IVI Pilgrimages

Youth camp in Vanuatu, 18-25 January 2009

Sharing, blue lagoon and starred nites

Carte du VanuatuI have just returned from an extraordinary week camping with youth from Australia (10) Vanuatu (17) and the Netherlands (1). They were supported by up to 18 caring adults from Vanuatu, Australia and France together with prayer support from around the world

Le camp de jeune au Vanuatu

Heaven on earth

We camped on the beach - idyllic location, white sand with lagoon (marine reserve), clear water teaming with marine life, our tents amongst the palm trees. Christian and his Vanuatu team had worked hard and prepared a well equipped and planned camp site with traditional cooking house, dining area, toilet and a pavilion for sleeping and prayer. A full stocked and well used art area was setup in the camp for use throughout the day.

Everyone helped in the camp and we worked in 4 groups (adults and youth randomly selected) with tasks for cooking and camp cleaning.

Point of view of Fabienne, Australian animator

Our days moved in rhythm with songs, games and prayers, the delicious fresh food, and all the excitement of being there in the middle of such beauty, our body immersed among
the tropical fish in daytime and mesmerized by glorious starry skies in the evening.
See also Tess's testimony

Each day focused on a theme (introductions, prayer, harmonisation and vibration) while we continued to explore the surrounding land and fauna. We swam and snorkelled in the lagoon daily and throughout the week we visited an adjacent beach for surfing and swimming, explored the farm (some went hunting flying foxes) and we spent an afternoon at a waterfall and river (cascade) swimming and diving in the clear fresh water.

At nites we had bonfires and star gazed. We went to sleep with the sound of the ocean and woke with the sunrise. Despite this being the hurricane season in Vanuatu, we were blessed with beautiful weather with only one nite of thunder, lightning and heavy rain (all part of the adventure).

All the delicious meals were prepared and cooked in traditional Vanuatu style on an open fire and on two occasions the food was wrapped in banana leaves, placed on hot rocks and covered with sand and left to cook for some time. We had an abundance of locally grown organic vegetables and sweet tree ripened fruits.

Campement sur la page

I was impressed with all of the youth

As the days went by we grew more confident with each other and the camp had a positive and harmonious feel supported by careful preparation, good will and on going daily prayers.

I was impressed with all of the youth, for their individuality, their openness and caring for each other and their respectful appreciation of the prayer, harmonisation and vibration as a natural part of the camp life.

For me the adventure in Vanuatu allowed us all to live together in close connection with the earth, discovering this beautiful place, our connection with each other and on a personal level, our own inner journey and to be truly grateful for the life we have.

I wish to offer a special thanks to IVI Vanuatu and their families who worked closely together and gave generously to ensure the camps success. Also thanks to those travelling so far to help make the camp a success.

Craig (New Zealand, February 2009)

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