Saturday, July 24, 2010

24—Best Year Ever

PHOTO: View from ‘Euakafa.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me! Well, technically it was on July 10, but I just finally made it to town and use the internet. I have been telling myself that being 24 will be one of the best years ever. In a more traditional “American” life, 24 usually mean your first “real” job after college with an apartment in some awesome city (or at least that was how I envisioned it. In reality, I am in the middle of the South Pacific living in a remote island without running water or electricity and serving in the Peace Corps for almost 10 months now. Who’s living the life, right?

Lucky for me, my sister, Ciara, her friend Katie, and Ashley were all here to help me celebrate my “best” year ever. Another fellow PCV from Talau also came over to Matamaka join the weekend festivities. I would’ve had more people come over, but my house was seriously packed already. Anyway, we started on Friday with barbecue on the island. My co-teacher, Ma’asi, went into town earlier that day and purchased some chicken and hotdogs. ‘IFO ‘AUPITO! We sat around and ate a delicious meal followed by brownie cake that my PCV buddy made.

PHOTO: The island of Vaka’eitu.

Saturday, my actual birthday, we all went to the deserted island of Vaka’eitu. It was a magnificent uninhabited island only twenty/thirty minutes away from my island. We arrived at low tide, which was nice because it allowed the girls to lie out a bit on the sand. On the contrary, my sister and I went snorkeling instead. So far, I would say Vaka’eitu has the best snorkeling I have seen in Vava’u. Fishes literally swan all around me and the corals were outstanding! We also had a small picnic with quesadilla “pizzas” (with real pepperoni from the states!—compliments of Candi DeCarlo). We ended the evening with pesto at my house and a bonfire by the Matamaka wharf. Ash lost her North Face sandal sometime in the evening. We couldn’t find it. It is probably half way to Fiji from now. On Sunday, aka church day, we attended church service at the Church of Tonga and later slept all day because it was Sunday.

To end the weekend festivities, on Monday we all went to a kai tunu or barbeque/picnic at ‘Euakafa with the Pentecost church. It was a ton of fun. I have always wanted to go explore this island. It is an uninhabited island with pure white sand beaches and beautiful corals. Ashley and I were amazed at the amount of sea cucumbers lying around the beach. She felt she had the obligation to “save” as many sea cucumbers that were drying up on the beach by throwing them back to the ocean. She did well. LOL.

PHOTO: Ashley saving sea cucumbers while the girls walk around the beach. Hiking on ‘Euakafa. Birthday feast at mi casa.

Overall, my birthday weekend was fun. I’m glad that people came and had a good time. It was great to explore some of the nearby islands around Matamaka. A lot has happened during my 23 and I can only imagine all the things that I will experience on my best year ever…24!

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