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Boys’ School and Girls’ School Vanuatu Service Trip 2018

August 09, 2018 at 10:38 AM

Boys’ School trip reflection
With thanks to student reporter, Jamie Mora and Sammy Hart 

From the 1st to the 7th of July, a group of 20 students from both the Boys’ school and the Girls’ school went on the first ever service trip to Vanuatu. 

This was an amazing experience for everyone as we learnt a lot about other kids, their culture and how they are living on one side of the world. There were 3 main sites where our team split up to get the job done. 

These sites were Etas school, Macses school and the container cafe. Etas was one of the larger sites that we worked at, but only being founded a year ago was extremely run down and had around 180 kids. Macses was one of the smaller sites and was still less fortunate that Etas. Macses had only 50 kids in the entire school and 3 classrooms with an additional 2 being built. The container cafe was a different experience to the other schools and was a very labour-intensive project. 

With the help of our very generous school and wider community we were able to ship a jam-packed 40FT container over to Vanuatu carrying various supplies from school stationary to playgrounds and nappies. 

Every night we were able to reflect on the day with all the staff. At the end of the trip we were asked to say what made us go wow. Or made us feel amazing. One wow moment had to be looking at the kids huge grins even when we hadn't done anything yet. This taught me how lucky we are and that these kids were super grateful. 

Another WOW moment was when we were handing out the clothing packages to each child, they would all come up to you and give the happiest hi-5 you ever got and then came back to school 15 minutes later wearing their brand new clothes that you donated. That was when I walked away knowing that I had made a difference and impacted children's lives. 

We want to thank you so much for everything that you donated and you are now able to go away knowing that you made a difference to a child’s life whether you donated one thing or you were actually on the service trip yourself. 

We also want to thank everybody who was involved on making this service trip happen. Especially to all the teachers, staff and parents. 


Girls’ School trip reflection
With thanks to student reporter, Kate Thibaud 

The Vanuatu service trip was an incredible, a once in a life time experience and a memory I will treasure forever. I will never forget the looks on the children’s faces when we gave them a bag of clothes each, they clung to them as if they’d never let go, some of them sprinting home straight away to go show their families what they’d been given.

One of the highlights of the trip for me was resourcing the Preschool at Etas. I remember walking in on the first day and being stunned by an empty room with only a few chairs and a table. This room was their preschool. I couldn’t believe my eyes, 49 young students, only one teacher, and absolutely no resources to teach them with. The difference between that preschool and our one back in New Zealand was massive, but after leaving that day the room was unrecognizable, there were shelves stacked full of books and stationery, tables full of toys for the kids to play with and even though the children didn’t have school that day they came running in with the biggest smiles imaginable and screaming with laughter as we tried out all the new toys with them. Another one of the highlights was handing out the hygiene packs to the children of the schools. It was a heart-warming experience to see the difference simple things such as a bar of soap could make in their lives. Every gift we gave them, all the things we take for granted, meant so much to them.

One of the things that took me completely by surprise was how incredibly happy everyone was over in Vanuatu, even with so little they were so grateful for what they did have. I remember complete strangers waving and smiling at us, or coming up to introduce themselves, everyone was so friendly and content with their lives.

A scene that will stay with me forever is when a little barefooted boy named Amos didn’t want to choose a pair of shoes for himself from those we were handing out, he chose a pair for his dad instead.

Overall the service trip was a life changing experience I will never forget, and it was an amazing opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Service really is the key to happiness.

 

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