VanAm 2014 Vol 4 .pdf

File information


Original filename: VanAm - 2014 - Vol 4.pdf

This PDF 1.4 document has been generated by Adobe InDesign CS5.5 (7.5) / Adobe PDF Library 9.9, and has been sent on pdf-archive.com on 09/11/2014 at 07:00, from IP address 113.11.x.x. The current document download page has been viewed 669 times.
File size: 26.6 MB (60 pages).
Privacy: public file


Download original PDF file


VanAm - 2014 - Vol 4.pdf (PDF, 26.6 MB)


Share on social networks



Link to this file download page



Document preview


Winter

2014

THE VAN AM
Special: G25 COS Issue ● More Activities ● Travel
Be a Good Guest ● Quizes ● Classifieds ● World News
GAD TOT ● Recipes Galore ● Limericks
Meditation ● Mangoes 2 Mangoes ● Horoscopes

Letter from the Editor
A few months ago (or weeks maybe, I’ve
pretty much lost all sense of time), I was
in the resource room when Jennifer Green
went on one of her resource room cleaning sprees. Left and right, everything that
didn’t have a name or purpose attached to
it was going into the garbage can. While
I’m definitely making fun of her, I also
imagine the room would be quite uninhabitable if she weren’t there to clean up after
our lazy asses.
“We don’t need to keep these, do we?”
she asked a half listening group of internet
zombiefied volunteers. She was holding up
a bunch of old issues of the Van Am, the
oldest dated back to 2005.
After ripping them out of her hands, I
eagerly read through them, trying to get a
sense of how the Van Am has progressed in
the past 8 years. Up until G24 Lee Grant’s
Van Am, it seemed to contain a lot of articles pulled from online sources. Lee essentially stole the Van Am from the influence
and control of its editors and tried to hand
it to the volunteers.
He definitely succeeded, but when
I took over the Van Am I saw even more
potential there. When you’re surrounded
by 70 other Peace Corps Volunteers, people
who are known for being problem solvers
and thinkers, for being people full of ideas
and bursting with creative energy, it’s
almost a crime not to tap into that.
I admit that I didn’t expect it to be
quite so hard to squeeze all that creative
energy out of you people, but I guess in
addition to having all of those positive
attributes, you all are notoriously horrible
at meeting deadlines. Horrible.
I’m sure I’ve harassed a few of you one
too many times at this point. And sometimes I lost sight of my vision for the Van
Am, wondering why I was wasting my time
doing something that wasn’t really important to anyone besides me. But the time I
spent and the enemies I may or may not
have made, was worth it. I think the Van
Am is one step closer to being as great as
it can be.
Every time I think we’ve hit our maximum capacity, that there’s no way another
idea could possibly color the Van Am more
than it already has, a volunteer comes to
me with some great idea that hadn’t even
begun to cross my mind.
It makes me feel as though the Van
Am’s potential is limitless. It fluctuates
and expands as each new wave of volunteers pass through.
We often talk about how the change

2 |

THE VAN AM

we leave behind here is so very small. But
one of the things that I think we as Peace
Corps Volunteers fail at, is making the mistake of always thinking that we are only
individuals. We rely so much on only ourselves. There’s an ‘every man for himself’
attitude that runs rampant within Peace
Corps culture. I think it’s important to
come out of that every once in a while, to
remember that we collectively make something great too. That collectively our individual small changes have come together
to make something really remarkable.
That’s how I feel about the Van Am.
That’s the potential and vision I see for
this old rag you get 2 months too late, the
one filled with the minds of- as Corey puts
it- the next generation of leaders. That the
Van Am is that place where you come to
remember that you’re not alone, and that
you have the experiences, the perspectives,
and the tools of all the other volunteers at
your fingertips.
Of course the Van Am has affected
me on a more personal level too.
Brainstorming Van Am ideas with Molly
on long ship rides has become one of my
favorite things to do in this country. I
love telling Hunter that content is more
important than the beautiful design work
he spent weeks perfecting (one day I’ll
win that argument). I love sending Sam
articles to edit for the 5th 6th and then 7th
time, to do a fabulous job catching every
mistake my eyes glossed over. I love seeing
what Denis comes up with as illustrations
for all of your words. I love the chance to
put Mike’s stunning photos on display. I
love having a random person text me a cool
idea. And I love that moment where I’m
holding a hot, recently printed final version
of the new issue.
I’m confident I’m leaving the Van Am
in creative, enthusiastic hands. Laura has
already been pitching amazing ideas. And
it’s clear when you read the failure report
that she writes with Allison, that she will
bring humor, charm, and class to its pages.
I’m more than excited to see what her and
her kickass team comes up with.
But for now, I give you my last attempt
at this whole thing, a farewell to G25 and
for G26 a push over that hump of being not
quite halfway through service yet. G25, be
sure to read Sara and Corey’s inspiring
words before you get on that plane home.
Or if you have one last friend to visit,
maybe that friend that’s stuck by your side
through hundreds of tearful phone calls,

