Thursday, June 21, 2012

Nighttime Spearfishing and Other Stories (Micronesian Summer, Part 4)

June 29, 2006

One week down and things are going good. Our week of camp ended and the kids absolutely loved it. It is so great to be snorkeling and hear the kids on the beach and in the streets singing songs we sing at camp, and the parents were so happy with it. A couple of us met one family and the children were so proud to introduce us to their parents and the grandma... I said good afternoon to her in Kosraean and she started a steady stream of Kosraean; I guess she thought I spoke the language! When she left she said something to the mom and the mom turned to me, "Stiffany" (they can't say my name for some reason) "Grandma says she will see you tomorrow!" I think I made a new friend :)

Where ever I go, the little ones really like me. Here at the school or in town, the little ones come up to me and tug on my skirt and smile. I am constantly picking up strange children who are following me around. Yesterday I went to the airport to pick up Katie and Eliki and the same thing was happening... little kids coming up to me, smiling and running away, or just touching me. One little girl kept saying "Nna asset, nna asset". Betty heard and she started laughing. "She is calling you 'White Mother'!"

Last night the boys really wanted to go reef fishing, and so a bunch decided to head out for a great fun adventure. But it didn't turn out as we planned. For about an hour and a half we hiked coral reef with shallow water with spear guns and encountered a bunch of fun stuff -- eels and stone fish included. There was no moon out so we had to be really careful because if you step on a stone fish, you die. I guess they have the anecdote at the hospital here MOST of the time, so maybe you wouldn't die, but you don't want to take the chance. Luckily we had Stephen and his machete to cut off the heads of any sea snakes coming our way (one, it only happened to one, but still...)  Besides trying to avoid these great creatures, we were constantly stepping on sea cucumbers. Gross. That's all there is to say about that. 

Finally, after an hour and a half of this, we decided it was time to turn back and we climbed the bank onto the runway at the Kosrae International Airport. Since a plane only comes in once a day, we figured it was safe, although illegal. And of course, while we are talking about our adventure of eels and killer fish amongst the sharp coral, what happens but the heavens open up with a tropical down pour. I never really envisioned myself walking on a international runway in the rain in the middle of the night, but many things that happen out here I never really envisioned happening. You would think that was it, but no... to get back to the truck we had to cross these boulders that are covered with vines which means you can't see where there are holes or not. Well, Eliki went one way and our Kosraean friend said she had an easier way so I thought, Why not take the easy way out? 


Eliki and his group were on the beach a full 15 minutes before the rest of us, while we were were trudging through these vines and falling all over the place. We wound up with plenty of scrapes and bruises, no broken ankles and one good memory. It was an adventure, that is for sure, and I am glad I went. But some things only need to happen once in life!!!

July 7, 2006

Kosrae is over and we have arrived safely in Pohnpei. Leaving Kosrae was terrible... they had this great feast for us and all these gifts and food and songs, and everyone was crying. The kids, the adults, us. It was great to spend time with these new friends but so hard to say goodbye. It is hard to explain how we were able to become so close in such a short amount of time. I don't know if I can do this every week. That was one thing I didn't think of. When we left the airport and were walking out to the plane on the tarmac, they were waiting on the other side of the fence waving and blowing kisses... Caiti and I had to grab each other's hands and just keep walking. We were only there for two weeks, but it felt like a good, long time. The boys, of course, won't admit they were crying, but I saw tears in at least 3 of their eyes. I think we all fell in love with Kosrae.

Besides leaving and all that great stuff, we spent the week camping with the young adults, going on crazy expeditions, pushing the truck up a mountain, painting our faces like warriors with local berries, and fishing in the middle of the night. This is the stuff life should be made of. And now we have arrived in Pohnpei, which is much different but great in its own way. The lady at the store saw we were from Kosrae (we all had Kosrae skirts the local ladies made us) and said, "you will love Pohnpei much more." I don't think so. I think each island will be different and will have its own beauty and things to love, not one more than the other.

Our campers

With some of our local friends

Goodbye Party

My food blog has been bit by a travel bug.  Follow along as I let my words from the past answer the question, "What place(s) have you visit that made the most impact on you?"  I am too busy enjoying summer to be whipping up anything good in the kitchen anyway... ;)

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1 comment:

  1. It's ok if its not about food... Happy traveling though :)


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