Working in poor Vietnamese orphanages is a drastic change of scene from the Queenstown tourism industry for Justine and Carrick McLellan.
The Arrowtown couple is helping abandoned kids in De Nang, Central Vietnam, for the next three weeks through Wellington-based organisation Global Volunteer Network.
After honeymooning in Malaysia last September, the pair wanted to return to South-East Asia as soon as they could.
This time they are changing nappies, doing physiotherapy for disabled children and teaching English (see pics below).
With Justine working for local hot-air ballooning company Sunrise Balloons, owned by father-in-law Hugh McLellan, and her hubby the boss of Queenstown Paraflights, the shoulder season provided the ideal opportunity for the trip.
They left at the end of last week and after a short holiday following their volunteering stint, they will return to the Wakatipu in the middle of next month.
“We’ve both always wanted to do something like this,” Justine says. “We thought we’d take the chance now while we don’t have kids of our own.”
They took with them a mix of pre-loved toys, clothes, toothbrushes and toothpaste donated by family and friends, plus 20kg of reusable cloth nappies given by Auckland company Peapods.