Blogs from Ambrym, Vanuatu, Oceania - page 2

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Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym June 24th 2007

Early December of last year a small black and white pup was born. His mother was unable to give her babes milk so he ate popo (paw paw/ papaya). After one month of life I carried him, an hrs walk, to my village and named him Jack. It was here where Jack began to thrive. All his siblings eventually died from lack of a proper diet, but Jack's new mom spoiled him with lots of love and tin meat (and other sorts of human food). It took no time before he grew strong and at 4 mos he started to join the other dogs in the hunt for wild pig. Jack was the envy of all the dogs and he knew he was special. When I yelled out "JACK!" all the dogs knew it meant feeding ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym June 9th 2007

My Current Mental State MAYBE, I’m going mad? Maybe it was my great big hit on the head when I passed out at Craig Cove on government payday (imagine a gas station in the middle of the desert where 2x a month everyone in a 50 mile radius comes to collect their pay. Here on Ambrym it’s where the only bank is and well everyone was there to witness my fall. No worries, mom, I’m ok and the PCMO (Peace Corps Medical Officers) will run all the necessary tests when I’m in Vila next month. So anyways, talk about cabin fever, I live in a small village in the bush, so every time I want to go some place I must find an escort-otherwise it’s unsafe. So I stay put for the most part. Then when ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym May 15th 2007

Black Magic I know it has been a long time since I’ve written my sister to update my blog. Life here has been a bit mad. Still waiting on a new house and to build a school. So there are days when I am just “kranky” (crazy) but there are also days when I’m very happy-often both occur in the same day. There has been a lot of things happening, earthquakes, tsunami (warnings), very active volcanoes, a cyclone. Yes, Mother Nature has been very busy this past month! Try sitting through a cyclone in a house made of nothing but coconut palm leaves! But this is all normal for this chain of islands and we all remained safe. There have been other disasters unrelated to Mother Nature, unfortunately. Black Magic occurs on islands with volcanoes, and ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym February 25th 2007

Here are some Vanuatu recipes: (Note: Due to variances in cooking techniques, please compare to recipes you are familiar with and adjust accordingly.) 1. Banana and Peanut Butter Biscuit 1 ¼ cup flour ½ tsp. baking powder ¾ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp. salt ½ c. butter ½ c. peanut butter 1 cup sugar ¼ cup bananas Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another dish mix butter, peanut butter and sugar until smooth and then add bananas. After mixing both, add the dry ingredients with the “mush.” Cook like you would a biscuit. You may want to turn them over at one point. 2. Banana Pie 2 cups flour 3 teaspoon butter 1 egg 1 can coconut milk Sugar vanilla 6 bananas Mix butter with flour, add 1 egg. Cut bananas and add ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym February 25th 2007

New Year’s in Vanuatu So now I’m getting it! New Years was spent sober dancing to repetitive string band music with the children. Yes, that was certainly a first. The next morning, we ate bread, again, and ok the end… but no! So a few days after New years it’s pouring down rain and all the youth decide to go on this big wokabout (walkabout-walk) to sing to various villages. Well I know they love to sing and so I guess this is a tradition, how nice. But 10 hours they were gone, walking and singing the whole time, and in a mad downpour! Hmmm I just don’t get what drove them. Then they came back and I learned more about their tradition. It seems as they go and sing at each village, the people poured ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym February 25th 2007

A Typical Day I sit here on my volcanic island looking up at the blue skies through a series of incredibly tall coconut palms thinking sometimes this place seems well, prehistoric. What? You ask. Well if you were to experience all that I said but as dusk is emerging and so are all of the flying foxes. Yes, fruit bats with wing spans at 4 feet. You’d be thinking a dinosaur is about to come snatch you up, too. Even the thunderstorms are frightening, almost surreal. But that doesn’t give you as much of an idea of where I live. So let me tell you more about the life here on Ambrym in a typical week: Sunday: Most people here are Presbyterian although some are Catholic, SDA and there is even a large Jehovah’s Witness village ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym December 28th 2006

Krismas long Wes Ambrym This wasn’t my first Christmas abroad but it certainly was the first that lacked every aspect of Christmas I am familiar with. It lacked that commercialized build up that strikes just after Thanksgiving. The never ending holiday parties, baking cookies, Christmas music and cards in the mail. And most of all, all that shopping; for food and gifts, Christmas pressies and that special holiday outfit. For the most part, I’m really not complaining, I don’t like all that commercialization anyways but it’s the holiday spirit that I missed the most. I am in a (very) Christian country so don’t get me wrong, they celebrate here, in fact they have quite the holiday spirit but still it couldn’t feel less like Christmas to me. For one, it’s summer so no hopes of a ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym November 14th 2006

I was nervous to go into the unknown, coupled with the fact that the airplane to take me there was, well for the lack of a better word, um not exactly the safest plane I’ve seen. But no worries, unlike most other trainees who were grounded in Vila because their airport was too wet to land, I was cleared to go because I was to have a “paved” airstrip. Finally, I land safely at Craig Cove, Ambrym (West Ambrym). I was fortunate, I flew out early, not late and when I arrived I had people waiting on my arrival. (I was told to expect less, to wait, wait to leave and wait to be picked up.) So, off I go in one battered up pick up truck, a style of transport all so similar to that ... read more
Welcoming ceremony
Lucas Houses
Sand Drawing

Oceania » Vanuatu » Ambrym August 22nd 2006

Of Volcanoes First some observations on the physical qualities of sailors. Looking around at the Ambrym festival I noticed that most sailors appear in pretty good shape. Very few are really overweight. Many are quite svelte. But deep down, they are really out of shape. I'm no different actually. On this trip I've lost some weight, despite all the good eating. Being on the boat you are constantly moving and burning calories. But you aren't really working any major muscle groups or get any cardiovascular exercise. So combine this amount of inactivity for the last 4 months with the fact that I haven't had shoes on since March (remember the Achilles). I decided the smartest thing for me to do was to strap on a 20+ kg backpack and go for a two-day trip up to ... read more
Ash Plain-- see grasshoppers in air
Climbing to Mordor
Looking out over the Caldera




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