I was too small to understand what was going on

“I’m from the Solomon Islands. One of those little countries like Fiji. When I was 6 years old, there was a civil war, and we were evacuated. We got a phone call tellling us that we had 20 minutes to pack, and be down at the yacht club to leave. It was just my mum, my brother, my sister and me. We wouldn’t see my dad for over a week, because he had already fled the country. He was the head pilot of Solomon airlines, and was told if he didn’t leave immediately, they would behead him. At the time, I was too small to understand what was going on. I had seen people walking around with guns and machetes, and had heard them fire at night for weeks, but it didn’t click. I didn’t know that that was going to be my last day in my home country, or that standing at the yacht club was the last time I would ever see my friends again.

When I came to this country, it was cold, and I felt like an outsider for so many years. Even though I am English, and technically a kiwi, I’ve always felt like an islander. I miss speaking the local dialect Pidgin. I’m at the university now, doing postgraduate medical studies, and I want to go back, and help out in third world countries. If I ever have kids, I want them to grow up in different cultures the way I did. Though it was the hardest thing for me, I wouldn’t have changed it. It has made me who I am.”