Monday, April 12, 2010

The new hairdo ... still takes getting used to.

Sushi we made for Courtney's birthday ...

The marshmallow peep taste test ...

Hey everyone - so it has been a veeeery long time since I posted and I am sorry. I have no excuse except that I am incredibly lazy and turning in a Fijian - I sleep and eat all the time and do little else. I'm trying to reverse the process but it is difficult. I am going to do my "sectionals" blog in which I categorize what I am blabbing on about so that you may be picky in what you read. Since all of you loyal readers love me so I expect you to be reading everything anyway.
Weather: It is HOT here ... seriously hot. Like, you can salt your margarita glass with my FACE hot. Then you can give me that margarita. There was a cyclone as I am sure most people know. It did manage to sideswipe Ovalau with basically no damage here. However, just last week there was very heavy rains causing a bridge to collapse!!! This is the bridge closest to my village that separated me from town. I had to wade through the tidal creek in the dark upon returning from a very long day of travel - this is one of my "so I really am in the Peace Corps" kind of moments. If the tidal creek had been filled with poop - then I would have known I was in the Peace Corps with my eyes closed.
Smells: Yes, I have a section on smells. Why do you ask? Because there is a very horrible vile smell coming from the southwestern corner of my house that I cannot find the source of!! I have shined my flashlight in cracks and crevices, lifted my mats off the floor, smelled myself ... nothing. It smells like really bad cat breath ... so I smelled my cat's breath and nope - actually not too bad. So the mystery remains. Also, and let me point out that I am not the only one who feels this way, I feel like I can never smell good here. I know I am not the source of the rotting smell, BUT I still feel like no matter how many showers I take - I cant smell good for very long!! I think it is that my clothes will never really be clean here no matter what I do - so there is a persistant hippie/Fijian smell about me. I plan on an intense body scrub when I return to the USofA.
World Map: I have started a project with one of the schools in Levuka and it is called the World Map Mural Project. I am working with class 7 (12 years old) on painting a mural in their library. Before starting I quizzed them on their geography knowledge and found that most of them could no find Fiji on a map. While I was not thrilled at this knowledge, I was happy to know that the project was a good choice. Currently the ocean is painted and the white boarder. Now we are working on the grid and transferring the map onto the wall - this is tideous but makes me feel like I am accomplishing something. Yay!
Marshmallow Peep Taste Test: Just because the picture is here, I thought I'd include the story - despite it's humiliation on my part. Those of you who think that pink Peeps taste bad raise your hands! Well, I agree - they taste pink. My associates Kelly and Melisha disagreed with me so we fashioned up a peep taste test in which I was blindfolded and then fed peices of peep of the pink and yellow variety. I tasted both colors and FAILED MISERABLY at distinguishing pink from yellow. End of story - never bring it up again.
S'mores: Jason wonderfully sent some s'mores ingredients that I received in the mail last week. I made s'mores with the kids (videos later - having trouble loading videos lately) and the LOVED them so thank you very very much Jason. It cracks me up how much these kids love s'mores. Any visitor who comes should bring the stuff and we can make them together - its totally cute.
Easter Vacay: I just returned from a vacation with several other Peace Corps volunteers to the "friendly north" in Fiji. I traveled via ferry to Vanua Levu to do some diving on the famous Rainbow Reef - the dives were beautiful and the company divine. It was the Passover holiday so I ate a lot of peanuts, potatoes, and dried fruits - yay Moses. After our stay on Vanua Levu we transferred (in our Peace Corps issued PFDs) to the small and beautiful island of Kioa. Our gracious hosts took us around the island and canoeing on a pau-pau. The only downside of both parts of the trip were the heinous jelly fish that attacked us when we tried to snorkel!! This is not a normal part of Fijian marine life that I have seen - perhaps a result of Cyclone Thomas. We all sustained many-a-painful sting. Let it be know that NO ONE peed on anyone else although it was certainly suggested. After Kioa, Sean and I went to another village on Vanua Levu to visit another set of friendly PCVs and enjoyed good food and company and learned how to play cribbage! I must get a cribbage board ... and a written set of rules because I will NEVER remember how to score that game. I finally arrived back on Ovalau 8 days later to an out bridge (see section on Weather). It should be known that my travel home started at noon on Wednesday and ended at 8pm on Thursday. To a house with no electricity. I know I know - most PCVs dont have power, BUT I am spoiled and used to 24hour electricity so I am not equipped to deal with a loss of power!!

Well, this seems long enough for now - besides I am paying a fortune already for being online so I should skidaddle. The countdown of less than 1 month until my family visits has begun!! I do head back to Suva in less than a week to finish up the HIV/AIDS training that had to be canceled due to the cyclone. Time to restock on parmesan cheese - perfect timing.