make sure you first read up on Laura’s helpful guide to being a good guest.
So, I guess this is goodbye in so many
ways. Goodbye to Vanuatu, goodbye to the
Van Am, goodbye to the Peace Corps. But it
isn’t goodbye to all of you. Because you’ve
given me something to hold on to, something I can reread in a couple of years and
recapture this experience, recapture the feel
of Vanuatu and recapture the memories of
all of you.
It has been my pleasure and honor and
all of that other sappy IDS bonfire story
sharing crap, to have had the chance to
work with you all, G24, G25, and G26. Your
minds are bright, your futures wide open,
and your hearts all in exactly the right place.
It’s the journey, not the destination
that matters. And boy has it been one hell
of a journey.

Jessica
Geraci
Editor-In-Chief
Hailing from Long Island, Jessica
has a degree in journalism and
interned at NPR in Washington, D.C.
She is currently serving on Espritu
Santo as an English volunteer.

Samantha
Hunt
Managing
Editor

Hunter
Sizemore
Production
Manager

Molly
Geiser

Denis
Hart

Creative
Director

Illustrations

Columns

Cooking 28
A heaping portion of recipies

Quizzes



Articles

Tricked 9
Sometimes it’s not what you think it is.

39 & 43

What to be, where to go.

The Dougie Disaster
Dangerous dance moves

Meditation 45
Some parting practices.

Laef i Olsem Nao

11

Observations from Maureen

Activity Page 52

Guest or Pest

Hours of entertainment (maybe)

Tips for visiting other vols

Workout 54

Reflecting on a Service

This time focusing on abs

What PC has meant to Nicci

Horoscopes 5 6

The Failure Report II

The magificent Molchard, once again .

Another flagon of fail

34
35
36

Going Back 3 1
Some notes on reintigrating

Features

Ship Guide 3
Amanda offers her advice

G25 CoS Section

10

25

Travel Diaries



40

Inspiration for your next trip

Thoughts on Religion

44

Religion vs. Spirituality

Profiles, articles and a grand charicature

Mangoes 2 Mangoes

46

A Vanuatu-themed party game

GAD ToT 58
A dispatch from the training

Classifieds 59
Find an island “mate”

