This blog, "Vanuatu Adventures", is simply my personal reflection and in no way represents the opinions or beliefs of the Peace Corps or the US Government. Enjoy - and I hope to hear from you!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Since many of you are considerably younger than me, you may not remember the movie, The King and I.  The story focuses around a middle-aged British widow who accepts the job of governess for the King of Siam in the 1860s.  Siam….what an exotic-sounding place…particularly to a kid who had never been to a big city!  Scenes from that classic production swirled through my memory as I winged my way towards Bangkok in November.  Not only was I excited to at last see Siam (er, Thailand), but I was going to experience it all with my daughter and her husband.  As I cleared customs and walked towards the transportation center, I was greeted with a musical-sounding “Sawasdee…Sawasdee” by a smiling Thai woman holding a card with my name on it!  I soon learned that Sawasdee means “Welcome to Thailand” - and was greeted the same way probably hundreds of time over the next couple of weeks.  I hopped into the waiting van and we made our way into the city.  Although I had stopped in Sydney for 3 days on my way to Bangkok, I was in no way prepared for the tangle of traffic that is Bangkok!  OMG – at times it was 6 lanes of traffic coming from four different directions...cars, taxis, vans, trucks, scooters, and tuk-tuks all crammed together and going nowhere fast.  After Port Vila it was a real eye-opener.  Let’s just say that I will never entertain the idea of getting a rental car in Bangkok – and at times I just closed my eyes, gritted my teeth, and held on – especially when riding in a tuk-tuk.  

We visited several locales throughout Thailand:  Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and the last five days at a resort on Phi Phi Island.  When looking back at the highlights of our stay in Thailand, I think it’s safe to say that we simply ate our way through the country!  Although I’ve always enjoyed Thai food – nothing prepared me for the delicious, beautiful dishes that were a part of every meal.  Whether it was street food or a meal in a small country inn, the food was fresh, spicy, multi-layered with flavors – and best of all inexpensive!  To give you an idea of cheap, I feasted on a plate piled high with tempura prawns…very large tempura prawns…for the equivalent of $4 at the night market in Chiang Rai.  There were also ample opportunities to sample grubs, crickets, and other unidentified beetles grilled on a stick!!  But perhaps the most unusual was a fun little place nestled on a tiny, congested back street of Bangkok.  I have to admit that it was the name of the place that drew us in – after all, wouldn’t you be intrigued when coming across a restaurant called Cabbage and Condoms!!   The food was delicious and cheap – but the story of the restaurant is that it operates to support the activities of the Population and Community Development Association (PDA), an NGO promoting family planning and the health and safety aspects of condom use.  Condoms are part of the décor of the restaurant – as an example, artwork is made from condoms, and a 6’ tall Santa was made of red and white condoms!!  Not only was the décor entertaining – the food was great too!

Obviously a “must-do” in Thailand is a visit to a working elephant camp, so of course that was on our itinerary as well.  After a drive through northern Thailand – which included a roadside stop to watch workers harvesting rice, we arrived at the Mae Taman elephant camp.  Have you ever been hugged by an elephant? Well, as you can see from the picture it is quite a surprising experience!  We also were able to hop aboard elephants for an hour-long ride through the hills above the camp – and last, but certainly not least, we actually saw elephants painting pictures…which were of course then sold in the gift shop. These big guys are the Picassos of the animal kingdom!

Early one morning in Chiang Mai, we headed up in the hills above the city to Wat Srisoda where we watched and listened while the Buddhist monks chanted their morning prayer, and we participated in the traditional Buddhist food offering.  This was really a special moment.  The morning was cool, it was perfectly quiet, and the just the sight of the monks proceeding down the hill and accepting the offerings of food was humbling.  In Thailand, all young men are expected to spend a minimum of three months in the monastery.  Many of the monks were very young boys – but they seemed to have the composure and mannerisms of a seasoned Buddhist monk.
A visit to Thailand wouldn’t be complete without visits to many of the ornate and historic temples sprinkled throughout the country.  We visited many – one of which is recognized as the holiest temple in Thailand.  It’s situated high in the mountains at the top of a 300-stair climb – so in the heat you may find yourself praying just to make it to the top!  We also visited the Grand Palace and several very small but beautiful temples located in the hills of northern Thailand.  And who could forget seeing the Emerald Buddha…not to mention the 150’ long gold-plated reclining Buddha designed to illustrate Buddha’s passing into Nirvana!

