Saturday, 13 July 2013


Our first full month is Palau has ticked over early this week and we seem to be finally settling into normal every day life. We've had some success with Amanda's contract finally being signed off (by the president no less), our visas are now completed and we've got our social security cards as well. Our drivers license test is booked for this coming Monday morning too.

WTF are they building? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Along with some wins we've had some frustrations as well. Since last Thursday our unit block has essentially been a construction site. For some completely pointless reason they've decided to build a fort knox style fence around 3 sides of the building. We've had a team of guys (regularly working 13 hour days) creating this monstrosity of a fence and concrete jungle. They don't seem to have gotten very far despite being into their 9th day of solid work. And I still don't understand exactly what they are trying to build, nor what the finished product will look like. The biggest problem with this work is the constant noise from power tools; grinders, hammer drills, compactors, welders & endless bashing with hammers. And not to mention the constant yelling. So if it's not the roosters and dogs waking us up all through the night Amanda & I have to put up with this nonsense ALL day long. At least Amanda gets a break at work :o

Just in case the noise aspect isn't bad enough they seem to like taking the grinder to task against the concrete blocks, creating clouds of concrete dust going EVERYWHERE. This has caused me to have to close up half or even the whole house for long periods. Don't forget it's typically 30 degrees and 90% humidity here. Multiple times I've had to madly drag all the washing back inside to avoid it being covered in concrete dust too. Of course there has been no communication nor consultation about the work, we've got no idea what is going on. Hopefully they finish the bloody thing off soon however and i can get back to complaining about the roosters & dogs.

my phone really didn't do justice to how nice this looked
Away from home we've had a good week with a number of social catch ups. The American 4th of July party under the KB (Koror - Babeldoab) Bridge was a good opportunity to meet some more people. Then we had an awesome Sunday Aussie lamb roast at the Aussie Navy compound called Aussie Acres (oi oi oi). Monday evening was the Belau Games baseball final (a good game with Koror beating Ngatpang 4-0). Tuesday was a Palaun public holiday called Constitution Day, this day hosted the Belau Games event called MAA (no, not MMA). MAA stands for Micronesian All Around and is comprised of a number of events like, free diving, coconut tree climbing, spearing and coconut husking & grating. We saw the tree climbing and coconut husking, both were very impressive. 

Rounding out the week we've had a nice Japanese dinner with some new friends and our regular Friday night drinks with fellow ex-pats. Hanging out with such great people has really made this experience for me so far.

This blog post has been inspired by and brought to you courtesy of the dulcet tones and gentle fragrance of the concrete mixing truck that has been parked right outside our living room window for near 2 hours with no sign of moving anytime soon. Stay tuned for the next edition of pieces of eights when Nathan finally loses his marbles (and I'll post some pics of the MAA events).

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