3

Letter from
the New Editor
I’ll never forget that awkward, dazed
twenty four hours in LA where I met and
attempted to mingle with 29 strangers at
the same time. that I was trying to absorb
only the most necessary information about
this wild adventure I was about to embark
on with said strangers. In these strangers I
saw a mix of teachers, nurses, athletic types,
IT dudes, a few married couples (WHOA!),
veterans, recent college grads and even an
RPCV. Of course they were more than that,
but this is what I gathered from the get-toknow-you games and structured information sharing of Staging. Once Sasha threw
us on a bus to the airport and, unaccompanied, we maneuvered the chaos of LAX and
pushed some baggage limits we were on
our way—the spring chickens of G26.
And here we are almost eight months
in—Hello! Where did all that time go? It
went to 8 weeks of training that now just
seems like some strange dream leading up
to a swearing in ceremony during which
we didn’t actually get “sworn in” , that happened later…after a quick google search
of the oath. It went to realizing things like
laplap is actually delicious if prepared well
and that you get more benefit out of the
Peace Corps issued laundry brush when
you use it as a foot scrubber. Of course
that time also went to a few cultural slip
ups and Bislama blunders, but hopefully
regardless of the bumpiness of the long
bigfala road we have all finally arrived in a
place where we feel at least partially settled
in our new lives.
But wait, isn’t Peace Corps where were
supposed to make the best friends of our
lives? Maybe even find a future partner?
How does this happen with barriers like
expensive flights, spotty or non-existent
cell phone reception and, you know, large
spans of open ocean? In addition to getting to know our fellow group members,
how are we supposed to form friendships
with the volunteers in groups before us? Or
acquire the priceless Vanuatu wisdom they
struggled so long to achieve? Even as someone who has regular cell service I often find
myself just enjoying the new found luxury
of being alone. I am more likely to read,
practice yoga, go to the garden or do any
of the other little things that fill my everyday life than pick up the phone. Maybe this
is because I’m too lazy to deal with finding the perfect place to stand so the service
doesn’t cut in and out, but it is also because
I know that whoever I call, we could end up
talking for hours on end and my dirty laundry will be put off yet again. Regardless of
my excuse, or any of your excuses, we are

4 |

THE VAN AM

each other’s lifelines. We are all learning
so much about ourselves and this little
piece of paradise while we live in our own
isolated worlds that it would be selfish
not to share our new ideas and even our
manic ramblings with each other. Many of
us could hold the key to solving another’s
troubles and we wouldn’t even realize it. It
seems to me that one of our most effective
means of communication comes with this
bundle of paper you’ve got in your hands.
It is my wish to continue with the
VanAm as a place for us to share, learn and
realize that you’re not the only one who
reuses your coffee grounds one too many
times or that you should always ask what
kind of meat you’re being given before
you eat it (unless you’re cool with a surprise lek blong puskat). A big thank you
to the outgoing VanAm staff and all of the
contributions from G24 and G25 that have
helped us newbies get our feet good and
wet. Let the VanAm continue to be a volunteer resources as well as a place to go for a
good laugh or an opportunity to get away
from village life and dive into the minds of
other volunteers.
While I don’t have a background in
journalism like Jess my studies in various
forms of philosophy drove me to spend a
good part of four years reading, writing
and editing. I was published once, in a journal on prison reform, when I wrote a short
story from the perspective of a rat walking
around a prison—but that’s just hilarious
and also pretty weird. Since my writing
background isn’t much to talk about, I will
say that I’m a planner and an organizer—
specifically when talking about the proper
order of events when cooking a taco dinner
for a host family, just ask Alison. I can also
send a mean mass text and bug you repeatedly to write something for the VanAm—so
get ready. In addition to these rather foolish sounding qualifications, I am serious
about continuing this publication in a way
that can help in all the ways a volunteer
needs to be helped—whether it be with a
lesson plan, recipe, workout plan or a good
laugh.
I’m also coming at you with a powerhouse staff that has a perfect combination
of dedication and creativity and is excited
to get going on the next issue, to be printed
just in time for the next round of trainees
to touch down in Vila town. First there’s
Kate on Santo, reppin all you mid-westerners, as the new Managing Editor, Jen
working some new found design magic all
the way down on Aneityum as Production
Manager and Alison, the diligent doodler

on Ambae, as our Illustrator. Lastly, Mike
Hawkins has decided to extend just so he
can keep taking photos! But of course our
roles would be useless without the creative
minds and willingness of everyone to share
that ever stimulating aelan save grown
fresh from Aneityum to Santo and everywhere in between.
To G26—now that we’re youngfala
faol (not yet full grown but on our way and
hopefully not party faols…ha), it’s time to
welcome the spring chickens of G27 with
the knowledge we have acquired about
this beautifully terrifying adventure that is
Peace Corps Vanuatu. To G24 and G25—
got one more article you’re itching to write
before you head out? Let me know! Afta, as
you go On the Road, either back to the land
of instant communication, endless cheese
and the love of friends and family, or go on
to another grand traveling adventure, “I
hope you get where you’re going, and be
happy when you do” (Jack Kerouac).
Contact me with story ideas—or even
a lack there of, I’ll find an idea for you—
by mobile (5384878), raven, owl or flying
fox. Deadline for Summer 2015 issue: 14
December 2014.

