Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Palau- First Impressions

We landed in Palau late last Monday and have been in Palau for just over a week. If you could fly direct Brisbane to Palau the flight would be under about 6 hours but as it's not a popular route and the trip ended up being a collection of short flights, taking 29 hours door to door. Brisbane to Cairns, Cairns to Guam, Guam to Palau. All in all it wasn't so bad. Nathan did organise a day stay in a hotel in Guam for us to shower, sleep and leave all our stuff; which I would high advice if you ever have to do this trip.

The week was taken up by AVI orientation and settling in. We have had a number of social engagements, a trip to visit my new workplace and house hunting.
 We have had our ups and downs but nothing insurmountable, especially with all the wonderful support from the expat community here and a few beers. We had some super high days when we meet everyone and visited my workplace, Ministry of Health (MoH). I will sit at the hospital and work with the Non-Communicable Disease team (NCD team). There seems to be loads of great programs and work being done already that I can easily tie in with and I’ve been told that I will be advising the Health Minister on nutrition related issues; so hopefully we can work on both upstream and downstream strategies.

On Thursday we plummeted with a dark day. We were unsuccessful in our apartment hunting. In Palau housing is scarce and price does not necessarily indicate quality. We looked at a number of places that were not suitable and just when we had enough we were baled up by two large dogs leaving one of the places. But we now have an apartment and a car so things seem less challenging. Yay us!!!
My first impressions of Palau has been positive and I think we will enjoy it here. It is bigger than I thought and not nearly as hot. It feels much like a Brisbane summer but not at its height. Everyone is really friendly and happy to help, whether it be driving us around to show us cars and apartments or providing us with advice or information. You really do need to know people in Palau and my introduction has become quite long. “Hello my name is Amanda. When have just moved to Palau and I am volunteering at the MoH. I was told to call you as you may have accommodation”. Once they work out who you are connected with things are much easier.

The weather is not nearly as hot as I thought it would be. Think Brisbane summer but not at its peak. Although my skin is so dry from moving in and out of all the air conditioning.

On the downside the cost of living, especially food is much more expensive than we anticipated. I will do a food security post once I've settled in, so more on that later.

There is heaps going on at the moment and I will probably need to write short individual posts for each. I am attending a local Taro cooking class, we move into our apartment on Thursday, I will attend the local FREE yoga class on Wednesday and we just had lunch with the Australian Ambassador. I never considered living on a small island would lead to so many cool things!
I think I may be suited to this island life! 


  1. awesome blog! i want to share my experience with you guys if you are looking for apartment or room for rental or wants to rent out out your place have you tried PlaceMatch Singapore . i found it to be useful in finding my place.hope that helps!!
    cheers Aqsa Rao

  2. I am preparing an application for a position in Palau is the hospital a good one and are medicines like insulin easy to get?