Friday, 19 February 2010

Post script

I arrived home safely, with little fuss, to be picked up by my wonderful parents at the airport.

My photos can be found at

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Homeward bound

Friday 12th February

I flew to Abemama. The flight was meant to leave at 11:00 or so in the morning (can't remember the exact time, not that it matters), but left at 2:45pm.

I got a lift in to Chevalier college on Abemama on the truck hired by the school to transport students to the college, off the government boat. There were 30 or so of us in the back of the small ute-style truck.

Abemama is very beautiful, and as expected less westernised that Tarawa- which is a good thing. During the day I stayed with Jack, Caroline and Tessa, an Aussie family teaching there (well, they will be teaching there as soon as the students all arrive). I slept in a small hut next door, which is part of the hotel attached to the school.

Saturday 13th

On Saturday I walked out on the rocks at low tide, out to the reef where the breakers are. After that, I went catching 30cm long shrimp in the lagoon. Then, I delivered a letter from someone in Tarawa and got a free meal in the bargain. Coming back to Chevalier I went for a swim off the causeway.

Sunday 14th

I started slowly again, due to fly out at 11:45am which meant I only had to leave at 9:45. However at a quarter to eight I found out from the grapevine that my flight had been brought forward to 9:30am! I made it in time thanks to the school- truck driver, and landed on Tarawa before I was meant to check in at Abemama.

Monday 15th

Teaching. In the evening I went to the sister's house for a farewell meal, which was nice. There were all the sisters there (four of them), Fr Yelds and myself.

Tuesday 16th

Last day at school. We had a meal after school for my farewell, everyone brought in plates of food. I got three presents- very nice clothing made in the uniform shop.

Wednesday 17th

Today I said farewell to all those who I've met over the past month- those at the MSC house in Taeoraereke, and some volunteers and also brothers from Australia.

Thursday 18th

If all goes to plan, I will arrive home safely on Thursday and you won't hear from me again because I'm lazy. It will have been one month to the day since I left Australia, and I've had a great time. Thanks for following my blog.


Penelope: See you soon! (02/18/10)

Aobure Reeia: Thank you Will Kerr for your very interesting story about your staying at Kiribati. Thanks because while I did my research for my Assignment I saw your blog then opened it and it really helped me in doing my Assignment here at the USP in Fiji. I'm from Kiribati, a male, 21 years of age and I got a scholarship from Chevalier College in Abemama. That why I'm very grateful to hear your story while you at Chevalier College. It brought my memory back for the the hardship of living in that College as you know for everything,,,,, working, eating etc. Thank You Again (03/09/12)

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Next installment.

Ok, it seems I'm a little behind.

Thursday 4th Feb - Sunday 7th:

Teaching. I got the figure wrong, it's seven classes a day. There are nine periods in a typical day, each of 45 minutes. There is half an hour for lunch. I think I prefer being a teacher here rather than a student, given that that way I get an extra 90 minutes off!


On Friday evening I headed over to Tareroke, whose name I still can't pronounce properly, to the MSC house where the friends I've made over the past two weeks are. I had a good cruisy weekend there, heading back on Sunday. While there, I saw a great movie called Kung Fu Chefs, about... Chefs who do Kung Fu! It was great! I recommend it to anyone who likes simultaneously cooking and leaping through the air kicking people (five stars).

Monday 8th - Thursday 11th

Teaching, 7 classes all days except one, when I did 6. I only do two on my own, for the others there is another teacher in the classroom at the same time (Had a maths dream last night- very odd- numbers jumping up and down. Don't maths teachers go crazy? Maybe they are crazy, and you just can't tell. Speaking of which there is a student in my class whose name is pronounced "sanity".)


Tomorrow (Friday 12th) I'll fly to Abemama for the weekend, an Island where the MSCs have a school called Chevalier College. I know a family there who have come to teach for six months.


I decided to do all my washing today before I went away. Then it started raining. I was quite happy, because this was good news according to "Will's theory of Kiribati weather prediction". This states that:


"If it is sunny, it will soon rain.
If it is rainy, it will soon be sunny."

(The weather varies so much here, that early in the trip it was raining steadily on one side of the house, but not on the other- there was 10m distance between the two sides).


However, would you believe it my theory which has been in the making since my arrival, was disproved. It rained all day non-stop. Late in the afternoon I started to give up on it going sunny, and started wondering what I'd do since all my clothes for Abemama are wet. I discovered that someone had very kindly hung up all my washing under cover, and it is now all dry(ish). Hooray!