Laura
Jernegan
Incoming
Editor-In-Chief

Letter from
Our New DPT
Our new Director of Programming and
Training (DPT), Josh Fliegal, grew up in
Boston, Massachusetts and currently claims
Seattle as home when he’s not overseas. As
DPT his main role is to support Volunteers by
assisting the P&T and other staff with their
work. Fliegal says he’s thrilled to have joined
Peace Corps Vanuatu.
Although I never planned it this way I
have been a bit of a Peace Corps “lifer”. It all
began on a small island in the Philippines,
where I served as a Community Health
Volunteer from 1984-1986.
Following my PCV assignment I
worked for Peace Corps as a Country Desk
Assistant, a Regional Program Manager in
the Philippines and a Pre-Service Training
Contractor in Morocco, Zambia and
Tanzania. I was a Program and Training
Officer (now known as DPT) in Papua New
Guinea followed by serving four years as
the Regional Manager of the Peace Corps
Recruiting Office in Seattle. I also worked
for many years as a training contractor for
the Office of Staging. Prior to coming to
Vanuatu I was the DPT in Fiji for 2.5 years.
I have a bachelor’s degree from
Portland State University in Political
Science and a Master of Public
Administration from the Daniel J. Evans
School of Public Affairs at the University
of Washington.

In addition to my work with Peace
Corps, I have been a program manager for the University of Washington’s
Department of Global Health and School
of Nursing, worked for several non-profits in Oregon and Washington and was a
Project Coordinator for USAID/Philippines.
You can probably draw many conclusions from this listing of my previous jobs
including the fact that I am getting really
old and seem to have a 2-3 year attention
span when it comes to work! On a more
serious note, I continue to believe strongly
in the importance of Peace Corps and your
work as PCVs to support our three goals.
I’m not all about work! I enjoy swimming (I made it twice to the rock in Vila
harbor since I have been here), canoeing,
sailing, reading—the book I’m about to
start reading is “The Boys in the Boat”. I
enjoy playing Scrabble and my big hobby
lately has been trying to outsmart the
mouse/rat in my house in Vila that has
been eating my bananas. So far I am losing that one.
I look forward to meeting all of you in
the weeks and months ahead!
Peace,
Josh
jfliegel@peacecorps.gov

Open in
Emergecy
Write a couple of letters to one
of your fellow Volunteers and have
them write some to you as well. Fill
these with compliments, inspiring
quotes, fun stories, cool activities
they can do, future plans you both
have, and more. The next time you’re
in Vila, exchange these letters. Open
them up one at a time throughout
the next couple of months on days
when you are in serious need of a
pick me up.

5

Book Review

Who is Malala Yousafzai? You’ve (probably) heard of her even if you don’t realize
it. She grew up in the region of Pakistan
known as the Swat Valley. The region is
known as being as beautiful as it is unstable
and as strong in culture as it is shrouded in
religious ideology. This home of beautiful
and massive statues of the Buddha is also
the breeding ground of the Taliban. Who is
Malala? She is the girl who was shot in the
head at point-blank range while riding the
bus home from school, and few expected
her to survive.
Malala is just a child as the book
begins, figuring out the world in which she
lives. A traditional mother and progressive
father raise a daughter as strong-headed as
she is smart. Education becomes her life
even though it is not her right. In a culture
where fathers are known by their sons and
daughters are known by their husbands,
she stands out from an early age.
As she matures a phenomenal understanding of the Taliban lead-up is chronicled in her own life story. She speaks out
against extremism even as it gets worse
every day. Raids are conducted, TVs are
burned, and schools are bombed. Yet still
she speaks through pen-names with BBC
internet columnists. Growing up through
the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, and
being in-country for the Osama Bin Laden

