Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Home Again

So here we are back in Hamilton nearly 2 weeks later, and the time has flown. Everything seems to happen so fast here in comparison to the measured rhythyms of Port Vila, where at the moment it is just too hot to think of hurrying! So it's good to take a moment and reflect on our time there before it gets swallowed up in busy-ness.

Some things we love about Port Vila:

Shopping at the market and fully ripened taste of the fruit and vegetables

The wonderful friendly people, riding in clunky old buses never knowing where you might detour to on your way,

The harbour, hardly ever feeling cold,

The many local and expat friends we have made and a wonderful sense of anything being possible.

Some of the things we love about coming home:

Being with our family again, home comforts, not having to put insect repellent on after every shower or swim (Annette only, Martyn hardly got bitten at all), not feeling sweaty even through the night!

Until the Lord sends us back again, Lukem Yu Vanuatu.

PS this is the view from the back of our home looking at the park.  This is after 8 weeks of no rain to speak of, and not much before that.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Our Farewell 21 February 2020

3:45am the alarm went off to start our day to catch the 6:30am flight from Bauerfield International Airport to return to New Zealand after three wonderful weeks in Vanuatu.  Our bags were packed before we went to bed.  So a quick wakeup and last tidy up and last minute packing. We quietly left the house to meet our ride to the airport.  Jonathan Tarip kindly offerred to take us to the airport.  (did he want to make sure we caught the flight I wondered 😁)

Jonathan at the airport saying goodbye.

Hustle and bustle at checkin, a number of RSE workers on their way to NZ or Aussie

Toilet stop on the way, this is a sliding door into the toilet with a snib lock 🤥. Needless to say I kept a close eye on the door.

Boarded and ready to depart, farewell Vanuatu, bae mitufala lukem yu  

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Last Day for This Trip

We made our way by bus to our separate offices for our last day working in Port Vila. I got all the documents that go in the students' gift bags (immunisation chart, blood pressure chart etc) confirmed and got Jonathan to print them ready for Cyrilline to laminate later. The students will each be given a bag of things to help them in their role on completion of the course. A set of 6 health posters will be included, donated by PCANZ and printed in NZ on very tough synthetic paper to hopefully resist the ravages of the humid climate. 

I'm very glad that Cyrilline is feeling much more confident about her role as administrator now. I've just been searching for a photo of Cyrilline, Judy and me - we had such fun together - but I can't find it anywhere 😞.

I planned to just say goodbye and leave quietly but I wasn't allowed to do that. Elder Jara gave a speech, then one of the students spoke on behalf of them all, 

and another one presented me with a local dress.

Then it was my turn to speak, so I encouraged these young people to really speak out the good health message they are learning and not be shy. I shared with them what one of my trainers taught me on becoming a tutor at Wintec - say in a loud voice "I claim this space!" and I got them to say it with me, except in Bislama it goes something like "Hemi spes blong mi!" (This space is mine). I hope that's the message they got our of what I said 😂.

What a privilege to once again be involved in helping the wonderful people of Vanuatu in even a small way. We have to return home but a our prayers stay with them. Thanks be to Papa God, all the glory is His.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Mega Gymnasium

I met with Julie and her daughter Jennifer for a treat down by the harbour today. Jennifer was in Miss Gloria's reading class where I got to know her in 2017 and 2018.

But before we went down harbourside, Julie took me on a detour to see her brother to unlock her phone 😂. Her brother supervises a huge new gymnasium still under construction on the hill just next door to Epauto High School. It is massive! It is being built by local people but Julie's brother wasn't too sure who funded it - possibly the Trans Pacific Union Mission.
 The school has an agreement to use it on Wednedsays, and I saw some children playing volleyball, and some playing soccer.
 Curioulsy there was a whole lot of hospital type beds there as well so I asked Julie's brother how come? He said they were due to go out clinics and health centres but there was some problem (surprise, surprise) so they were being stored there temporarily.
 Offices etc are still being constructed along one end.

Not sure what happened to the middle of this banyan tree close to the gymnasium. 

We only have one more day of working here - time has gone so fast, as we knew it would. We have had some successes and several frustrations. We pray for our last day to be fruitful.
VIP Toilet - Take Two

The VHW participants have been making a VIP toilet this week - VIP stands for Ventilated Improved Pit. I put full details of this in the blog in 2018, so I'll just put a few photos in this time. 

But before you can mix any concrete, you have to sieve your coarse coral sand!

 If ou don't have any tie wire, you have to make it by carefully trimming some out of the mesh!

 Not a bad result, just needs the rough edges chipped off and it's ready for the plastic seat to be attached.