Matthew Roy

Volunteer: Matthew Roy

Bio:

My wife and I 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.

For more on our adventures please visit - http://vaportrail.typepad.com/. For more info on our island please visit - http://kioaisland.org/.

2009 - 2010


Contributions from Matthew Roy

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Fiji To Duplex or Not Duplex

    As we were walking to the office Fakaofo was at Fanny’s sitting in her umu chatting. He yelled, “Talofa” and said he needed to talk to me but would come to the office. When we arrived at the office the head teacher, Malipa, showed up with a panic look on her face.   She frantically informed me the toner on the copier had gone out and they didn’t know how to load the new cartridge. They were in the middle of final exams and had to delay them due to the lack of exam papers. “Didn’t Fakaofo com...

  7. Fiji The Boat Ride

    Making a quick trip to the grocery store back home is rather simple. In Fiji, like most things, it isn’t quite so simple. Our opportunities for  shopping come once a week when the community’s fiber boat makes its weekly trip across the straight for some shopping on Taveuni. We can hire a boat but this gets very expensive. It hadn’t rained since we arrived and then a big storm rolled through Thursday. Friday some of the remnants still remained but the seas didn’t look too bad. We were suppose...

  8. Fiji First Visit to Site

    We made it back from our site visit yesterday and are recouping from a whirlwind travel experience. It is hard to recall everything as it seemed like we experienced so much during the short time we where there. It is all very exhausting trying to soak in the details of your future home for the next two years in addition to learning the logistics of how the heck to get there. That was an adventure in itself.   If you have ever traversed a third world country using more than one type of transp...

  1. Fiji Acronyms

    Peace Corps, like all government entities, loves acronyms. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.       

  2. Fiji What's Yours is Mine

    Kerekere is the mentality that what's yours is mine and what's mine is yours. Villagers don't see it as stealing but rather borrowing. But it is often hard to borrow your items back!   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  3. Fiji Safety & Security Man

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.  Peace Corps takes a volunteers safety very seriously ... very.  

  4. Fiji Lost in Translation

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  5. Fiji Bucket Uses

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  6. Fiji The Language of Eyebrows

    As we all know, body language and facial expressions are the key to any communication. In Fiji, they take it to a new level. Entire conversations can take place with only facial twitches, leaving a PCV speechless.   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  7. Fiji PC World Map Project

      These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  8. Fiji Library of PC Policy & Procedures

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  9. Fiji First Night in the Village

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  10. Fiji The many uses of a PFD

    Peace Corps takes volunteer safety very seriously. A PCV can get kicked out of service if caught on a boat without a Personal Flotation Device. In Fiji, there is lots of water transport and once we were on a bamboo hand-made raft and the water was 2 feet deep but we still had to wear our PFDs.   These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  11. Fiji Bad PCV Project Ideas

    Most villages do not have a generator, much less running electricity... but it is hotter than anything you can imagine so it can lead to delirium. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  12. Fiji Grog Man Wisdom

    Yaqona (kava/grog) ceremonies or gatherings are very traditional, frequent, and often ... unsanitary. The water is often obtained from questionable sources and contains fecal matter and pathogens. The yaqona is mixed by hand - which probably has not seen soap in days or ever. All can lead to a very irritable PCV bowel system. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  13. Fiji No Offense

    Fijians are very humble and courteous. "Tulou" means excuse me to the highest degree. You whisper it as you pass people, as you enter a room, as you leave a room, and as you sit down in a room - just to name a few examples. These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  14. Fiji FCS - Fijian Cross-legged Syndrome

    There isn't much furniture in Fiji so most of your time is spent sitting cross-legged on the floor. Even if there is a chair around, the chief or elder gets it! These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

  15. Fiji Proper Halloween Attire for PCVs in Fiji

    This depicts what is needed for a PCV to endure a yaqona (kava/grog) session - a grog dispensing hat, clappers, arm straighteners, and ankle pads for sitting on the floor for insane amounts of time. But don't forget the root! These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region.   

  16. Fiji Yes, even Santa smokes in Fiji

    These cartoons were created to share with peer Peace Corps Volunteers in Fiji and published in PCV newsletters across the Pacific region. 

Countdown to Weekly Contest Deadline!

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