Thursday, June 14, 2012

And so it begins...

I'll try to keep this blog post shorts seeing as how I could probably bore you for hours with my travel stories.

Our group did our 'staging event' in Honolulu, Hawaii for 2 days and we had a good time.  We went to Waikiki beach, bonded with each other, and got to swim in the Pacific.  The group of PC Volunteers seems like a nice bunch, and it'll be fun to see how/if we all stay together on these diverse and distant islands.

After a horrible 10 hour plane ride from Honolulu to Phonpei (yes, it's called Phonpei.  It has no volcanoes.  That's the Italian one...) we were immediately handed coconuts fresh from the tree to slurp down their delicious milk.  All the coconut milk from the U.S. I've had sucked.  This stuff is off the charts! 

I was pretty scared throughout the first 4 days including staging.  I was worried that "I'm not cut out for this" or "I'm scared".  I figured out that those were just normal reactions to dropping a whole American life to live on an island for 2 years.  Now on Thursday, one week after arriving in Honolulu and 5 days of being here in Phonpei, I feel good.  I don't feel scared.  In short, I feel like a badass who can kick this job's ass.  And so, here I go!

I'm amazed at how Americanized Micronesia is.  They all have Iphones and cellphones.  Wireless internet is available in a lot of places.  They all speak very good English.  It's like as if I've never left home, right?  My family owns a 'sakau bar', and it's more like a bunch of chairs and tables set out in front of our house.  It is a business though.  Sakau is kind of like alcohol, but tastes even worse.  I'm trying it on Friday.  Can't have a hangover for training!

My house is filled with tiny ants, geckos, and spiders.  Good thing I got over my germ-a-phobe phase a long time ago, because this is not the right place to be for cleanliness (except personal hygiene.  Micronesians, including myself, do a cold shower twice per day, partly for the heat mostly for the sweat.)  My host family is very nice.  My Papa is an ex-congressman from another island called Chuuk, and my host Nohno is a nice woman who works at the immigration office.  She treats me well, and definitely keeps me well fed (Even though my appetite has dropped off because of the heat and anxiety).

I'm done for the night.  It's almost 11pm and it's been dark for 4 hours.  It gets dark early here, and the roosters start crowing at 4am.

Mensung Mao (good morning) to all of you back home, and I'll post again fairly soon.


  1. Thanks so much for the update and the picture - she is adorable? How old and is she the only child? Thank goodness you have musical skills! Hvae you been able to find a guitar yet?
    Miss and love you and look forward to more info from your end! Hugs!

    1. I've found a guitar. It's not the best of sorts, but it's under $100 and it will work. I haven't bought it yet, but once I'm all better on Monday I'll pop in and grab it.

      AnJenette is 8 (I think). They also have a 18 year old son and a 16 year old adopted daughter.