6-29 Visiting Friends: Londar

Sarah and Lucky, hiding in the front of the boat

When Relvie, our Safety and Security Coordinator and the staff member doing our site visit, headed south, I jumped in the boat. I’d been wanting to go to the south to visit the folks down there but just hadn’t had a chance. This seemed like a good one.

I ended up taking a nap for much of the boat ride south. It had been a long few days and I’ve always been like a two-year-old about falling asleep in moving vehicles. The parts of the boat ride I was awake for were pretty but not photogenic. I’m learning that a good photo requires something to focus on or a wide-angle lens. I don’t have a wide-angle lens, so the sweeping panoramics that this country is great at lose something in the translation. It didn’t help that it was drizzling. Pretty much everything is less photogenic in drizzle. A proper rain is different but the drizzle makes the light flat and there isn’t any fun contrast in the sky colors.
On the beach at Wanur, we chatted with folks while waiting for Sarah to come find us. She lives in the next village up and agreed to show us the road there. She arrived and we started the ascent to her village. Really, it is a very pretty walk. Unfortunately, it had been raining for a week, which meant a normally decent footpath was turned into a mudslide. This is our life on Pentecost. We walk up and down steep hills on slippery, muddy tracks and try to avoid anything someone says is a “shortcut.” That just means it is steeper and muddier.
Sarah’s site is the lovely village of Londar. Her house is up on stilts and has a woven bamboo floor. I think that is pretty cool. She has a cute kitchen and a nice little veggie garden out back. We hung out and caught up until it was time to wind down for the day. 
Sarah in Wanur with her friends
Sarah went out to her kitchen to make tea and Relvie and I got our beds ready. By beds, I do mean respective pieces of floor, but since it was woven bamboo, it had a nice give. Relvie’s kids called to say goodnight just as Sarah came back in carrying her thermos. As she stepped up into her house, the bottom of the thermos fell out, which landed on the dog, shattering and covering him in scalding water. He took off further into the house, which meant directly onto my bed, howling because he was covered in boiling water, while Relvie tried to talk to her children on the phone and Sarah stood in shock holding the now-empty thermos. The dog hid under Sarah’s bed and required a solid five minutes of coaxing to come out, while Sarah was trying to figure out how to get the glass shards out of her floor. Woven bamboo is not conducive to cleaning. It took us a solid forty-five minutes of sweeping to get it to the point that we didn’t think it would cut anyone who had to pee in the night.
When I say it rains, I mean that wall of
white is like a bucket of water being dumped on your head. 
Or maybe my head…
The next day, Relvie gave a community talk talk about safety of Peace Corps Volunteers and answered questions about the work we are here to do. It was interesting to listen to what she had to say about both topics. Our staff make a point to make the communities responsible for the safety of the volunteer, which reduces the number of issues we have.
We walked back down the mudslide and jumped in a different point to head north to Pangi. Sarah decided to come along as well, which meant her dog joined us, too. He wasn’t badly burned, despite the amount of noise he made about the whole ordeal.

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