The one-year mark

Exactly 1 year ago, on April 17th, 2018, I arrived in Vanuatu to begin this journey.

After 36 hours of training in Los Angeles, we got on a 10pm flight from LAX to Fiji, and then sat in the Fiji airport (well, also popped out for a shower at a resort for a bit) for a nearly 12-hour stopover, then slept on a 2-hour flight from Fiji to Vanuatu, where we landed late at night, sweaty and unkempt, with hours of travel just behind us.

We arrived in the Port Vila airport, standing in a long line at customs, sticky with sweat, stamping our passports and exiting to a long line of PC staff and families who waited there, despite our many delays, to greet us with leaf and flower salusalus (the Vanuatu 'lei') and fresh coconuts and lavalavas (sarongs).

And they thought this was a great opportunity to snap pictures of us to be permanently used on our ID cards and in perpetuity for the next 27 months.

And off we went to training, to begin 10 full weeks of intensive Bislama courses, eating aelan kakae, and getting used to what could become our new home for the next 27 months (spoiler alert: I made it through training and swore in).


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