Our visit to “Siam” wrapped up with a 5-day stay at a beautiful resort on Phi Phi Island – located off the southern tip of Thailand about a 90-minute speedboat ride from Phuket.  This area is absolutely gorgeous – the islands here are surrounded by the jeweled-toned Andaman Sea – highlighted by stark, towering limestone spires jutting up from the sea floor.  The resort was absolutely wonderful – but not without its sobering moments.  This area was severely hit by the tsunami that hit Sri Lanka several years ago.  It now has several very large emergency sirens, and a large memorial to those who were swept out to sea when the tsunami hit.  One of the more pleasant surprises of Phi Phi Island was the monkeys in the jungle!  While I was having a “spa day”, my daughter and her husband hiked across the island and were lucky enough to see quite a few of those inquisitive, noisy little guys – thankfully, they weren’t chased through the trees by any wild ones baring teeth! 

All in all, Thailand is an enchanting country to visit.  The people are very friendly and welcoming, the countryside is absolutely beautiful, and the Thai people are eager to share their history and traditional culture with any visitor who will listen and smile.  It’s definitely a spot to put on your proverbial “bucket list”! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012


I actually didn’t realize it had been sooo long since I had updated my Blog. Now, I hardly know where to start, so I’ll just touch on some highlights that have taken place since my last blog in August 2011:

I enjoyed a week-long birthday celebration – on and around my actual birthday of September 29th. Believe it or not, I totally forgot it was my birthday last year. It was a lot different from my first birthday in Vanuatu. We had just arrived in Vanuatu on the 10th of September, 2010, so my mind was filled with Bislama classes, village life, and overall adjustment. One day I was admiring a dress that Danielle, one of the other volunteers, was wearing, and she said it was a birthday gift from her village sister. As it turns out, her birthday was October 4th – and it was only then that I realized that my birthday had come and gone! This year it was a lot different! Danielle and I shared several special “Happy Birthday” events, including happy hour at the Grand Hotel here in town, brunch at Chill - a lovely air-conditioned restaurant here, and an afternoon at the Iririki Resort here in Port Vila sitting around the pool and enjoying more than a couple of cold, draft beers! I have always wanted to see sea horses when I’ve been snorkeling. Several species of seahorses are indigenous to Vanuatu – but so far I haven’t been lucky enough to see any. But a very special friend of mine gave me something pretty darned wonderful – a locally-carved wooden seahorse. He is really beautiful and is now hanging in my “Vanuatu Villa”. So, 2011 was possibly the best birthday I’ve ever celebrated…to date! But who knows…I have one more birthday here before heading back to the states…where I am also counting on many, many more!!

October 9th was another very special day because it marked the arrival of 29 new Peace Corps trainees. Most of the volunteers from Port Vila and the island of Efate were on-hand at Bauerfield International Airport with loud cheers and hugs for all. All of the new volunteers will be focusing their efforts on either health or English literacy. They were officially sworn in on December 8th and are now stationed throughout the beautiful islands of Vanuatu.

October also marked a big change for me and what I am doing as a volunteer here. The Peace Corps transferred me to a new position as a strategic advisor at the Vanuatu Institute of Technology – a secondary technical and trade school based here in Port Vila. Wow, what a great place to be – and the work there is really “right up my alley”. I’m working on writing and implementing their five-year plan, helping with a transition from trimester to semester scheduling, and providing some training to staff members. The school is staffed with NiVanuatu instructors and nearly 800 students attend – including about 200 students from the outer islands who board at the school. The campus is lovely with lots of trees and beautiful blooming flowers. All the staff members have been very welcoming and helpful. I love going to work every single day!

