December 16, 2012


Tour…graduation and Mortlocks
One of my aunts graduated from college! It was an exciting event! I went to Weno for the day to be the photographer and show my support for such an amazing achievement. Her class was the first graduating class for CCPI (an online division of a school in Hawaii). 
I live with a family where education is important (that is rare in Chuuk). Most of the families that do value education have parents and or grandparents that finished school (even if it was just high school). The one thing I found out through conversations with them is that a majority of them had an American teacher (either Peace Corps or other volunteer teachers). Almost everyone who has a job which requires schooling will tell you that they had a Peace Corps teacher when they were younger. The school I teach at was started by my host grandpa and a few of his friends (I think in the 80s, anything that deals with time, I always get conflicting information…Chuukese have no concept of time). He also was the one to apply for the school’s very first Peace Corps! (since then I believe there have been 4 other PCV’s, so that makes me the 5th, again conflicting information).
It is comforting to know that I live with a family that values education, and supports all the work I am doing for the children of the community.

Another big event that happened this week…some of my fellow PCV’s from the Mortlocks came to Weno! (the Mortlocks are part of the state of Chuuk, but they are outer islands, meaning a ship ride of about 24 hours or a tiny (8 seats) plane ride of about an hour). They have not been to Weno since they left after swear-in in August! I was super excited to get to see them and hear all about their sites and life.
(some background information…team Chuuk has 7 PCV’s, 3 in the Lagoon (where I am) and 4 in the Mortlocks-we are one big family!)
I feel like I live in complete luxury compared to them.
They may live on tinier islands and be able to see the ocean from their front door and walk on beaches…but they do not have the ability to get away to town like I do (sometimes you just need to get away)
Here are a few of the differences…

I can hop on a boat and go to town whenever I want.    
I have cell service.
I have a variety in food choices, including vegetables!
I do not have internet (unless I go to town)                                                                                       
They are ‘stuck’ on their islands. (They are given one drum of gas for emergency purposes, but other than that they have nowhere to go…)
No cell service, they use satellite phones.
They literally eat fish and rice three times a day (they only get large ships to drop stuff off about every other week)

Two of the islands have internet! (although it would be so nice for school, I actually enjoy not having the internet)

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