Welcome to Port Vila, the bustling capital of our beautiful aelan kantri. The picture at the top is the park right behind the Peace Corps office. It's a great place to unwind and watch the ships come in. Sometimes you can spot one of enormous cruise ships coming in to dock. The other two are just shots of different places around town to kind of give you a flavor.
I spent most of today running around trying to assemble and pack all my stuff. I still believe in the principle of packing-more-is-packing-less, but it hasn't worked out that way in practice. I put seven bags, boxes and Chinese bags on the ship this afternoon. That's in addition to the three I'll be carrying on the plane. I also went ahead and got the two burner stove (and the regulator, hose and 11 kg propane tank). It was expensive but will probably worth be worth it when I'm tired of eating aelan kakae and hunger for some white man food....of course, come to think of it, I'm fresh out of vatu and so won't be taking any white man kakae with me. Oh, well.
This is the last blog posting I'll be making for a while. I'll be back in Vila next year, maybe late January, probably some time in February. Until then, I'll be far away from internet and phones. I think everybody's pretty excited about going away to their new homes, but, truth be told, I'm more nervous tonight than I was my last night in Oklahoma. This seems like a much more irrevocable divorce from my life back there in America. Of course, I didn't really like my life in America that much--indeed I always looked at Peace Corps service, depravations and hardships and all, as a bit of a vacation from that life (among the many, many other reasons I decided to join up). A breath of fresh air after the past few years of post-Disease stagnation and torpor seemed--and still seems--like just what the doctor ordered. But certainly not all of it was bad. Many parts of my life I loved a lot--like all of you reading this blog, for example (yes, all three of you). And I will miss you during the next two years. I'll try to write. I'll try to go to the Digicel coverage area (an hour walk away) to give you a call from time to time.
I really don't have any idea what to expect when we land on Epi. We'll be met at the airport by a few of the current volunteers and maybe a family member or two. Chris will go with me to my site to check out and learn where I live for when he comes to visit and then after that...I don't know. We'll see. It'll be an adventure.