The story so far…
Once upon a time, there were 13 awesome Kiwis brought together by the common ambition to do something constructive with their holidays. They were the inaugural UN Youth New Zealand Pacific Project delegation. While most young New Zealanders were spending their Saturday nights party rockin’, these brave individuals were arriving in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
Our weary travellers took shelter in a Coconut Palm and the next day, braved the heat by setting voyage upon a Sailaway Cruise to discover the magnificent aquatic life. Some even dared to feed these unique life forms, which the locals spoke of in their native tongue as ‘fish’. After washing back onto shore, our volunteers departed to Pango Village in a very Dr Jones-esque fashion – riding in the back of a truck (something with which they became well accustomed throughout the trip). They were royally welcomed to Pango, where they would be hosted by the wonderful Jabsina Guest House for the next few nights.
Waking early the following day, our eager travellers prepared themselves for an intensive day, where they would transform a concrete water tank into a colourful masterpiece. The sun blazed on our group as they slaved away. They were three walls down when the village school children invaded, hypnotising them with their devilish charm, good looks and seemingly endless energy. Using their superior athletic abilities and dirty duck, duck goose tactics, they outwitted the foreigners. Our group regathered in their home village to strategise, train and rest knowing that the passion in their hearts would lead them to victory the following day.
They didn’t give up, however and went to a museum so that they may “know thy enemy” and plan. They were ready. Our young warriors ventured to Pango Primary School to participate in a battle that would last the ages. It was a gruelling gauntlet of challenges involving rugby, soccer, volleyball, hair braiding, ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ and ‘Jump on Mathew’. They were finally triumphant. Basking in the glory of their historical win, they would always remember the valiant and brave children that went down with smiles across their faces.
As the victors, the next day they ventured to the New Zealand High Commission to expand their knowledge of the motherland’s role in Vanuatu development. They were then let loose in the Port Vila markets to purchase mementos of the trip and impress the Ni Vanuatu with their exemplary Bislama skills. They further ventured to Wan Smolbag Theatre where they learnt of the locals’ efforts to educate the next generation of Ni Vanuatu to be strong just like their predecessors. Our delegates then rested their war wounds by the pool, before feasting on pizza and dwelling on the satisfaction of a week of hard and rewarding work.
Having fought their first battle, our delegates are currently traveling in search of new challenges and our oldest known enemy, the Australian. Stay tuned to see how they fare.