Welcome to my Kosrae-Pohnpei blog - May 1 - May 20!

I hope you enjoy my blog about my solo trip to Kosrae and Pohnpei May 1st through May 20th.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Very nice day in Utwe Village

Moses' brother picked me up shortly after 10:15 so not bad for island time. He then drove me to Utwe to meet Moses and Joselin and some of their family. Here is a picture of Moses, Joselin and their daughter Seline who is a sweetheart. She didn't want to smile because she had just eaten a blueberry jawbreaker or something and her mouth was all blue and she was embarrassed.

We first went for a little cruise out of Utwe on Moses' boat and around the harbor over where Bully Haye's pirate ship sank in the harbor in the late 1800's due to a typhoon. They wanted to take me to Utwe Ma (Old Utwe- where the people of Utwe used to live many years ago) but the tide was too low so we couldn't which was too bad because it sure looked nice over there. They have a hut or two over there and sometimes go over to sleep and they have a mangrove crab farm there too. We headed back to their place and they took me to Sipyen Waterfall which was stunning. The jungle so lush and beautiful.....

Seline jumped right in and it took a bit of coaxing but I thought - what the heck - I have to do it. Plus I was hot as heck! So, I went in and swam around and stood underneath the powerful waterfall due to all of the recent rain. Was quite exhilarating and I thought it knocked my contacts right out of my eyes but thankfully it didn't. I won't subject you to any photos of that event, lol.

I then treated Moses and Seline to lunch at Kosrae Village Resort which is the other dive resort on the island. It was a nice place with authentic Kosraen thatch huts for rooms and their restaurant was a much larger traditional Kosraen hut.

They then took me back to my room to get ready for dinner and then I was told they'd pick me up at 5:15. Island time kicked in and luckily enough Doug and Sally invited me for a glass or two of wine on their veranda while I waited, and waited.......until about 7:00 when I was picked up and driven back to Utwe.

I arrived and was immediately seated for dinner without any introductions to any of the other members of the family (I later found out that introductions are done after dinner). I was presented with a lei and given the only glass plate and told to serve myself. There was sashimi, green salad, taro, breadfruit, fried fish (whole, head, eyes and all), watermelon, rice and bottled water and a shasta cola (I passed since I don't drink much soda). Really, I was treated like royalty. After I sat down and told to start eating then the other men got their food, then the women. Also - they presented me with a whole mangrove crab to eat - just me. I took only a small amount as there was no way I could eat it all but they intended for me to be the only to eat the crab. I hope that I didn't offend them but I forced them to share it with me.

A little side note here - it appears that women definitely do not have equal rights here. For example, I would constantly practice my normal manners of letting the woman (or girl, in Selene's case) go in front of me through a door or whatever but they consistently let me go ahead. That has been something I've noticed since my arrival.

The food was good. After dinner the whole family (all of Moses' descendants) sang me a song. I recorded it but it is too huge to post on here at the rate I pay per meg. It was very nice - they are truly gifted with their voices here. I was then introduced to Moses' family - but only the men. None of the women were introduced by Moses even though all of his sisters were present. I then introduced myself to the family sharing my relation to Shary (Shrue). This was not something that I had a choice in - once my introduction was complete - then normal conversation could commence as instructed by Moses.

Shary - you are truly LOVED here on the island and can't thank you enough for showing them your love and compassion so many years ago as it has allowed me a connection here that I couldn't have dreamed of having without you.

I then passed out candy to all of the kids and then I was really treated like royalty. All of them smiling and smiling at me. It was soooooo cute! We mostly laughed at the kids with all the candy I gave them cause they were in heaven (and all hopped up on sugar, lol). Here I am with some of them........

I then gave Joselin, Moses and Seline their gifts from Shary and they were very thankful. Kulo ma lulap Shrue (Thank you very much Shary)! Rex wasn't around but did give Jos the shirt you sent.

Then it was time for me to leave as it was getting late and I'm planning on diving in the morning but wanted to post this blog before bed.

Fong wo (Good night)

P.S. - many have asked how my dad is doing so I apologize for the lack of updates on him. He is still in the hospital and is stable - out of ICU. He is disoriented but I did talk to him yesterday and he seemed normal to me so maybe he goes in and out but he did seem very tired. Hang in there Dad!!!


  1. Glad you had a good day with our family! I spent many a Sunday at that waterfall. Very refreshing and of course, you had to go in the water! We would usually bring our dishes and do them down the stream a ways too. I laughed at the whole fish - head, eyes and all, because I remember how surprised I was at that during my early Peace Corps days!! Some kind of reef fish, probably caught with nets by the women, out in the harbor behind their house. Did you eat the meat from the cheeks? The best part. And the crunchy tail? Delish.. Yep, the whole crab..that's why I told you the words for 'I'm full' cuz thye feed you and feed you and feed you. LoL :)
    I realized how excited I was for you to be there because I kept waking up all night and thinking about it: you...there...in my village with my close friends.
    Your mwarmwar (lei) is from the langlang tree. Doesn't it smell wonderful?
    Thank you for sharing with me that I am loved on the island. You never know what kind of impact you have on people's lives in this world and it heartens me to hear that mine is still rememberd and close to the people's hearts. I believe after a week on Kosrae, you see why I love the island and people so much.
    Thanks Jimmy for taking some of your time to spend with Luke and Danny's family, and mine. Sorry you didn't get to see Rayxie; I wanted a photo of him. Did you give the pictures I sent to Josila?

    Kut fah osun, Shrue

  2. Utwe mah is where the people escaped to during the Japanese occupation of WWII. They lived there, eventually under Japanese control, until the end of the war. Horrible stories of that time. Perhaps you noticed Japanese characteristics in some of the Kosraean people. There are believed to be many ghosts/spirts still living there. It is beautiful and a favorite picinc spot for Utwe villagers. Sometimes I'd go over there with friends in an outrigger canoe and just chill in the quiet and beauty.
    Oh, btw, did you notice Mt. Finkol from Utwe harbor? I'm sure you did. Highest point of the island. Great hikes up there with spectacular views! Next trip, right Jimmy? Lol...

  3. King Jimmy! Don't get too spoiled or we will have to whip you back into western shape when you return....you are going to return right?
    xoxoxo Pam

  4. Lenwo! Jim, this is a great blog, "kulo" for bringing back memories! Shary! When did you serve? I was Peace Corps(67)-Kosrae 2000-2002. Nice to have a fellow Kosrae RPCV who knows what it's like out there! =) Best, Julie