Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The whole training group at the Nadave site. All wearing our Peace Corps sulus!

Sa vakacava tiko? How are you?! That is one of the few things I remember from Fijian so far. I have landed safely and am currently residing in my host village. I will be here for the next 9 weeks! So let me recap:

  • Arrived in LA on the 18th - met everyone and they all seem very nice - some quick training on how to get there and what to do when we arrive
  • Leave LA - Arrive Nadi: drive 5 hours along coral coast - stop for quick lunch.
  • Drank my first bottle of Fiji water!
  • Arrived for orientation - the whole group stayed there, took some of my first language courses, safety training where they try to scare the crap out of us so we are on our gaurd.
  • Move in with host family: I am living in a small wooden 2 bedroom house. the bathroom and shower are ACTUALLY INSIDE! I can't believe that really. I am very lucky. I don't know my parents names, but I call then Na (mom) and Ta (dad). I have become known as "Tuli" around my village because Juliana is "Tuliana" (the J is a ch here, so the name is changed to have a T) and I just decided to shorten it to Tuli. I actually really like it.
  • Oh yeah - you are probably wondering about the Kava - They drink it A LOT. We have had already 3 drinking sessions since I've been here! They threw one the day I arrived at orientation to welcome us and I had my first drinks of Kava - tastes like dirt. Here it is called yaqona (pronounced "yangona" because the Q=ng here). It DEFINITELY numbs your tongue. There was also a welcoming ceremony when we arrived (me and the 4 other volunteers and 1 language teacher) at Vatarua. I did not drink that time because I have so wonderfully acquired the same illness I had mere days before my thesis defense. So since everyone drinks from the same "tonoa" (kava bowl) I didnt want to infect everyone. Not too sanitary.
  • I have a telephone now! You can call me for mere cents a minute and it will make my day! I have heard Skype is the cheapest way. My number is 912-5016 and I think if it is from a cell phone you have to dial +679 then the number and you need the + sign. But if you use Skype you just have to select the country you are calling and then put just the phone number there. It is free for me to recieve calls so call all you want! Text too! Thanks to Stephen I have a great phone and look forward to hearing from you. Texts are free for me to receive.
I would love to write more but I have to get back to training!! Keep in touch!


Hillary said...

YAY! SO glad to hear you made it safely and it sounds like things are going well! I can't wait to get your next update! MISS YOU ALREADY!

Diana said...

Hey sweetie, I am so glad you got there safe!! thanks so much for letting us know you are okay. Please take care of yourself...miss you!!!

Eric said...

I want some of that tongue-numbing dirt drink.

Courtney said...

WOOOOOO! Sa vakacava tiko? Love the language lesson and glad you made it there safe! I would text you, but it would probably cost me $1,000,000. ;) We'll have to skype sometime soon. Keep updating, cutie!

Mary said...

I'm glad you are enjoying yourself so far! I hope everyone is nice and helpful. It will be pretty cool learning a new language and actually using it right away!