One week before ‘wheels-up’ the Christchurch Team have come together for their final training session. When asking Chris about his feelings towards the trip, he commented “I’d say my feelings are both excitement and intrepedation. Excitement of visiting all the mission projects and living in the real culture of Fiji and not just a hotel/tourism holiday; but also the fear of what will it really be like? How will we cope with the temperature? feel about the poverty? cope health-wise? or will we get enough sleep?!” Yet with the average team member age 75-80 years old, that’s why we are trying to offer an experience that is paced with experiences interspersed with rest times to recharge the batteries.
The team were enriched with NZCMS Youth Mobiliser, Anna Tovey, who has just returned from 7-weeks in Fiji. She gave insights for preparing for the culture shock the team may face during the 9-days. We were all encouraged by her words, “culture shock is ‘healthy and critical’ if we are to gain from the mission experience.” And that “culture shock is normal!” We all left the training session feeling inspired from Anna’s advice.
Now the team are finalising their preparations for departure on Sunday 19 August from Christchurch and Auckland.