So here I am at last! After nearly a year and a half of applications, essays, emails, medical exams, training, and travel I have officially made it to my project site for the next two years! I'm a real Peace Corps Volunteer at last.
I have been posted to a village on the island of Ovalau, which is more or less due east of the main island, Viti Levu. My house is modest and adorable. It is a little tin shack that is about 100 feet from the ocean. I am on the west coast of the island facing Viti Levu, so sunsets are breathtakingly beautiful; streaks of red and orange glistening off the calm water and creating a silhouette behind the mountainous islands in the distance. Directly behind me to the east, the land rises abruptly into steep, rugged green mountains; there are trees of every kind all across the land (lots of palms naturally) with lush green expanses sprinkled throughout.
The family that owns my house have stocked it magnificently; I have a gas stove, some pots and cooking utensils, a table and chairs (!), a very nice bed, and a sink! I do not have electricity, although I do have some wires hooked up to a car battery that supplies a enough energy to power a little dome light hanging from my ceiling. That along with a hurricane lantern, some candles, and a headlamp supply me with enough light to get by! I might be a bit of a dork but I can't help but feel a little giddy when I'm lying in bed under my mosquito net reading by candlelight :D.
So some things I've done so far: gone for a run along a small bumpy dirt road (umm... the main road on the island) through the jungle at sunrise; gone snorkeling along the reef outside my house; been chased through the village late at night during the full moon by a dog that started charging me from out of no where only to find out that he is actually "my" dog (or rather the dog that the previous volunteer owned and kept around the house and when he saw me coming out got really excited and ran up to jump on me...); accidentally interrupted the chief as he was introducing himself to me... woops; managed to full on launch myself into an elder woman's house when I went to borrow oil from her with my sister late one night (being that everything is so dark and I mis-gauged the doorstep...); traversed a twenty foot bridge (affectionately called the Prince Williams bridge) over a little river in order to get to my family's house - what made this terrifying is that the bridge was an 8 inch wide bouncy tree trunk and I was carrying every electronic device that I currently have in my possession and given my track record of tripping I was just a little nervous. !! I managed to survive and will be carrying my stuff in a dry sack from now on. :)
Well that's all for now! I will try to get pictures up soon. I am only able to access the one internet spot in the main town on the island a couple of days a week. And being that it is a 3 hr affair that is fairly expensive I won't be able to come too frequently.