Tanks 5 & 6

Last Friday, 25 March, Mason and I went for our first two recreational dives outside of our certification class: tanks 5 and 6.

Ken Shigeta, the owner of Pirate Diving Service (and our landlord) took us out with his employees, Maverick and Andy. We went to Pehleng Pass, and tried drift diving for the first time. Ken is an extremely experienced dive master, and we had a fantastic time! We are certainly looking forward to our next dive with the Pirate team.

See if you can spot the (1) octopus, (2) school of barracuda, and (3) shark in the video:

If you are heading to Pohnpei and interested in scuba diving, contact Pirate Diving Service!


Great Day for a Swim

We did the Six Waterfalls Hike again for the third time this weekend. It was the best weather and water level we have had so far, and it was a fantastic time!

Six Waterfalls Hike is more of a jungle obstacle course than a hike. It is an all day hike to six waterfalls in the heart of the Pohnpei rainforest. When you arrive at the school where you park your car, teenage boys come out of the forest to offer their guide services. The family has six sons, and we have had all of them as guides at one time or another. They are masters of the jungle, and they glide over our obstacles in bare feet. They are very patient, safe, and thoughtful, and they make every hike better. This weekend we had Johnson and Johnny.

We made it to all six waterfalls (sometimes weather does not permit this, and you must turn back at four). Our hiking, stabilizing, swimming, jumping, and climbing skills were all put to the test, and I think we all passed!

We are Scuba Divers!

Mason and I finished our Padi Open Water Diver course this weekend, and we are officially scuba dive certified!

Over the past month, we have been attending classes after work and on the weekends. First, we started with the book work and written exam. During these class sessions, we learned how to be safe divers and how to read the dive table. Second, we went to the pool. In the pool, we practiced all of the techniques we learned about in the book. Finally, we took the boat out to a reef inside of the lagoon and practiced diving in the ocean. We were weightless, exploring the reef and practicing our scuba diving skills.

The world is beautiful 60 feet down, and we cannot wait to start diving more regularly. Underwater footage to come!

International Women’s Day 2016

Happy Women’s Day to all of the amazing and inspiring women in my life!

March 8 is International Women’s Day. In Pohnpei, the day was celebrated with a traditional dance and craft competition.

After the keynote speech from Supreme Court Judge Ms. Worswick, 24 groups of women from all over the island preformed cultural dance routines and displayed local crafts at an event held at the track in Kolonia. The event was open to the public, and each group had handmade matching outfits and banners to represent themselves.

The Pohnpei State Department of Health (DHS) woman wore orange scrubs and held posters written in the local language representing women in health. The 2016 International Women’s Day theme was Pledge for Parity, and the female nurses, doctors, and public health professionals from the DHS were promoting the theme by showcasing the important work that they do every day at the hospital alongside their male colleagues.

Today we celebrated the social, economic, cultural, and political achievement of women in Pohnpei. I hope that you were able to do the same wherever you are.


Kayaking through History

We took our kayak through the ruins of Nan Madol yesterday with our friend Celia.

Nan Madol is the ancient city of the sadeleurs, who ruled Pohnpei from approximately 800 AD to 1650 AD. The most preserved structure was used as the tomb of the sadeleurs (bottom left photo), and it can be reached via a walking path from Temwen Island. Yesterday, we put our kayak in at the causeway between the main island of Pohnpei and Temwen Island. Navigating our way through the mangrove channels, we found multiple structures of the once great city of Nan Madol that are not accessible via the walking path.