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Thursday July 30, 2015

Aid worker returns home By Sam Duff

A former New York theatre producer turned Newtown resident has just returned from Kiribati where she worked as a New Zealand Red Cross delegate. Teresa Bass arrived back in the country on Tuesday having worked on the small pacific island nation since March. In Kiribati, Teresa says she worked alongside the country’s Red Cross secretary general and used her background and expertise to support the organisation. Before she travelled to Kiribati, she says she spoke to many people who had lived and worked there. “They all said the same thing, ‘the people are amazing’,” Teresa says. “I don't think I had any idea how true that would be. “They're so full of laughter, and the Kiribati Red Cross office especially was such a happy office to work in.” Teresa says Kiribati is a stunning place in many ways. “(It is) like you’re at the edge of the world. “I'll never forget being able to look out to the horizon and see all these little patches of rain in the middle of an enormous blue sky.” Earlier this year Cyclone Pam tore through the pacific and at the time Teresa was travelling to her posting in Kiribati. After a brief delay in Fiji she made it to her temporary new home country where she says not all the atolls that make up Kiribati were affected by storm surges associated with Cyclone Pam. Teresa says the atoll of Tamana was the hardest hit. Two of its villages

HOME TURF: On Tuesday Newtown resident Teresa Bass returned from a stint working as a New Zealand Red Cross aid worker in Kiribati.

suffered damage to homes, water wells were contaminated and many toilets were destroyed. “The storm surges definitely left their mark on the island,” says Teresa, who hopes that Kiribati will not only return to the way it was but be better than before. Teresa says there are many challenges facing Kiribati, from the issues with rubbish and sanitation to the environmental challenges. Since 2009 the former New York

Glass art on show During the past year self-taught glass blower and flame worker Eoin Deasy has worked relentlessly from his Wellington studio. Now he has unveiled his exhibition at the Alpha Art gallery on Abel Smith Street and is welcoming the public to check-out his works. Eoin says the exhibition will contain marbles, pendants, sculptural glass art and photos. Eoin’s work will be displayed at Abel Smith Street until August 15.

theatre producer has called New Zealand home. When Teresa left the big apple she says she wanted to make a change and work in the refugee resettlement sector. She started off volunteering for Refugee Resettlement Services Aotearoa, which is now part of New Zealand Red Cross, and has since worked for them in several roles.  For more information about New Zealand Red Cross go to www. redcross.org.nz.

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