Ever since site annoucements (the MOST exciting day in all of training, even more so than being sworn in), people have been asking me if I am excited about going to Erromango…
So, here is my complete answer. I am beseiged with guilt about how privileged I feel- because I got everything that I wanted at my site. That- of course, is given the info that I currently have. I always make an exception to say that I won’t know HOW great it is until I get to the site. (e.g. I found out that our roof on our house was completed as late as Thursday, 3 days ago. It is not uncommon for PCV’s to get to site and not have a finished house to live in.) If I accept what I do know about the site, then it has….
* A black sand beach less than 15 meters from our house. This is such an exotic and awesome beach that yachties often come ashore to walk on it.
* Fulap fresh water/rain water. Water is life. I did not want to have to deal with droughts and water impurities and so on. I WILL go fetch it, I just didn’t want to have to go without it. Erro is considered a river island because it has so much rain/fresh water.
* No roads, No scary trucks. Most island travel is riding in the back of a pickup truck that bounces all over hell and back on 45 degree dirt roads. If you don’t flip over and die, you will become butt sore and/or nauseous. Erro has only 1 truck on the whole island and no roads. Only footpaths. You want to go somewheres, you must walk/hike it out.
* While volcanos are fun to visit, you do not want to live under one. Not because of the lava- I can outrun that! Because of the ash fallout and acid rain that accompanies it. Erro has no active volcano. Tanna does, and it is the nearest island to Erro.
* Every island varies due to its vegetation, micro-climate, terrain and so on. Erro is one of the most remote islands, in that it does not receive a lot of commerical or tourist traffic. Boats do not often and regularly visit the island, so it can take some time to get on or off the island, the same can be said for mail. It is a fair sized island but only has 1,900 inhabitants. It is very lush- it has not been developed like some of the other islands (i.e. plantations) so it is, as we say, very bush.
* It has a plentitude of fruits and vegetables and flora in general. (Erro is also known for having a lot of sandalwood trees.) While this might mean we would definitely be eating a lot of aelan kaekae (e.g. laplap), the fishing is very good at our site. Mostly because they have not over-fished the area yet. A product that is shipped to the island for sale, for example peanut butter costs $3.50 for 150grams; a fresh fish (between .5-1.0kg) costs $1.00. This means that not only will we not have any protein problems, but that we get to live on the most amazing seafood you can possibly find. (I have already tasted some great white fish that I believe was a pacific red snapper…)
So, yeah. It is a paradise. I KNOW, it will be work, and hard, and isolating and all of that. But, based on what I thought my island could be like, I got everything I wanted. 😀
I will be doing my service, camping in the Happy Hunting Grounds.
This blog will next be updated in February, unless I made a glaring omission and/or error, in which case it will be fixed tomorrow.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!!!!