6 |

THE VAN AM

raid gives her unique and amazing insights
about the world we only see in news.
But eventually enough is enough.
The Taliban strike back. And everything
changes. After surviving multiple surgeries on the precipice of death, post-op care
from incompetent clowns, and dealing with
a ineffectual government more stupefying than a Kim Kardashian TED Talk, she
is whisked off to hospital in Birmingham,
England. As she attempts to recover, she is
unaware of a worldwide movement of support for her cause. Eventually she will end
up in New York City walking through the
halls of the United Nations to speak to the
General Assembly on her 16th birthday.
Her chronicle is a phenomenal one and
the book is just awe-inspiring. It not only
explains the story, but all of the backstory
too. How often have you read a book and
wondered about things not mentioned?
Probably all the time, but not in I am
Malala. The perfect timeline of details and
analysis in it yields a final chapter in which
you really feel like you understand what
happened, how it happened, and why it
happened. And therein lies the true power
of it. Understanding promotes empathy.
Empathy promotes action. The true goal
of Malala always was and will be education. As the book ends, so too will I end my
review: www.MalalaFund.org.

World News
1

3

2

1. Ferguson
On August 9th, 2014 18 year
old Michael Brown died after
being shot 6 times by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson,
Missouri. Police claim the
shooting to be related to a
strong-arm robbery that had
occurred, though evidence suggests their initial contact was
unrelated to the robbery. Brown
has no criminal record and was
unarmed, leading many people
in Ferguson (and across the
United States when the matter
became a national spectacle)
to believe that the shooting
was a racial matter. Civil unrest
broke out as a result of the frustration and anger felt within
the community. Police reacted
strongly, firing rubber bullets
and tear gas to disperse riots
and protests. Looting and protests have subsided but tension
remains. Police in Ferguson
have now wear body cameras
in response to criticism about
their practices.

2. Ice Bucket
Challenge

4

3. Ebola
In March 2014 an outbreak
of Ebola virus disease spread
from Guinea to Liberia, Sierra
Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal.
The number of current cases
have now outnumbered the
combined cases from all
previous outbreaks. In the
Democratic Republic of Congo
another outbreak occurred but
is believed to be separate from
the one that began in Guinea. A
total of 2,296 deaths have been
reported by the World Health
Organization, though the number does not account for su

In July and August of 2014,
the ALS (amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis) Ice Bucket Challenge
became a social media campaign that went viral. The
activity involved challenging
someone to film themselves
dumping a bucket of ice cold
water on their head. If they
failed to comply within 24 hours
they had to donate 100 dollars to
the cause. ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s
disease, is a neurodegenerative
disorder that, over the course of
3 to 4 years, causes muscle disparity, difficulty speaking and pected unreported cases..
breathing, and finally death.

4. The Fappening
On August 31st, Hackers
breached Apple’s iCloud and
leaked 200 private pictures of
various celebrities, including
many nude photos, onto 4chan.
The pictures then spread to
other social media sites such as
Reddit and Tumblr, with many
media outlests referring to the
event as “Celebgate” and “The
Fappening”. In addition to causing a media frenzy and much
controversy, the leak prompted
concern for the security of services such as iCloud.

7

Amanda’s
Guide to Ships
So, you spent all of your money having
fun in Vila and there’s absolutely no way
you can cough up the 15,000 vatu for a
plane ticket back to site. Or maybe you just
bought several hundred dollars’ worth of
electronics and you just don’t trust anyone not to jack your stuff. Perhaps you
need to go somewhere—North Ambrym,
Buninga—that’s just not accessible by
plane. That’s it. It’s time to take a ship.
Ships look scarier than they are.
They’re slow, dirty, and unpleasant, but
they’ll get you to where you need to go.
Unfortunately, since the airport on Tongoa
is only open when Mercury is in the third
quadrant, in months with an R in them, and
when the breadfruit is ripe, I go on ships a
lot. It’s still no fun. But there are ways that W h y y o u b r i n g t h e f o o d :
you can make it into a less bad experience, Most ships will offer you some food.
and things you should know before you go! Usually it’s sugar water with breakfast
crackers followed by rice with stuff on it.
Quality and availability of food varies. For
Amanda’s Ship Essentials:
example, the Brooklyn’s lunch is okay, but
the Brisk gives rice with dry noodles… Not
• Breakfast crackers, peanut butter,
the best. You might end up feeling a little
and cookies
seasick, so sticking to carbs is a good idea.
• Water
NOTE: If you’re friendly or if they think you
• Your Peace Corps-approved life
look nice (ladies), you might get to eat the
jacket
crew’s food. It’s always better.

