WHILE some kids are heading to Sydney or the snow these school holidays, four Orange Anglican Grammar students are heading off to build relationships with a developing nation in the Pacific Ocean.
Year 10 students Bethany Mitchell, Georgia Balcomb, Josh Dunnett and year 11 student Will Christie, accompanied by Holy Trinity Anglican Church rector Reverend Mal Dunnett will fly out of Australia on Tuesday, headed for the Solomon Islands.
They will spend two weeks on Santa Isabel Island, living in villages and travelling to schools to create friendships and share cultures with Solomon Islanders their age.
The trip is designed to build relations between the people of Santa Isabel Island and the Anglican Parish of Orange and gives the students a chance to improve their leadership skills.
Georgia said they were all eally excited for the two-week journey.
“We’re going to be learning their culture, meeting new people and sharing with them the way we do things here in Australia,” Georgia said.
The students have spent several months learning pidgin English with Reverend Dunnett, who has been to the islands 14 times, and learning simple cultural differences.
“When you shake a man’s hand too long you’re asking him to marry you. I don’t really want to come back with a husband,” Bethany giggled.
School liaison for the trip Trish Balcomb said it would be an eye-opener for the students, but hoped it would open up more opportunities for similar mission trips in the future.
“Our children do really well here. It will be good for them to see what it’s like to not have it so good. It’s a good growing experience,” she said.
“Whether Mal does it again, there’s a few children here at the school who will put their hands up for it.”