I've been living in Auckland, New Zealand for the past two months, continuing my work with THINK Global School. New developments at work have incorporated leisure time for employees to travel within the school term. I haven't had the opportunity to visit since February 2010, but thanks to the proximity, cost, and flexibility with work, that return to Nakavika is finally possible.Read More
Arriving at the bus terminal, I turned right back around and got on the Portliner train to try and get as close to the ship as possible. Having not traveled with my passport, and knowing the insanely tight restrictions on boarding, I knew there was no chance of talking my way on as a nostalgic alumna. As I rolled closer, I snapped pic after pic of increasingly higher quality until I found myself face-to-bow with my former nautical home. There are many reasons why SASers develop a lifelong love of the program and the vessel. For me, Semester at Sea changed the whole course of my life. I don’t know who I would have become without my round-the-world voyage in 2007. I certainly wouldn’t have met Garrett and Alexis, wouldn’t have felt strong enough to take my Big Journey, wouldn’t have aspired for the STA internship, and wouldn’t have landed in Japan today with my job at THINK Global School.Read More
I'm in New York City! Depending on our work load in Mexico, this may be the last normal Consume & Update for a while. Enjoy it while you can!
Why The Low Points Matter
Once again, great work, Chris, in addressing an idea regarding a "perfect" trip with the necessary and realistic angle. He noted that no one really has (nor should have?) a perfect trip without low points. Meticulous planning sounds exhausting and semi-fruitless, not to mention detrimental to an aspect of travel that arguably many travelers find as the point to it all.
I'm reminded of the Hindi om/aum and the interpretation I often associate with its multi-purpose, ambiguous meaning. When you're high, know one day you will be low again. And when things are low, have hope that tomorrow you'll be back on top. I envision a undulating sine curve that reflects the state of all things, the stock market among others. Though this is somewhat of a hippie-esque ideology, I do think I believe everything balances out in the end - the great moments in life and the low points, the good and the bad. The same goes for your travels.
If we only had high points, what kind of characters would we be? Would we be as adaptable, as prepared for the world and appreciative of the good times? And though the catalyst for this "perfect trip" idea was in no way indicating a trip without flaws, it makes me think no one should leave their home expecting all to go as planned or with their own convenience in mind. We must flex with the sine curve of life and our own movement, appreciating both to strike a balance that makes us who we are.
Thanks, Chris, you got me thinking. And isn't that what good writing, and "perfect traveling," is about? You tell me.
Name This Vista
What are we looking at here? Any ideas? Leave a comment!
Why, If You Write, You Need a Blog
This one is for the hopeful travel bloggers out there, the ones keen on crafting word symphonies with the hope of creating a path toward their passions. And not just travel bloggers, hopeful broadcast journalists, photographers, poets, and other expressionists have been contacting me about what to do with their skills as the means to a preferred end. Though I'm not a broadcast journalist nor a novelist by trade, I at least know it's essential to adapt to the new trend of self-marketing and projection of your assets in the form of a blog.
Darren at Problogger is usually someone I refer these people to, because he writes pieces just like this: Why Professional Writers Need a Blog. Or Not. Here are some great excerpts from his recent piece.
We can boil it down to this: if you’re looking to get hired for a project, which implies you offer some vertical expertise in addition to your abundant writing gifts, then you should consider writing a blog. And you should let the reader know who you are. Because you need to show the world you know more than they do about whatever it is you do. You need to demonstrate it. Both elements drive toward your credibility, which his essential.
A blog is about your niche, your field of expertise, your message. Your blog is, in essence, a gift to your readers. In effect, your blog is where you give away what you know. It’s your chance to demonstrate and validate your claim to authority and expertise. Your blog is, in every essence and facet of the word, content.
World's Touristy Map
It's kinda nice I'm from an unspotted area. My goodness, Europe, quit being so appealing to the world.
Talk about the art of travel! Great moleskin journal watercolors from Notes From The Road.
Problogger's here to tell you How to Convert Blog Readers to Paying Customers
Update on Nomadderwhere
Here's the skinny on my current situation.
Nakavika Project/Fiji Stories: I've been frantically pushing out stories from Fiji this month and have finally completed the storyline. Yay, me! Soon, I'll publish a walk-through of the entire narrative in case you missed the overall flow of things.
