Blogs from Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu, Oceania - page 3


Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 27th 2008

Hey everyone! This will be my last chance to update the blog for a while so just wanted to write a quick note. Things have been going very well and we've been kept really busy this past week. We've had some sort of training during the day from 8-4 everyday either medical, safety, health, or language, all orientation type stuff. Then we are free and usually run errands and go to dinner, kava, or hang out with current volunteers. My day usually ends at 8:30 or 9, which has been bedtime lately. It gets dark really early here, around 6:30, so that will take some getting used to, but it makes it easier to get to bed earlier. Today we took a boat out for some water safety training and got to jump off the boat ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 25th 2008

It's raining raining raining! The rain is beautiful here because, as of yet, there hasn't been any thunder or lightning. Just the calming sound of rain. Some volunteers complain of rain making them depressed or mellow, but I am rather hyper about it. The fauna of the area definitely reflect the constant rain and warm weather. Even our hotel has a mini rainforest in the center. One bad side effect, however, is that the rain drives the cockroaches up to higher ground - this morning we found a dead one in our room. This week, our training group has been taking classes on everything. We have learned how to use iodine to prevent against infection, about geography and ocean currents around Vanuatu, brushed up our our sex ed knowledge, some history on Bislama, and even how ... read more
Birthday Party-er
Island Flora

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 23rd 2008

After a little bit of drama in the New Zealand airport (4 of us were waitlisted, including me, which could have meant the group splitting up. Thanks to a whitty kiwi behind the counter, we remained calm and hoped for the best - a few days hanging out in New Zealand until we could get on one of the twice a week flights to Vanuatu. Didn't happen though) and a great welcome by our in country staff and a few current volunteers, we are settling in to the time changes, new food, and early to bed/early to rise lifestyle of Vanuatu. As we flew in to Vanuatu, there were people standing on top of the airport waving and blowing in kazoos. It is a very cheerful place as everyone greets everyone in the streets with familiar ... read more
Welcome Sign
Training Group
Med Kits

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 23rd 2008

2 things upfront: 1) Vanuatu's newspaper is online! AND, our training group is in it! Now, I haven't taken the time to look up the article on the website, but here is the site in case you'd like to keep up on the news: 2) I'm rating this entry "PG." Moms and Dads, you may want to glance through this one real quick before reading aloud with your kiddos. Alright - Kava. My understanding of kava is constantly under reconstruction. I will tell you what I know and modify it as need be. Kava is a ceremonial drink that comes with it's own set of unwritten rules. Our first night in Vanuatu, some current volunteers took us out for kava so that we could learn a few of those rules and not offend any of ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 22nd 2008

"Don't worry about your camera," the cleber, or witchdoctor, said. I had left it on a bus on my first day back in Port Vila. "Tonight I will send my spirit out of my body and walk around town. I will listen to every conversation and find out who has your camera. The only thing is that you yourself must not be outdoors this evening." She was a fat middle-aged lady in a long, dirty light red dress and with beady little eyes that darted here and there, never quite looking directly at me and leading me not to trust her as far as I could spit. I had been led to this slum on the outskirts of Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, by Sam, having not fully understood who we were going to see. For a ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila September 22nd 2008

Hi friends! I am finally here in Port Vila, Vanuatu! We arrived Saturday and it has been a busy and incredible few days already. When we first arrived in the airport after a long trip (and almost having to stay in the airport another week because some of us were accidentally booked on standby) we were welcomed by smiling faces and a string band playing as we waited in line for customs. The island is beautiful and the weather is perfect. The airport in Port Vila only has one baggage carousel for all of its flights so there are bags everywhere and it's kind of a mess trying to pick out everyone's bags, but luckily we all had our luggage. When I went through customs, I had to declare any food items, so I gave the ... read more
Port Vila Airport

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila August 20th 2008

Hello All, This is our first entry on behalf of our service in Vanuatu with the Peace Corps. It is partly to distinguish this portion of the blog from my entries from Mexico and partly to alert those who are still on the e-mail list that they are still active subscribers to this blog. I'm sure that action can be reversed if you are uninterested in our upcoming adventure (imagine...). We'll be leaving September 17 for 3 days of preparation in California. Then we depart for our island home in the South Pacific. Further contact information is available through our parents. Peace until later!... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila August 16th 2008

Vanuatu is a great place. It is only a two and a half hour flight from Brisbane, it is a tax haven and has been voted the happiest country in the world – as the sign in the customs area of Vila airport reminds us. Unlike the brochures in a travel agency, the 8km drive from the airport to the city of Vila does not drum up feelings of idyllic beaches and happy locals – rather it made me think that it is more like a third world country. One thing to learn about Vanuatu and the south Pacific is that things are generally done on island time. Places close down between noon and 3pm daily for siesta and Sundays are purely a day for church gatherings. I stayed at the Sebel, a beautiful hotel on ... read more

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila August 4th 2008

August 4th, 2008 Port Vila Harbor The past few weeks in Port Vila have been quite an adventure in logistics. After arriving so much earlier than planned, I had some time to survey they scene before diving headlong into purchasing supplies. The time proved to be invaluable. Most of the industrial supply shops here in town sell the same general items for about the same general prices. Certain stores have certain specialty items, so hunting for what you need takes a lot of trips to a lot of places. In the first week of our time here I must have met with a dozen store managers from a dozen different shops. In the end, it was all worth it. The shop owners and managers all seemed pleased to help out with our project. Some offered advice, ... read more
Kids in a candy store
Far from Kentucky, but still gettin' lucky.
To Gate Valve, or not to Gate Valve...

Oceania » Vanuatu » Efate » Port Vila July 23rd 2008

July 22, 2008 Port Vila, Vanuatu I’m sorry to be so slow with the updates. It’s just that my time here doesn’t belong entirely to me. There is a major time crunch with the purchase of supplies and I find myself with little time to upload photos. To catch up a bit… There we were in Fiji. Lautoka turned out to be smaller than Suva but equally as dirty. It’s an industry town with a container ship pier. One of Fiji’s greatest exports is sugar and the country’s largest refinery was there in Lautoka. The smell of factories left much to be desired, but the pollution made for great sunsets. We were only there for a few days but I took off for a recruiting trip anyway. Luc the Frenchman was leaving our number and we ... read more
Recruiting trip to Nadi
Swinging the Compass
Sunset at sea.

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