In November I made the trip of a lifetime to Thailand…by way of Sydney, Australia. I spent three days in Sydney – which included attending a performance of The Merry Widow ballet at the famed Sydney Opera House. That place is every bit as special as all the pictures I had ever seen…and I still can hardly believe that I was actually there. From Sydney I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand. I arrived somewhere close to midnight and was met by the tour company and driven straight to the beautiful Rembrandt Hotel in downtown Bangkok. About an hour later, Sue and Brian arrived at the hotel and stayed in an adjoining room. What a wonderful reunion it was. I had brought a bottle of wine from the Sydney duty-free shop, so we immediately popped the cork and visited until the wee hours of the morning. Thailand is an amazing country. We saw the sights of Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, a quick stop in Laos – and then down to Phuket and finally wrapping up with 5 nights at the phenomenal Phi Phi Island Village Resort. The temples we visited were just phenomenal – and there are Buddhas of every shape, size and color everywhere! We were also able to see the local villagers hand-harvesting and thrashing rice in rice paddies along the road. The three of us also thrilled to getting up close and personal with elephants at an elephant camp in northern Thailand and also took an hour-long ride through the nearby hills and jungle. The food was amazing, and the final 5 nights at Phi Phi Island were spectacular. The hotel upgraded us at no charge to a beautiful hillside villa – which included our very own pool. Yes, we were very spoiled – but enjoyed every single minute of it. We also literally “ate” our way through Thailand – that food is so flavorful – and now I want to learn how to cook it!

Christmas was very quiet. Many of our volunteers here returned to the states for nearly a month. But a few of us who stayed here enjoyed a lovely dinner at the home of our Medical Officer. It was an extremely hot day, so we all sat on her verandah and enjoyed a phenomenal meal featuring many of the dishes that she prepared when she lived in New Zealand.

I’ve been in great health – although I did have a week-long bout of giardia a couple of months ago – and then was hit with strep throat a couple of weeks ago. But overall, I’m doing well and staying healthy and happy! Happy 2012 everybody…and I’m on the countdown to returning to the states in the fall of this year!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


So, I’ve been enjoying my new “digs” almost a month now, and things have been great. The house I live in is one of 4 houses on the property, which is owned by a prominent NiVanuatu man, and all homes are rented from him. My house is definitely the smallest and most modest one here, but it is great and is in a lovely setting. One of the perks of living in this spot is that the property owner employs a gardener to maintain the entire parcel. The gardens are lovely – and right now the poinsettias are in bloom, since it is technically “winter” here. There are also numerous fruit trees just outside my door that provide me with some delicious treats, including papayas, pamplemousse (a very sweet grapefruit), mangoes, and of all things - star fruit! The papayas, pamplemousse and star fruit are all in season now, so it has been lovely being able to step outside, shake a branch and enjoy some luscious organic fruit. Because there’s usually a nice breeze coming in off the lagoon, the mosquitoes are considerably less pesky, although I still need to be careful in the early morning as well as at dusk. Those critters come out with fangs bared at those times – I think they may actually be vampire mosquitoes!

One downside to my new place is that I have no cell phone service inside my house. I am able to send and receive messages – but cannot place any calls. So I have to go outside my house and find a spot with a signal to place or receive any calls. My house is situated about midway down a very steep hill, so any signal at the top doesn’t make it inside my house.  But compared to many of my Peace Corps friends based in remote villages who have no cell phone coverage, this is really a no-never-mind. 

Well, things have been going great since moving in…with the exception of one very scary morning. It was a lovely, balmy, sunny morning when I strolled out of my house as usual at about 7:15 am to walk to work. I took my usual route walking up the nearest cross-street to get to the main road leading into downtown Port Vila. I saw 4 dogs running around in the street but wasn’t alarmed at all because I had seen these same dogs nearly every morning. Usually they would just give me a glance and keep on going – and in most cases they were just lazily stretched out on the road and would watch me walk by through half-closed eyes. As a result, I was totally unprepared when they suddenly turned into a snarling, teeth-baring pack of dogs surrounding me and lunging at my legs. I didn’t have any rocks or weapons, so I stood as tall as I could, stamped my foot and loudly shouted to get away and go home. Much to my relief, they bounded off and ran into a nearby yard. I turned and started walking again, but within seconds I heard a guttural growl and snarl. With that, one of the dogs had my left heel and ankle in its mouth and wasn’t letting go. Yes folks, it got me good! As you might imagine, I was quite startled and let out a loud scream to chase it away. It turned and ran to join the remaining 3 behind me. I surely wasn’t going to turn and walk back towards them to my house, so I just kept on walking towards town. Upon hearing my screams, a NiVanuatu woman rushed outside and pulled me into her yard. Her husband chased the dogs back into the yard and brought the owners over to look at my bleeding foot. The woman profusely apologized in Bislam – “Ohhh Missus, mi sori tumas…sori tumas lo dog blong me hemi kakae fut blong yu”! (Oh Missus, I’m so sorry that my dog bit your foot.)