The New Travels: The onslaught of Fiji content was in reaction to my upcoming trip and new job with ProjectExplorer, which has begun already with a short trip to NYC, followed by a flight Tuesday morning to Mexico City! Last night, I dined at Anthony Bourdain's restaurant with Jenny and Matt, a PE board member, and today I start my training for Mexico!
Reunited Collaborators: Great news, as well...I get to see Garrett Russell this weekend, for the first time since we parted ways in Suva. Garrett recently got his Peace Corps assignment and is preparing for Malawi come July 1st. I'm so excited for him, and I look forward to publishing some of his work on the experience on Nomadderwhere. We've also decided on how to proceed with The Nakavika Project, which you can check out now.
This week on Nomadderwhere:
Video of the Week: The World Traveler Intern-view: A video webcam interview with the new STA World Traveler Interns, which shows their striking, coincidental similarities.
Interview Two Travelers: The 2010 World Traveling Interns: The written portion of my two-part interview with the STA Interns, asking questions about their self-propelled tour of Europe and more.
Instant Withdrawal From the Kids: The story of sadness on the day we left the village, reminiscing about the kids and youth members we considered our dear friends.
Standing on Shipwrecks and Watching Another: The story of my final week at a homestay, which involved exorcisms, fishing off styrofoam doors, my first fresh mussel, shipwrecks, and a dramatic parting from all things Nakavika.
Back to Being Just a Tourist: The story of my final week in Fiji, when I visited the Yasawa islands and tried to reclaim my love of the South Pacific.
Six Months Later: The Status of the Nakavika Project: An update to the development, reaction, and future of The Nakavika Project.
1 Minute or Less Moments: This week on my Nomadderwhere Facebook Fan Page will be the last for publishing raw video clips from our Fiji footage. Check out the final installment, which shows some lovely moments in the Yasawa islands before I flew back to America.
Note on Nomadderwhere's May Schedule: Now that you know my big news for June, I've got some catching up to do with my postings, if I want to stay current with my documentation while abroad. Though this video marks the end of the Fiji footage, I still have a lot to cover from our experience. Expect to see many written posts, many more than usual, in the coming weeks!
Welcome to Day Four of my Carnival of Blogs, celebrating one year at Nomadderwhere.com!
For those of you who have followed my most recent adventures through the Fijian interior, you know I've been working hard, alongside my project partner Garrett, to self-start a humanitarian effort focused on health and education in the village of Nakavika. I'm happy to report the official launch of The Nakavika Project subdomain!
I invite you to click the image above and peruse this new venue for posting all things Nakavika and project-like. This includes:
Details about our three main objectives: Health, Education, and (our newest addition) Scholarship and how we hope to accomplish our goals remotely
View student profiles from Nakavika looking for school funding
Details on three ways to participate and support The Nakavika Project
Videos and written posts much like that found on Nomadderwhere.com
And more! ...of course, there's always more!
Why a Separate Website?
Nomadderwhere.com is becoming all sorts of things: a source of information on RTW traveling, traveling solo as a woman, World Traveler Internship how-tos and content, in addition to whatever step I take next in my traveling and work pursuits. Soon, people won't know where to look and what to do when they open up my website!
By slowly moving the project from my site to its own, the potential for its expansion is much greater and allows for those simply interested in TNP to weed out that material amidst the rest of my work. Maybe some day soon, we'll have an easier way to donate, a bigger support system online for future volunteers, guides on on-site volunteering and a store to purchase our informational DVDs we send to Nakavika.
In order for that to happen, we need support: readers, commentators, donors, inspiration, and people interested in donating their time and energy making this project better.
To subscribe or follow The Nakavika Project on its own, click on the following feeds to get access to posts and tweets. Simply following my feed and twitter may not fill you in on every notification for the project, so be sure you don't miss a thing!
Garrett and I thank you profusely for your support and encouragement with the project, as it certainly was a true test of our character, tenacity, and knowledge of world cultures and basic human rights. Right now, we're waiting for a response from the village spokesman about our future interests in the village (sent via snail mail) and putting together a scholarship request packet for hopeful students.
