Tuesday students were fortunate to hear guest speaker Adam McLeay share his recent experiences as a member of a disaster response team that were sent to Fiji by the New Zealand Government.
Cyclone Winston, the worst storm recorded in the southern hemisphere, left 42 people dead.
Adam is a Doctor at Southland Hospital and is part of a core group specially trained for responding to these types of situations.
Adam travelled to Fiji on board a Hercules and was then based on the NZ Canterbury ship as they helicoptered around the Islands checking on villages and offering medical treatment.
His photos showed the extent of the damage that was experienced by the storm, in one photo an entire school had been washed out to sea.
He said he found it a very humbling experience, he shared what he had in his allocated emergency backpack for survival. This was not to share, it was just for him to survive in case they had to stay on an Island and were unable to return to the ship.
A lack of clean water and a shortage of food was the most concerning problem as well as the amount of houses destroyed. All crops and trees were also destroyed, it looked like a very sad situation.
Even though the Fijian people had very little food, they still scraped together what little food they did have to try and feed the medical teams to thank them for coming to help them.
The teams tried to bring a little happiness by giving the children lollies and trying to see them smile.
Mosquitoes were a real problem with the amount of dirty water and aftermath of the cyclone likely to cause an outbreak of sickness.
We all reflected on how lucky we all are to have unlimited access to fresh water and food, shelter and safety.
Thanks Adam we really enjoyed your visit.