Manus Island 2013 – my experiences, pt 17

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.
22 February 2013. 13 days to home.

I’ve started planning my days – putting it into the calendar of my phone. It’s working pretty well, and is allowing me to start achieving stuff, like learning Greek, and getting through my books.

Night shift today. Worked in canteen and helped the Tamil guys spread some sand around their volleyball court. I love how much pride they take in it – it’s gone from a vacant space to a proper beach volleyball court, with poles cemented in, and wool and pegs marking out the boundary. All they really need is some stronger string, as the wool keeps breaking.

R came up to me at dinner tonight and asked if I could go into SAMs, as they were short staffed. I said sure, and then freaked out a little bit. I went into my room and had to psych myself up a bit. The night went well, with only a couple of hiccups, and I think I handled myself well. Makes me a little less nervous if I get moved to SAMs next week.

Mentally – good. While I needed to encourage myself, I was strong and competent throughout the night.

 

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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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