With parasites, a variety of possible skin infections, scarce food, and a culture that doesn’t treat them anything like human children, life is hard for dogs, cats, and arguably domestic animals in general in Vanuatu. There is one shelter located in Vila that’s here to help. Sam’s Animal Welfare Association is like Vanuatu’s Humane Society. They administer vaccination, host de-sexing events, and educate communities about the importance of animal health. Given the poverty of infrastructure in this archipelago, they can’t reach everywhere~ but they do good work where they can.
Living thousands of miles away from our home country, Peace Corps volunteers come into Port Vila, often from very rural and isolated villages, looking for some comfort food. For them, there is Jill’s Café, a lovely place to enjoy a burrito, omelette, or cinnamon roll without having to embark on a trip away from the South Pacific. Seriously, access to this kind of comfort food can make or break a PCV’s service.
So (to personify these two places whether it makes sense or not) what did Sam and Jill do to make me think they were both even more awesome than I already thought they were? They made a bookstore for tourists in the middle of the café, the proceeds of which go to support the work of Sam’s. Keep in mind Port Vila (the capital of the Republic of Vanuatu) is a town limited to a small library and a bible store in the way of decent reading material.
This idea rocks. And generally makes a quick trip into the café turn into time flying as we stare at the wealth of books.
Thanks for being awesome, Sam and Jill.