Vanuatu Public Health & Nutrition Review by Sonia

"It was very special to be welcomed and see how they were so grateful "

Thank you for the opportunity to return to Vanuatu, if was a very exciting memorable and I would love to volunteer again

Highlights of the trip:
As I have worked in Vanuatu previously I appreciated being accepted in the villages to complete the health checks. It was very special to be welcomed and see how they were so grateful for coming and teaching them things that would assist with their health and different choices that they can make.

The highlights were the Lelepa island – where we were asked to attend the home of a lady that had just passed to complete checks on the mourners. The lady had passed away from diabetes so this was very raw for them all.
To be able to be there on International Day and watch how proud they are during their celebrations with one of my old friends was pretty emotional.

Comments on the team, food and accommodation:
Carrun did an exceptional job at balancing the team as people management is one of the toughest tasks. I was one of the oldies and I snored, so I fit in well šŸ™‚ The younger girls have not experienced the village life – let alone been away from their families before and this was an eye opener for them. It would have been good if we did experience the local food as the food mainly ranged from rice, potato, and pasta dishes. More vegies would have been awesome. The accommodation was at best a lodge, the house next door had the rooms rented out during the time we where there, so I know I still used the bathroom next door but the the other girls would not after James left the first week.
The sliding door did not lock and the back door was always unlocked for the other tenants to use the kitchen -which they did very rarely.
The drivers were great and Maryson, Madeline and Lynne were gorgeous ladies that went out of their way to assist all of us especially the younger girls to try and make their experience special

Any improvements to help us be better:
I think a little brief needs to be put together on the respect that we should show the people in their village and Vanuatu in general. The clothing was only one example of respect but also we need to appreciate that this is their village and way of life and not voice our opinions (to each other in our accommodation maybe) – but definitely not to our hosts.
I loved the experience as mentioned above and very grateful to you Lauren and Carrun for accepting me in the group. My son will be volunteering next time with me šŸ™‚

Nutrition & Public Health Vanuatu

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