Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More Pictures from Lambubu, Vanuatu

Good luck to all the YCI volunteers who are headed to Vanuatu this week! I know you'll have a great time.

And now for some random pictures:

One of my personal goals while I was in Vanuatu was to get over my fear of children. Near the end of our time in Lambubu, we were asked to either sign up to work at Children's Day or Sports Day. Well, since my other goal was to get over my fear of sports, I decided to challenge the two fears combined. This is Tara, Dave and I giving out ribbons at the end of the day (Samuel was also working at Sports Day, but he's missing from this picture.)

Another first-place ribbon! (Okay, I admit it. The only reason Tara and I signed up for Sports Day is because we both wanted to legitimately use the safety whistles that we had bought for the trip!)

The local kids playing a game called "Port-Ball" on Sports Day.

Dave and the kids doing wheelbarrow races on Children's Day.

One of the kids on Sports Day.

All the kids at the end of Sports Day. And a dog.

One day, we went on a field trip to the man-eating caves. My brother was the leader of our little group, and we hiked down this insanely steep hill side to the caves where cannibalism used to occur.

Peter, Dave's little brother and Dave in one of the caves. To the left of where Peter is sitting is where they used to cook the bodies over the fire, just like lap-lap.

Our group checking out the first cave.

Samuel looking like a boy-scout.

Morsen trying to convince us that he's a "black American gangsta."

This wasn't the only time Morsen played dress up. One night, Liesa was making a fire, and she asked me facetiously, "You don't happen to have an axe on you, do you Jess?" I joked back, "Liesa, you know perfectly well that if I had an axe, it would be attached to a bearded man wearing flannel."

Liesa laughed, knowing my love of men with beards and about my New Year's Resolution. Morsen, however, who was listening to this exchange, was confused. I had a difficult time explaining to him first of all, why we were laughing, and second of all, what beards, axes, and flannel have in common. I wasn't entirely sure he understood our joke, because he walked away, looking completely baffled.

However, the next day on the construction site, I heard Morsen call out to me, "Hey Jess!" I turned around to see him grinning at me, from across the construction site, axe in hand.

But it got even better:

That's right. Morsen not only had the beard, he borrowed Dave's flannel and brought the axe home for the construction site just for me. Awww.

I agreed to marry him, under the condition that he would take care of the pikininis while I went to the nakamal at night. (This was also the night that we bought out the entire Lakatoro Black Market of beer, which was only 11 bottles, of course.)

Iven was all about the playing dress-up too, and borrowed one of the girls' island dresses.

Doing the hokey-pokey on Kindy Day.

This was also the day of our workshop. Look at how hard I'm trying to bond with the pikininis!

Me trying to feebly give a talk on composting and environmental awareness in a terrible combination of Bislama and English during out community workshop day. The bags in front of us is the amount of garbage the local school kids cleaned up in only 1/2 an hour (wan half hour nomo!) from the community. Most of these bags were also filled with discarded batteries.

Since the community doesn't have electricity, they rely on battery operated devices. And of course, there are no proper disposal facilities for these batteries, which has tons of environmental implications. (Also in the group: Peter, Tara, Iven and Rosmon. Peter and Rosmon were our community counterparts).

Becca's little sister, Nandia down at the ocean. (Click to enlarge the picture and check out the "toy" she's holding in her left arm.)

One last swim before we leave Malekula: Jo, Tara, me, Becca and Nicole.

Noella braiding my hair one night after I got out of the shower. "Whiteman gat no louse!" one of the pikininis said. Most of the kids in Lambubu had lice, and was amazed we didn't have it.

Iven looking really cute and happy wrapped up in his bug net.

One day it rained briefly. (It only rained twice while we were there and when it did it was sweet relief from the constant heat.) Becca and I definitely took advantage of the water that was pouring off the roof.

Becca pulled out her soap and we lathered up. When you only have running water for an hour or two a day, this is how grateful you are for it when it shows up unexpectadly.

Every Thursday night our counterparts and some of our families would come over for dinner. Yet another picture of me playing with kids. This time we were playing ball with the pikininis before dinner.

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