Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On an Island Surrounded by Water (Micronesian Summer, Part 2)

 June 24, 2006

Kosrae is amazing. It isn't any different really than the villages of Palau (although it is of course different than the bustling city of Koror!) but it is still amazing. We have only been here 3 nights now (or as Andy counts, 8 meals), but we feel completely at home. It seems like we have been here for a long time... but a good long time. Our group is great, too. We were supposed to meet up with [our local leader] Eliki in Majuro so I got off the plane to meet him and went up to many a strange man asking if they were Eliki, but he was nowhere to be found. So I got back on the plane and headed on to Kosrae not knowing where he could be to find out that he is stuck in Ebeye by himself this week. But he will be coming out this Thursday.

Arriving in Kosrae, Erica receiving her mar-mar

Our first meal
Yesterday was the best day so far. We spent almost the entire day with the local people and got to know some of them. I went to the principal's house (a woman named Nellie) to say hi and her little son brought me inside where there were all these men were sleeping and I thought that I had the wrong house, but he dragged me to her room and there inside her little room were about 12 women and all their little children on the bed and the floor laughing and having a great time. They were so excited I came to visit so I sat with them and they showed me pictures of her trip to America and kept asking if I have been to those places (um, which bowling alley in which town, exactly???). The grandma didn't speak any English but she sat there rubbing my leg. Last night my little 3-year old friend Janeel (who Eric and I agree is the CUTEST child we have EVER seen!) came running up to me and I picked her up and was holding her with the other women and their little children, wearing my Micronesian skirt and my kosraean comb in my hair... Eric looked at me and laughed and told me I looked so Kosraean. Too bad I have my white skin and yellow hair ;) The rest of the evening was spent playing games with the kids and talking to the women. It was wonderful.

Do they come any more beautiful than this?!

Songs and games... you can speak any language and still get the same vibe

They spend their entire life right next to the ocean, but never had the chance to see what was underneath...

About a month ago I was talking to Jon about my fear of it not clicking with me. When I was [living in] Palau as a teacher, I just totally clicked with everything.  No question about it, I loved it. But I was so afraid it wasn't going to be the same this time. When I went back [to Palau] to visit for Christmas break later, I liked it a lot and I felt comfortable and at home, but I knew I was ready to be in America again, and I was afraid that I would spend my entire summer feeling that way, and since I am used to the cockroaches and the sweat and the big ugly spiders I would be, I don't know exactly... bored with it?  But I am not. I am just as happy here now as I was before. (I know I have never been HERE before, but Micronesia is Micronesia, trust me.) I do realize I am not as excited about some things as others, like Eric's fascination with the big frogs (he doesn't believe me that it easy to step on them at night, but he will find out soon enough) or Ryan's discovery that, yes, the island is surrounded by water. But I am still having the time of my life and I am where I am supposed to be. Playing with the kids, sitting around and getting to know the locals, taking walks and exploring, eating my fish and rice... I am definitely content.

Me (in the blue skirt) with Caiti and our new friends

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. What an AMAZING experience! So lucky you got to do this years ago!

    1. It was amazing! I have been blessed with many great experiences, but this was one of the best.

  2. Sounds wonderful! Beautiful children and everyone seems to have been so friendly. I bet you fit right in looking 'so Kosraean', haha.

  3. Aw... you got amazing experiences :D

    btw, I have a Romwe dress giveaway on my blog, if you want to join :



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