After sixteen years away from Aore Adventist Academy, melon specialist Bong John of Ambrym says the traditional SDA academic institution has not only returned to farming the tasty water melon, but the contracted agriculturalist says the girls have taken over the jobs from the boys and are even “fighting over hammers” to barbwire fence the school’s sixty-hectare cattle farm.
Bong is currently in Port Vila to market the school’s first harvest of 400 melons from the school farm.
The writer of this article has tasted a slice of red melon and can confirm the “sweet juicy fruit” belong to its own category and wants members of the public to buy a slice for a taste then to check his wallet or her purse to get one for the family while the first arrivals last.
Asked to explain what is happening at Aore Academy, Bong replies, “Today in line with climate change, we are exchanging the roles of boys with girls by allowing girls to do what our boys have traditionally been doing in farming.
“Go to Aore and you’ll be surprised seeing girls pulling and nailing wire which our boys had been doing in the past.
“This is due to the fact that there was no industrial manager for the last three or four years and our cattle have broken free and wandering outside so our girls are committed to repairing the fence in order to have the heads back inside the paddock”
Bong says the idea is to challenge visitors to the school to ask questions why male hands are available at the school and yet the task has to be carried out by girls. The reality is that the girls are enjoying it.
Bong’s return to Aore is reported to have cheered the students big time who have assured him saying, “John we are glad you are back because we have been starving for those sweet melons which we know you will help us to enjoy once more, along with green cabbages.
“This is the first harvest and our second harvest will arrive in Port Vila next week and after that, the rest of the melons are for school consumption for the students”.
Bong is calling on all former Aore students in Port Vila along with the general public to buy their melons, to contribute towards the financial sustainability of Aore Academy.