Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nancy Drew and the Mystery of the Fallen Bulb

Last Sunday morning when I woke up the light bulb from my patio was lying on the ground.

I can't imagine someone came up there, unscrewed it and set it on the ground. Especially since five dogs sleep on the patio and they go crazy whenever anyone (even me) approaches within 50 feet.

It was a windy night; could the wind unscrew a light bulb? If so, why didn't the bulb break when it fell and hit the concrete? Perhaps it had a soft landing on one of the dogs? But that would have set the dogs off on a tirade of barking. Could I have slept through that? I doubt it.

This mystery will probably never be solved. I picked up the bulb and put it back into the socket and it works fine.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Look at the final draft of the poster for our show this summer! Lance Laack made it (that's his daughter's eye with Sokehs Island in the background). Sunday night we had our first reading of Jonathan's script, it's excellent, what a great writer. We're going to be doing a few weeks of revising now and begin rehearsals toward the end of April. So exciting!  Posted by Picasa

My Soap Box

I don't know where the Pohnpeian stores get the soap that they sell, but it is pretty mysterious stuff. Sokehs Shopping Center has my favorite soap shelf, featuring Sheep Placenta Soap. What were the marketers thinking when they chose THAT name?

Also at Sokehs, you can pick up Virginity Soap, which, according to the box, makes you feel like one after you use it. Hmm.

My favorite soap at Sokehs is their Anti-Horniness Soap. Yes, that is exactly what the box says: "Anti-Horniness Soap." Perhaps it is meant to be used in conjunction with the Virginity Soap. The directions on the box instruct you to "wield product gently." Have you ever tried to wield ANYTHING gently? It's not easy.

I often purchase different varieties of crazy soap to give away as gag gifts. But last week I ran out of regular soap at my house, and so I had to dive into my novelty soap collection. For the past week I have been bathing with Slimming Soap, which makes you skinnier in the places where you lather it up on you. It's a great concept, but I found that I had to be very careful where I was lathering up.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

More Surprises

Boy, there's a new surprise in the front lawn every day! On Wednesday the dogs brought over the tortoise shell and Thursday we came home from work to discover that the landlord is building a nahs (a local porch, like the Hawaiian lanai) attached to our patio. It won't be done for a few weeks, and right now it's rather difficult to get into the house, but it's worth it!!!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Look What the Dog Dragged In

Our dogs are constantly bringing stuff into my yard. Usually it is dirty diapers, empty Spam tins and shoes (LOTS of shoes). But last night I got home to discover that they had left the shell of a giant tortoise in the yard!

It is about two feet long and one foot wide.

I have mixed emotions about this "gift." It is a cool thing to look at, but it really stinks! It smells like dead fish. It's also endangered, I believe, so it's illegal to transport (not that I'd want to pack that stink-bomb in my suitcase).

One of these days I'll dry it out in the sun and try to get the smell out then I'll hang it on a tree or somewhere else outside the house.

It's a very macho-looking thing. Perhaps I should invent a more macho story of how I got it. Yeah, how I wrestled the giant, alien, vampire tortoise for three hours before I subdued it and kept it from attacking the innocent islanders. Yeah, tell people that.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Lehn Paipohn Waterfall. Helen, Janhabi, Jen, Rohaizad and I drive about 40 minutes to Kitti last Saturday. We stopped at a store at the turn-off for this hike and a guide hopped in our car to help us out. I drove Jen's little 4WD for about 2 miles over a miserable two-track road (SCAAAAAAPE!). Then we parked and hiked about a half-mile to Lehn Paipohn. The lake below the falls is almost perfectly round and remarkably large and deep. It is probally the largest pool on the island of Pohnpei. So beautiful! Posted by Picasa

While hiking to Lehn Paipohn Waterfall, I came across this giant fern. That spiral stem was the size of a human head. Audrey 3. Posted by Picasa

According to legend, this waterfall was once on Pohnpei's coast when the island was much smaller. Apparently there are two pillars deep under the water which were guards that protected the harbor. I didn't see any pillars, but I did see an eel. It was great swimming; the water was a bit chilly, but there was a nice, pebbly "beach" which gradually sloped into the water. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I intended to fill today's blog entry with the story of my hike to a gorgeous waterfall with Helen, Janhabi, Jen and Rohaizad on Saturday. But it'll have to wait, because it has an interesting story and I want to get it right. In the meantime, here's the waiting room at the airport. Posted by Picasa

This shot was taken at the National Campus of the College of Micronesia. You don't see pigs wandering around as often as you see chickens, dogs and students, but it does happen. Posted by Picasa

This is my Cash Power meter. When I am running low on electricity, I have to go down to PUC (Pohnpei Utilities Co.). I buy some units of electricity and they give me a reciept with numbers on it. I program the numbers into my Cash Power meter and VIOLA, electricity! As you can see, I currently have 333.7 units. That should last me a little more than a month, since I don't have an air conditioner or clothes drier. Posted by Picasa

I spent Sunday afternoon in my front yard with Charlotte Bronte. Posted by Picasa

