Monday, November 23, 2009

November 23

hello everyone
alive and well in vanuatu. Peace Corps gave us a high frequency radio to use in case of emergency. Not that an HF radio is that exciting, but it came with a solar panel and battery, which is super exciting. I found the time today to hook them up and learned that peace corps sent us off with a fully-charged battery! Thanks Rodney! We recharged the Ipod, flashlight batteries, and the computer and are now working on the cell phones.

Twice weekly Alex and I and a decent portion of the village's population go and watch the ship (which comes twice a week), packages and people come and go, it's really fairly exciting to watch, today about 100 bags of cement came, sadly, our missing things did not arrive as of yet. We are still hopeful. We lost a lot of things in the package that didn't arrive, most notably, many books and a frying pan Alex and I literally spent hours walking all over Vila looking for, and the cutest cooking pot you've ever seen!

Alex and I are now official owners of an 'antap karen'. This island is essentially a hill and everyone has garden on top of the hill, alex and I have one now too! We planted pumpkins today and cleared some more space. I think we are going to try to plant some corn tomorrow. We are hoping to have a herb garden (karen is the bislama word for garden) near our house and the big karen on tap with sweet potatoes, pumpkins, corn, tomatoes and such things.

The issue with alex's papa turned out not to be an issue, I just explained to him that going to the near-Catholic church made us feel like we were at home a bit and it's important that we don't get too homesick. He seemed to think that was fair enough.

Today Alex is wondering if our time could be better spent having babies instead of hanging out in Vanuatu. We decided we'll talk about it in a year's time.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday, November 22. 2009

all of our things arrived by ship yesterday, well, except the one bag and the propane tank that didn't arrive. We're hoping they were lost on the ship somewhere and they'll find them and give them to us next time the ship comes around (it comes twice a week, so it shouldn't be too long of a wait). Lots of food and kitchen supplies came, so it's been fun cooking for ourselves again. We ate baked bananas with chocolate for lunch yesterday.

Church was a bit of a story today, we decided to go to the Anglican church in town instead of the Pentecostal church. Alex's host father (we have different host families here) is the pastor at the Pentecostal church. It's evening now and we haven't seen or spoken with him yet. I'm a bit nervous as we might have our first mess to clean up in our site village. We were expecting for him to come invite us to a social gathering that's going on right now, but he never came and invited us, so we are a bit worried that we might have hurt his feelings by not attending his church. Here's hoping for the best...

In other news, our garden isn't going so well as of yet. I think we waited to long to put the seedlings we carried from Vila into the ground, most all of them appear to be dead or dying. I'm going to start planting seeds tomorrow, so wish me the best.

Alex's boss came in on the ship yesterday, so we hope to meet with her soon to start planning our future work.

Still not sure who is going to be supervising me...right now is just time for integration, I've got a few months before I need to get the lack-of-a-supervisor issue sorted.

My computer battery is down to 27%, so I'm going to call it a day.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Good ole Bethesda

A small yacht, in the Port Vila harbor, we walked past it one day on the way to a restaurant rumored to have good burritos. Alex's home town is Bethesda, Maryland.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

alive and well in vanuatu

Alex and I are proud to announce we survived peace corps pre-service training. Survive being the key was a lot of work, they had us doing presentations in a foreign language to people in the village on week 3. I certainly had some unrealistic expectations of what training would look like, it was a lot messier than I had envisioned. Alex spent a few days convinced she was going to get fired because her test scores weren't high enough (and their were plenty of test to worry about). In the end, everyone who wanted was sworn in as a peace corps volunteer this past thursday. Three people from our training class have returned to america already, all for personal reasons.
We ate a lot of rice and white bread and canned fish, but also some fantastic tropical fruits, fresh fish (including a curried shark one night that was just incredible) and plenty of root vegetables.
The tsunami warning was something else, the whole village - and neighboring villages - all headed into the bush and on top of a hill as a precaution. Some folks brought supplies to survive (suppose the tsunami did come), which really made us think.
Bislama blong Alex mo mi i stret. Tija blong mifala emi talem mifala "Bislama blong yu emi namba wan". Mifala ting se emi no gud tumas, be i stret. It's a hard language to express yourself, as it is meant to be simple, there are no words for wonderful or pretty or incredible or awful or terrible or advanced or such, there's only good and no good. Alex and I were both graded as advanced speakers, but were not as optimistic about our language skills.
We been assigned to the island of Pentecost and will be heading there in a few days. We will be in a village of 600, on the northern part of the west coast of the island. Alex will be working with the health dispensary in the village and I will be doing whatever the village wants me to do. Sadly we will not have internet access - if somebody would be willing to receive letters from us and post them on this blog, we would be so grateful...
We've got to go now, but we plan on posting more before we leave for Pentecost.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

me, Alex and mama

Alex and I with our training village host mama on graduation day, got to love matching outfits.