I had the opportunity to join 12 Year 11 boys and four other staff on immersion to PNG for the first two weeks of the break. I must admit to feeling somewhat apprehensive about the trip in the lead up to our departure. Like many things in life that we are unsure of, I am so glad that I put my hand up to participate in this immersion, having now had the privilege of the experience. Towards the end of the time together, the boys were asked about how the immersion has changed them, and what this might mean for their adult life. I can say without hesitation that this immersion has had a profound impact on me in so many ways. Immersion is not about coming home and feeling lucky or privileged. It is about walking in someone else’s culture, lives and circumstance so that we might better understand ourselves and our place in the world. We also then consider from a socially just perspective, what we might do; how we might respond in the future, in faith and in humanity to make the world a little better. These are the ‘big’ questions I know, and they are not easily answered. What is obvious though is that we have a responsibility as citizens in a country where we enjoy so much, to share this with those who have much less. This is never just about money. In fact, this is the laziest (albeit, still very important) thing we can provide. Putting our hand in our wallets is essential, but actively working with others, making a friend of our nearest neighbours and genuinely seeking relationship can be profound.
Dr Craig Wattam