Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shore Leave + Awareness Events

Life is so busy lately. I feel like I've been here, and there, and over there, and even all the way over THERE, doing all of these different things, and I'm just having a few moments to think about what's going on. I was in Vila for the first ten days of this month, and then the last week, I've had house guests and a lot of traveling for work--so I think it makes sense that, right now, I'm really looking forward to a lazy evening of a) kava with my friend Aisen, b) spaghetti and meatballs, c) John Oliver on continuous play, and d) being able to lie motionlessly on my mattress, in a sports bra, with the electric fan directed at me, and only me. 

Vila. I had a few good nights out and made some new friends. I ate some cheese, saw my baby namesake, and met up with a lot of friends from Tongariki. I also said goodbye to one of my favorite people here in Vanuatu, because he moved away to New Caledonia. That part was not so great. It got worse when I learned that he is an absolute louse, but that's probably not something that needs to be written out on a public blog for everyone to read. Long story short: louse.

I think because my normal life operates at so slow a pace, it seems like I fit a lot into a week and a half. I remember once hearing about this volunteer in an earlier group, and I'm sure this is probably apocryphal volunteer lore and not actually real, but he was out in the bush all the time, right? And when he came into town, he went all OUT. Like, safety and security in danger, all out. To the extent that, allegedly, the second in command of the office had to have a chat with him about slowing his roll down so as to avoid getting kicked out. I definitely don't go out that hard, but in comparison to my normal program, anything is kind of a lot.

Malekula. Came back to Malekula last Friday. All of my friends have been asking me where I've been, so I guess it's been a while. On 9/11, I did a disaster risk reduction and handwashing toktok with my coworker Abelson at Lingarak Primary School. I thought it went pretty well--we threw chewing gum at the kids who could answer our questions correctly, so the audience was into it. I had a series of house guests over the weekend, until last night, and that was pretty stellar--made cake in my rice cooker, drank lots of kava, invented a new game, and so on, and so on. 9/16, I did a program in Taremb village with my coworker Sylveste, and while that was pretty rocky at first--they were not actually aware that we were coming--we gave a toktok on disaster and El Nino to about 100 people, which was great. Today I'm resting up, and tomorrow I'm going to do another school program at Galilee Primary School.

Whew. It's almost 3, so I'm going to chill for 2 hours, then commence my kava-spaghetti-and-meat-balls-John-Oliver-fan program. Embong wan taem!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

OK, it's been a minute...

OK, it's definitely been a while since I updated my blog. A lot has happened! And whenever a really big selection of things happen, and I forget to update this, it just gets easier to not write anything at all. I will try to keep this up a little bit more regularly.

I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I am planning to end my service in early February 2016. This means that I have approximately six months left in Vanuatu. It's strange to finally be coming up towards the end. Most of the time, I feel like I've lived in Vanuatu for forever. Time feels different because I have so much of it! In America, I feel like I always was planning things months or sometimes even years in advance. Living in Vanuatu has made me accustomed to doing things day to day. 

So now that I've chosen a departure date, it's going to be time to start thinking about what to do afterwards. I'm finding it hard to shift back into the mindset that I need to be planning things so far in advance. Honestly, it'd be easier just to stay where I am (although I'm not going to do that! Promise!) and not try to change anything around. But everything good has to end eventually, and for me, it'll be in six more months.