I'm very happy to report Nomadderwhere has come a long way since this time last year, when I moved from a simple blogspot to a bonafide domain of my own. Since that time I've changed my writing style and topics, grown a readership of surprisingly many (thanks to you), won the most amazing internship known to man, and turned this online outlet for my travel thoughts and work into something that may one day sustain me. For those of you just stopping by for the first time, this is probably the best post at which to start. According to my stats and Google analytics, these are the top posts for Nomadderwhere.
...I didn’t study telecommunications or video art in college, nor did I have a good operating system while making my application video last year. If you’re new at this, like I was, don’t worry because if you have a computer, some travel footage and a passion to produce, you can make some mean videos...Bottom line is to be aware of the story you are crafting and make sure it gives people a reason to watch beyond 10 seconds and a reason to stick around until the end. The music helps me monumentally with this step of the process.
...I received word from two different people that Cafe Ba-Ba-Reebas! in Lincoln Park had the greatest and most authentic tapas in the city. Since my cousin is a budding foodie and my other friend lived in Spain and learned to cook there, I took their advice as fast as I took down my sangria. Rioja short ribs with manchego mashed potatoes, house meat plate with serrano, salchichon, chorizo, chicken & artichoke paella, crispy spicy potatoes with sun-dried tomato alioli, and warm potato & onion omelette - everything tasted so flavorful, even my friends who had been here before were amazed and raving. The thrill of good food doesn’t get old...
...But he found more appeal in living with 100+ kids in a country he had no ties to. He wanted to move people and make physical and emotional necessities available to anyone. With that desire and an experience such as the one he had at Palm Tree, his life work was destined to be hugely impacting and awe-inspiring, and I'm so sorry we don't get to witness his next steps.But he passed with people who loved him and he loved in return, in his sleep on the beach in Cambodia...
...The Greek and Italian languages are nothing alike There’s no avoiding cigarette smoke in Greece…It’s everywhere In Greece, the party starts well after midnight and can continue into brunch time The water really is that blue...
...For some reason unknown to me and my surrounding web, I've decided it's okay to miss the things that matter most in order to blaze literal and personal trails towards anything from failure to success. This travel path can sound illogical and like a waste, but when I realize the passions I've acquired and the maturity I've obtained, I fear where I would be without all those 50+ flights to global destinations and potential moments of learning...
...Nomadderwhere is a philosophy: it doesn't matter where you are, it matters that you're always learning and flexing with your surroundings, whether you're traveling or stationary. To capture this idea is to capture the art of travel, to know the importance of movement and to become self-aware...because you are the only constant in your world...
...“So I know we agreed on 40 rupees to the Siliguri bus station, but I know you’re going to forget this deal, even though I wrote the fare down on my hand. I’m really hoping you’re an honest and swell guy who claims he has change when he really does.” With this sort of dialogue, it’s all about tone and appearance. Speak kindly and smile the entire time. It doesn’t work any other way. And a word from experience: the more you make them laugh, the better the fare becomes...
...Since I returned from a round-the-world trip on August 17th, I’ve done very little besides sit in front of screens – computer, TV, what-have-you. I seldom leave home or drive my car unless it’s purely necessary. Rarely do I step outside if not to summon my cat in at twilight, and the most exercise I get comes from group fitness classes at the gym down the street. I spent one weekend in northern Indiana with my best friends eating guacamole and floating on one long raft around Lake Tippicanoe, but that certainly can’t be all the excitement I can handle over a two month period. Why do I not carpe the diem when I’m not traveling?...
...What was certainly magnified by Krakauer's text was the reality that we humans harbor primordial desires, and it's on a sliding scale how much we allow these feelings to be heard and acted upon. It is my belief that travelers, adventurers, nomads and those hopeful to detach from the man-made structure of modern civilization are more responsive to those "calls of the wild." Unconventional living forces a constant reevaluation of one's life [and one's mortality], and when we are closer in mindset to our own expiration, it seems we connect closer to the motivations of our primitive ancestors...
...Within the open ocean is a sea of 60-40 couples, incredibly perky cougars on the prowl, families with seven year-old twins and recent divorcees taking back their lives, not to mention a slew of Rascals scooting about. Of course, every cruise liner caters to a different demographic, which accounts for the vast differences among the commercial cruising fleets, but what they all share is the sense of ease that, in the mind of a “bare-bones” traveler, strips the so-called adventure down to physical displacement and cognitive retirement, which is in many cases the whole point...
