1. Niger Goodbye Niger

    It was too green. The cows were too fat, the children too clean, the roads too well-paved. I turned to Mariah, my bus buddy on for the two hours from the airport in Casablanca to Rabat, the capital of Morocco. “Are we really still in Africa?” “I’m not really sure of anything anymore,” she wearily responded. It had been four sleepless days since Peace Corps had announced that we were leaving Niger. Ten anxious days since terrorists with ties to Al Qaeda had kidnapped two French nationals ...

  2. Guyana Fence Post Transporting

    At a self help to build parts of a fence, I was surprised to find an old man, well over 70 years old helping out with the work.   Since they had no bulls to pull the cart, the men decided that the best thing to do would be to push the cart themselves.

  3. Fiji Aid

      Kelly and I were in Suva to assist with training the FRE-8s (Fiji Re-Entry #8 since coup #1) and decided to check out the movie Prince of Persia. I typically try and avoid the movie theater as it is prime territory for personal space invaders. This time was no exception. Behind us sat five young men most likely in their 20’s. During the entire movie they tap danced on the back of our seats, made jokes at all the sexual references or shots of women scantly clad, and snickered every time a ch...

  4. Fiji The Package

    Often it is hard to describe to Westerners why it is sometimes so frustrating doing work, or sometimes anything productive, in third world countries and especially Fiji. I like describing these events not as a way to bash Fiji or the developing world but to help give perspective to those who have never experienced life without all the conveniences the West takes for granted. These conveniences are not just in water, electricity, infrastructure, and food but also relate to a more general sens...

  5. Fiji Cyclone Aftermath

    In ten minutes, a hurricane releases more energy than all of the world’s nuclear weapons combined.   I returned to Kioa on Thursday afternoon. After waiting at the bus stand from 6:45 to 8:00 am and learning there were no buses to Buca Bay and possibly wouldn’t be until next week I searched for alternatives. The Suliven Ferry had pulled into port as well as the Westland, a smaller ferry. The Westland was making a trip to Taveuni. I called our Country Director to see if the all clear had been...

  6. Fiji Indy Car in a Go-Cart World

    Being a Peace Corps volunteer is a lot like driving an Indy Car in rush hour traffic all the time, not just some of the time, all the time. As US Citizens we are trained at an early age to go full bore and not let up. It is engrained in our brains from day one and it hasn’t been until Generation Z (or whatever we are currently at) that people have started rebelling against this hair on fire mentality. My profession prior to joining the Peace Corps as a project manager in the construction ind...

  7. Fiji This is a Blog

    Everyone knows somebody who is consistently stating the obvious. Most people will do it time to time, but there are those with a special talent at maintaining a constant focus on verbalizing all that is happening around them even if it isn’t necessary. Those people would be masterful artisans of Fijian conversation etiquette and probably elected to a high office, if there were elections here of course. At first I found it a little strange, but I didn’t dwell too much on it. It does help in ...

  8. Fiji Gift Presentation

    At the end of our service we attended a fatele, traditional celebration, presented by our friends on the island. After the eating, singing, and dancing the final installment was a presentation of many gifts. Rather than just hand us the gifts the women would dance and sing as they carried them to us. Everything the Kioans do is done with joy and purpose. 

  9. Fiji Te Ano

    Te Ano is the name of a traditional game the islander’s play every New Years. Ano is the name of the large ball they play with that is the size of a softball but is actually a stone wrapped with leaves. The game is played on a rugby pitch with two teams facing each other within large rectangular boxes running the length of the field. The two rectangles are slightly offset and the server for each team stand directly in front of the opposing teams rectangle. The entire village could probably ...

  10. Fiji Hard Work

    Each project on the island begins and ends with a celebration and dedication. Here the pastor and chief are blessing and praying for the completion of a new water tank. The Lima Malosi (strong hand) workforce is looking on and ready to begin the work.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.