anythingforamonth:

A week of food in Vanuatu, part two

i) pounded roasted breadfruit with cream of coconut

ii) oatmeal and bananas

iii) breakfast cracks for life

iv) boiled crabs

v) watermelon

vi) crabs with taro, sweet potato and coconut milk

vii) breadfruit, roasted

viii) laplap - grated taro baked in banana leaves and topped with island cabbage and tin fish

ix) the worst thing i’ve ever eaten in Vanuatu: a heaping plate of rice topped with a stew of chicken flavored noodles, onions, peppers, tin tuna and flying fox (bat) 

x) the cucumbers are huge here 

Vanuatu island food culture Peace Corps Volunteer reblogs coconut oatmeal bananas rice fruit

asiamericana:

These kids are from my lowest-level English class. At the beginning of the year they were bored, disinterested and I thought they hated me.
Today they called me up and wanted to see me to give me a gift: a box of apples in honor of women’s day. They were all smiles, and so sweet. They’re not the same kids as they were in September, and I’m not the same person either.

asiamericana:

These kids are from my lowest-level English class. At the beginning of the year they were bored, disinterested and I thought they hated me.

Today they called me up and wanted to see me to give me a gift: a box of apples in honor of women’s day. They were all smiles, and so sweet. They’re not the same kids as they were in September, and I’m not the same person either.

China education TEFL TESOL reblogs apples International Women's Day awwww! Peace Corps Volunteers university

sheenabeenaghana:

Cashew nursery at the primary school cashew farm - Reality, most of these kids may become farmers or inherit the land of their fathers and mothers. Might as well start easy with some hands on lessons in tree nurseries and grafting. My hope is that the school cashew farm can be a leading example in the village for other farmers. We will see!  

Ghana Africa youth agriculture cashews farming food food security sustainability Peace Corps Volunteers reblogs tree nurseries environment

what do you go home to?

alymarczynski:

“Women here always feel they must do things; they must clean the house, they must cook, they must forgive their husbands.” And so I dove straight into the world of women’s rights, gender roles and healthy relationships here in Kyrgyzstan.

One thing I want to make very clear is that the problems women face here are not unlike things we experience in the United States. Some things, bride kidnapping for instance, are a bit different but the overall themes of domestic violence, sexual assault and discrimination are the same, if maybe just on a slightly different scale.

This was the topic of our most recent Mom’s Club session and while encouraging in some respects, it has also left me feeling numb, confused and unfortunately, a little hopeless.

While it doesn’t upset me as much as it used to, I am still taken aback, frustrated and angry every time I experience the gender inequality first hand here. I have been blatantly ignored by men, especially when I am with a male PCV, and I experience some form of verbal harassment at least every other week. Many people are confused when I tell them I am a business volunteer and not a teacher, calling me “businessman” which is humorous but annoying at the same time.

All of this, however, if nothing compared to what locals experience here. I was quickly brought back to my days of working at DVSAS (Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services) during our session. Our discussion of healthy relationships quickly took off into a debate over what to do in an abusive relationship. Should the woman leave? What would she do if she did? What would her family think? And worst of all: maybe she did something to deserve getting hit.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are topics that are hardly discussed in the United States. Here it is almost unheard of, sexual assault in particular. I have heard of some of the worst cases, which only makes me wonder how much is going on under the surface. The enormity of this situation all over the world feels like an unbearable weight I have no idea how to move.

The only thing I feel I can do at this point is encourage women to talk about it. This is not something to keep quiet, hidden within the household. It needs to be brought out and discussed, so that hopefully, someday things will begin to improve.

The one point of hope at the end of the session was the oldest woman in the group pointing out that “We only feel this way because of how we were raised. If we raise our children to think this is wrong and that they should expect more from their spouses, then things will begin to change.”

kyrgyzstan reblogs gender equality sexism women's rights gender roles gender issues culture domestic violence International Women's Day

ourpresidents:

It’s Peace Corps Week 
Peace Corps Week commemorates the date President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to establish the Peace Corps, March 1, 1961.
Learn more about the Peace Corps and the Volunteers who are making a different in host countries around the world here.Pictured: President Kennedy hands the pen used to sign the Peace Corps Act to his brother-in-law, R. Sargent Shriver, who he had designated as the Corps founding Director.
-JFK and the Peace Corps from the JFK Library

ourpresidents:

It’s Peace Corps Week

Peace Corps Week commemorates the date President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to establish the Peace Corps, March 1, 1961.

Learn more about the Peace Corps and the Volunteers who are making a different in host countries around the world here.


Pictured: President Kennedy hands the pen used to sign the Peace Corps Act to his brother-in-law, R. Sargent Shriver, who he had designated as the Corps founding Director.

