1. Samoa Around the kava bowl

    I earned a seat around the kava bowl. Just about every evening, my Samoan host father, Tuugamau and his buddy Simi, and perhaps some other friends, sit around sharing news and stories, discussing village and national politics as they drink kava from a big cooking pot. (Kava is a common ceremonial drink consumed throughout the Pacific. A very mild narcotic, kava is made from the root of a kind of pepper plant, and has a mild euphoric effect.) To me, this nightly ritual represents both a quinte...

  2. Samoa To Sua Trench: Samoa

    My volunteer friend, Erica, had biked over to my village, Lotofaga in the Aleipata district of Samoa, for the weekend and I decided to take her to see Tō Sua Ocean Trench, an under-appreciated tourist attraction on the outskirts of the village. I’d been living in Samoa for nearly a year at that time, and Tō Sua was one of the first places my Samoan host family took me when I arrived at Lotofaga village – and I’d wanted to go back ever since. About a 15-minute walk from my house, the trench is...

  3. Solomon Islands Verandah!

    We waited for a few months for our house to be built; during that time we felt isolated because the temporary digs were not equipped with a verandah, which we noticed quickly was important to every house. All social activity, communication, news-telling and decision-making took place there. When the house was complete and the full-length verandah went into use, Rachel and began our Peace Corps service in earnest.

  4. Micronesia Micronesian Family

    I was very lucky to have lived with two really great Micronesian Families--during training and after.  It was kind of weird living with a family again after not having lived with my own for quite a while.  But as I said, both families were wonderful and very protective.  They made sure I had everything I needed and I felt very wanted and loved. It was tough being that far away from my friends and family (I'm from NY) but they really tried to make my stay as comfortable as possible.

  5. Kiribati Thatch

    This is the material the I-Kiribati use for roofing

  6. Kiribati Mwaneaba

    A mwaneaba is the town meeting hall.  This is the one from Tabonibara on North Tarawa.  Throughout the year different sections of the village would rotate living there.  This one had a painting on the inside with a white dove and a black bird sharing a nest - year ago a man from Canada came and fell in love with an I-Kiribati woman.  They married and currently live in Canada.  The village and the village waa (canoe) has the phrase on it "nest of love" due to money coming from this m...

  7. Kiribati dancing

    My sister and a friend of her's dancing at her school

  8. Kiribati My Brother in the well

    The family well had to be emptied after a heavy rain so he climbed down in the well with a bucket

  9. Kiribati Butaritari outside Nei Jill's kiakia

    The view from Nei Jill's door on Butaritari

  10. Kiribati Tabonibara kids

    Some kids from Tabonibara on North Tarawa

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

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