Our little community of four here in Pohnpei is now the owner of a traditional Pohnpeian outrigger canoe! It all started this summer when Kristen mentioned to Meredith's host dad that we were on the market for an outrigger. Emmanuel, a man with many connections, returned to her a few days later saying, "I've found you an outrigger!" Our desire to paddle the waters around Pohnpei turned into a work project for men learning traditional skills in order to support their families (so, an outrigger and giving men work in their traditional craft...a win-win in our book).
We had a marvelous maiden voyage last weekend paddling around in our brand new, green and yellow outrigger. Don't be fooled by these pictures, we may look like we know what we're doing but we spent a lot of time paddling in circles (and laughing at ourselves). Steering those things is harder than it looks! We're hoping to develop our outrigger skills enough to paddle around the island sometime this year.
Attempting to paddle through the mangrove trees.
Stuck in the mangrove roots.
Finally Emmanuel (after laughing at us) helped guide the outrigger to shore.