Wednesday, November 28, 2012
The Rainbow's End (Palau)
No internet or cell phones. T.V. and radio, nope. Shoot -- for several days we didn't even have a watch with us. What time is it? Well, the sun is up, guess it is day time...
That's how we spent the past ten days. Well, that and swimming with stinger-less jellyfish.
Yeah, I'm kinda obsessed with the jellies.
I am also kinda obsessed with Palau in general.
This little island nation captured my heart for the first time in 2002 when I went on a mission trip during college. We laid a waterline for an outer island village, population 300 or so. It was hot and sticky and I thought surely Hell could not even compare with the heat, but that did not keep me from falling in love -- with the beauty and more so, with the people.
So a year and a half later I packed my suitcases and moved out there to teach 4th grade. And it was the most amazing experience.
I have had the chance to go back to visit a couple of times since then, but this time was different. This time I was taking my man with me.
Palau could no longer be "my" place, but it was time to become "our" place.
Days were filled with trekking to waterfalls in the jungle, surfing, snorkeling...
... and eating fish.
Lots and lots of fish.
And then we kept eating fish. For breakfast, for lunch, for dinner. Cooked fish, raw fish, fish eyeballs.
Yes, you read that correctly.
What can I say? When in Rome...
The scenery was beautiful. There is a reason Palau is called 'The Rainbow's End', right?
But you know what is better than these serene blue waters and vibrant rock islands? The people.
They may live a simple life by our standards, but their lives are FULL. Full of love, full of joy, full of compassion. They share like no other people group I have encountered, even though they do not have much. It is a rare to find a place where there are no orphanages, nobody living on the streets, no old-age homes. Like I said, rare. But it exists. I have seen the proof.
Really, I have nothing more that I can say about Palau. Not because there is nothing more to share, but because there is nothing more that mere words typed on a screen can do justice.
All I can say is this: my heart is full.