Saturday, August 13, 2011

out tomorrow.

hey again,
We were able to get seats on the plane leaving tomorrow (Sunday). Alex had a cracked crown on one of her back teeth. They had to remove the old crown and make a cast for a new one and then they will put the new crown on next time we are in Vila. They have to send the cast to Australia to make the crown and we have been told it is sometimes a hassle to get the crown through customs. Peace Corps covers all of the expenses, that's one special thing about Peace Corps, they look out good for the volunteers, certainly in this country.
The next volunteers will becoming in October, just before Alex and I leave. Most of them have probably been told by this point that they are coming to Vanuatu. They have a group on Facebook "Peace Corps Vanuatu 2011". It's fun to read about their experiences getting ready for Peace Corps and such. They are excited and overwhelmed. I remember it was so hard to even imagine what it would be like, And just as difficult to paint a picture of what they could expect...
Not just because our experiences are so individual and the country is so diverse, but it's hard to wrap your head around the experience, even having the experience doesn't mean one understands the experience.
Okay, we are going to go back pizza at a friends house.

August 10

So, Alex and I are sort of stuck in Vila, again!! Alex has a dentist appointment tomorrow and the plane left this morning, so we are in Vila until the next plane, hopefully on Sunday. We are fine, I kind of hate that we are still in Vila, but what can you do? I could have gone back to the island by myself, but I would rather hang out with Alex, even if it means hanging out in Vila. Our hotel room has a television and we get a Chinese world news station (in English), so it’s fun to catch up on news. Now all we need to do is learn how to use a smart phone and we’ll be ready to return to the states.

We bought our plane tickets home!! Leave Vanuatu on October 11th, 5 days in Fiji and then leaving Fiji on the 15th and heading to DC. Road trip through Virginia to find our home and then meet-up with Lucas’ family in Dayton at Cousin Brian’s wedding.

We hope the 5 short days in Fiji will help put our experience into some type of perspective, seeing the Melanesian culture manifested in a different country. And we hear there is great Indian food.

We still have a while before October 11th, but it sometimes feels like we are leaving next week.

Okay, time to find something to eat.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hello again

Alex and I are in Port Vila, again. Peace Corps called us in to lead two workshops, one with volunteers and the other with staff, both about PHAST and participatory methods. We led the training with volunteers on Friday. The staff declared the training voluntary and we had a few folks choose not to show up (including some folks that have led PHAST in their village and we desperately needed their feedback, it was frustrating (more so for me, Lucas). But it was good in the end, very much Alex and I handing our project off to the newer generation of volunteers. And we feel good about giving it to them.
Our staff training is tomorrow, we still have preparations to finilize. It'll be good, and our expectations aren't as high as they were for the volunteer training.

We interviewed with Antarctica yesterday. We should get an email or call this week to see if we got a job, but I doubt there are any positions available this near to the start of the summer season. I suspect we'll get offered "alternate" positions, which means we'd be medically qualified and ready to go if they needed to replace staff that didn't work out for whatever reason. I was originally an alternate my first Antarctic season. It might actually work out better this way, we'll have time to go home and visit family and maybe even figure out where we are going to live before we get called up. And we might not get called up at all too, which would be fine too, as we really are ready to find some ground and put down some roots.

We will probably buy plane tickets tomorrow (after a meeting with our country director), leaving Vanuatu on October 11, a few days in Fiji and then on to DC. Visit family and then find a place to live in Virginia. Unless Antarctica calls early or we stumble onto some type of great job, Alex and I should be seeing lots of you (if your Lucas' family) at Brian's wedding in November.

We were without our computers for the last month on the island, (It's a long story but essentially we put the computers on the cargo ship and they took a month to get to us.) So I haven't done any blog entries at site this past month. We were good, more folks are starting to ask us for help, which feels good, we've gained some level of trust over time. The dispensary store had a theif, they haven't lost any money, but it's been 9 months now and they haven't made any money, well they have made lots of money, probably at least a thousand dollars, but they don't have anything to show for it. It's a common problem with businesses in the South Pacific, the slang for it is "rat i kakai"; which means that a rat has eaten the profits, sort of like a dog eating homework in America. Most of the rat eating probably came from giving family a can of food here and there and not thinking much about it.

Okay that's long enough for now, we are good, ready to get back home and start the next 'phase' of our lives.

Oh, and one last thing, it'll probably be good not to send us mail anymore, as it often takes months to arrive and we'll be leaving in not too many months. Don't worry though, we'll keep sending you mail.