Sunday, June 23, 2013

St. Patrick's Kindy Wokabot

The Kindy (kindergarten) 0f St. Patrick's headed to Center, the south part of the island, to celebrate Kindy Day. They all wore matching island attire to represent there SPC. Here are a couple photos commemorating their departure.

Quebec Day in Vanuatu!

Today I had the privilege of celebrating Quebec day with my new Canadian friends. Who knew that the first time I would ever hear about Quebec day would be all the way in Vanuatu?! We listened to fulap French music, ate really good French toast, along with other delicious goodies. A little rain, but over all a very enjoyable day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I'm the worst blogger...

It's been well of two years in Vanuatu and I have officially given myself the title of Worst Peace Corps Blogger EVER.

I have officially ended my second year as a PCV in Vanuatu and have begun my third and final year. The best thing about extending a third year is the benefit of getting flown home for 35-45 days. My home leave will begin on December 14th - I'm so excited to see my friends and family. A small part of me is a bit nervous because I'm not sure what to expect, I mean, things have definitely changed for all of us.

Besides my home leave coming in a few weeks, I am proud to announce that my Peace Corps Partnership has been fully funded! This means that my lab will get a new N-computer system to replace six of our 'outdated' systems, and also clear up some space in the lab because the system will take up less space.  I will be spending the last two weeks of my time in Vanuatu ordering and (hopefully) shipping the equipment to my island. We will see, I'm sure this process won't be a smooth as I'm hoping it to be. I will also be learning how to make my own network cables - this I'm excited for (YES, I'm a nerd) because I finally get to use the crimper that was donated to me from a nice tech guy from Australia, Dave. So, what better way to spend my last few weeks in paradise before going to Las Vegas... I love my job!

Ok, last few somethings before I publish my latest blog... hmmmm.... oh yes, notice to any tourists planning a trip to East Ambae - There is a new bar called the Beach Bar. This place won't look like much, but with the right people, It's a hoot n' a half :)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Third year extension paperwork submitted

Christina and I at school
This past week I officially submitted my extension letter along with my school's supporting letter. I'm so very excited about this next year (even tho year 2 isn't even finished yet)... I finally know what's going! This past year hasn't run as smoothly as I would have hoped for, but on a personal level, things are pretty great. I realized early on in my service that teaching computers in a county like Vanuatu is not easy because the lack of resources available - reliable power, internet, working computers, etc, but still I have signed on for another year because even without these resources, the gratitude that I see in my student's faces is what makes it worth the stay!
Some of my students opening a box of donated books

(2011) year 12 students in class

(2011) My counterpart working with our year 12 cass.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

100 Dei blo Mommy

It's taken me awhile to write a blog about this, but I think I've finally found the right time...

When you decide to join the Peace Corps, you plan on leaving you family and friends for at least 2 years of your life. Before the journey, we wonder about the new people that we'll meet or the new friends that we're bound to make as we all travel down the same 2 year path (less traveled by for sure). What we don't expect is the fact that we could loose that new somebody to something as tragic as death.

I'm not an emotional person at all, but having to cope with the death of my host-mother, somebody who had taken me in as one of her own daughters from the beginning, was so emotionally devastating for me. My reaction was complete shock (still is today), as it was for my family here on Ambae.  I feel a great loss, but I feel for my sisters and brothers who have lost their mommy to an illness still this day unknown.

The death shook everything up in my life, as well as my family's. Since I was not on the island when she passed away, I missed the beginning. I came back about 25 days after and really felt as If things were completely different. Going to the family's house for dinner and small story times with mom were over - "no more simboro blong mommy", my sisters would say. The house that once was filled with singing and laughter were now filled with tears and long moments of silence. I really miss her.

We celebrated the 100th day on April 26th at the family's village. The hoas blong mommy (grave) was almost complete and family from all the surrounding villages were there to say their final farewells. At bongies on Ambae, everybody gets together for large kakaes and kava drinking. My family had held these bongies every 5th day since the death of my mom - that is a lot of laplap and kava! It was always good to see people that I hadn't since Christmas or even before the holidays, but I knew that after this main day, the bongies would end and things would go back to their normal ways.

Normal way, hmm..... I still am uncertain as to what will happen with my family. Will my dad send my sisters off to school in Port Vila, will my brothers be sent to live in the village with other mommies - mi no save now. I just hope for the best and send my thoughts to my family. I know things will never be the same now that she is gone, but I can still make the most of the remaining time I have here and try to help whenever I can.

I did get to take part in a kastom the day before the 100 days. I killed two pigs which came with a new kastom name - Molimataravi. The pig killing was just one of many events that took place the day before and the day of the 100th day. I'm grateful that my family let me be part of this custom ceremony - a memory that I will truly remember for a lifetime!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

My Easter, this year, was spent in Santo once again. The easily accessible island near Ambae is a perfect getaway for those well-needed and well-deserved walkabouts. It's always great coming to Santa and getting a chance to see friends. After the past few months at school, I was very ready to get on that plane and head over the big blue ocean.

Why would I say that I'm ready to getaway? Well, lets just say the past few months have been very stressful and tiring. Our power at the school has been out which has in turn made my teaching computers extremely difficult. I don't think there is anything worse for a student than sitting in front of a computer and not even getting to use them for weeks on end. I think the hardest thing I've had to endure would be the constant planning and developing lessons that can be taught without power, but still be enjoyable. Just last week, I had two classes (both double periods) in the afternoon. The students were full from lunch, the room was hot and there I w as talking about the difference between system software and application software and computer impacts on our society. I've noticed that these two subjects are just the thing if your looking to put your students to sleep.

So, having to deal with ongoing planning and having students constantly come up to me asking when the lab is going to open... well, I'm tired and I need a break.  Now, my last day in Santo is here and I'm heading back to Ambae tomorrow afternoon. I'm looking forward to getting back home. Only a couple more weeks of this term left - sooooooo much to do yet! I'm hoping the power comes back before the start of term 2!

Ale for now :)