Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 16

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.
21 February 2013. 14 days to home!

Half way point! S and G left today, and C arrived. We now have less days to go than we have been here. While I am very much looking forward to going home, I will miss the people here a lot as well. I am starting to form close relationships with some of them, and it will be hard to say goodbye.

Today, I had a good chat with V and W and with U at the end of the night. I played Monopoly and Volleyball, and looked after the internet room.

I worked on my Greek this morning, and I feel I’m getting more confident with the letters and sounds.

C brought a package for me from Liesl. My running shirt and shorts, a USB of photos and videos, some printed photos that I can take on shift with me, and a painting that Annabelle did. It’s wonderful – I just need to figure out how to display it.

Mentally – good. Missing Liesl and Annabelle a lot, but getting to the halfway point seemed really quick, so I’m sure I’ll be heading home soon.

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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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