16 April 2007

Packing List for Fiji

  • Long dresses: Short-sleeved, hem falls below the knees*
  • 1 Moderately formal dress*
  • 1 Conservative long black skirt/dress*
  • Long, loose skirts, hem falls below the knees*
  • 1-2 Long-sleeved tops*
  • Loose-fitting, short-sleeved cotton shirts*
  • Short-sleeve, button down blouses*
  • 2 Tanktops with Support
  • 2 Sportbras
  • 1 Traditional-style Bra
  • 2 Lightweight sweaters*
  • 1 Zip-down Sweatshirt/Lightweight Fleece*
  • 1-2 Pairs of long pants*
  • Pairs of lightweight, knee-length shorts*
  • Athletic shoes*
  • Sandals/walking shoes*
  • Durable Reef Shoes

  • Backpacker’s sleeping bag liner*
  • Pillowcase
  • LED Headlamp
  • Small Sewing kit
  • Sunglasses*
  • Hat*
  • Waterproof windbreaker*
  • Light-gauge wetsuit*
  • Snorkle and Mask*
  • Umbrella*
  • Waterproof watch*
  • Thermarest
  • Personal hygiene and toiletry items*
  • 2 Pair of Prescription Glasses
  • Crystal Rock Deodorant
  • 2 Toothbrushes
  • Dr. Bronner's Soap
  • Tom's of Maine Toothpaste
  • Floride Floss
  • Hair Clippers
  • "Keeper" (I highly recommend this for every woman)
  • Folding Camping Chair
  • 2 Dry Bags: X-small, Small
  • Sturdy luggage/travel bags*
  • Large Military Style Pack
  • Medium Internal Frame Pack
  • Medium -sized Hiking Backpack (inside luggage)

  • Small Clock with Alarm*
  • Travel Adapter (Type I)
  • 3-4 Nalgene Bottles
  • Good, sharp kitchen knife*
  • Shortwave radio*
  • Portable tool kit/ Multi-tool*
  • 2 Lightweight towels and face cloths*
  • Flashlight*
  • Duct Tape*
  • Locks*
  • Plastic French press*
  • Silica gel*
  • Basic cookbook*
  • Vegetable steamer*
  • Zip-Loc Bags*
  • Tupperware
  • Personal Thermometer (There usually isn't one in the medkit)
  • Herbal Sleeping Aid (for the flight)

  • AMEX Credit Card for Emergencies
  • Personal Passport
  • Medical Record & Immunization Record in Protective Folder
  • Photocopies of Important Documents in Protective Folder

  • Camera*
  • CD player & CDs*
  • Portable Speakers (Regretted not having them last time)
  • Laptop (Powerbook G4)
  • Solar Panel System
  • Paperback books*
  • Zen and Spiritual Texts
  • Favorite Casual Reading
  • Games: Cards, UNO, Scrabble, Frisbee, Deflated Ball*
  • Inflatable globe & atlas*
  • Personal Photo Album/Address Book,Laminated*
  • Simple song book of American songs*
  • Surface mail subscriptions*
  • Martha Stewart
  • Tricycle
  • U.S. postage stamps*
  • Children's Books
  • Gifts*
  • Anything "American." A trip to the dollar store should suit your needs fine.
  • Stickers are wonderful for children.
  • Kitchen tools - Silicone Potholders, Can opener
  • Multi-tool

*Peace Corps Recommended Items

14 April 2007

Second Invitation

I have officially received my (second) invitation to the Peace Corps.

My placement will be in Fiji working with the Community Health Promotion Project.

I will post what details I can here, including updating links and contact information.

I am very pleased to be accepting this assignment. I believe that the location and the work could not be more ideally suited. I look forward to returning to the South Pacific and discovering more of the beauty in that area of the world.

13 April 2007

Accomidating Uncertanity

The last two weeks have been a disorienting combination of frantic preparations, tense waiting, and frail attempts at meaningful activity.

I understand that I am the type of person who feels they need to be continually engaged in a directed purpose. If I am in a situation where I have little control over my environment and I am given to much time on my hands, I will become restless and unmotivated. I would like to imagine myself using this time to meditate and do yoga or another activity that would encourage my personal growth. I envision myself lingering over cups of tea and reading some insightful words.

What do I do instead? I sleep in, unable to force myself from the apathetic blanket of half-consciousness. And unless I have specific tasks set out for the day that I must accomplish, I waste my time on the internet... pretending to occupy my time with lists and Word documents. Taking digital figments of reality and re-organizing them into tidy files. Essentially, trying to make order out of illusion.

Previously, this was enough to fool my mind into thinking it was occupied. But I have a new perspective. I see these actions a just subtle distractions. My mind working against its despondent attitude. I also have the experience of being in a distant place, in similar circumstances but I was unable to as easily escape my dejected state. I was forced to face my malaise and take measures to alter my mood out of cultural and professional necessity.

What does all this amount to? Perhaps, if I make the effort to schedule my days with more structure I will be able to convince my fickle emotional self that such activities are worthwhile.

09 April 2007

Video: News Article on Global Warming in Kiribati

Here is a news broadcast on global warming in Kiribati. I think it is a wonderful effort to show the impact on human life instead of just listing facts on a page.

Video: Global Warming in Kiribati

05 April 2007

Returning to The "New World"

I missed my flight.

One would think a 10 hour layover would be enough to connect from LAX to Boston...
Apparently not in my case.

I could not accurately tell you if it was a wrong time on a clock, the wrong gate, the fact that I may have slept through boarding that caused me to miss my flight... which probably says something about my lack of brain functioning yesterday.

But more than all of that I have been a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of everything here.. in just a short time I became accustomed to a simpler pace of life. My penance was sleeping on the rug floor of the international terminal (which was none to clean but seeing that I have been sleeping in a hut with rats the last few weeks, it was immaculate comparitively)... and not actually getting any rest. I'll live.

I'm planning on trying to adjust to the local time zone in the East Coast... trying not to sleep to much during the day. But I may take a rest on the plane.

Everything here is so bright... and the materials of the buildings are enormously varied. Everything is on a tight schedule and everyone seems to be in a rush. Astounding what a month away can do for one's perspective.

02 April 2007

Still Safe.

Despite the earthquake this morning I am still safe and sound. No Tsunami.
This is a good thing... because had I been killed this morning at that time I would have died watching Matrix 2... and no god would want that... no god is so cruel as to wish that death upon anyone.

I'm Coming Home (Temporarily)

It has been decreed...

Because of the transfer, I will be returning home for a month or so.
I will most likely be living in Worcester... trying to get to all the medical appointments and repack .
I am hoping to get a First Aid Certification and volunteer at the hospital while I'm home.

The latest news on my placement:

They offered a very specific placement in Fiji where I would act as an health extention volunteer using theater to educate the public about various topics.

The job, plus the culture and my ability to remain vegetarian seemed reasons enough to put in a bid for the position.

If all goes well and I get the position I desire, I will be leaving to return to the South Pacific on May 20th.

As for myself...

I am doing well and I do not feel badly about the changes. I look forward to the opportunities ahead of me.

I look forward to hanging out with my friends.. most likely in sedate places - i.e. not the mall. I will be experiencing some re-adjustment and there is no telling how that will be until I get back. But eating good food in good company is something I look to treasure in my short time back.

On a side note: I will be selling my SLR when I get home for a decent price... including the case, extra filters and extra batteries and what not. It is the best thing I can do in circumstance and if you are interested please let me know.