Thursday, June 28, 2007

Sinlaku's Curse

Wednesday after work, I went with Joanna down to Utwe. On the Finkol River bridge we met Salik who was to guide us on an afternoon hike.

Our destination was the Menka Ruins: the ancient home of the goddess Sinlaku. In the 1850's Sinlaku had a preminition of the missionaries arrival and left for Yap. That is why the missionaries had a relatively easy time converting the whole island to Christianity.

Anyways, in the middle of Kosrae lie the Menka ruins where everyone went to worship. They are now overgrown by mold and jungle, but you can still see the square-shaped structures each with a small or large pile of rocks inside. The structures vary in size, but are approximately 40 feet on each side, I guess.

We only saw four of the structures, but Salik said that there were hundreds(!) of them. He said that long ago, the area was cleared of trees. He also thought that no one lived there (since there are no known graves), but people only went there to worship.

It was an eerie spot within the dark shadows of the jungle, and we spent some time just sitting there drinking coconuts before beginning the hour-long hike back.

The hike is quite breathtaking. We followed the Finkol River under the towering trees. Salik pointed out various flowers and plants and their uses. He even pulled up a plant that has poisonous roots which people put in the water so fish will eat it and die. A lazy way to fish!

But the most memorable moment of the trip was when I began feeling sick. Hiking with an upset stomach ain't fun. I almost made it back to the car, but lost my lunch about a half-mile short of the destination. No one saw or heard me, and that's the important thing.

It was a long trip home and when I got home, I went right to bed. I was sick all night and all day Thursday. Today I'm feeling a little better, but still a little unstable. I'm at work, though. We'll see how my class goes.


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