Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 3

In 2013, myself and 5 other cadets from Catherine Booth College, along with three staff, went to Manus Island, PNG, as part of our training, to work as part of The Salvation Army’s Humanitarian team working in the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre. Four years on, I’ve decided to share my diary from that experience. Names have been changed, and I acknowledge that the centre has changed a lot since then, but it is my hope that this will share a bit of light into how our government is treating Asylum Seekers.
8 February 2013. RDO Today. Had a lazy morning, before waiting to head into town. Bus was supposed ot leave at 11 – didn’t end up going until 12.

Lorengau Market Place (Credit: Kings Note)
Lorengau Market Place (Credit: Kings Note)

Lorengau is tiny. It is focused around its market, and there are a number of supermarket type shops that sell mostly the same products. What struck me most was the items available for single purchase that we wouldn’t expect in Australia, such as a single roll of toilet paper, or a single nappie. Looking back, I’m also suprised how little fresh fruit I saw. There was some at the markets – mostly coconut, but little in the supermarkets.
This afternoon, I rested, I watched a couple of Star Trek episodes, played Subway Surfers, and read my book.

I have my first shift tomorrow – 9am to 7pm, with the Families. I’m apprehensive about what I’ll see, but excited to finally get into ministry.

Mood – Great. Moving in with N and S (Session mates from College) really helped, and I’ve been having good contact with Liesl.

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Author: Ben Clapton

I'm an Officer in The Salvation Army, currently appointed with my wife as Corps Officers at the Rochester Corps in country Victoria (20 minutes out of Echuca). I play violin and guitar, amongst many others, and love golf and running.

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