Pictures have been added to the album so check them out! Click HERE.
So I've been to Ovalau and returned and it is such a beautiful island! I took a small plane from the eastern side of Viti Levu on a 10-15 minute flight and had one of the smoothest landings I can remember when we made it to the eastern side of Ovalau. The flight was delayed taking off for 2 hours because of the weather though - so I was definitely nervous about getting on the plane! But it was a really nice flight. Asa (the other volunteer coming to Ovalau) told me if I needed to squeeze his arm as hard as I could then I was allowed - lucky him I didnt need to because it could have been ugly! My counterpart offered to open the window of the plane so that I might throw up out of it ... lucky that wasn't necessary.
My counterpart (ICCP or inital community contact person) is really nice and his name is Inoke. When I first saw him we were all standing in the room waiting to be introduced to our ICCPs. I nudged everyone around me "hey! do you see that guy in the red bula shirt? check out that GIANT mustache!! If he is my ICCP all I will be able to do is stare at his upper lip!!" And of course who do they call forward when they are introducing me? GIANT MUSTACHE MAN! He is great though - very funny and well educated and well travelled. His wife is Australian and has lived in the village for 20 years. Amazing. My house is right next to Inoke's and he told me I would be safe because he has his M16 pointed out his window. Ha! I have 3 papaya trees in my garden as well as some eggplant. It needs some serious work though. Oh yeah, my house has not been built yet! Im a little nervous because I need a place to live. And because they are running out of time, the house is not going to be the traditional bure, but will be a tin house. He is going to paint it blue for me. I'm going to bake! I got to go snorkeling in my MPA that is nearby and it is really great - lots of fish and beautiful hard corals.
I've also got a new pet! The volunteer leaving Ovalau found some kittens and is raising them. She isnt going to take them with her when she leaves, so I am going to get one of the kittens. I have named him Simba (like the lion king) and he will help keep my house rat free! He is freaking cute! I never have been a cat person either, but I like this little guy so much already. He is in Ovalau waiting for me.
Sorry this email is more details than fun stories but they are sure to come! First of all, imagine my trying to cook anything without a microwave. Imagine me in a garden. Imagine me when I wake up in the middle of the night to find a spider crawling on my face. I hope Simba likes to eat bugs too.