Thursday, March 29, 2007


A gecko on the glass, alas.
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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some Sights around Kolonia

I hope that that is a THEME and not a GOAL.

The Department of Education has a new building, but chooses to keep its sign posted on this building along the main street. Could the condition of this building be a metaphore for the respect that education is given? Nah.
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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend Stuff

Friday afternoon I went out kayaking. After going through the mangrove channel, I paddled around on the Palikir side of the lagoon.
Three birds were flying around me like maniacs. Diving to the surface of the water and back up into the air. These were the best photos I could take of them. It is difficult to photograph birds, particularly when you are also dealing with a kayak paddle. They don't sit still, either.

It is easier to photograph a mangrove pod (seed?) with it's cute red cap. These area common sight floating around, but still pretty.

Saturday I spent a rainy day on Nahlap Resort Island. But there's no such thing as a bad day on Nahlap. The rain can't stop me from snorkeling and eating!

Sunday afternoon I helped organize a concert at the PMA Church. It was a piano concert performed by two JICA Volunteers (JICA is the Japanese equivalent of the US Peace Corps). All I had to do was MC, thank goodness.

To advertise the concert, I had a ad put up on the new sign at TeleCom! You can see it on the picture above, although it is in the process of changing to the next screen. That sign lends a touch of Vegas to Kolonia's bland main street.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Some Sights on the Streets of Pohnpei

I followed this tree down the road for several miles. A street sweeper? All I know is that it had pedestrians backing off in fear.
And here are two free-form stop signs.
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Sunday, March 11, 2007

A True Adventure in the Life of Nina

Here is a photo of Nina...
...and here is a story about Nina.

Last Saturday I went out for the evening with some friends. I left the house around 7:15. When I arrived home at midnight, I discovered that Nina had been locked inside the house the whole time! She must have run in unnoticed while I was leaving.

She did well for herself, though. She knocked a flashlight off the table and managed to turn it on, so she wasn’t in the dark. She found a bag of dog biscuits, opened them up and ate a few of them. Best of all, she didn’t poop or pee.

Yea, Nina! Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 09, 2007

What to Do When Gravel Is Dumped Behind Your Car

Nothing is better than spending Friday morning working from home. Then making a leisurely lunch. Then looking out the window while washing dishes and seeing this...
SURPRISE! A dump truck is depositing a pile of boulders behind my car! The construction workers decided not to tell me. I guess I won't be driving anywhere soon. What to do? Of course, I hopped in my kayak, paddled around the northern tip of Kolonia and took a picture of this...
Peeking above the trees you can see the German Bell Tower. Built about a hundred years ago when the Germans were colonizing the island. It was once attached to a big church, but the Japanese blew it up during World War II. Now it stands alone and is one of the oldest structures in Micronesia (besides Nan Madol, of course).

Then I paddled under the causeway bridge...
And down the Nett River.

My other option was to do what Nina did:
Fall asleep in the dirt. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Visitors from the Past

Last night as we slept, two canoes arrived from Hawai'i: the Hokule'a and the Alingano Maisu. These are navigational canoes built in the ancient style of Polynesian long distance traveling crafts. The contain no navigational equipment, only a navigator. The navigator is a person who has learned the ancient art of navigating on the open ocean using waves, currents, swells and stars.
After hundreds of years, Hawaiians had lost their ability to navigate. In the 1970's they tried to resurrect the skill, but there were no Hawaiians to learn it from. They searched all over the Pacific and found a man named Mau Piailug on the Micronesian island of Satawal. He agreed to teach his sacred knowledge to the Hawaiians. In 1976 he steered the first "contemporary" navigational canoe 2500 miles from Hawai'i to Tahiti with no modern instruments.
Here are the two canoes parked off Misko Beach at the mouth of Sokehs Bay. They will leave soon for Satawal in Yap State. They will give one of the canoes to Mao Piailug as a way of honoring him. He is getting old and is quite sick. After leaving Satawal, the crew will continue to Japan in the other canoe.
Sailors on these canoes are totally exposed to the elements. Several of the 16 crew members gave a little talk today and were saying how when they arrived in Majuro (after leaving Hawai'i 27 days earlier), a huge wave washed over the vessel.

In building and navigating these boats, the goal is to Protect, Perpetuate and Preserve Hawaiian culture. They have traveled on these vessels throughout Polynesia, from Easter Island to New Zealand, and have even visited the west coast of the United States. Posted by Picasa

The old and the new: a motorboat passes the ancient navigator's voyaging canoe.
Another example of old and new. When folks travel on these navigational canoes, it becomes like a family. The boat is the mother, the navigator is the father and the crew is the children. Everyone must rely upon everyone else. Everyone and everything has a purpose; there is no dead weight.
While traveling on a navigational canoe, it becomes an island for the people aboard: limited food and limited water. It is like a metaphore for actual islands which are also limited in terms of resources. The speakers spoke of their stay on Majuro before they came here. Majuro is an atoll which relies upon rainfall for fresh water. They have been going through a drought recently and are on strict water conservation. Resources are similarly precious on these canoes. It is a lesson for all of us living on islands or on the island of earth.
"Your canoe is your island, your island is your canoe." Posted by Picasa