So, after three years in Fiji, my service with the Peace Corps as finally come to a close. How sad I am that my last post was back in December - so much has happened since then. I suppose that is my excuse too for not sharing any of it.
Here's a few highlights:
1. I went home for the holidays! For three weeks I romped around in the New England snow again. Best of all, I was able to bring my soon to be husband along for the ride! How wonderful and amusing it was to subject a native Fijian to a New England winter. What did he do upon seeing snow? Took off his shoes and ran around barefoot.
|Norman mixing some Christmas eve grog with the fam|
|Hampton Beach! He wasn't up for a swim.|
|My mom loved having the extra hands to shovel the driveway|
|At the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA; Norman standing next to a tabua (whale's tooth) from Fiji|
|We each found our twin...|
|And of course a trip to the aquarium.|
2. As you no doubt gathered from highlight # 1, I got married! My hubby, Norman, is a native Fijian, but awesomely enough he is also descended from a whaler from Nantucket who got stranded in Fiji in the early-mid 1800s. It was good for him to get back in touch with his New England roots.
|We did a simple government ceremony and celebrated afterward. Hoping to have a proper ceremony back home!|
|Signing the certificate|
|The wedding party!|
|And finally the requisite evening grog celebrations:)|
3. I continued to do my work at the Provincial Office - taking on a new and most excellent project - ecotourism. The reason for its added excellence is namely in the fact that I was able to enjoy various touring adventures as part of my job! The motivation behind this initiative was to aid communities with income generation but also to help them design their projects so that they would be environmentally friendly and sustainable.
|Walking out to a protected area at low tide.|
|Giving a presentation on basic business|
|Going out to view a new marine protected area and participate in the demarcation|
|Trekking through some bush as part of a local eco-tour that was in development.|
|The trek led to this beautiful waterfall swimming hole.|
|The three in charge of running the big meeting; the one on the far right was my boss - Roko Tui Cakaudrove|
|My office had the responsibility of all the set-up and running, etc for the meeting; this also meant that we were more or less the only ones without chairs!|
|The meeting was held on top of this hill on Taveuni with an incredible view. The facility was a well run agricultural training center.|
|Waltzing at the party :)|
|Most of the kaivulagi (white people) that worked at the Provincial office!|
|Hard at work - integration through grog and cards|
|All Fijians are expert card players|
|My counterpart fabulously showing the community we visited that is situated deep in the interior|
...alas, I don't have any of those pictures yet until I can fix my camera
5. On August 2nd, 2014, I officially closed my service with the Peace Corps.
So, now I have returned home and am looking for the next big adventure... oh, not really. I suppose it's time for me to have my feet on the ground again for a while. I'm looking for a job to kill the time before I start grad school for marine biology/oceanography either in January or next fall. I am also working tirelessly to get my husband here from Fiji. It is slow going for a variety of reasons... most of which is waiting. But with a little luck, Norman will be home for the holidays :).
With that, my friends, I will at long last sign off.
Moce mada vakalailai!