Vavenby resident working at refuge witnesses volcano eruption

Rosana, Vienna and Isaac touring the Mt. Taal Volcano in November: smallest active volcano in the world. Submitted photo.

By Robyn Rexin

Twenty-seven-year-old Vavenby resident Vienna Moilliet is working as a missionary at Safe Refuge in Tagaytay City in the Philippines. The city is on Luzon Island, 15 miles from Mount Taal, the volcano that erupted on Sun., Jan. 12, at approximately 3 a.m. B.C. time.

The refuge is a place for women who have been abused and in the sex trade and for their children. Because of the refuge’s proximity to the volcano, it lost all electricity and had a fall – out of ash, small lava pebbles, and fine fragments of glass. Everyone should wear masks due to the ash but the refuge didn’t have any.

Because small bits of the glass and debris were entering people’s mouths which caused many to have difficulty breathing the Safe Refuge residents were evacuated late on Jan. 12 to a Christian retreat centre in Quezon City, near Manila.

Despite the volcanic eruption work for the women is ongoing.

“Although a volcano won’t stop us, the waiting is quite emotionally draining. When a person is displaced like this and is waiting for another disruption, the second bigger disruption of the volcano to happen that is being scientifically predicted, it is very difficult to make any plans about projects and life,” said Moilliet. “The children in the centres are bored and there is no formal education happening. We are not complaining. It is just an emotional fact.”

When younger brother Isaac and mother Karen came to visit Moilliet in late November the young adults actually walked over the volcano. Moilliet could feel the heat and thought she saw steam coming out of some of the fissures.

Vavenby outdoor rink

Due to the constant downfall of snow, there have been no skating parties at the outdoor rink. There could possibly be one on Jan. 25 if some people would go out and shovel the rink off. Kevin Sheffield is very thankful to the residents who cleared the ice last weekend.

Anyone willing to help do more shovelling when the snow falls again, help with the parties, or has any questions should phone Kevin Sheffield at 250-676-0078.

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