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Author Topic: questions about Vanuatu  (Read 2494 times)


  • Guest
questions about Vanuatu
« on: August 18, 2014, 12:46:15 PM »
So, I am tentatively recommended to be in the group that leaves to Vanuatu next January.

I am a man living with HIV . I am a healthy person and I make no apologies about it, but I am not trying to advertise it either unless my disclosing my that information will help any HIV education awareness program. How is the HIV awareness in Vanuatu? Is there a stigma? Which brings me to my next thing

I wanted to do HIV education, but due to my IT background, I am recommended to be IT educator, but my recruiter tells me there is plenty of time to do whatever I would like. Is that true?

Lastly, I stopped drinking about 6 years ago. Vanuatu has a traditional drink called Kava. I used to date a girl from Fiji, and Iíve tried it. It is mind/mood altering and I donít want to drink it. However, reading about Vanuatu, sounds like it is rude to decline when they offer you Kava. Any advice?

Offline Steve S

  • Leading Member
  • Posts: 38
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: questions about Vanuatu
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 05:17:19 PM »
Edwin Lemert has an article about Kava drinking that you might enjoy.There are other mostly academic papers with various points of view such as this one in Tonga?


Offline koji

  • Forum Hero
  • Posts: 113
    • Transitions in the East
  • PC Status: RPCV
Re: questions about Vanuatu
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 04:03:11 AM »
I don't have specific information for vanuatu, but I will address two things you are asking from a more general standpoint:

1) Most PCVs have primary assignments and secondary assignments. The primary assignment is the one you get sent over there to do and the secondary assignments are the ones that you do because you have an interest or see a need in your host location. As long as you are still serving your host organization, and working with them regularly, most posts are very liberal about how much time and energy you dedicate to secondary projects. If HIV awareness is something you are interested in doing, then you will ABSOLUTELY be able to do something. However, I am not sure if they have transitioned to the new system where you are invited directly to an organization. if they have not, then sometime during training your in-country staff will place you with an organization. Make sure they know from the beginning that you have the desire to work on HIV issues as a secondary assignment and this may affect your placement. (They really want their volunteers to be happy because engaged, happy volunteers = a higher retention rate)

2) Drinking in Bulgaria is very popular and it can be hard to refuse a drink. However, I found that it was more difficult for me to refuse (because I wanted to drink) than for my Bulgarian counterparts to accept that I didn't want to drink. Your hosts know you are from a different culture, and may be more respectful of your choice than you think. If nothing else works, you can always say that peace corps has forbid you from drinking.

Good luck!!!

Offline SmithNB21

  • Posting Member
  • Posts: 6
  • PC Status: Applicant
Re: questions about Vanuatu
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2014, 12:06:55 PM »
My wife and I will also be heading to Vanuatu in January.
I wanted to do Business development work, as my experience and education is in this field, but I was nominated and will be serving as an Education volunteer. I've been told the same thing as you regarding secondary projects. I hope this is true, as I would like to help in more than one way.
Look forward to meeting you abroad.


  • Guest
Re: questions about Vanuatu
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 03:11:48 PM »
Hi SmithNB21

Thanks. Hope to meet you there too if it all works out. I am sitting at work daydreaming about this :-)

Thanks to Koji and Geezer too for the replies


  • Guest
Re: questions about Vanuatu
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 08:56:23 AM »
Hi Guys

Well, I just got a letter that says all positions for the Vanuatu program to which I was being considered for have been filled. They will review my applications and find another country. That plot thickens :-)

Wish you guys all the best in Vanuatu