Wow! This really is a blog- dreams, film reviews, the laundry and everything. You'll think you're reading the Women's Weekly! Stay tuned after the weekend for some horoscopes.


Penelope: Glad you got your washing dryish, and glad you have a washing fairy to put it out. Also relieved that the rate of theorising is being maintained. Love Mum (02/13/10)

Tess: Hooray my little domestic maths dreamer! It's been POURING here, 85mm in two days! Scrivener Dam was amazing, the storm drains have overflowed and I went and found puddles to splash in and got soaked. Love you! (02/14/10)

Lindsay: @Tess just because he's a maths teacher doesn't mean he needs to know how to count. (02/15/10)

Tess: PS I'm a little concerned about what you're teaching the children if you miscounted seven classes as six... (02/14/10)

Wednesday, 03 February 2010


Ok, where am I up to?

An elaboration: Saturday 30th

On Saturday, I went to a maneaba (sort of the village hall, minus the walls and seats) to witness its (the maneaba's) 11th birthday celebrations. I was there with three other Aussies, who have since headed off to another island where they will teach for six months. It was great fun- we got there at 10 for Mass and left at 4. Lots of food, heaps of dancing, plenty of speeches in I-Kiribati.


Tuesday 2nd Feb

Started teaching. One of the teachers was away (on the first day! What an unfortunate day to be sick!) So I took afew more than my 2 scheduled classes. Pretty tired by the end!

Wednesday 3rd Feb

Took 6 classes of 45 minutes each. The schools use the NZ system- classes 1 - 6, and forms 1 - 7. Sacred Heart School, where I am, has forms 4, 5, 6, and 7. 7 starts sometime next week, assuming cabinet have sorted out the lists of who is subsidised to go where on Thursday as scheduled. I've been teaching forms 4 - 6 maths.

I'm afraid these accounts are pretty lifeless. It just means I'll have the pleasure of telling you the interesting bits if/ when I show you the photos!

Dave: Hi Will, It all sounds good! Wow, teaching 6 classes in one day. Just watch out the teachers don't decide that you can do the lot! Love, Dad (02/04/10)

Val: Hi Will sounds like things are going well for you. Mike has gone sailing in the twilight with several of the other guys tonight so I get a rest.Look forward to following your blog. Val deBurca (02/05/10)

Annette: Hi, Will. I am not surprised by the Marhs dreams. My first "temporary" teaching position I woke myself up saying aloud "Good morning children and God Bless you". And as a past maths teacher - they only go a little bit mad! Looking forwrad to seeing you - maybe at Easter (02/14/10)

Monday, 01 February 2010



On Friday I popped into the school next to Fr Yelds' house- I'd found out they start school on Monday 1/2/2010. I asked if there was anything I can do, and they said yes! They're down one form 6 (yr 11 or maybe 12) maths teacher, so until they can get one I'm it. A bit scary!

That night I went to a fundraiser for the parish, and afterwards, community night at the MSC house.


More work at Fr Yelds' house.


Went to the Sisters' house for Mass and lunch. Afterwards I went swimming with some of the guys from the house- jumping off one of the causeways into the water, where there's a tunnel under the causeway for boats to pass. A similar day to last Sunday, which was spent jumping off a bridge. Less sunburn this time though.

Found out at 9pm that I'd be moving house in the morning.

Monday 1st Feb.

Had to pack up in the morning to move houses when it was light enough (total of three lights in my room don't work, and my torch is broken), so got to my first day at school late and missed an assembly. No-one had told me anything about the assembly - I think it was impromptu- but I was still embaressed (apologies for spelling).

I knew, if worst came to worst, that I had no classes until 1pm- however this had been swapped without me knowing, and I would have been only just on time had there been any classes. Luckily, all classes were cancelled due to lack of student attendance- they're all still making their way to Tarawa (this island). So everything has worked out ok.

I'm living in a house right next to the school, which is very handy. I'll miss the company of the guys at the house though.

tess: Don't get too lonely, Wiramu! Glad you get some time at the school after all. (02/02/10)

Penelope: I only just caught up with your blog, Will. Glad you are finally as busy as you want to be- or maybe a bit busier. Looking forward to those photos. (02/04/10)

Tess : Uh oh, magic disappearing comments again? I won't re-post, just in case. Just wanted to suggest that you don't use a plastic bag as a parachute when jumping off bridges. (02/02/10)

Thursday, 28 January 2010


I thought I'd finally get round to updating this thing. I'll begin, as is traditional, at the beginning.

