February 12, 2012

A Windy Welcome (2/6/12)

My time in the States was great and if anything it has made me look forward more to when I finally get to come home to all my friends and family, but now I was back to my island life again. And what a welcome the islands have given me. Within a day of my arrival on Maewo the rain started. It kept raining for the first four days straight, which was something i'd come to expect by now, but then the wind began picking up too on the 5th day. By the night of the 5th day my dad and I were taking down all of the iron roofing in the area so the wind didnt start throwing it around the village. “What's the peace corps office say? This is a hurricane right?” He kept asking me. I told him i'd ask but I hadn't heard anything. Sure enough they said just some tropical lows and depressions but no hurricanes. This weather continued on for another week. Rain being blown into my house through my walls, everything slowly becoming wet and moldy. I was really hoping to wash my clothes before I had to go back to training but it was looking like the chances of them being washed and dry before training were going away. And then on Thursday only 4 days before I was supposed to go to training the sun broke through and smiled on us. I was thinking to myself that the weather was done, i'd get some days of sun and then get in to my training just fine. Vanuatu had other plans unfortunately. Friday night it started raining again and becoming windy. This time the peace corps office did report a hurricane south of the Solomon islands heading towards Vanuatu. So resigned to likely missing my monday flight I hung out and waited through the weekend.
Sunday came and Nik showed up as we were both supposed to travel in to Vila the next day. We called the peace corps office and they said that the hurricane from the solomon islands missed vanuatu but the water was still too rough and we were all on standfast. So now Nik and I both began hanging out waiting and hoping the weather got better by wednesday so we could travel in to Vila. Monday we called the office and asked for an update. They said that there was now a new hurricane called jasmine that was currently a category 3 and headed straight for Vila out of the west so there wouldnt be any flights on wednesday. Nik and I knew now that friday was the earliest and best we could hope for to get in to Vila. Thursday came and the storms had passed and flights were resuming so when we call the office to ask about us getting in to vila they let us know that the friday flights were full but they were going to do an extra one on saturday that we were both scheduled to come in on. By this point I had entirely missed the training that they were bringing me in for anyways. Worried that maybe i'd be expected to pick up my own room at a hotel when I came in since my training was done, I talked with Sara. Luckily during this training a small part of it was about us closing our services in October which they had to talk to me about so I was guaranteed to come in either way to make sure they could talk to me. Having not even been back on Maewo for a month the weather had already worked to trap me for an extra week. Now the hope is that I will be able to get in to Vila and out again before the next set of hurricanes comes through and makes everyone stuck again. I certainly have become complacent about the weather. Last year I remember being worried every time the iron roofing in the village started rattling from wind, this year two coconut trees were knocked over by the wind before I decided that there had to be a hurricane in the area haha. On the bright side it had made what is usually the hottest time of the year a bit cooler, not to mention during the really big winds its like my house has a mister system installed.


  1. Woah Nic - and I was complaining because we had a cold spell for a few days here in sunny Tucson. It actually snowed in Oracle and everyone was freezing! You have such a fine attitude about everything. I think you are building an untouchable resilience level in these years in the Peace Corps. Nothing will rattle you in the future! Love reading your journal. And it was great seeing you at Christmas. And I can't IMAGINE anyone thinking you were a woman - beard or no!
    Love, Peg J.

  2. Good morning how are you?
    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys travelling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.
    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.
    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Vanuatu? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Vanuatu in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog www.cartasenmibuzon.blogspot.com where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.
    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours faithfully

    Emilio Fernandez