60-Year Old Michael Returns To Community College
Michael An has lived on Kar Kar Island, Papua New Guinea, for 16 years working as a coconut farmer. He earns money by making copra (dried coconut meat used to extract oil) at a local plantation. He is able to make 10 bags of copra per week, enough to earn 50 Kina, or $16 USD. That is enough to sustain him because he lives alone, but as he enters his 60s he longs for less physically demanding work.
Last year, he decided to enroll in Kar Kar Community College as an information-technology student, but at the beginning of 2016 his studies were hindered when he started to suffer from blurred vision, the result of cataracts.
He considered going to Madang Province (about a four-hour sail from Kar Kar) to seek medical attention, which would have cost almost two weeks’ wages for travel alone. Then he heard that an ophthalmic surgeon, Dr. Sunu Dulal, was traveling to the island with a team of YWAM Ships Kona volunteers aboard the m/v PACIFIC LINK medical vessel.
Boarding the ship for surgery this past spring, An received a 15-minute operation. When he returned the next day to have his eyes examined, he couldn’t help but smile at the results.