Thursday, January 12, 2012


I was this close to making a volleyball my best friend, but I've escaped my tropical island just in time. The one place for internet on Ambae was out of service, the one truck that goes to my side of the island was broken, the ocean was too rough for boat passage, and in general the wind and rain made it impossible to leave my tiny village. Add that all up and you get some major island fever. But I am now embarking on a much needed and intensely anticipated vacation. I will be in the capital city of Port Vila until Jan. 18, then I will be flying toward two wonderfully unplanned and work-free weeks in Sydney, Australia. I'll be back to Vila on Feb. 1 and then doing work for the Gender and Development Committee, finally going back to Ambae on Feb. 17. A whole month away!

Since I have been off the radar for the past few months, here are a few updates:

  • I got a kitten! Her name is Pikay, named for a popular brand of gum in Vanuatu, PK. In my village, when something is insubstantial or "smol tumas" people will say it's "chewing gum nomo!" Given that Pikay is currently about the size of a softball I though the name was fitting. But what she lacks in size she makes up for in ferocity. She is unaware that she is about as intimidating as a stuffed panda bear, and often gets into standoffs with large dogs whom she feels are invading her turf. Although she hasn't caught any rats yet (the purpose for which she was brought to me) she has left several disemboweled lizards at my doorstep so I see great potential in my little jungle cat.

  • Ranking just below my cat (haha, just kidding Joel!). . .We got a new Peace Corps volunteer in my area. Joel arrived in my neighboring village of Vuiberugu on December 12, and it's awesome to have someone klosap again. I won't embarass him too much, but I'll just say he's a health volunteer from Texas, he's a great fit and people already love him.

  • My niece got into secondary school in East Ambae. She's such a great girl and I'll miss her a lot, but I'm glad she gets the opportunity to continue schooling.

  • Christmas and New Years were nice, but with too much laplap and too many drunk people. Let's just say I'll be glad to be back for the holidays next year!

Ok, now you're pretty up to date. I hope to be writing on this blog thing some more in the next month since I'll have available internet. Thanks for tuning in!

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