Fortunately, the Peace Corps medical office is just a block away from my office, so I kept on walking and within a half hour or so I was at the office and in a doctor’s care. I had a pretty good puncture wound on the inside of my foot just above the arch – with several lacerations (4 or so) on the left side of my heel and ankle. My first fear was rabies – but the doctor quickly assured me that this was not a concern – there is no rabies in the Pacific island region. So, I was shaken a bit to say the least – but the bites have healed well with no infection. Lesson learned – never, ever get too blasé about these dogs. I’ve known that ever since visiting the south Pacific region, but thought these dogs were “alright”. With very few exceptions, all the dogs here look like dingo dogs – and in most cases are not cared for, not regularly fed – and sadly, very mistreated. So, they don’t have a very high trust level for humans – but I have an even lower trust level for them at this point!

Suffice it to say that I have since changed my walking route just a bit and pepper spray is on its way to me. In the meantime, I carry a couple of rocks in my tote bag as well as a can of Morteim – the Raid of Vanuatu. Although it’s not as shocking probably as the pepper spray, at least if I spray this in a dog’s eyes or at its face it will probably slow it down just a bit. I’ve also lodged a formal “vicious dog” complaint with the city, but have little or no confidence that anything will ever be done. So, I’m a bit more battle-worn, but also a bit savvier with the critters of Port Vila!


I have some exciting news – I’ve moved! About six weeks ago, my counterpart (boss at work) mentioned that a nice furnished house would be coming available to rent and that she would like to move me from my current spot to the new place. This house was being rented by another volunteer, and he was vacating, so she thought it would be worth checking out. You see, the Peace Corps provides volunteers with a monthly stipend to cover food and incidentals, but the organization that a volunteer works for provides housing and utilities. We drove out to see the other house, and it was just great, so a moving day was picked.

Before I could move in, Peace Corps staffers came out to survey the new place and approve it. This was followed up by Peace Corps sending another staff person to glue in the jalousie window slats so that nobody could pull them out and climb into the house, and for extra measure, they installed a dead bolt and refastened the security screens. So it was all systems go! My counterpart came out to my little apartment and loaded up all my gear – my luggage packed with what I brought, along with a few large plastic bags containing my cookware, groceries, and a few other things that I’ve acquired since being here.

My new house is just great. First and foremost, it is located in a much safer area of Port Vila and is just a short walk away from two grocery stores and a hardware store. It’s also still about a 25 or 30 minute walk to work, so I get my exercise every day. Given that it is in a safer spot, I can walk home most evenings as well, so my exercise routine has doubled – which I’m hope will pay off with a sculpted body that will look great in a bikini by the time I leave here. (Yeah – right…giggle!)

There are several very exciting things about my new home. First of all, it is located right on a lagoon and one whole side of the house has windows, so I usually get a lovely cross-breeze…not to mention the lovely view of the lagoon. At last, I finally feel like I’m living on an island. But the other unbelievable thing is the fact that I have a small 4-burner gas stove – WITH AN OVEN!! There is no temperature gauge on the oven, but so far no smoke or flames have come out and everything I’ve baked has turned out, so my guessing game with the temperature is working pretty well.

This place is probably three times larger than my other apartment – and the icing on the cake is that I have a second bedroom. So, there’s room for other volunteers to come and stay with me when they’re in Port Vila from the outer islands. In fact, already Carla’s B&B has done a brisk business. I think I’ve had houseguests all but about 5 nights since moving in.

But, I’ve saved the best for last…so far I have not encountered any leeches or GIANT SPIDERS! I do have those little red worms still and probably kill about 20 or so of those each day, but they are harmless and not scary at all. I also have two good friends who keep the big cockroach population in control – Larry the Lizard and Iggy his little brother. Larry is green and probably measures about 8” from tail to nose, but Iggy is considerably smaller. Yes, I’ve seen several steak-sized cockroaches, but nothing like I had before. And usually, I just find their legs – so I guess Larry and Iggy are “white meat men” and don’t like the drumsticks! Yes folks…life is good in Port Vila. I feel extremely pampered – but try to share it with all my buds when they’re in town!

Sunday, April 3, 2011


One would think that at this point in life I would have become a bit more blasé and less squeamish about creepy, crawly things. Actually, I never realized I was such a whimp until spending some time here. Having traveled throughout the south Pacific many, many times throughout the past 20+ years, I felt pretty confident about handling myself during my 27-month stay in Vanuatu. After all, how different could this island be from all the other islands that Frank and I loved so much?