Sunday evening we walked Tubbs and TC down to the airport. Posted by Picasa

Isn't my car the coolest? Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Last Thursday I drove down to the village of Mand in the municipality of Madolenihmw. Rohaizad does drama with the children there, so I helped with some music. The village feels more like a permanant campground than a city. After the rehearsal (which is pictured here) we hiked through the dark jungle to visit two girls who were hurt in a bicycle accident earlier in the day. They lived in a tiny one-room house made of tin and plywood. Except for a naked bulb by the house, it was pitch black and the stars filled the entire sky. What a life!  Posted by Picasa

The children LOVE to have their picture taken and rush to get in front of the camera. Posted by Picasa

Many people in this village have an eye condition which makes it very difficult for them to see during the day, but they have great vision in the evening and at night. Students of mine with this condition wear sunglasses in the classroom or else they squint all the time. Posted by Picasa

The people in the village of Mand originally come from the island of Pingelap. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Maid in the Shade

Happy Thursday. I teach all day today, 9:30 am until 5:00 pm with a lunch break. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the only days I teach though, so the three easy days make the two days of busy-ness worthwhile.

Plus, I get to rest up on Wednesday evenings. I stop washing dishes after Wednesday dinner because on Thursday morning the maid comes.

Yes, I have a maid. Sarah Sahr convinced me to hire one when I moved out here so I could contribute to the local economy.

My maid is Serlinda, from the island of Sapwuahfik. My house isn't very big, but she does a pretty thorough job cleaning it. And it only costs me $20 plus taxi fare.

Of course I have plenty of time to clean my house myself. It doesn't even get that dirty, since I never wear shoes indoors. But it's fun to relax and have it done for me. I'm glad that I met Serlinda and I think the money helps her, since she is a single woman.

Good justification for my laziness, huh?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Call of Nature

I am lucky to be the only teacher at the College of Micronesia who has a private office. The other teachers share communal offices.

I am also one of the only teachers who has his own classroom. That is because I have a room with 19 electric pianos. What other teacher could use those?

My office and classroom are carved out of a corner of the Maintenance building, so the chair of my division refers to the building as the "Dan Meyer Center for the Performing Arts and Maintenance." It's got a ring to it.

Since the Maintenance building is across the street from the rest of the campus, it's quite a lengthy hike from the other classrooms. Students are constantly late because they walk so slow. And when it rains, forget it, I might as well cancel class.

The Maintenance building has no bathrooms, so whenever I have to go, I walk around to the back of the building where there is a cinderblock enclosure. It's pretty disgusting - the toilet seat is a teeter-totter, there's betel nut spit on everything and the light doesn't work, so no peeing at night.

But there is a hole where a window used to be right at eye level when I stand in front of the toilet. It has a breathtaking view of a large field and the mountains in the background. There's a grove of fruit trees off to the side. Often I can watch bright geckos and beautiful birds as I stand there. So when I get the call of nature, I really get to appreciate nature.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Sick, just sick!

Wow, now that people are actually READING my blog, I'm getting all self-conscious and don't know what to say!

There's not much to say, anyways, since I was sick to my stomach all day Sunday. It's pretty surreal lying there on the sofa feeling horrible while the breezes blow in over the brilliant ocean and fluffy clouds sail above the palm trees.

I kept thinking about what could've happened on Saturday to make me sick. I was dive-bombed by a gecko while sitting on the patio. Maybe he was a germ-warfare gecko.

I went to a farewell party for Peace Corps Marcy - but the food was too good to make me sick (and no one else got sick).

Then we attempted a take-over of Club Flamingo with our own music (so we wouldn't have to dance to Casio-made reggae songs all night). We had fun there while they played our music, but that only lasted about a half-hour. THAT must be where I picked up the germ; it's a pretty disgusting place.

But I'm better today. While sick I finished reading the book "Family Matters" by Rohinton Mistry. I love his writing, especially his book "A Fine Balance". Now I've begun "Jane Eyre."

Thanks to all of you who left comments and sent e-mails about my blog. I'm honored that you checked it out!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Yes indeed, "Take Pride in Pohnpei" Posted by Picasa

Misko Beach ... it looks like paradise, huh? Posted by Picasa

Tubbs, TC and I walking the Causeway. Posted by Picasa

This is me on January 8, 2006 in Manila, Philippines. Posted by Picasa

Here I am standing on Sokehs Ridge looking at the airport Posted by Picasa

This picture was taken in Singapore around New Years, 2006. I had just finished running and am standing in the Bird Song park in Ang Mo Kio. Posted by Picasa

This is the Leopard Shark I saw last Saturday when I was schnorkeling. It was sleeping on the ground and I never saw it move. Posted by Picasa

That's my silhouette standing on top of Sokehs ridge with Kolonia in the background. Posted by Picasa

That's me on the left checking out a clownfish while schnorkeling. Posted by Picasa

This is me on a hike up Sokehs Ridge. I stopped to look at the old Japanese guns on the way. Posted by Picasa

Tubbs (the black dog) and Wanda (the brown one) asleep on the sofa after a bath Posted by Picasa