Thursday, July 24, 2014

Young Adult Service Project at VIT - Hospitality School

      Earlier in the blog, we presented the VIT school with computers and printers.  As part of this gift, there was to be a joint service project with the school.  These are church humanitarian projects.  They are to be validated as service to the community.  This project was to include the building of study huts on the back property of the school.  The students had no place out of the sun to eat lunch or study at the school.  This part of the project was postponed several times by the school.  We were ready to act!
       These are the foundations for the two huts.  This is Clyde and the Director of the school.  The church bought the supplies for the construction and the school did the labor on this part.  There will be tables and benches under a typical native roof  of woven leaves.

      Then on a designated Saturday,  We gathered together about thirty five young adults.  This event was postponed several times as well.  Island time is very hard to get used to planning around.  Clyde brought lots of tools from the humanitarian storage container.  There were shovels, picks, rakes, etc.  He did not bring any of the machettes.  They are dangerous!  Of course, the young people wanted them.  That is what they are used to using.  The school director brought some out.  Please notice that the young people are wearing the yellow "helping hands" vests that the church uses around the world.

      Our job was to clear out all of the underbrush going down the hillside.  The kids moved a zillion wheel barrows full of stuff.  It all went to a big pile at the bottom of the property.  There it will dry out some and then be set on fire.  Burning is how they get rid of everything.  Consequently, there is a smell of smoke in the air almost always here.  At home we would be concerned about starting a large fire.  That is not the case in Vanuatu.

   Yes, all of the young adults did not want to wear the yellow vests.  Most of them would put them on for any of the posed pictures.  They are great kids!!!!

      The director of the school started asking many questions about the church and how willing the kids were to give up a Saturday.  Clyde took the time to instruct him - and he gave him a Book of Mormon.  We always have some in the car just in case there is a need.  The school also provided juice and cookies for our hard workers. There were some heavy concrete benches to move around, too.

      This is the group from Blacksands Branch and the girls from Port Vila Branch #1.  Many of the young men gathered for one picture.

      Some of the young people were in and out during the day.  We could never get all of them together at once.  Notice how happy they are.  These are truly great kids!!!
      This is Marcella and Seline.  They are good friends and can always be counted on.  And - Clyde and I at the end of the day.  It was a very successful service project.  When the huts are finally finished, we will include more pictures.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Odds and ends!

      As we progress in this adventure, we seem to be taking fewer pictures.  This does not mean that we are having any fewer experiences.  These experiences are just becoming more commonplace to us.  The following are some random things to share.
     Do you know that poinsettia plants grow as large as trees?  Around the island there are many poinsettia trees.  They come in red, pink, and white.  They are really amazing to see.
       Employment is also a huge issue when teaching self reliance to these good people.  We have setup an employment committee made up of young adults in the district.  They created job boards for each of the branches.  Each week they update the jobs that are currently available.  We are also teaching these young adults about creating/writing resumes or CV's.  Hopefully, these select kids will be helpful to more and more members.  This effort will take a long time to germinate successfully. 

      There is a native dress here.  Well, it is kind of native.  Apparently when Christian missionaries first arrived in Vanuatu, the people didn't wear much.  The missionaries came up with this dress for the women to wear.  Everyone does wear it now.  They certainly don't wear it all of the time, but they all wear it sometimes.  The dresses are very colorful.  I was commenting on one of the dresses that a sister was wearing at church. Another sister over heard our conversation.  This week she brought me a dress.  Here it is.  They are like big tents.  The sister was sweet to make me one.

      On a drive up to Paoningisu Branch, we passed one of the many little island roadside stands.  Usually these stands have food items - fruits  or vegetables.  Today we saw a stand with all kinds of island baskets.  They make them right there in the tiny village.  There were some truly beautiful designs.  Here are some of them.

      This is our poor little car.  We were at the grocery store and a truck rear-ended us.  The young man had just barely arrived from Australia that very afternoon.  He was not used to checking for drivers on our side of the road.  He was looking for traffic from the wrong direction.  His father did pay to get our car all fixed up.