I have followers on my facebook page from all over the world and every now and again somebody pipes up and says, “I wish you were here”. I love seeing that comment and my response is always the same. “I can be there – I am portable. I have a passport and I can go anywhere. Which brings me to my first international client.
Cassie is one of those followers who said, “I wish you were in Vanuatu”. For those of you who don’t know where Vanuatu is, it’s an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is some 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia. I normally only travel an hour in either direction of the Gold Coast and yes I was going to need my passport.
After many discussions we finally agreed that I would come for 5 days to meet her wonderful adopted family of 4 dogs and a couple of ring-ins that turn up for dinner most nights. I also worked for Cassie’s parents and their menagerie of 2 dogs and a cat.
Cassie picked me up from the airport and I jumped into her 4-wheel drive on the wrong side. It was like being in the States. I was freaking out sitting in the driver’s seat with no steering wheel and driving on the opposite side of the road with potholes the size of mini craters. Well Vanuatu is a volcanic island after all and I was also very concerned about the amount of stray dogs busily going about their business on the sides of the roads. I was either going to have to adjust very quickly or start picking them up and taking them with us in the back of the truck.
We arrived home and met the gang. Naala, a beautiful Rottweiler, Chango, Gizmo and Slim all island specials as Cassie calls them. I was kissed by all of them!
I could see why Cassie wanted me to come and capture her family. Her devotion to these dogs is incredible. They are all rescues and she would rescue all of them if James would let her. I also had the pleasure of photographing Sky and Caramel. Caramel is a rescue and was originally Cassie’s dog. She came to live with Cassie’s parents and Sandra’s bond with Caramel is a joy to see. Sky is totally Paul’s girl and that’s all I’m going to say.
I am hoping to go back to Vanuatu and do a story on their local rescue group. They work tirelessly to try to educate the local community about spaying and neutering the dogs and cats to try to reduce the amount of strays found on the Island. They offer a free service to do so every Wednesday.
It was an incredible experience for me, both on a personal and professional level and I can’t wait to get back there.
I trust you will enjoy some of the Images captured. x Diana