Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 2 (Hideaway Island and snorkeling-Kylas first time!!)

Here we are, day 2 of our adventure in Vanuatu. We arrived yesterday bright and early at 1am. We were greeted by an amazing string band at the airport (not just for us-but I am a big reggae fan so this music is awesome) and a man holding a sign saying "Grundie" that was taking us to our hostel. haha! Just when I thought I had a funny enough name already...

We arrived at our hostel, Tradewinds, that is probably the best hostel I have ever stayed at. You walk in and there is a pool and a beer pong table. Er I mean ping pong table and barbeque right beside it. In fact, Kyla and I are bbq'ing some local fish called...uh...actually...I forget what its called but it was right beside the reef fish at the market. Oh, Kyla just said it was called Cherry Perch. I thought it was Sunny Fish. Close enough.

In our bungalow is a kitchen, bathroom with a big shower and 2 twin beds and a couch and tv and dvd player. We have everything we could possibly need. We are very lucky. Being here really opens your eyes about HOW lucky we actually are. I always knew that money doesn't buy happiness...and that is truly evident regarding the Ni-Vanuatu people. The hostel is right in the middle of the village and local huts and small houses surround us. The roads are dirt and there are clothes hanging everywhere and chickens, ratty dogs, and children running around everywhere. The kids are so sweet and all say hello when we pass by them. It feels weird to walk by them today with our snorkel equipment in our white foreigners. :(

Despite how poor people are here...they seem content and very nice. Today, was a wonderful day. We went snorkeling at Haidaway Island. A bus ride is taken (the buses are small vans) to a spot where a boat docks and then it takes people over to the island. You have to pay a fee to get on the island, but we got a reduced rate due to being volunteers at the hospital. We haven't actually made it to the hospital yet but we plan to go tomorrow for our first shift. So, we decided that we were going to make the most of another day off before going to "work". Snorkeling, and just hanging out on Haidaway was amazing! The local beer called Tusker is also really good. We may have been indulging just a tad. Now, we are about to eat our fish with an avacado and mango salsa Kyla made from the produce we picked up from the market. I could actually write a whole otehr entry on how much I loved that market. Fresh massive avacados for 30 vatu (30 cents) and so much other yummy stuff that I had to ask what it was. The lady would just look at me and go "huh?" They didnt understand that I didnt know what the vegetable was. So, we just bought it anyway. I cant wait to tray all the stuff we got. Pretty much that was the cheapest place/thing we have experienced since being here.

Port Vila is a city, or large town located right on the ocean. However, there does not appear to be anywhere to just walk to from our hostel if you want to spend time on the beach. So, I suppose it will be a bit of a treck when we want to do that.

Anyhoooo I better go. Dinner's ready!

Sara XO

Sunday, April 25, 2010

On the plane in Seattle, ready to begin our travels.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Finally in Vanuatu!

We arrived in Fiji at 5 am yesterday, and didn't fly out until 1030 pm. Our flight was delayed due to technical difficulties, then rescheduled. They put us up at the Trans International Hotel for several hours and gave us vouchers for lunch and dinner. We spent a little time swimming and lounging around the pool, took naps, and ate some delicious food.

 The plane that took us to Fiji

We got in to Port Vila a little after midnight this am local time. Fortunately our transport to the hotel saw that our flight was delayed and was there to pick us up. I was so happy to lie down and sleep in a bed that was to be mine for more than a few hours! We walked into town to do some exploring this morning, but it seems we were a little earlier than most, and it's sunday here so a lot of things were closed. Got some food at a little cafe in town, and had surprisingly yummy coffee. We found an adapter that will work with our 3-pronged laptop cords, and they had one to loan us here as well, so now we can both charge our laptops! Maybe even get some homework done...

I think we're going to take one more day to settle in and adjust to the new time zone, then go in to the hospital. Photos are really slow to load, so will do a few but most probably won't be posted until we're back.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Almost there!

Sara and I are in the Fiji airport, waiting for the final leg of our trip. I'm am rather tired of being on planes, but the flights have been fairly uneventful. Didn't get much sleep on the last flight, wasn't feeling great, but feeling better now. Nothing like warm, tropical air to wake you up! It's about 6 am on Saturday, which is a little weird since we left on Thursday in Seattle!

Just a quick update before my battery dies, I will post some pics when I get it charged!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Thoroughly medicated

Picked up 3 meds and got 5 vaccines today. I have mosquito repelling clothing spray to help fend off those pesky, disease carrying things that seem to love me, and will of course be taking mosquito repellent for my skin as well. I looked at the Air Pacific website, and it seems that I can check 2 bags for free! I will just have to check with Alaska to make sure they will honor that as well.

The one thing that we could still really use donations of is chux pads (waterproof disposable underpads). Anyone have some they'd be willing to part with? 

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Getting closer...

Feeling like I may actually get everything together and ready for this trip! Got my passport and have a phone appt set up with the Travel Advisory nurse at Group Health next week (phone appt, that's just funny to me). Next on my list: call the airlines to see about getting my extra baggage fees waved.

Had a raffle last week which brought in a little money, so that was good. My aunt ordered 6 stethoscope/blood pressure cuffs kits to donate to the hospital! I'm so thankful for that, as that seems like the most needed item right now. I think the main thing left that we need is chux pads. We have gotten so many donated items, I feel so blessed.