2-22 We had more Visitors!

I think Jason and I are trying to start a tourism business by accident.  We’ve been having a lot of visitors recently.  It has been great fun.  Every time people come to see this place, I am reminded about what makes it special.  I get to see it as a stunningly beautiful wild space again and I get to meet at the smiling people again.  I know the people and I know the slippery footpaths, but showing them to someone else allows me to see them all fresh.  It is a good reminder for me.

Walking down to Waterfall. 
There used to be a wall there, the cyclone knocked it out…

After Jason’s training and my meetings, we left Vila via plane.  The day before, two Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Samoa (RPCVs, it means they finished service, though I could argue they aren’t exactly returned since they haven’t made it back to the US yet) got on a ship to come visit us.  We ended up in a race to see who would make it to our house first.  They won.  They won by a couple of hours.  Whoops.

The ship came through Melsisi around 8 am.  Our flight landed at 9 am.  If everything had worked out like we’d planned, we all would have gotten to the house between 9:30 and 10 am.  Instead, none of the three trucks we could have taken showed up at the airport.  We called one and waited to get a ride as far as Ranwadi.  We got to Ranwadi and found out that there was no truck that could take us the rest of the way for the next few hours.  We walked.  To complicate that, we came with the new volunteers for both Ranwadi and Melsisi.  We helped the guys from Melsisi to carry their stuff as far as Vansemakul where we hung out until the truck came for them.  Luckily, Alexandra found the RPCVs in Melsisi and walked them over to Vansemakul.  She didn’t know where our spare key was, but she kept them company on the porch while they waited.  She also turned on the water so they could shower and rinse off the ship-grime. 
Chillin’ a Waterfall.

As always, Peace Corps teaches us the fine art of flexibility.  Like compulsive beavers, we spend our time making plans that just have to be changed and shored up and re-done.  I spend more of my time changing my plans than following them these days.

They stayed exactly a week and caught the same ship heading north to Santo.  We spent most of the week being pretty low key.  They are on vacation, after all.  We went to the garden one day, since we didn’t have food.  We went to Waterfall for an afternoon and splashed around in the nice cold river.  We played a lot of Settlers of Catan and Yuker.  Apparently someone taught their Peace Corps group how to play Yuker and they all play compulsively.  It was fun to play with people I didn’t teach.
Supy decided to cover the puskat in cards. 
We are easily entertained on the island.

Both of them extended their contracts in Samoa for a year.  It was interesting to listen to their stories and hear their perspectives on life here and the PCV lifestyle in general.  It was nice to talk to someone who gets the PCV issues – the struggles to integrate, the homesickness, the food, the work – but  who had a different service and a slightly different perspective on things.

I found out today that they got another dose of Peace Corps flexibility when they got to Santo.  The PCV they were going to stay with couldn’t meet them at the dock because he couldn’t leave his bathroom.  They are staying with a different volunteer and heading onwards to Malekula whenever the ship leaves.  Unless that plan has changed already.

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