October and November have been full of holidays, trips, and excitement!
|Hammock + beautiful waters|
|So beautiful and picturesque. Crazy that this really exists and I get to experience it!|
|Fun with glowsticks!|
|Men cutting the pig|
|Britt and I after being rubbed down with coconut oil|
|Kristin and Mer|
|Visiting an old hotel called "The Village" after the feast|
|Sue Ann (left) with Sister Sophie (the religion teacher)|
Another Month, Another Waterfall: While Rose, a friend teaching on Chuuk, was visiting we took a trip to the other side of the island to experience another waterfall! I think this one is my favorite so far!
|Walking through the jungle to get to the waterfall|
|Mer and I!|
Halloween: I played up Halloween so much with my 1st graders. We had lots of fun doing math, reading, and art projects all related to Halloween! On Halloween students were allowed to wear their costumes if they wanted to. We did math with Skittles, ate candy corn, and enjoyed celebrating!
|Enjoying candy corn for the first time|
November Fun: Now that all of our Halloween decorations are gone, we had to decorate for the next holiday - Thanksgiving! We've spent a lot of time talking about the gifts that God has given us and having an attitude of thankfulness. We also learned the story of the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims and Native Americans. We did a very complicated Native American craft with an accompanying writing project. I was worried how they'd do with so many little pieces and kept playing up how complicated the project was. They did a great job and were so proud of the finished product!
Random Facts: I've been wanting to share some of the random cultural facts/happenings that I've become accustomed to over the past few months, so here goes!
-Driving: Sometimes when I drive, I dodge potholes like a Mario Kart driver. We never go above 40 kilometers per hour because you always have to be on pothole patrol. Most cars here are imported from the Philippines, so the driver is on the right side of the car and the front seat passenger on the left. The controls are also all reversed, so for the first few weeks when I tried to turn on the turn signal, the windshield wipers would go! Honking is also a very nice thing here. No one honks to be mean or aggressive, if I hear the tap of a horn it's just a friendly "hello" someone is saying to a friend or family member they see driving.
-Nonverbal Responses: In Pohnpei, you can respond 'yes' by saying yes or raising both your eyebrows. When I'm talking to a student one-on-one and ask a yes or no question, there's a good chance they'll choose to raise their eyebrows instead of say yes!
-Proper Greetings: Walking down the street in Pohnpei is never boring. It is culturally appropriate to say hello to everyone you meet, whether you know them or not (it's very rude if you don't acknowledge someone). So a trip to the grocery store will be filled with many nods of hello or the following greeting:
Kaselehlia (hello to one person)
Kaselehlia maing (hello to one person in a formal way)
Kaselehlia maingko (hello to 2 or more people in a formal way)
-Cash Power: The power situation here is unlike any I've experienced. To buy power for your house, you go to a green drive-through window. You tell the person your house ID number, how much you want, and they give you a receipt with a really long number. Once back at your house, you go to the cash power box and enter the number in. Upon entering it successfully, a happy tune plays and a smiley face appears, along with how many units of cash power you have. If we forget to check our cash power meter and it runs out, which has happened a few times, we'll wake up in the morning sans power and have to go buy more. The generators that power the island are also turned off at different times throughout the day (I'm not sure why). So, an average of 3 school days per week there'll be a four hour chunk of time where we don't have any power. Luckily our rooms have plenty of open windows, so it doesn't affect us too much. Normally I'll just acknowledge, "oh, the power went out!" and we'll continue on in our lesson.
Thank you for going on this little tour of random facts about Pohnpei with me! I love being able to share my experience and this incredible culture and new way of life with so many of you.