First of all, I feel compelled to tell you that according to officials here, there are no poisonous spiders or snakes in Vanuatu. I have to admit that I was glad to hear that. Through my earlier travels, I had seen lots of lizards and geckos, swarms of mosquitoes and sand fleas, sharks/sharks and more sharks, and here and there a few large cockroaches and other insects or spiders. However, I was TOTALLY unprepared for the things that seem to surround…or even taunt me on a daily basis! OK, maybe taunt is a bit strong, but I gotta tell you that sometimes I feel like that is exactly what is happening, so let me explain:

Although I do not know the official name for it, I have been invaded by extremely huge brown spiders. These things have bodies about the size of a spool of thread and a leg span larger than my hand span. I am absolutely not exaggerating! I was introduced to these critters on my first night in Vanuatu when we arrived at our staging facility. I went into the showers and there was one of these things on the wall. I stifled a scream and ran out of the showers. However, there was nobody around to chase it away or kill it, and it was too high up on the wall for me to reach. So after getting my breath back, I crept back into the shower room and showered as quickly as humanly possible and ran back outside. (The spider was still on the wall where I first saw it.) Well, that was just the beginning. Within the last two weeks, these things have taken over my apartment. One evening I was sitting in a chair reading when out of the corner of my eye I spotted something large and brown racing across the floor. OMG – this was definitely the largest spider I’ve ever seen in my entire life. It was actually larger than a tarantula. I grabbed a can of bug spray and took aim with deadly force. After 3 large clouds of insecticide, it fell still. I then got close enough to drop my flip-flop on it. After a few minutes, I grabbed a Kleenex and reached down to pick it up so that I could flush it away when it suddenly flipped itself over. At this point, the screams and tears took over. I sprayed it some more and slapped my flip-flop on it even harder. This time it was actually dead. It was so large that I scraped it up with a spatula. Since that time, I’ve seen countless others – including one perched right on my pillow just as I was about to turn in for the night. I spent that night sleeping in a chair. Then yesterday evening, I reached to put my key in the lock when one of them ran across the door and doorknob. Honestly, every bit of strength left my legs and my knees began to buckle. I’m not sure what I’m going to do.

The other thing I’m dealing with are leeches – yes leeches! The only time I’ve ever seen a leech was in the movie “The African Queen”. As it turns out, there are terrestrial leeches, and they too have decided to invade my apartment. These things aren’t scary, but they are disgusting, and I flush on average 5-10 every evening.

I’ve also been battling very large red worms that move across the floor and up the walls. In addition, there are also miniscule black things that look and feel like grains of pepper that come out of nowhere and crawl down your back or down your bra. It makes for a pretty lively dance.

Add to that some other kind of flying insect that aims directly for your face or eyes. I don’t think it bites, but sometimes I kill about 50 of them in an evening.

One thing I forgot to consider about all my visits throughout the Pacific was that the resorts we stayed at regularly sprayed to control creepy crawlers. Needless to say, that is not the case here. I keep reminding myself that I’m basically living in a jungle that has been converted into a neighborhood of sorts – and that Vanuatu has no ongoing insect control anywhere in the country. Everything here is grown without pesticides or herbicides, which is a wonderful thing, but that also means that pretty much everything flying or crawling thrives and grows very big!!

In all honesty, this aspect of my stay here is one of the most challenging things for me. Which is pretty darned silly when you think of it – so that just goes to show that I really am just a whimp and I will have to get a whole lot braver and more stoic to ensure that I don’t have a breakdown caused by these spiders!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peace Corps' PEACE Project Shelved

In an earlier Blog, I wrote about the 3 Peace Corps projects currently in place here in Vanuatu: Health, Education, and Business…also known as the PEACE (Provincial Economic and Community Empowerment) Project. This is the project to which I’ve been assigned. We PEACE volunteers work in any number of areas ranging from working with existing organizations to increase capacity; or conducting workshops on basic business concepts; to working with the National Bank of Vanuatu to promote their micro finance program – and everything else in between that might apply to “business”.

The Peace Corps has assessed the needs of the country and after careful deliberation has decided to discontinue its PEACE Project and instead focus its future efforts on basic literacy within their Education program, and continue its focus on community health efforts. Although some Peace Corps Volunteers reacted with alarm and dismay at this announcement, I and several other Volunteers in Group 23 (my group of volunteers) actually wholeheartedly support this approach. What you say…you want to see the program you’re participating in come to an end? In short, yes…I think it is the right approach on so many different levels.

