If you don't ask me where this picture came from I promise not to lieWell, here we are 2009. I haven't written up here since October, and I apologize. Call it a New Years resolution to do better through the next several months. Instead of covering the last 3 months of things that have happened, I might just skip up to where we are for brevity sake.
On second thought, maybe a bit of what has been missed: The holidays were great. I spent a good deal of December on vacation. Rachel had a friend visit at the beginning of December, so I went down with them to Viti Levu, did some diving (which was fantastic, lots of eels and sharks..) and did some outdoor type stuff. I also ended up accompanying them to Taveuni, where we did some camping, some snorkeling, and other forms of merriment.
I went out to Viani village for Christmas, then back out to Taveuni for a large new years celebration (there were about 20 volunteers that came out). Had a really good time, despite aquiring some food poisoning that kept me from doing the diving I had wanted to do. After I got back I spend a couple days here in Labasa then had to go down to Suva for a training. It was supposed to be a three day deal, but while I was down there Fiji was hit by several tropical depressions in a row which caused wide-scale flooding (particularly in the west around Nadi, Ba, and Sigatoka and in the North around Labasa). As such, many of the roads in these areas closed, boats weren't traveling across the strait, and all the airports were closed for several days. This prolonged my stay down there on the order of a week or so. By the time I finally made it back up to my house it felt like I had been gone for a month. The last couple weeks I have been working on getting the house back in order and getting back into the swing of things at work.
There are plans for several projects this year. We are trying to get some trees and things planted on the main street of Labasa. It looks like we will get final approval on the placement and the monies in the next week or so, and the planting should be finished by march (my fingers are crossed). We are also still working on renovating a couple parks, which will hopefully start in the next several weeks as well. There are new people in charge of fisheries, the labasa town council and the provincial office, so I am hoping to sit down with them and work out a plan for this year. Hopefully these guys will be a bit more sympathetic to the work I am trying to do here than the last group. Track season starts next week as well, which is exciting. We're hoping to get more of a head start on it than we did last year and build on our succeses.
Otherwise, I am starting to think more and more about what comes next after Peace Corps. We were just given the dates of our closing conference (mid april), which really woke me up to the fact that I do not have that much longer here. So the search is on for the next place. It's a daunting task, as I feel there are several different avenues and options to consider. I'm trying not to stress too much about it, but July (my completion date) is looming and I think I have been asked somewhere on the order of 5-6 dozen times what I'm going to do when this is over. Patience is called for.... or something like that...
I'm going out to a friend's village this weekend, and then I am hoping to find someplace to watch the superbowl on monday (go cardinals...).
Anyway, I hope all is well out there. If you have emailed or something and I haven't gotten back I apologize and assure you I will get too it. I'll get back up here reasonably soon.