Monday 18th January

Woke up at 3:20am to make sure I got to the airport in good time. I did, and we (Yves and I) got to Fiji without a hassle. Bought a book at Sydney airport (AU$29) which, it turned out, cost more than a day's wages ($3.50/ hr, 6x8 hr days/ week, min wage is FJ$3.00) for the man who drove us in the hotel-airport shuttle bus. In comparison, the Australian who owns the hotel earnt upwards of $30000/ week - according to the driver.

Nadi, Fiji was very nice, as were the people, and the food. It was the first day of the wet season the day we arrived, and it poured and poured in a very different way to in Sydney- it's a torrent rather than afew drops. The people we talked to were pretty happy about the rain finally arriving.

Tuesday 19th

Travelled to Tarawa, Kiribati. The airport is quite small, very much a country airport as Fr Peter described it to us. No-one was there to meet us at the airport, so we hitched a ride with some Sisters (Nuns), who took us to meet Fr Yelds- the man we're working with, and then onto the MSC house mentioned previously.

There are about 9 young people living here, getting ready to be priests. All very friendly.

Moving swifly on,

Wednesday 20th

Relaxing day at the house. Fr Yelds dropped by, and we found out that school doesn't start for another THREE weeks- meaning that I'll get one week teaching, Yves one or two days. Not too long a time, especially as we came just to teach! We'll be doing some work at Fr's house to help out at the Parish. (sorry for changes in tenses, hopefully it's deciphrable).

Thursday 21st

Found the house with difficulty in the afternoon- three separate buses and no success! We had to get a lift from a brother. People found this amusing, as there's only one road on the whole island.

Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd

Working at the house- painting.

Sunday 24th

day off.

Monday 25th

Yves has to go home- family emergency. Booked on flight tomorrow.

Tuesday 26th, Aus. Day.

Yves' flight cancelled. Went to Aus. day at the high comission, and shook hands with the President.

Wednesday 27th

Working at house. Yves flight cancelled again- potholes on runway.

Thursday 28th

More work. Flight cancelled again, along with today's international flight. Same problem as before. Will hopefully get away to his family tomorrow.

Anyway, better bid adieu as about five people have poked their heads in hoping for the computer.

Kung Fu Mouse: Miss you and happy times spent in/on Pacific islands. Prefer them to Atlantic islands methinks. Berlin was freezing - top of -10 degrees C on Saturday. I'm surprised I still have fingers! I had Jagermeister on Saturday - remember your first pub night at the Lowenbrau? Careful of the Kava, unless you're good at painting with one eye closed! xxxoooo (01/30/10)

Thursday, 21 January 2010

safe in Kiribati

I have arrived safely in Kiribati.

The people are really really nice, the food is really really good, the weather is really really hot, the scenery is beautiful, and there are more pigs than anticipated (and yes, they taste really really good).

Last night, I was taken to a man's (I call him Fade-Go as this is the literal interpretation of his I-Kiribati name, which I can't pronounce) home to join in the celebrations to farewell his brother who's becoming a sailor. The people were lovely, and very generous. I'll have to show you the photos later.

Also last night, there was a celebration at the MSC (a Catholic religious order) house in which I'm staying. We had some "Croc", which I thought was a Kiribati way of saying "grog". It turned out (I found out today) to be Kava. It was a great celebration, and I stayed up until the wee hours listening to them play the guitar and eukilale, singing amazing harmonies in the I-Kiribati language.

This morning we were held up in traffic by a house. I've heard that Kava is slightly drug like but this is ridiculous.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

First log

Ok, here's my first blog. Let's call it a test blog, to justify writing it while I should really be packing.

I'm almost ready to leave. Which is to say, I'm not ready at all- I know nothing about what's coming up my month away.  Put all my knowledge of Kiribati together, and you have not very much knowledge at all.

However, what I do know is all very useful.  For example, they have 12 pigs to every 1000 people, which is 13254.514 pigs in total (presumably they're in the middle of eating one).  Amazing!

However, exactly what I'm doing while over there remains a mystery. It will probably involve teaching, and will probably have something to do with what I'm studying for my degree- maths and mechanical engineering. I do however have an itinery, and I'm assured Yves has the tickets, I have a bag which is waiting to be packed, and most of all I have a blog! I think that's all I need.

0.486 of a pig awaits!

Tess: Save some pig for me! Also, I would like to pick you up on your use of "will". Will MUST update his blog regularly (nerd joke). Love you, have a fabulous time. And go to bed, you must sleep! (01/17/10)