...I work in an environment where people are stuck in one mindset. The monotony of everyday life can suck you in and but also give you the comfort of stability. I want to stimulate my mind and mix things up. My entire senior year of college I saved for my trip to Europe, and everyday I think back to the crazy things I did and the knowledge that I gathered and feel proud. Being young and having a flexible (and seasonal) job is a plus. So spending my money on travel is why it’s there...
...L: “I found an amazing flight deal I want to look further into. If the price is right, would you consider dropping the road trip idea and heading to Fiji to live in a village? We could do our own thing there, use our skills to start some effort from scratch, and I know we’re already invited and welcome to be there. I talked to them a week ago.” G: “Wow, Linz, you’re turnin’ the tables on me! This could be such a huge opportunity. Let me think it over…(30 minutes later)...I am completely, 100% behind this idea...
...We landed perfectly, a few steps to a complete standing stop, and I yelled my amazement to all the men at the bottom who hear these exclamations every day. And that was it. I jumped out of a plane. Nuts. Simply nuts...
Today is my 1,168th daily anniversary of travel blogging, but Nomadderwhere.com is but an infant still. Since I bought my own domain exactly one year ago, I've evolved my site extensively, far beyond what I was capable of from the get-go.
I'm proud today to display my year's progress and hopefully inspire you to achieve progress in your own passionate plans.
From a simple blogspot to a self-hosted wordpress...
...let's celebrate Nomadderwhere's first birthday!
Since I embarked on December 1st to develop The Nakavika Project, I've been quite inconsistent with my written postings, even though they've all published as frequently as expected. For those of you waiting to hear so much that we've left uncovered, I've got some 'splaining to do. Starting off with action inspired by Chris Guillebeau's ebook, I moved on to recount the experiences of our first steps in Fiji. Getting up to Nakavika was a full day adventure that ended poetically, while the next days involved village logistics and the acceptance of our mission.
Once we were established in the Highlands, we started getting comfortable, going swimming daily with the kids, watching shocking swine slaughterings, assimilating with our demographic, and becoming members of our host family and community. Within one week of traveling to the interior, Garrett and I journeyed back down to Suva for an internet run and returned one day later to a cyclone experience neither of us will ever let mentally slip away.
But I let my writings slip from that moment on.
I lost track of writing as the cyclone threatened our water source and made showering, drinking water, cooking food, washing clothes and even swimming more difficult and time-consuming. The road washed away at Namando, making it difficult for the diesel to reach Nakavika and power the generator that juiced my laptop's empty battery. Our housing situation became sticky and riddled with unknowns and inconveniences. We planned our escape to recuperate from multiple bacterial infections.
And I let my excuses eat away at my writing muse.
Instead of catching up with an explanation of our trip to Suva and Cyclone Mick, I jumped around to speaking Fijian and matters of global citizenship. I discussed the scattered happenings of our project classes with not only the kids but the youth and adults as well.
So what's the plan?
Chronology be damned, I'm going to tell you the whole scoop eventually, excluding the dirty details, which are for us to know and you to ponder about endlessly. Starting this Friday, I'll fill you in on the occurrences of my mini-vacation in Fiji prior to flying home on Valentine's Day - then I'll tap into the stories of my inland adventure.
After officially leaving the village on the 1st of February and parting ways with homeward bound Garrett and Jackie, I spent some time in a coastal village outside Suva, chatted with Madventurer contact Kimbo, and took a steady, pleasant ride through the Mamanucas to the Yasawa islands. Here at Wayalailai Ecohaven, I am turning my brain off to recover from two months in a different world.
After detailing these lovely happenings, I'll return to the stories of yore…Cyclone Mick, Christmas in the village, our holiday time off and so on. By the end of these tales, you'll know more about Fijian culture and mindsets than you ever wanted to.
And finally, the status of The Nakavika Project - TNP is going underground for a few weeks to undergo some serious plastic surgery. The seemingly obvious flow of progress changed and professed a need for reevaluation. Garrett and I will be working on TNP for the next month or so, crafting it into the most successful project it has the ability of being. As could have been anticipated, our expectations were somewhat off from the project's predestination.
So prepare yourself for many more weeks of tales, starting with the most recent and then whipping back in time like Tarantino. Weekly videos will continue chronologically, somewhat, with the same level of hilarity and other-worldliness.
