First Kayak Trip to the Barrier Reef

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On Saturday, Mason and I put our kayaking skills to the test. Recently, a friend of ours went for extended leave off island, and he left us his kayaks for safe keeping. With two heavy-duty seafaring kayaks at our finger tips, we had to test our abilities.

We went for a 7.5 mile kayak from the boat launch near our house to a tiny island on the barrier reef. After crossing the small bay at the boat launch, we made it to the mangrove tunnels. We know these tunnels quite well, and we paddled right into the third opening. The beautiful tunnel wound its way through green and brown lush forests, until it dropped us off back in the lagoon, directly across from our target: the little island on the reef. That was as far as we had ever gone. We would often make it to the end of the tunnel and stare longingly across the lagoon, imagining the trek.

On this day, however, after a big breakfast and with the right set of kayaks, we were determined to get to the tiny island. As we paddled, we could see the golden reef drop down into deep blue channels and rise back up again. Paddling over the endless dark water of the channels was disconcerting at first; who knows what might be watching from below. After two miles across the lagoon, we made it to the island, the barrier reef, and the open ocean. We stopped on the island for a lunch break, and we took a moment to snorkel at the reef wall, where the color fish were unfazed by our swimming. Snorkeling gave our arms and shoulders a break.

The trip back was tiring. The wind was no longer at our back and the current was not in our favor. Yet, two hours later we made it over the lagoon, through the mangroves, and back to the boat launch. We had finally concurred the lagoon by kayak!

First but not last trip across the lagoon.

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The Center Takes a Hike

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The Center for Entrepreneurship gathered over 20 students to do the infamous Six Waterfalls Hike.  It was a real treat to be with some of my best and brightest students outside of the classroom.  The hike is pretty tough, so I worried some of my students would struggle.  To my pleasant surprise, they handled the hike with ease.  I should have known better.  Although none of my students had been on this hike before, they all grew up in this jungle, and many did the hike in flip-flops or barefoot twice as fast as the rest of us.

The Center had a great first year.  We managed to start several small businesses, host successful competitions, and complete several workshops.  Most recently, we learned that two participants of the Grant Writing Workshop received grants from the Global Green Fund.  One participant will receive around $5,000 to build a water catchment system in her village, while the other also received $5,000 to help start a meat processing center here at the College to manufacture local pork products.  I am extremely proud and feel immensely lucky to be a part of the Center and look forward to our next year.

Small Island Entertainment

There is one United Airlines flight per day to Pohnpei. Depending on the day of the week, the plane is either going from Guam to Honolulu or Honolulu to Guam. Pohnpei is one of five stops the plane makes in between.

On this day, we watched plane land from the water after a fun day of scuba diving.