1. Fiji Wedding Bliss

      We were stationed on Kioa Island in Fiji. It was a unique situation because the island was inhabited by a group of Polynesians in the midst of Melanesian Fiji. Kioa was bought in 1946 by the people of Vaitupu, an island in the nation of Tuvalu, with money earned from American Armed Forces during WWII and settled October 26, 1947 by 37 original settlers. The Tuvaluans brought with them only their culture, religion, and lifestyle - which have been preserved and are still in tact today. This i...

  2. Micronesia Boat to Nan Madol

    I remember this moment so well. It was so beautiful the boat ride to this island with ancient ruins.  I couldn't believe I was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean--what a paradise.

  3. Micronesia Pohnpei Training Group

    June 1995 Training   What a blast we had.  I'll never forget the month we spent here.

  4. Fiji A Hike, 2

    My parents, after coming out of our hike into the woods.

  5. Fiji A Hike

    My parents came to visit me during my second year of service, in December 2009.  Two of the young men from a neighboring village led us on a hike to a waterfall.  It was an adventure for my parents (and me!) and we all felt successful and tired after finishing the hike.  But the water was cold, the sun felt great (my parents live in Wisconsin), and it made for a fun afternoon.  They got to see some of the challenges of my integration through this hike, which was physically demanding, and enco...

  6. Fiji My two families

    My father huffed and puffed, my mother “ooh”ed and “ahh”ed, keeping her scrapes and scratches to herself.  We filed in line, one village boy leading my father, my mother, me, followed by a second village boy as our guide.  We traipsed through the rainforest on a barely worn and overgrown trail.  We were bound for a hidden waterfall. I was fortunate to have my parents visit me in Fiji.  I was fortunate to have them visit me when I studied abroad in Rome.  That was my father’s first trip out o...

  7. Fiji Cuvu Day

    At the annual village fundraiser, one of the family groups gathers in the center of the village green to sing a song as three children stand by and watch, all dressed in the brightly colored bula fabric often worn in Fiji.

  8. Fiji Reef Survey

    Some of the local villagers giving an underwater thumbs-up while doing a bit of field practice during a workshop on reef surveys where they've been learning how to conduct transect lines to assess the health of nearby coral reefs.

  9. Fiji Just throw it in the dirt until it's cooked...

    Here, our Turaqa ni Koro is preparing a lovo, earth oven, for our welcoming lunch. A traditional lovo is a fire made in a pit lined with heat resistant stones. When the stones are hot from the fire the food wrapped in banana leaves or set in coconut bilos is placed in the pit and covered with soil and leaves until ready to eat!

  10. Fiji Got Milk?

    Actually Turani is teaching my husband, Matt, how to harvest coconut water - the clear liquid inside young green coconuts. (Coconut milk, lolo, is from the mature brown coconuts.) Fresh green coconuts are harvested from the tree and then husked and a hole is bored into the top. The louder your sucking noise, the more you enjoy the drink!

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