“Hurray!! We have arrived safe and well after just under 60 hours of traveling, using nearly ever mode of transport known to man!
Our adventure started in on Sunday afternoon catching a boat from San Pedro to the local airport. Then an exciting island hopper via Caye Caulker to Belize City…a nice van ride to the bus station for our first chance to bond as a team (hanging out for 6 plus hours) before catching the overnight bus to Cancun airport. From there, we had the opportunity to enjoy all that the Cancun airport has to offer for the next 12 hours. From there, Virgin America took care of us and delivered us safely to Los Angeles airport where we enjoyed an opportunity to try out Parkour to ensure we made our tight deadline for our connecting flight to Fiji…here was our first test of land life and the culture we are submerging our lives into for the next 7 weeks. Here we had opportunity to visit outside of the airport and explore…after a few hours of freedom, it was back on Fiji airlines for our final flight to Vanuatu…
58 hours and 40 minutes later, arriving on the back of a truck…our first place we could call home “Marine Reach YWAM” Grace House, Port Vila…this gave us a chance to relax, take stock AND most of all change out of our travel gear…
Grace House was the first chance to really discover what was in store for us…our team leaders (Josh and Jaci), had done a fantastic job of arranging accommodation with the opportunity to take some much needed rest and some first hand experience of island life and local etiquette. Marine Reach has done a fantastic job at setting up a base here at Vanuatu. In 2009, V2 Life was established and used as a base to run DTS groups and outreach opportunities. Grace House was born out of a vision to have a place for traveling groups (like us) to rest and re-group. After recovering from our travels and getting a feel for what might be in store, Sunday was upon us…International Christian church provided the first opportunity to submerge ourselves in island life; even if it was an English speaking church.
From this, two of our group members, Brandt and Emily, had the opportunity to get involved with leading a church service at one of the boarding schools here in Port Vila; sharing with the high school children their testimonies and praying in a small group setting. The culture here is extremely friendly and very, very hospitable. One of the areas we have been educated in, has been the interaction between the locals and the visitors. The local culture is so pleasing that even the way you phrase your questions need to be carefully constructed. This is because 90% of the time, regardless of what you say the answer will be YES!
The affects of the cyclone are still very visible in and around Port Vila, even V2 Life had been badly affected by this, with the total destruction of five of there buildings and badly damaging four others. Only three out of the twelve buildings survived…this will give us our next opportunity to serve here on the island as there is a DTS planned for August and quite a lot of work to be done to achieve this…to be continued!
Adam Spooner – DTS Student, April, 2015