Friday, May 7, 2010
Days of Our Lives; I Ate a Bat; I Dedicated (Another) Solar Panel
This is the aid post where I work.
30 March: (27 easy push ups, 33 hard ones) The new solar panel at the Mama's center in Yapuna needed dedicating and I was invited to represent the Peace Corps. Simion (host dad) said to be there by 1 pm; I was. I walked over with Alili, Tony and one other guy. Then we waited for nearly three hours on a mat under a tree (island time). Once it got started it was pretty standard procedure: you're presented with a ceremonial necklace, sit through a boring sermon from the pastor, clap, space out during a couple of boring speeches, clap some more, stand up and say a few words on behalf of the good 'ol US of A, everybody else claps, pray some more, receive a ceremonial mat and--in this case--a ceremonial yam, then kava time. I gave my kava to an elder because I didn't feel like throwing up all night. Afterwards the chief led me on an inspection tour of the house they're building for the future Peace Corps volunteer who'll be arriving in November. Then kakae (eat) and back to Malvasi.
16 March: (26 easy, 29 hard) Good sun today but plenty rain after dark. I was able to charge up the laptop enough to watch about half a "West Wing". Marko--Simion's brother--somehow managed to capture a bat and its ted up upside down. The Ni-Vans like to torture it by poking it with a stick.
March 17: I weighed 57 kilos. 23 easy push ups, 30 hard. Good sun, light rain only. Ate, swam and read in the AM as usual. Also, Terekea (PC staff) came through Malvasi on her way back to the airport and Port Vila. She stopped in for about two minutes to say hi. The cell tower on Lamen Island started working again after another week long break down--talked to Ryan (PC Vol on Pentecost) and Nelsine (PC doctor). The Ni-Vans killed that bat Marko caught the other day and cooked it. I tried a couple of nibbles. It was truly vile. It was tough and gamey and tasted exactly like it smelled in life (like burning tires). Attlee really liked it, though. Spent all afternoon at the aid post.
The bat came in a bowl of taro with coconut milk. Taro is really good and in my neck of the bush it's a rare enough treat that I was mildly disappointed they'd ruined a perfectly good bowl of it was throwing in a bat wing. And it was a bat wing, all leathery and stuff. Yuck. "Oh, Vanuatu..."
This is the MV Brisk. It's the boat I rode back to the island after my first IST (in-service training) in February. I took this photo from the beach where it dropped me off in Lamen Bay.