I have only been in Vanuatu for six short months and during that time have visited just two of its 83 islands – so I am far from being an expert on the intricacies of either its short-term or long-term needs to work towards economic independence. However, I can say that simply from my short time “in country”, I have grave misgivings about pushing too hard towards business development, generation of cash flow, and modernization of Vanuatu’s culture and lifestyle.

The Ni-Vanuatu people have a wonderfully intact village lifestyle that seems to operate pretty well with local chiefs and economies. Oh no, almost none of the villages outside of Port Vila on Efate and Luganville on Santo have modern day conveniences like 24-hour electricity, indoor plumbing or even gas stoves…and at first glance when we go into a village we are somewhat shocked at the primitive lifestyle. But on the other hand, they have absolutely everything they need and seem to be quite relaxed, contented, and happy with the way things are. They don’t have to worry about having money to pay the utility bill, buying a flat screen TV, getting their kids IPods, or what kind of hardwoods they’re going to put in their homes. They have land free and clear, homes with no mortgages, and all the fresh, organic food they need to feed their families from their gardens. They don’t have to worry about their children being abducted…they don’t have to worry about how much petrol is going to cost to fill their gas tanks…they don’t have to keep up with Facebook or Twitter…and they really don’t give a damn or even know about American Idol or Dancing With the Stars!!

So, even though by our standards, they have a much lower standard of living…I’m here to tell you that in many ways they have an enviable lifestyle, culture, and sense of being that most of us would give anything to have. So yes…I’m supportive of pulling out Business volunteers…and instead focusing on providing basic literacy assistance and basic health education and support to ensure that they have future generations who can read, write, and know the basics of safeguarding their health…and their culture.

We current Business volunteers will be supported in our efforts and if our project merits additional effort, we can apply for an extension of our two-year service to complete our work here. I’m proud to continue what I’m working on, but also support the decision that future efforts here in this beautiful country will focus on basic needs to ensure that the people have what they need to prosper within their culture and have the literacy skills they need to record their history and pass it down to future generations.

Earthquakes...Tsunamis...What Else??

Since arriving here in September 2010, we’ve experienced countless earthquakes – some just a short “jiggle”…some short but yet intense….some like a roller coaster…and some that were downright scary. Friday evening, March 11, we had a tsunami warning as a result of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Peace Corps staff members were alerting everybody to get to higher ground. Many volunteers were in Port Vila for training and were staying at a hotel very close to the sea front. As a result, they were evacuated to higher ground. In fact, two of my friends came and spent the night with me. The tsunami warning was in effect from Friday evening at about 9 pm until about 4:30 Saturday morning.

Since then we’ve experienced two earthquakes in one day…the second of which prompted this text message from a fellow volunteer on a neighboring island: “Holy Shit!!. Although we’ve had some measuring in excess of 7.0 on the Richter scale, both of the most recent ones were in the 6.5 or 6.3 range…kind of blasé in the grand scheme of things. But on the heels of the horrific earthquake and tsunami in Japan, it was a bit unnerving to say the least. Although no Volunteers have television service here, some of us do have periodic access to the internet and are able to see the devastation. I think we’ve begun to realize just how serious this could become and thank our lucky stars that so far we haven’t seen anything to equate to the tragic results of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Most of you who know me also realize that I am a proponent of nuclear energy. I’ve been keeping a close watch on that situation as well and have been watching in disbelief with the issues that they are grappling with at the nuclear facilities there. Despite the fact that they had safety redundancies in place, Mother Nature seemed to have crafted the “perfect storm” which even negated some of those safety nets that should have been adequate. I am hoping and praying that the worldwide experts who are converging on Japan can work together to get things under control and minimize any effects to the environment and human health. Unfortunately, I believe this could seriously jeopardize the future of nuclear power throughout the world…particularly the United States. All of this just when the “N” (nuclear) word was actually said out loud by our President.

So, the rest of the story is still unwritten. I can only say with the deepest respect and sorrow that I hope God is with the people of Japan…I hope that the effects from the nuclear situation is minimal…and I pray that their families and nation will recover from this unthinkable event. It will likely have ramifications for generations to come…in so many ways.