This week I have been working a lot with one of our interns, Marie, and Andrew has been working with the other- Johnson. Our interns are both in their twenties (Johnson has a young son Olivier who plays a lot with Charlie) and both have completed some basic courses at the University of the South Pacific, but have not been able to find any opportunities to get experience or job skills. We have been teaching them computer skills, and showing them how NASI TUAN runs, giving them responsibilities that help them to practice on the computer and be exposed to different parts of the organization’s day to day tasks. In the future, we would love to employ them, if our already stretched staffing budget allows.
Marie and Johnson are both very enthusiastic about their roles- they put in many hours. It is tough to be a young person in Vanuatu today. Education is too expensive for most, job opportunites are very very few, teen pregnancy rates are very high, and many young people who move to Port Vila to look for work are finding themselves living in slum type situations. This is a big part of the reason Nasi Tuan wants to help people generate income from things like coffee and peanuts (more about peanuts in the next post ). It is also a good reason to take on interns who can be trained up both in administration skills, and community development theory and practice. Perhaps we will see future leaders emerge, who can carry on the work of helping communities better their lives.
Andrew has also been working on a presentation on rubbish and pollution, which he gave at the church last week to chiefs, leaders, mothers and kids. It was very well received, and there was a lot of discussion afterwards about plastics and how to dispose of them. Since then, Andrew has had a lot of conversations with various people who had questions, and who thought deeply about what he said. People were quite shocked by this video. Have a look if you haven’t seen it already- but be warned that it is upsetting.
Beyond these things, I have been kept busy with Charlie (we lost him the other day, found him under the house snugged up into the soft dust where our dog sleeps, happily having a dust shower). Him and I planted a garden a week or so ago, with cauliflower, tomato, lettuce, carrots, watermelon, and cabbage. I love watching them grow, I find gardening so good for moments of quiet contemplation. Charlie has also enjoyed the experience, and I have seen him practise ‘planting’ many times this week. He will find interesting tidbits on the ground, put them in a little hole he has dug, then vehemently whack the earth back into place. He is nothing if not thorough!
Big love to you all from Tanna! We have loved reading email updates from you all hearing about what is going on in your lives at home. Keep them coming! Much love
Max, Andrew and Charlie