headed back to the USA on the 24th, and
FST-1007 was not feeling well enough to join the dinner. The
picture is being taken by FST-1022.
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