Monday, September 27, 2010

sept 27

it's monday afternoon, we are going to go drink kava in a little bit. Galaxy at 5:30, if you're in the area. Alex and I are officially in Vila until the 11th, so email us. I'm sure there's plenty to write about, but the stuff really worth writing about isn't coming to mind. Alex and I worked hard last week, created PHAST toolkits for all of the provinces in Vanuatu AND we found Peace Corps volunteers who plan to use the toolkits in every single province. Very Exciting!!

sept 18

Alex and I are stuck in Port Vila. The cargo ship is full and the plane is full. Our first way out would be on the 28th. Then yesterday World Vision announces they are bringing a PHAST expert in to conduct a training of trainers. The workshop starts on October 6th. Our supervisor invited us to attend the training. It seems hardly worth going back to the island for just a few days, especially since the possibility of getting stuck on the island and missing the workshop is possible. Peace Corps has suggested they might get us a place to stay. The training is a week long, so it's possible we'll be here until ~October 12.

New group

The new Peace Corps group arrived this morning. Alex and I's group are no longer the new kids on the block. Peace Corps staff and many of the volunteers who are in town met them as they arrived at the airport this morning.

Friday, September 10, 2010

To Our Parents..


We have made it back to Vanuatu safely. Our bags haven't made it yet, but we are hoping they will be found and find their way to Port Vila before it's time for us to head to Pentecost.

It was so nice to visit with all of you. We very much enjoyed ourselves and we appreciate all that you did (and continue to do).

I can't believe dad really quit smoking...that's amazing!! And wonderful.

Vanuatu is nice, it feels good to be back, and fun to talk bislama again.

All the new volunteers arrive tomorrow. I am excited for them.

Alex is spending the day with girlfriends, soaking in the sun beside a swimming pool at some high-end resort.

Love you.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Alex and I are at the airport in DC, on our way back to Vanuatu. Our time in America has been busy and good. We have spent the last three days visiting with my parents, who were kind enough to drive down to DC for the visit.

We wondered if the traffic and gigantic cement buildings and business of life here would freak us out, and we are happy to report - it didn't. We are comfortable in the states, it's what we've known our whole life, how could a year somewhere else change that?

I will tell you what did freak me out. It is the sharp distinctions between our social classes. I started to notice it at the airport in Australia. There were three people for 50 seats in the "Gold Star" waiting area and 300 people for 50 seats in the "You don't have a gold star" waiting area. The waiting areas were right beside each other with only a little gate (that anyone could move) in between the two waiting areas. Everyone seemed to take this situation as normal and acceptable.

DC has Mc-mansions, multi-million dollar cathedrals/monuments and homeless/near-homeless living together in what seems to be an acceptable agreement. There are stores for poor people, stores for middle-income people and stores for wealthy. There are even stores for middle-income folks that wish they were more wealthy.

As we wait for the airplane now, several men and women are surfing the internet while those not wishing to pay for internet services (and those without a computer) are not. It's very different than life in our village on our island in the South Pacific. I wonder how natural it is to find our caste system acceptable. I wonder how our friends on the island would respond if they were given a level in our caste system.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Frozen Yogurt

Today, Lucas and I were in strip mall hell in the bowels of Rockville, MD. We decided to take a break and have some fro yo. It was one of these self serve deals that you pay by the ounce... I walked over to the eight flavors to see what my options were and inbetween the pineapple and blood orange was TARO FLAVORED FROZEN YOGURT WITH A PICTURE OF TARO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish we had our camera to capture the moment. I was speechless...The frozen yogurt attendent let us sample it--the first lick tasted like coconut, but subsequent licks yeilded a mildly familiar tasting boule taro...It's like Pentecost won't let us forget her!