Friday, March 17, 2017
Friday, December 2, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
June 28th, before sunrise, somewhere over the Pacific between Guam and Hawaii
We got to the small Yap airport – a brief airport, one terminal – at 1am. On the big plane from Guam to Honolulu, I got a whole row to myself, of which I took full advantage. It’s the best I’ve ever slept on a plane, ever.
We’ll land in San Francisco soon.
June 27th, 7am
Yesterday began out travels home. Up early, and back to the airport-slash-post office to reunite with PMA pilot Amos. Miles and Keenan and Austin meet us there, we hug and high-five and they give us the plumeria leis they made, white and cream and pink. We exchange info. “Come back next year!”
That night, back on Yap, Sam, Kelsey, Cole, and I stay late and the Mnuw. An exuberant group offers us cake – they are there to watch the premier of House Hunters: Yap Edition. Whoa! It’s them. A cultural anthropologist doing immersion in Yap. Pretty neat. The walk back to ESA is rainy and it feels great.
In a couple hours, we will do a cultural tour of Yap. I’m looking forward to exploring more if this island, which seems vast and jungled compared to the islands of the Ulithi Atoll.
June 25th, 10:30pm
After breakfast, we boat to Asor to garden. We (lots of awesome ladies and us!) planted 105 sweet potato cuttings! In the ground… in the sun's beating heat. Felt good! We soak in the ocean for a bit before going to make lunch at Laurie’s house (the woman with the awesome garden and awesome sense of humor). Then we depart Asor and hear to our last site in the lagoon – not for data collection, but to see the old WWII wreckage that lies at the bottom, where a ship carrying amphibious vehicles sank. Dolphins leap nearby. These strange man-made objects sit perfectly visible, 30 to 60 feet below. The surface is a shimmering cloud of silversides. Everything is so beautiful and blue and open. Sharks cruise the bottom, over the rusted structures. This is perfect.
We return to Falalop and cleanup our lodge home (organized chaos). The Ulithi kids are barbecuing in some shade down by the beach and the smell is enticing. The peachy rays of sunset approach and we all meander around the shore, just soaking it in. That night at dinner, with so much of the community present, we made the very best of our last night. It was the tearjerking speechfest we all hoped it would be. It really was the best. And the barbecue was delicious.