When Bridget Isichei up sticks and relocates to Luganville on the Vanuatu island of Espiritu Santo, one of the obvious contrasts to her white middle-class life, is her new street address - not the familiar Smith Street or Jones Lane, but 'Road No Good', the first of many interesting differences she was to face during her two-year stay. Having accepted a New Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) assignment to teach pre-school teachers, Bridget finds herself immersed in a society that simultaneously practises black magic and a Christian faith and ranks pigs higher than women - something she and the women she is to teach, are determined will not be a barrier to their education.
Written with sensitivity and respect, this is an inspiring story of friendship, of the power of education, and the realisation that none of us have all the answers.
We found this book an eyeopener - couldn't believe it was written so recently. We definitely would recommend to anyone who has ever visited any of these Pacific islands.
Very interesting and challenging for some people.
Our group found this book very interesting. Many of us have connections with Vanuatu, hence the choice. This book covers many themes stimulating some good discussion. Our group also met face to face for the first time in months which was special.
People really enjoyed reading about Bridget's experience, her ability to adapt to challenging situations, her quiet determination, her acceptance of where the women she worked with were at, her joining of them in their life and be alongside them when possible and her delicate handling of the men that were obstructive. She accomplished a lot and clearly was a very suitable person for this difficult position.
We all enjoyed this book. Well-written and a great view of Vanuatu. We have several ex teachers that did VSA, so the book generated lots of discussion.
Everyone loved the book. Was a great and easy read, and so good to hear about Bridget's experiences in Luganville as she learned how other people survived. She is amazing. Well-written.
Interesting insight into volunteering and life in Vanuatu. Everyone enjoyed the book.
We all enjoyed Bridget Isichei's account of her 2 years in Luganville. We admired the way she gained the women's trust, learned the language and adapted to this very different culture. The message that came through most strongly was that only by empowering the women, and teaching the children (focussing on pre school) can any changes be made.
Loved it. A real non-judgemental insight into life in Vanuatu.
"A book of surprises". "I learned a lot from the book". "Lots of things I could relate to".
Most enjoyed this book - though not highly rated by all. An interesting read of the role of a volunteer and what she achieved - but also a view into life in Vanuatu society then. We do wonder if much has changed in the past few years. The acceptance of domestic violence gives us concern and we hope the women in the book now have different expectations.
Huge fans of the book! Highly recommended. First book (in my memory) that we all agreed was fantastic.
The language used was not complex but the underlying story was most enlightening, thought provoking, educational and raw. The group, on the whole, were shocked with the conditions and the living standard along with the structure of the society and the lack of esteem for women.
Overall we enjoyed this book - provided lots of discussion on VSA service and the compassion and tact Bridget used......and PATIENCE.
Everyone in the group enjoyed this book. We thought the author did a wonderful job in very trying circumstances. Our discussion centred around the experiences that some of us had also encountered in the Pacific Islands. We thoroughly recommend this book.