11-5 Points South: Walkabout to Londar!




If flexibility is an art form, I should be a master artist by the time I leave here.  Too bad it is usually a study in impatience for me.
My walking buddy
I’ve been trying to do some toktoks on health topics.  It would be a one hour lecture covering anything and everything related to health that I can think of.  I’m struggling to get this idea off the ground.  I want to do it in a way that is sustainable and that incorporated my counterpart.  I hope that if I do enough of these toktoksin collaboration with her, that she will learn to do them on her own, the same way my co-facilitator stepped up and ran a PHAST on his own.  This is proving harder than it sounds.
Last Thursday around 5:30 in the evening, she canceled our toktokagain.  That is the third time it has been moved or canceled, this time it was with about 14 hours’ notice to me.  I’d spent the entire day prepping for this and was a little disappointed.  So, like a healthy and well-balanced adult, I decided not to deal with any of it.
There was a walking stick on Sarah’s house.  It was cool.

I called Alexandra and we made plans to leave at 6 am and walk south.  We’d thrown the idea around earlier in the week but hadn’t pursued it because of my chance to actually do some work.  When the work got canceled, off we went.  We missed 6 am, but we were out a little after 7, which I take as pretty good.

About an hour into our walk, it started raining.  It was a nice cooling drizzle at first but that shortly changed to a torrential downpour.  We just kept walking.  This is Pentecost, a small bit of land surrounded by ocean and covered by a tropical rainforest.  If we stopped for rain, we’d never go anywhere. 
Really, the rain was a blessing.  Our other option was blazing hot sun.  At least the rain kept us cool and well hydrated.  We are coming into the hot season where I can’t drink fast enough to replace the water I lose just doing day-to-day tasks like collecting firewood or weeding the garden.
A little before 11 am, we got to the airport, which we figured was about halfway.  We took a break and ate some food then got back on the road.  We got lucky.  We got picked up by a truck.
That’s a cute kitten

Trucks work like this: Option 1) You charter a truck.  That means you pay the driver to show up at a certain time (or within half an hour to an hour of that time) and go where you tell them.  You pay the entire cost of the truck. Option 2) You start walking and flag down a passing truck.  This means you are willing to pay some amount of money, though the amount varies based on if it is currently chartered and if it is going your direction or not.  I’ve never used this system and I’m not quite sure how it works.  Option 3) You start walking and hope a truck picks you up on the road.  It is up to the discretion of the driver to stop and pick people up.  The person who chartered the truck doesn’t really get any say, though they can say they need the truck to go huriap.  If the driver stops for you, you jump in the back of the truck and go as far as the truck is going.  If you want out before the truck is stopping, you bang the roof or the side of the truck.  The driver slams on the brakes and you jump off and yell thank you.

There is one one road on Pentecost.  It runs north-south.  There are about 6 trucks in my area.  You’d think someone would have passed us.  By the time we got to Lonorore, we’d seen exactly one truck going the wrong way.  We were very grateful that the second truck we saw gave us a ride.
We got all the way to Pangi where we met Sarah and the speed boat to her site.  We could have walked but since it was payday for the teachers, the boat was already going and it was only 250 Vt (the equivalent of less than $3) to catch the boat for the last hour there.  Totally worth the money.

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