Meet Charly Donchos
FRIENDS / 21st September 2018
Meet Charly! Charly has recently moved to Australia with her family after spending her childhood competitively surfing, eating watermelon and just generally living the life in Vanuatu! We were lucky enough to feature Charly in this month's campaign and we asked her all about her life in Vanuatu, how she got into surfing and her tips on taking the perfect Summer selfie and how she found modelling for the first time! Read more below!
Living in Vanuatu gave me great exposure to easy living, so my best friend Liam was surfing on a Tuesday night and was bragging to me how much fun it was so I thought I would like to see what this fun was all about, I was 7 at the time…I went along to surf lessons with a French teacher Thomas who taught me the basics, I then started to go out on my own in an area called Pango, and found they were having a local surf competition and my mum knew the organiser and got me in the night before the comp…I did the competition and to my surprise I did really well that I came 4th and won a prize, it was there I met Ben an Australian that grew up there and was president of the Vanuatu surf Association and his co-partner a Ni Vanuatu John (local) who happened to be a surf coach and was accredited just recently, they were really impressed with me and asked if they could coach me, so I left the other club and joined them , the rest is history
I did many comps raised funds for the VSA and made amazing friends in the local villages and had many nights on the beach with bonfires and my surfing friends, my life was before and after school surfing as we started school early and finished early so nearly every day I would turn up to school with wet salty hair ready for that afternoon again to be out until dusk….this was my life for many years after, my goal was to win a competition, I always came second or third, I had to try and get number one…so in 2017 the Leimalo competition was formed, this was the first prize winning competition ever held in Vanuatu, I entered the under 14 super Grom division, it was an amazing 4 days of surf the conditions were so right I had one of the best surfing days ever, so much so I finally came first and actually won money, this was my highlight before I left to come back to Melbourne to live .
A fun way to start is to start with your friends as it is about having fun and makes it enjoyable, then if you want to get serious maybe look to join a surf club and even get some coaching – but mainly having fun and loving riding the waves.
I love hanging out at friends’ places, jumping on trampolines flipping, going to the shops, go to the beach, I also live going to bounce places and when its season in Melbourne I go surfing in Phillip island with friends.
It was the most amazing experience, I had so much fun, I would do it every day if I could, I met some really nice people, the photographer (Cricket) made me feel so relaxed and that helped me enjoy it and settle my nerves because it was my very first time in front of a professional camera…everyone was great, I loved meeting the other kids they were so good and experienced but just so nice and kind to me.
Freedom, my Friends, my school, my surfing every day that also allowed me to experience swimming with dugongs (cow of the sea), the weather was great that allowed me to do many activities, the blue hole which was swinging from a big tree on a rope and diving into warm clear blue water, hanging out at resorts, family life, my house girl Rosie, on a Thursday night we would go to the local market and have dinner cooked fresh by a personal cook and we would have Local meals, then buy fresh fruit and veggies in the market and get an ice cream before going home, hanging out in the Village with my Village friends, the many parties, going to havannah which was a great big harbour out of town and tubing and skiing with my friends where dolphins and turtles would be, Living on the lagoon and having my dad take me out on the little tinny where I learned to water ski on one ski and skurf with one of my boards, and he taught me how to drive the jet ski on my own.
The golden hour ! (upon dusk) being with my friends on the beach or in the water and always in Bikinis…
Watermelon, Pamplemousse (sweet grapefruit) fairy bread, freshly made Gelato made from market fresh fruits.
Beach accessories – boogie board and surf board.
Pool accessories would have to be the dive thingy that you throw into the pool and sinks and you have to dive in and get it before your friend does.