-JFK and the Peace Corps from the JFK Library

Peace Corps Week reblogs Sargent Shriver John F. Kennedy JFK President Kennedy history JFK Library

sarahreichle:

Your Ecuadorian Fruit Education
Lesson #1: Taxo

One of my New Year’s resolutions and goals of year numero dos in Peace Corps is to try more Ecuadorian fruit. It’s not as if I don’t eat a bastante amount of fruit here, I really do. I just usually stick to the basics like mango, pineapple, papaya, grapefruit and oranges. I’ve tried other fruits here of course but I don’t usually buy them on my own… but that’s all about to change! I have a brand-spanking new blender with a juicer too! It would be a complete waste not to use it and to not aprovechar my time down here with trying delicious tropical fruits. So, get ready for installment one in your Ecuadorian fruit education!

Up first is taxo. I’m not sure what taxo is called in English or if there even is an English translation. It’s a strange yellow fruit that’s about 3 inches long and shaped like some large gorilla finger or a fat stumpy cigar. When you cut it open, the insides look like a pomegranate or maracuyá with the orange, gelatinous fruit surrounding many small black seeds. Taxo is basically only used in juices but as the lady at the fruit stand tells me, you can also cut it open and chupar (suck) the fruit out. According to my awesome Peace Corps cookbook, it’s also used as a topping for ice cream but since I had no ice cream around the house, I settled for making juice.

I cut them open, scooped out the insides and put it my blender with a bit of water. After blending for a bit, you simply strain out the seeds and bam, you have jugo de taxo! I added some sugar to the juice primarily because I’ve integrated here and you can’t drink anything without copious amounts of sugar added and secondly because taxo does have a slightly sour taste that needs some sweetness added. Overall, not my favorite Ecua-fruit and it probably wouldn’t be my first juice choice but taxo definitely has an interesting flavor and unlike any fruits I would typically eat in the States.   

This fits today’s Peace Corps Week Theme “Invite the World to Your Table" so well, we had to reblog! 

 

Peace Corps Volunteers Ecuador food fruit taxo reblogs Peace Corps Week

Bislama Word of the Week: Tabu

lynnovermyer:

Tabu adj. forbidden, prohibited 2. holy 3. n restriction, prohibition 

image

I hear “tabu” when:

Sitting on mats under the mango trees when my niece Marinette tries to eat a leaf or a pencil or my brother’s toe. “Tabu” can be used to mean “No”.

I hear “tabu” in church- Papa God, Jesus Son, mo Tabu Spirit. “Tabu” can also mean “Holy”.

I see the “Tabu Tri” the Namele on the Vanuatu national flag- it is a sign of peace, or when seen wrapped on poles and stuck in the water as a sign of “this is a fish sanctuary, keep out”

I hear it when referred to Mr. Ora, the man who drives a truck to the airport. He is my “Tabu Abu” which means that I am not allowed to joke around him, refer to him by his name, or touch him. 

I see “tabu” written on the wall of the school’s workshop, I suppose either it is either a holy workshop or forbidden.

vanuatu language reblogs Peace Corps Volunteer

sarahreichle:

Things I’ve Learned in Ecuador: #6 You Can Never Have Too Many Parades

About two months ago were the fiestas de la parroquia in my town of Tonchigüe. There was a rodeo, the election of the reina (more to come about that!), bailes and last but certainly not least were the desfiles. Parades are seriously underrated in the United States. Yes, we have Memorial Day parades, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and the infamous St. Patrick’s Day parade in Scranton… but here in Ecuador they really, really, REALLY love parades. Just a rough estimate but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen about twenty desfiles since arriving here in Ecuador which averages out to about two parades per month.

All the local schools participate in the desfiles and there’s lots of marching, baton twirling, and military-looking outfits, but by far the most important and distinguishing characteristic of the desfiles are the drums. I’ve only ever seen about 4 different instruments in the parades: drums, xylophones, trumpets… and more drums. There are about 15 drums to every one other instrument and they can be heard for miles around. There are big drums, small drums, medium sized drums, any kind of drum you could imagine. Goldilocks would certainly not have a problem finding her dream drum here in Ecuador during fiesta time. The drumming is always accompanied by some dancing with batons, inappropriately short skirts and sometimes berets.

There are also the costume desfiles. The marching of the schools I can somewhat understand but these costume parades still blow my mind. I’ve asked around town and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how or what they decide to dress up as. I’ve seen children in Scream masks, dressed up as gangsters and Native American Indians. There are always all different sorts of animal costumes, traditional costumes from different regions of Ecuador but there’s also sometimes children wearing huge cardboard boxes painted like aquariums and some dressed as migrant farm workers. My favorite was the high schoolers walking around on huge stilts and dressed up in bright, multi-colored clown-looking costumes. Again, I have no idea why and I don’t think anyone else does either.

The best/worst part of these desfiles is that they last about 1 and a half hours minimum. I waited for about two hours in Atacames during one parade to see the kids from my high school and there were still about 15-20 schools yet to pass after them! And since all the towns in my area only have one major road, it’s always fun to see the buses lined up and stuck behind the desfiles for hours at a time. Luckily, I haven’t been stuck in a bus behind a parade yet!

Please someone come visit me! I can almost guarantee you will see at least one desfile!

Ecuador reblogs Peace Corps Volunteer parades celebrations culture cultural exchange