Please continue to comment as these are the sharpeners to my writing and blogging blade.
Today I'm flying home. I have no other quotes to share but these...not about travel but about education and ignorance.
If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. -Abraham Lincoln
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -Albert Einstein
A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking largely sobers us again. -Alexander Pope
To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant. -Amos Bronson Alcott
Education is learning what you didn't even know you didn't know. -Daniel J. Boorstin
An age is called Dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it. -James Michener
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong. -Thomas Jefferson
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right. -Thomas Paine
Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance. -Will Durant
Update on Nomadderwhere
I'm tired, and I've smelled like a bus station bench for over two months.
After months in a highland village, weeks recharging in village beach resorts, and days talking out issues with Fijians and like-minded thinkers, I'm ready to meet my family in Florida for a wee reunion before heading back to the snow of Indiana.
The project will involve a lot of work and a lot of explaining right here on good ol' Nomadderwhere before it can become anything. But we've got tenacity and don't take this project lightly.
Also, it is with sincere apologies that I report there will be no Video of the Week tomorrow, as internet time here is too expensive and I've been too busy doing absolute squat. But check out Alongside the Village to recap the experiences we've had thus far. And be prepared for the onslaught of good stuff come this Wednesday as I lay out the plan for Nakavika Project content. There's still OH-so much we haven't told you.
Wish me luck that this flight is somewhat smooth...and without snakes.
One more week before I head back to America, flying home on the 14th. Get this - I get to enjoy two Valentine's Days this year. Let's take one more look at some travel quotes (since I don't have time to check out my favorite travel blogs) before we bring an end to The Nakavika Project.
If we are always arriving and departing, it is also true that we are eternally anchored. One's destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. -Henry Miller
As a member of an escorted tour, you don't even have to know that the Matterhorn isn't a tuba. -Temple Fielding
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. -Augustine
Travel doesn't merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind. -Bruce Chatwin
I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine. -Caskie Stinnett
Travel is the ruin of all happiness! There's no looking at a building after seeing Italy. -Fanny Burney
There is nothing like a comfortable adventure to put people in a good humor. -Peter Mayle
Update on Nomadderwhere
So the fundraiser...we made $171.80 FJD (roughly $90 USD) by selling our donations to the villagers - clothes, purses, backpacks, balloons, rings - and then doubled this amount with our own project funds to use all the profits on supplies for the dispensary. We ended up sending nearly $400 FJD worth of Band-aids, anti-biotic ointment, and more supplies than I can remember. Vita, the dispensary manager and the village first-aid guru, received the box with her ever-present gratitude.
After two months of setting up a volunteer-based project up in the Highlands of Viti Levu, it has come to our attention that changes have to be made in our plan. I'm in the process of detailing the shifts in concept for a future posting. The project will continue on but in a different vehicle, rather than through volunteers. And in a month or so, a new subdomain will be created just for the Nakavika Project. Look forward to that, why dontcha!
Once again, I fall victim to the paucity of internet in the village. I don't know what people are writing about or what's going on in this world. It's kinda nice, I gotta say. I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project. Let's make like Janet Jackson and go deep in our thinking, facilitated by some travel quotes:
Travel has a way of stretching the mind. The stretch comes not from travel's immediate rewards, the inevitable myriad new sights, smells and sounds, but with experiencing firsthand how others do differently what we believed to be the right and only way. -Ralph Crawshaw
If you actually look like your passport photo, you aren't well enough to travel. -Sir Vivian Fuchs
They change their climate, not their soul, who rush across the sea. -Horace, Epistles
A traveler without observation is a bird without wings. -Saadi
I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read. -Oscar Wilde
I like terra firma - the more firma, the less terra. -George S. Kaufman
Update on Nomadderwhere
Sunday evening we came down to town via Rivers Fiji truck for some much needed rest and internet work. The three of us (Jackie Knowles has joined the project...have I mentioned that?) promised the village we would create a video in honor of the funeral week and the passing of Elias. Thus far, the video is half-way finished and 30 minutes long. We still have a lot of work to do.
We're also in the process of developing written agreements with the village and with our 0n-site coordinator, Abel. Having our main points written on paper makes things much more official in Fiji but still doesn't save us from any future headaches. Making deals and having understandings has proved to be difficult thus far. We'll see how this project pans out. Although, as much trouble as we've had with all this, the reasons for us to be here have solidified even further. There's a reason why humanitarian projects aren't covering every inch of the communities that need them. It's not easy.
