Friday, 7 September 2007

AVI Briefing in Melbourne

Well Rob, Lara & myself are in Melbourne without Kel - who's holding the fort back in Akld.
We're attending our 3day pre-assignment briefing with AVI, which covers everything from security to funding to health & HIV/AIDS. Lots to take in, so thankfully we're very well fed & extremely well caffeinated!

It was amazing how the AVI team kept our attention through 3 full days of seminars, and very reassuring to discover how they've thought about everything that could happen while you're miles away from anywhere! All the fine details like security plans, working environments, cultural issues, health concerns & evacuation were addressed - and we'll have to devise plans for the above once we're in country so we're prepared in case of an emergency.
We've been put up at the Travel Inn, right behind Lygon St. It was a perfect spot to get out for good coffee, some fantastic Italian cuisine & great gelato! We finished early on the first day, & I managed to get us a little lost on the way back from our jaunt into the city (it's been a while since I've had to navigate such a good public transport system!)
No really interesting stories to tell from this trip. However, it will be fascinating to hear the stories of other volunteers who are traveling all over - from Swaziland, Lebannon & Thailand, to Vietnam, PNG & Tuvalu (& more!). We are the only volunteers heading off to the Solomons from this briefing, and will be the first volunteers on Malaita.

So all in all, it's nice to be back home - although it's a little surreal being in town but not hanging out with family & friends. We managed to see one game of AFL- pity it wasn't the Pies though - and saw a few of the gang briefly tonight. An early departure for the airport awaits us in the morning (4.30am!).


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