11-5 Points South: Sarah’s Birthday!

There was a cake.  We even wrote on it.

The real reason we walked south was not for me to run away from my problems but to celebrate Sarah’s golden birthday.  In Pangi, we met up with her and Eric and we spent the weekend together at her site in Londar. 

Friday evening we ate whiteman food and chatted.  Saturday, we went down to the beach and hung out.  I made a sand castle and a giant squid attacking it.  Eric tried to keep the sand out of his sandals.  (He has a thing about his feet getting dirty.  Don’t ask me what he’s doing on a mud-slick island.)  Alexandra caught up on gossip mags and Sarah and I jumped in the ocean. 
Of course, we’d seen no one on the beach all day until the two of us took our shirts off and went swimming in the ocean.  Then people showed up, trapping us in the water out of modesty.  I gave up on that pretty quickly and just walked out in my bra.  Whatever, they breastfeed during church, I can walk out of the ocean in shorts and a bra.
A day on the beach

Alexandra and I were utterly convinced that Sarah needed a birthday cake.  We bought cake mix (it’s not like cake mix in the US, believe me) and made a cake.  I’m getting better at baking on fire but I’ve got some learning yet to do.  The first cake wasn’t done in the center.  When I lifted it out of the pan, the center fell out in a pile of goo.  I re-baked the center.  When it was done, I chopped it up and glued it back into the cake with frosting.  The second cake was less salvagable.  In an attempt to not have the center undercooked, we burned the outside.  We burned it pretty badly.  We decided not to bring that one to dinner.

We had birthday dinner with Sarah’s family.  We (the PCVs) covered Sarah in baby powder.  It is a very ni-Van thing to do to splash baby powder on someone as a celebration.  They do it at weddings, goodbyes, welcomes, birthdays and any other excuse they can find.  It’s just fun to dump baby powder on people. 
The castle was going to lose
After dinner we went back to Sarah’s house and had champagne and wine as a whiteman celebration.  We stayed up late (like 11 pm) chatting and hanging out.  I hope it was a good birthday.
On Sunday, we all walked back to Vansemakul.  Eric waffled back and forth about coming but was eventually convinced by the thought of pumpkins.  We got lucky just outside Lonorore again and caught a truck the rest of the way up to my village.  The two PCVs from the south stayed until Wednesday when they jumped on the truck that we’d chartered to pick Jason up at the airport.
All told, I have now walked from Pangi to Nabarangiut, which covers three of the four regions of Pentecost.  I just have to go east, then I can say I’ve seen every area, if not the entire island.

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