In Bislama, the language of Vanuatu, sometimes people ask about America. When they do, they often want to know how big it is.
I explain: if you drove for 7 hours straight in my "province" you still would be in the same province. and we have 50 provinces.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. My city.
They ask "How many cities are there in America" Mind you, the only city most of them know is Port Vila which has about 20,000- 30,000 people. I use an anology. I say "Well, I don't really know, how many pieces of coral are there on this beach?"
They start to get wide eyed and say "kas! mi no save" (Wow! I don't know.)
I say "Hemia nao, ples blong mi hemi olsem" (Exactly, my place is the same)
I am no longer in Vanuatu.
My wife and I have been back now for about 4 months. We are happy. Sometimes we miss Vanuatu. But we are now mostly readjusted to American culture.
I am writing because I am going to be wrapping up this blog and starting a new one.
In Vanuatu after explaining in these ways and others how big America is, often people say "Ahway Javi, Ples blong yu hemi wan bigfala island eh?" (Man Javi, your home is a really big island, huh?)
I would respond:
(Preach On my friend, You don't know how right you are)
My new blog is called
"The Big Island"
There I will discuss the unique viewpoint I now have on the culture I love. The Massive American Monoculture. The culture that I hate. The culture that I revel in. The culture that is revealed to me as ours.
We are special.
we are blessed.
but it's often hard to see how.
we sometimes lack the perspective.
I'll talk about baseball. and Mexican food. and kite flying and disc golf.
and buffets and all night workout clubs. Football and Thanksgiving.
Race and music.
subcultures, friends, and family.
And how my views on all of these have changed since I spent two and a half years in The Republic of Vanuatu.
I think Blogs don't have to be viewed only as ongoing serialized journals that fail when they end.
I like to think of them each as a story. Sometimes one has to end. For there to be a sequel. So this is the end of "Island Hoping" My views and experiences while serving in America's Un-Armed Forces. I am no longer there. That story has to end.
The sequel will often reference its predecessor however.
I hope this blog provided and continues to provide something of value to those who read it.
And I hope you join me for my next chapter.