Returning on Wednesday to the village, we will be having an immediate meeting the headmaster, as he has returned from school break for the first week of classes. We're hoping to discuss the needs of the school, identify things in our power we could do to improve the school, and develop the project even further.
On Saturday, we are also having a fundraiser for the project, which will function much like a yard sale. Using donations both Jackie and I brought over from America, we will provide the village mothers a chance to peruse clothing, purses, backpacks and knick-knacks at a very low price (think a $.25 USD or less). Every mother will be allowed one item per child, and the profits of this fundraiser will go toward buying fever reducer for the village dispensary. The project will also double the final earnings in order to enable more medicine to get to those who need it. The idea behind selling our donations is about teaching the mothers to invest in their child's health, not just use what medicine is free and continue to give money to their children only for candy and billiard games. We'll see how this goes.
Sadly, I'm not able to read the blogs I regularly follow, thanks to a lack of internet in the village. Instead I'm looking inward while on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion, and avoid the people, you might better stay at home. -James A. Michener
Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God. -Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. -Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
If an ass goes traveling, he'll not come home a horse. -Thomas Fuller
When you come to a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. -Izaak Walton
Update on Nomadderwhere
Without a doubt, the most dramatic week in Nakavika yet...
A 45 year-old man died of a heart attack this week in the village, and the stress of the week has caused some interesting, some negative, some unexpected changes in the village. Updates will come very soon in the form of blog posts, as this weekly space isn't sufficient for telling the stories of these surreal and movie-like adventures.
The bottom line for this project: whatever program we create in Nakavika will certainly be an adventure for the strong and the tough-skinned. This is no trip to paradise. This is true work against the odds for the good.
Join us in learning an incredibly useful and global language…Fijian! Remember to roll your R's and note the difference in pronouncing C's and J's.Read More
I've got no clue what other bloggers are up to these days, nor the latest in news or developments in...well, nuthin'. But I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast. -Ernest Hemingway
I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. -Robert Louis Stevenson
Travel is 90% anticipation and 10% recollection. -Edward Streeter
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. -Confucius
The traveler sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has comes to see. -G.K. Chesterton
There is a ghost that eats handkerchiefs; it keeps you company on all your travels. -Christian Morganstern
The more I see of other countries the more I love my own. -Madame De Stael
Update on Nomadderwhere
Welcome to the weekend update with Lindsay Clark, Garrett Russell and Tina Fey.
The chief of the Namosi province announced this week that all kava drinking must stop by 10pm, in order to improve province health, productivity and family time. Noble plan, chief…I'm on board. However, when no one seems to have watches, it's going to be hard to gauge the cut-off, especially when there's no one in the village interested in ratting people out. Noble plan…ain't gonna happen.
Garrett and I found out this week there is a village "nurse" - someone with basic aid training and a government funded dispensary. She happens to be the coolest women we've met thus far up here, and we've given her all of our medical resources in order to train children and adults to find her for first aid. Throughout this experience, we've expressed the interest in finding Garrett a protege to carry on with first aid help in the village. We found it mildly funny, and a wee bit annoying, we never knew she existed until now. The project's potential has just tripled in the health department.
The Nakavika Project is gaining momentum as many talks have occurred between the village and ourselves. It looks as if, after proper introduction and explanation of the whole concept to the elders, we'll be all set for having our own volunteer program in the highlands. Details are fairly squared away, and a website is in the works. Abel will be our point man in the village and the main coordinator of all things NP locally.
Speaking of the NP, our team is not just two but three! Jackie Knowles has joined the project and is currently enjoying day three up in the village. She will be staying with Vita, the village nurse and our new best friend, along with her very smart and adorable children. They also have a cat I earned the privilege of naming "Lady Snugs" after a long petting session where I gained a friend and also determined the gender of this previously androgynous cat. Don't read that last sentence with a dirty mind…sicko.
We experienced our first fundraiser in the village this week, one dedicated to collecting funds for a village lady headed for teacher's college. The evening involved dancing, kava, Akon, island rhythms, and most likely a little fire rum. Details are to come.