• A lava lava, sweatshirt, socks, and
Why you bring the clothes:
long trousers
If it’s a passenger ship, you sleep
• Fully charged Kindle and phone
inside, but the cargo ships leave passengers
• Sturgeon pills, plastic kava,
in the open air. It gets really, really cold at
SolBrew (all optional)
night. You want socks, a sweatshirt, and
• Delicious takeaway dinner (if
long pants at minimum. You also want a
departing from Vila)
lava lava. If it’s not crowded, the lava lava
will serve as a blanket. If it’s super crowded
and your face is six inches away from some
bubu with a repulsive level of halitosis,
the lava lava can serve as a useful privacy
Other Vol’s Ship Tips:
mechanism.
• Maureen Golan: Grab some
citrus from the market, natural packaging and great for
sharing.
• Hunter Sizemore: If you take
the Vanuatu Ferry and you
have a French-style plug
converter, you’re in luck:
power your devices anytime
during the trip.
• Lynn Arsenault: On fiberglass boats, don’t sit in the
covered space: recipe for
sea-sickness.

8 |

THE VAN AM

Why you bring the life jacket:
This will help you to forget the plot
of the movie Titanic at those moments
when a strong wave sends water all over
the deck. Also, it makes a decent pillow.

Why you may wish to bring a plastic/SolBrew/packet of Sturgeon:
I don’t get sea sick, but I don’t look
forward to boat travel. If you’re going to
drink kava, drink it before the ship takes off
(obviously). If you’re going for Sturgeon,
take the first two tablets an hour before the
ship says it’ll go and then take two more
after eight hours. A SolBrew goes well with
your (recommended but optional) Island
Time feast.

Amanda
Russell
VITEL,
Tongariki

What
you
should
do
when you get on the ship:
If you’re a girl, go huddle with the women
folk. If you’re a boy, go wherever. Find a
position where you won’t get wet. Flat is
good. I slept on an ice box on the Brisk
and that was incredibly comfortable;
Kenney slept on dry kava and was less
than cozy. If the ship rolls, roll with it.
Seasickness is mostly caused by people
who try to stay still, so just go with the flow.

Should you be
about the ship

worried
sinking?

YES if you are going on a blocked ship,
it’s obviously way overcrowded, or the
marine weather warning advises against
ship travel. NO if you’re going on a ship
that obeys maritime regulations and the
salt water is a reasonable level. Water travel
seems scary because we’re not used to it.

Is it safe for you to be on the ship
by yourself / should you listen
when some guy tells you to go
to sleep in the crew’s quarters?
It’s nicer to go on a ship where you
know the crew, but it’s okay to travel by
yourself on a ship. If the crew is telling
you to sleep inside, go do it. You’ll be on a
bed, and you’ll be warm. (Foreigner perks,
enjoy.)

Is it always this boring?
Yes.

Seriously, what is there to do?
Look at scenery? Ships are slow, dirty,
and unpleasant, but they will get you there.
Eventually.

