Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 14

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.
19 February 2013. 16 days to home.

Day shift today. Spent the day in the canteen. Out of the list that I thought would happen, today certainly wasn’t on that list. I got abused over a toy car by a mum.

It was a continuation of the toy cars from yesterday, and the kids wanted to buy the extras. Once we had tracked down all the names on the list, we started selling the cars. They went super quick. One mum was angry that I had told her to come tomorrow, then sold the cars today, so there wasn’t any for her. There wasn’t really anything that I could do, but it still shot my adrenaline levels up high. Once canteen was over, I removed myself for about fifty minutes, so that I could calm down and finish the shift. The rest of the shift went well.

I’ve been reading God’s politics and it’s a really great book. While it focuses on US politics, I think it has a lot to say about Australian politics, especially in an election year.

Mentally – a bit tired from today, but glad to have been able to chat to Liesl. A day off tomorrow will be most appreciated.

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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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