What's going on in the world? I haven't the slightest, but I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
Twenty years from now you will be mor disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain
The heaviest baggage for a traveler is an empty purse. -English Proverb
Travelers never think that they are foreigners. -Mason Cooley
The Promised Land always lies on the other side of the wilderness. -Havelock Ellis
He who never leaves his country is full of prejudices. -Carlo Goldoni
I have found that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them. -Mark Twain
Update on Nomadderwhere
After a very appreciated vacation to Rakiraki and Pacific Harbor, Garrett and I came back to the village in full force, prepared with more resources (adult and children's books, supplies for managing money, instructional tools, sharpeners, etc.). We're making the following changes to our schedules and classes:
Creating weekly schedules for ourselves to feel and be more productive in work as well as cover more ground in our cultural pursuits
Establishing a set time for children's classes every weekday to keep from the kids lingering around all day long
Create and publicize two weekly seminars for the youth members and adults that will cover various topics of their interest (see The Itinerary for details)
Incorporate reading time after classes with the kids, which will include reading to groups of kids and asking questions and promoting individual reading if they're curious
We also came back to the village before our host mother returned from her trip home (Savusavu). I was appointed the woman of the house and had to clean and prepare food for ourselves. Garrett and I wanted to make American dishes with Fijian ingredients, such as:
Mashed cassava (with butter, salt and maybe a little cream?)
Vegetable soup (with beans and veggies)
Whole wheat tortillas with a bean and veggie mixture
Who knows what else...
We'll be back to the internet on the 14th of January! See you then!
You've heard the story. I don't got no internet up where I'm living. I'm instead looking inward while on The Nakavika Project, and I am inviting you to join in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
The sea that calls all things unto her calls me, and I must embark. -Kahlil Gibran
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Confucius
It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. -Ursula K. Le Guin
A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it. -George Moore
Bless not only the road but the bumps on the road. They are all part of higher journey. -Julia Cameron
A good traveler has to fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. -Lao-Tzu
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindness. -author unknown
Update on Nomadderwhere
First things first. Check out the second issue of the Nomadderwhere Newsletter, which features sneak peaks at future written posts, travel recommendations, developments with the site and more.
Free wireless internet. Ocean views from our $13 per night clean dorm room. $2 beers and free snorkeling. 88°F and sunny with a breeze that does its job to cool our steamy bodies. World-class scuba diving a couple meters off shore. Independence, protein and the termination of our farmer's tans. Oh sweet life.
We needed a break from the village, not just emotionally or mentally but physically. Both Garrett and I have contracted minor gastro-intestional issues due to either the diet change or bacteria in the highland water. It's possible the hurricane we braved a couple weeks ago made the water source a little questionable. The river water was possibly septic, and the force of the river knocked out the village's water pipes.
While we hit up the beach this week, we're in the process of revamping our project objectives and creating more structure to our daily programs. Now that we know what works, what doesn't, what's needed and what the village people relate to, we can allocate our funds in the right direction and be more productive and valuable to the village. We'll return this week in full force.
If you've got a moment, I created 3 quick questions to find out how to best offer and create value to those of you following Nomadderwhere. I want to know why you keep coming back and what you hope to see in the future. Thanks for your help!
I don't know what's going on in the world, thanks to the paucity of such luxuries as internet or power. Instead of checking out the world hum, I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
I am one of those who never knows the direction of my journey until I have almost arrived. -Anna Louise Strong
Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and enjoy the journey. -Babs Hoffman
Through travel I first became aware of the outside world. -Eudora Welty
The worst thing about being a tourist is having other tourists recognize you as a tourist. -Russell Baker
My favorite thing is to go where I have never gone. -Diane Arbus
A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. -Lao-Tzu
Update on Nomadderwhere
Oh boy. This week has been interesting - our third up in the village and one that has presented its share of cultural obstacles. We're feeling a smidge "nickel-and-dimed" by our hosts, but the main factor that contributes to our frustration comes from the lack of planning and informing. We are left out of many discussions that involve us, but we're getting our thoughts and points across slowly but surely.
This week, we celebrated Christmas in the village - the first white people ("kaivalangi") to do so in the village. Now we are on our way to somewhere touristy, beautiful and relaxing for a week or so.
