25 November 2009

a bat cave, a rainbow, and black coral

a few weeks ago, i hiked up to a bat cave. it was a nice, steep hike, and ended in a very surreal location. the cave is built into a ledge under a waterfall. because of the way that the cliff hangs, the wall is incredibly dry and strikingly lacking in plant life. pohnpei is known as the garden island, for good reason - its nothing if not green. the hike was fun, if unfortunately high in bat guano content. here's a shot of the cliff - notice how plant-free it is!

last weekend, i camped on an island close to pohnpei called black coral. it was wonderful - words don't do it justice. the island is very small (perhaps the size of a football field), and lies very close to another island. the channel between the two islands drops pretty low and has a sandy bottom - which makes for the bright blue line you can see in the photo below.

it was super-relaxing. lots of eating, lots of reading, lots of incredible snorkeling, and lots of cards.

we also got a nice view of pohnpei from a distance - its always nice to be reminded that pohnpei is, in fact, an island. sometime routine takes over and its easy to forget that its a small place.

we had two days on black coral, making for a nice long weekend away. its hard to believe, but i'll be done with this semester in less than two weeks now. winter vacation doesn't have any concrete plans, but i'm sure it will fly by and spring semester will be upon us very soon. we're looking forward to having many visitors in december - many volunteers have family coming, and some of the worldteach kosrae volunteers are coming for a week to see pohnpei. speaking of seeing pohnpei, how's this for an image of sokeh's rock?

thanksgiving isn't celebrated here, but we're having an american thanksgiving on saturday, to be followed by a 'variety show' of incredible performers. i'm looking forward to the weekend and planning to make mashed potatoes! i hope everyone at home has a wonderful thanksgiving, and jumps quickly into the holiday season... pohnpei started celebrating christmas about a month ago and new years promises to be the event of the year!

18 November 2009

a general update

not too much new to report these days. school is going well, though a lot of my students have hit a brick wall in their focus. less than three weeks left of the semester, though, so i'm doing the best i can to keep them motivated until the end. i've been pleased on the whole with my first run, and i'm looking forward to taking the lessons i've learned and doing a better job next semester.

we've got a busy schedule for our weekends until the middle of december - crazy how busy my social calendar has become. we're looking forward to a weekend at black coral, an outer island that is reputed for having some of the best snorkeling around. after that, we're having american thanksgiving - something i am looking forward to, though it will be sad to be away from home!

some photos from snorkeling in nan madol again - thanks mike for the underwater pictures!

02 November 2009

scuba and halloween

friends! i am scuba-certified. hooray!

here's a shot of where we did our confined water dives. as there are no swimming pools on pohnpei, we were "forced" to do our dives in the lagoon.

this weekend was halloween. the expat community here went a little crazy... but it was awesome! i love halloween, so it was a treat to celebrate with so many super-dedicated costume makers. my roommates and i: