January 16, 2012

where exactly is that!?

this weeks tour...Micronesia
when sharing my exciting news about joining and being accepted into the Peace Corps (PC), many ask 'so where is that?' 
it is basically a group of islands in the middle of the ocean!
first i must make a correction from last weeks entry...it is not half way around the world. a good friend of mine (whom i will call B) did all the math for me! this is what B figured out-'Micronesia is 6,240 miles from Denver, which is not exactly 1/2 way around the world! the distance around the Earth, also known as its circumference, is 24,906 miles. so that is 3.99% or just over 1/3 way around the world.' (see map below)
a few tidbits of information...
-some statistics from the PC-population average 160,000; program established in 1966 and has been active ever since; current volunteers 35; total volunteers 4,233; program sector is mainly education.
-the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of four main states- Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei, and Kosrae. i could end up living on any island and will not know for sure until after my training, which is in Pohnpei. 
-the government is modeled after the federal system of the United States.
-religion-predominantly Christian! about 50% Roman Catholic, 47% Protestant, 3% other. (thank you Jesus! for sending me to a place that closely resembles my beliefs)
-weather-average temperature year round is 80-85* (because it is near the equator-no complaints here!) the wettest place in the world Pohnpei averages 400 inches of rain in the forests and 200 inches on the coast. (not on the main typhoon belt but typhoon activity can occur)
-communication-mostly snail mail, i will have access to computers/internet/telephone-but it is not as easy to access like in the US. (pen-pals anyone? i will let you know my address as soon as i know it)
-food-staples consist of breadfruit, taro, tapioca, banana, rice, ramen, canned meat (spam!), pork, reef fish, tuna, coconut milk, papaya, soursop, eggplant, cucumber, avocado. (i do not like fish or coconut. i guess i will learn to like it!)
-attire-mostly long skirts, t-shirts and (my favorite) flip-flops! 
-living arrangements- (depends on where i am assigned, and i will live with a host family my entire assignment) a typical house is constructed of corrugated iron and cement, with tin roofs, and have electricity. most have running water inside but some have outside toilet and shower facilities. most volunteers take bucket showers. if i am assigned to a lagoon or outer island i will not likely have running water, electricity, or inside toilet. (good thing i have lots of camping experience!)

that about sums up the basics of my new home. and here is a sneak peak of what my views will be...
i must say the window for the tour this week was amazing, i am so blessed to be going someplace warm and beautiful! i may not know the reason He gave me the opportunity to be placed in Micronesia, but someday i will!

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