Unfortunately all all good things come to an end with 2 group members off to different places in Bali for a few days, 3 off to an Ambonese resort for a few days and 5 returning back to Ballarat today.
Thank you everyone for enjoying our trip via this blog.
On our final night in Ambon we had a farewell buffet of Ambonese cuisine with music and dancing.
The Ambonese people donated a piece of land for a memorial to the Australians who fought on Ambon to defend the island from the Japanese invasion. It is located across the road from where a huge banyan tree was growing during the time of the Japanese invasion. For three days an Australian soldier was positioned by the tree taking cover and firing on the Japanese who were advancing into Ambon.
Gull Force paid for a monument to be built to all the Australian soldiers who were taking as prisoners of war on Ambon.
The rubbish tip for Ambon is located at Amaory where families live and make a living from recycling and picking over the rubbish.
A group of volunteers have started the School of Nature where the children of the families can have after school care so that they are not playing in the rubbish. The classroom is a huge open air shed and at times they can use some rooms in the council building located at the site.
Last year the Club built a library for the school so that books and sporting equipment could be safely stored at the site. It was great to see the library in use. During our visit we donated recorders and school supplies. We also donated tshirts to be a school uniform as the students had no uniform.
Our group was the first group of foreign tourists to visit this village. We were really treated like royalty, escorted to the village hall and then to the village sports courts.
We donated some musical instruments and school stationary. We had welcome speeches from the Mayor, the pastor and the head school teacher.
The Ambonesia Foundation was providing lunch for the village people and we helped by serving.
Then it was time for music and dancing.
We visited School 44 to check on the condition of the toilet block the Club repaired after flooding. This was achieved through a Rotary District Grant a couple of years ago.
We participated in the milk distribution program which sponsored by the Club. In addition we donated some sporting equipment and school supplies. We also were able to look at the materials provided in the library.
It was interesting to meet some trainee teachers who were visiting from other schools in the Ambon area.
Here are some photos of goods being donated at Tawiri kindergarten, Caleb house, the safe house, school 44, school of nature and Tuni village.
The Club has 12 students in primary and high school grades who we sponsor to attend school.
They and some parents came to have afternoon tea with us at the hotel. We had a bag of school items and fun items for each student. The bags were kindly made by the BHS Auxiliary ladies.
We had the most inspiring visit to a safe house which is run as a charitable organisation by Sonja and her husband Gino.
All the children who attend the programs come from disadvantaged homes or for a variety of reasons are not safe at home. The programs offered are pre school and after school care where children are either dropped off and collected from the safe house or an agreed meeting place. There were 50 children of a range of ages when we visited. The organisation also provides an outreach service to a number of families who are visited monthly. Thirty men over sixty also attend a regular health clinic at the safe house.
We donated sporting goods, games, soft toys, clothes and a care package of food.
Today we visited an orphanage called Caleb House, which provides a caring environment for up to 20 young people, usually boys, at a time. Currently young people are aged from 9 months to 20 years old. Their education is predominantly at vocational school while a couple are aiming for an academic career. There was a fire recently which destroyed a store room and one of the dormitories.
We donated clothes, footwear, towels, sheets, pillows, food and sporting goods.