Tricked
She looked at me as if she pitied my
point of view in support of teacher presence in the classroom. “You know…this
is Vanuatu.” Her puppy-dog brown eyes
begged me for understanding but I shook
my head muttering, “I just don’t get this
place sometimes”. Learning is supposed to
be happening here in the primary school
but teachers feel the need to conform to
the ideal of ‘storian’ – building relationships and chatting with other teachers,
adults or school visitors without regard
for time or studies. The tourists are the
worst distraction or maybe it’s just a lack
of motivation.
Apathy – am I the only one feeling
this now? Little kids shriek across the
school yard, over classroom verandahs and
around desks without seeming to notice
the hollow steel “bell” ringing the warning
signal that it is time to study. Teachers mill
around with deaf ears or aren’t even visible
at all. And the headmaster? Well, he’s frequently away leaving his office padlocked
shut from the outside.
Why bother since there’s only a pretense of accountability. And then this
person called a Peace Corps volunteer
shows up. Perfect! A substitute teacher!
Now there’s even more time for storian
or watching a T.V. show on one of the few
working computers in the library.
The library is one of the least quiet
places on the school grounds. You don’t go
there to study or read but to socialize. The
house they put me in feels like a jail. Oh, it’s
nice as structures go around here, but it is
fenced in along with all the school buildings and it’s flooded on all sides by noisy
pikinini from 6:30am to 4:30pm, Monday
through Friday. For an introvert who dislikes classroom teaching, all this adds up
to a recipe for misery. There’s no place of
rest or sanctuary. Is this really going to be
for the next two years??
I was tricked. In my first Peace Corps
interview I was questioned about my interest in teaching primary school students in
the classroom. My answer was very direct,
straight to the point – “No, I’ve no desire
to do so as I’ve done it before Stateside
and in Thailand. It’s not a good fit for me”.
My quiet voice and petite stature don’t
exactly command respect from children. I
explained more reasons knowing I was risking elimination in the application process.
I’ve never had the gift, ability or whatever
you want to call it, to manage wild little
ones and teach them ABC’s. I love to play
with the little buggers and I can handle
instructing adults who want to learn what

Angie Kutz
VITEL,
Efate
I have to teach, but the two do not overlap
for me. I’d rather quietly pull out weeds for
minimum wage pay and maintain some
sense of sanity.
The other end of the phone line
paused, “Well…how about training English
Literacy teachers?” Okay, now I was listening. Yes, this sounded sustainable and like
the capacity-building community development practices I expected from Peace
Corps. I liked the idea of training local
teachers in best practices and helping
them improve their English so they could
pass on their skills to the next generation
of host country nationals. Sure! I’ll sign up
for that. “Great,” she said with assurance, “I
will nominate you for this program – training teachers”. I waited in anticipation for
an overseas invitation.
How can cultures and personalities be
so different? Our hearts pump blood the
same way. Lungs breathe in oxygen from
dry, cold Northern climes just as they can
extract O2 from hot, humid, salty Southern
skies. Surely everyone shares common
beliefs on ‘scientifically proven’ teaching/
learning models? Right? Don’t all teachers
want to learn new and improved strategies? My head is spinning. How can children learn to read when a book is pushed
into their laps but the teachers give inadequate instruction or support?
The message that is sent is clear. It’s
more important to focus on people, networking, and relationships within your
community than it is to read in a former
colonial language. And who can blame
them? If I need help to clear more garden
space from the overgrown bush to plant
more kakae for my ever-expanding family, am I going to seek assistance from an
Anglo or Francophone native speaker or
my next door neighbor?
Yes, this is Vanuatu – tiny, volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean; it
almost seems an obsolete country from the
perspective of global reach. Do I follow the
‘job description’ or do I merge to learn and
teach as they do? What appears chaos to
my Western eyes may be the cohesive glue
holding this watery archipelago together.
So I raise my eyebrows, shrug my shoulders, smile and say, “You know…this is
Vanuatu.” I realize I’m learning more than
I can fit into my existing mental framework
and it hurts my head. And so the exchange
continues and hopefully both sides grow.

9


Related documents


vanam 2014 vol 4
vanam 2014 vol 3 web
okt2012
mteshistory
resume tate gordon 1 1
pcvoftheweekextended eng

Link to this page


Permanent link

Use the permanent link to the download page to share your document on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or directly with a contact by e-Mail, Messenger, Whatsapp, Line..

Short link

Use the short link to share your document on Twitter or by text message (SMS)

HTML Code

Copy the following HTML code to share your document on a Website or Blog

QR Code

QR Code link to PDF file VanAm - 2014 - Vol 4.pdf