When we return, we'll be revamping the project to accommodate all the new developments and needs of Nakavika's youth. It will be a real defining moment for us when we get back in January. Also, we plan on implementing these new goals and following them up with a discussion with the village adults to see if this thing could be sustainable and up for another year! We'll keep you up to speed on the progress of the NP!
Maybe some day, villages in the highlands of Fiji will have internet cafes and ...wide spread power outlets. But today, this isn't the case; there fore it's a bit difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
The world is a country which nobody ever yet knew by description; one must travel through it one's self to be acquainted with it. -Lord Chesterfield
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. -Lao-Tzu
A knowledge of the path cannot be substituted for putting one foot in front of the other. -M.C. Richards
I sought trains; I found passengers. -Paul Theroux
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we would find it not. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Update on Nomadderwhere
The Nakavika Project is still trucking along, and not only are the children expressing interest in our services, but the youth of the community have started coming over after dinner to review the spelling of their English and expand their vocabularies. They are a hilarious bunch and make it easy to stand in front of people much older and wiser in an attempt to teach.
They've also asked Garrett about how to deal with first aid issues. These boys are rough, and the way they treat their injuries from rugby would make you cringe. Not only are we teaching them about first aid, but we're also learning about Fijian medicine and what they already use in the village (I have already experienced the benefits of Fijian medicine when I cut my hand on bamboo last week).
Garrett is going to participate in a volleyball tournament which is taking place in Nakavika this week, and afterward there will be a dance. The funds for the whole event will go toward acquiring internet in the primary school. We're definitely going to dive into that project and see what we can do to help.
Thanks to a lack of reliable power or internet connection, it's difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'm looking inward while up here in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. -Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Make voyages! Attempt them...there's nothing else. -Tennessee Williams
The road recedes as the traveler advances, leaving a continuous presence. -Richard Le Gallienne
Travel should be no occasional fling, but a normal and frequent, integral part of one's life. -Arthur Frommer
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust
Update on Nomadderwhere
I made it to the internet this week! Sitting here in Suva, I am realizing my senses have been either heightened/sharpened from village life. The rancid smells of city life are hitting me quite hard today.
What has happened thus far?
After some wee immigration issues with getting an extension for a volunteer visa, we visited Lautoka to see our contact, Kimbo, and then took the bus along the Queen's Road toward Suva. Fluttering our eyelashes a bit got us dropped off at Namosi Junction, which is a gravel road inland that only carriers and some trucks venture up. We waited for a carrier for three hours before hopping into a packed village truck (where I sat on the floor and Garrett mounted a propane tank). Eventually we made it to the highland police post, where we caught a ride with the police into Nakavika.
Our arrival was greeted by about twenty members of the village along with a scattering of kids. We drank kava and laughed and reminisced about the last time I was in Fiji. We asked for permission to stay in the village, and the spokesman agreed to meet us the following day to hear our plans.
Garrett and I are living with the hosts from my previous trip, and we each have our own room, which is incredibly nice and hospitable of them. We've started weekday classes with the kids, which are going extremely well. The kids hang out around our house all day waiting for "class" to begin.
Next week is all about hand washing, and we'll be turning this rather mundane habit into a fun activity with racing games. More to come next week!
Since I no longer have reliable power or internet connection, it's difficult to keep up with what's going these days. I'll be looking much more inward, I 'spose, while up in the Fijian highlands on The Nakavika Project. Join me in some deep thinking facilitated by some travel quotes:
I have wandered all my life, and I have also traveled; the difference between the two being this, that we wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment. -Hilaire Belloc
The use of traveling is to regulate the imagination by reality... -Samuel Johnson
Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones. -Anne Sophie Swetchine
The place you have left forever is always there for you to see whenever you shut your eyes. -Jan Myrdal
The thing I do most is look at maps. I study them. If I'm going to a place, I get all the maps and look at them. There's a lot of information on a map. -Paul Theroux
Direct your eye right inward, and you'll find A thousand regions in your mind Yet undiscovered… -Henry David Thoreau
Update on Nomadderwhere
We're in Fiji! Garrett and I have made it to the village safely and are living the dream, getting settled and getting the conversations flowing.
Unfortunately, that's about as much details as I can deliver at this point, but be sure to keep checking for new posts with photos, videos or updates on the project! If you have any questions about what we're doing up there, check out the NP page or post a question below!