Wednesday, December 24, 2008
My friend Magreth has 3 sisters. Gretchen and Tania both have gotten to know her oldest sister, Wini. Wini invited us to come up to her place (on the same grounds as Magreth's) for a katikati. I guess what a katikati is is a sort of raffle game. Two deck of cards are used. In this case, for 5o vatu (about 50 cents), a card could be "purchased." Once all cards from that deck are purchased, a card from the 2nd deck is drawn. People holding the purchased cards check theirs against what was drawn. Whoever's card was drawn wins the prize (example: 7 of hearts), which in this case was an island dress. Wini sells the dresses for 1500 vatu each (about $15). This isn't much for something hand-sewn and for a dress in general, but it is a pretty high price for island dresses here. The one dress I did buy when I first arrived was 1000 vatu (about $10) so she's getting a bit more profit than others do. Wini just stepped down from her other job working as nanny and housegirl for a New Zealand woman, so it seemed she was using this katikati as a kick-off to let women in her neighborhood know she is selling dresses out of her home now. The older generation of women wear island dresses nearly exclusively, but otherwise women and children wear them for church, weddings and funerals, ceremonies, and other special occassions. Doing the sale allowed Wini to make a bit more on the dresses (assuming lots came to the katikati and bought cards) and also allowed some women a chance at a new island dress for a fraction of the cost. Wini asked us to come up to help with prep and set-up so we had some nice times to hang out, practice Bislama, see a new aspect of culture, and deepen relationship with her and the rest of their family. Thanks to Wini's daughter Beverly, I got lots of pictures I'd never have gotten on my own!
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Tania, my teammate, and I went to Ekipe village, north of Vila about 2 hours. We stayed with a Peace Corps worker, Carol from Iowa. She was awesome to let us stay in her house for 2 nights and she totally took us around the village and to a wedding event too. Part 1 and 2 are videos made with pics Tania and I took. They may take an eternity to load, not sure, so start them loading, then do something else for awhile and come back! This was a great trip for Bislama practice, time for Tania & I to hang out, and to see village life. Also though, it was great to get an idea of what would be great to set up temporarily in the bush while homes are being built (pre- electricity and running water!) Grace!
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Magreth and her family mainly attend the New Covenant church branch on the same grounds as all their homes. The service time is set to be the same time as "the morning dew" because one can "feel God more" at that time. A crudely built box sits on the family property. This box has the purpose of containing bad behaviors and thoughts. When a person goes to a certain church, they decide to change. They must then build a box and place all their "rubbish" thoughts and behaviors into it. From that time on then, they can do what is good. The box is behind Wini (holding Addy) in these pictures. I wasn't taking pictures of the box specifically so sorry, it's a bit hard to see.
Evelyn's daughter's father headed out and hasn't been in the picture since; a common occurrence in Vanuatu. She married the father of her 2nd child, Joe (here with her). Once they were married, they decided they wanted kids together. They knew she couldn't get pregnant however, because they knew him to be sterile (he knew from past experience so I understand, and they had it verified with a doctor at the local hospital). In order for Evelyn to become pregnant, they decided to go to a medicine man (kleva). He boiled a leaf and had Evelyn drink the resulting water. Shortly after, she became pregnant and later gave birth to Joe.
Walking into my building to come home means entering and to the smells of.... well, mold and shoes. (It is considered impolite to wear shoes indoors here so in my building, shoes are taken off in the entryway. At most homes or huts they are left just outside the front door.) Not quite home sweet home, but the smell does remind me of the basements of buildings at Grace College in Indiana, where I graduated from in 2000. The memories there with roommates and friends were sweet so the smell-to-memory trigger is something to be thankful for after all. :)
Monday, December 8, 2008
2. Market and roads - I could take hundreds of pictures just at the market of all the crazy fruits, vegetables and other things you can buy there. Here are a few, along with some things seen fairly regularly out in the ocean or on the roads.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|
3. Flora - when I first arrived, everything just looked like an overwhelming sea of green everywhere...indistinguishable and unknowable. Now that I've been here awhile, I'm starting to notice the variation and the color that pops out everywhere out of the green. Here are a few things you see just around, the side of the road, up the hill, in yards.
|Make a Smilebox slideshow|