I like Palau after all

I like Palau after all

  16 Mar 2018

Saki Tanaka

Division of Solid Waste Management, Bureau of Public Works, MPIIC


My 2 year-contract is going to finish at the end of this March. I was dispatched to Division of Solid Waste Management, Bureau of Public Works, MPIIC as an Environmental Educator. We mainly work for 3R Promotion activities and manage National Land fill at M-dock, where we work with 3R HERO and new 3R Plastic HERO. While I work there, the tire shredder has been installed and planning of New National Landfill has finally been designed, which inspired me a lot. [restrict]

I worked with my colleagues to promote 3Rs to schools and any places where we can set booths for 3Rs. I also started placing WSS (Waste Segregation Station) in our office and around our office, especially for people who needed to know how to segregate trash, like people in EQPB and SWM office. I struggled many times about my work and life in Palau, and got distressed by considering the necessity of volunteers, prolific aids to Palau from other countries and satisfaction of my volunteer work. However, I accepted those situations step by step, and now I surely can say that “I like Palau after all”. In addition, I was able to understand what it means to be a volunteer.

Volunteers cannot earn money and the work in Palau does not process as smoothly as it does in Japan. Moreover, I cannot understand what people are thinking…

I came to Palau to volunteer with my own will. But previously, I had such a negative feeling about my volunteer life in Palau. However, although I felt in that way, I agonized and struggled in my own way. And then I learned what I should do in the two years. In other words, I was able to learn many things from my fault, even though my work didn’t go well. At first, I thought “volunteer” has to contribute and give many things as pro bono. However, it was totally different from what I had thought. I received and learned many things than I gave to Palau. I also had many opportunities to attend interesting workshops and I was able to involve in nationwide-meetings.

Moreover, in a country where time goes slowly like in Palau, I had some extra time for myself. For example, I had enough time to sleep and I had time to think things more deeply. , At the same time, I was able to reaffirm who I am and where my goals are. I think I was not able to find myself if I was still in Japan. What is better, my skin condition was better and I seldom got sick compared to when I was in Japan. I also found new hobbies. Those are embroidery and weight training for me. Thank you, Palau!

I think these days that life supporting one another strongly and earning money just as much as you need may be good. I will see you all again soon. [restrict]