I had to force myself to finally type for this blog entry. I have faced many a blinking cursor during the past four months, racking my brain on how I could describe the Peace Corps experience so far. I guess I’ll begin with the basics. Port Vila, the capital, is located on Efate island (eh – faht – eh). My village, Ekipe, is located about seventy to eighty kilometers from Port Vila. I try to go to church in my village every week, but my inner atheist gets the better of me most of the time. What else? I have a girl puppy named Kora and a girl kitty named Momo. I eat a well balanced but bland diet everyday, consisting of kumala (sweet potato), manioc, yams (different from sweet potatoes I swear), coconut milk, and aelan kabis. I am located very near the soltwota, but the beaches are ugly and polluted so I don’t swim very often. Furthermore, I will forever be a land-dweller and a lover of mountains, so I REALLY respect the ocean. I respect the ocean so much that I only want to oogle in fascination rather than penetrate her azure depths.
It’s difficult to delve into the psychology of a village but I will attempt to do so. I will first preface by noting that every volunteer’s site is drastically different. A Peace Corps volunteer who lives on a small island called Makira has a gorgeous white sand beach that overlooks different shades of cerulean and blue. I, however, have an ugly coastline. Some volunteers have very tightly knit host families and people who feed them all the time. Due to the proximity of a large market on Efate, my village is very market-oriented and somewhat reluctant to share their food. On the other hand, there are some amazing people in my village, a really motivated headmaster at the local primary school, some really great teachers, and darling kids. AND, Vila is just under an hour away which makes logistics so much easier.
Okay, so pictures speak louder than words right? Right.