Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peace Corp in Labasa

from w
Fiji Sun must have a committed journalist in the babasiga region as they run many stories - large and small - about Labasa and nearby. Presidents come and go but the Peace Corp guys are committed for a whole two years it seems and here is one with knowledge to share about aquaculture. Way to go!

Peace Corp volunteer loves Labasa
Monte Shalett, a Peace Corps volunteer, believes that Labasa is a friendly place.
Mr Shalette, 26, works as an assistant officer at the Fisheries Department in Labasa. He is from New Orleans, Louisiana in the United States. He arrived in Fiji last May and worked in Tailevu for seven months.

“During my stay in Tailevu, I learned so many things about Fijian culture,” said Mr Shalett. “I learned how to speak the Fijian language, how to drink kava and also traditional dances,” added Mr Shalett. He was transferred to Labasa in January this year. “I have spent almost a year in Labasa. I cannot imagine being found in such a place like this,” he added. “I love lovo foods, the Fijian traditional way of Fijian cooking. That is what I look forward to while visiting Fijian families,” said Mr Shalett. “The Indian curries are tasty and I love them, especially pumpkin curry,” said Mr Shalett.

As a Peace Corps Assistant Officer at Labasa he visits rural communities and encourages people to find new sustainable ways through aquaculture.

“I visit rural communities, raise awareness for marine protective areas,” said Mr Shalett. He joined the Peace Corps after he completed his master’s degree in Marine Affairs at the University of Miami. “Many people ask me why I chose to work as a volunteer when I could have worked in marine departments in the United States,” said Mr Shalett.

“A lot of people do not get the opportunity to learn about different cultures and lifestyles like what I am doing now,” said Mr Shalett. Mr Shalett works with other peace corps volunteers in various organisations such as HOPE (Helping Out Polluted Environment). Mr Shalett will work in Labasa for two years before he returns home.

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