Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spelling, Recitation & Kids

Two weeks ago was Education Awareness week. Which basically meant that they kids got out of school all week to do some community & school clean-up and got to display their spelling, recitation and wonderful traditional dance skills. Jason and I were in attendance for the last two days of events and able to get some cute photos of the kids of our community. (I'm putting the dancing photos into separate posts as I took A LOT)


























































Monday, March 30, 2009

My Palauan Mom

This is Calista. She is my wonderful Palauan mom. She began referring to me as her daughter within a couple months of us arriving here. She is a beautiful and warm woman who I am thankful to God for placing in my life and who I love very much. She & her husband, Titus, have spent many afternoons at our house fishing with us, which we have enjoyed so much. Sadly, she had to move to the capital as her husband needs to be closer to medical care ... so now I only get to see her every other weekend or so. I miss her.














Friday, March 27, 2009

Rooster Transportation



Roosters often travel back and forth into Koror (fighting them is a sport here), but this is the first time I'd seen one travel like this! Pretty funny!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Trip to Kayangel

Last month we found out that our Angaur State boat would be going up to Kayangel to deliver fuel . We quickly asked the captain if we could join the crew on their trip since Kayangel is supposed to be really beautiful. It is the northern most Palauan island and a coral atoll. He said OK and we were on our way at 9 am Sunday morning.

We'd be stopping overnight in Koror and then heading up on Monday. Kayangel would mean spending another 5-6 hours on the boat ... but it would be worth it! Here we are at the start of our trip.
















When we arrived in Koror, our friend Kelly picked us up and took us on a quick tour of a few cultural things that were close by (Kelly is an anthropologist and such a wonderful guide). This is the Mother & Child stone (the child is in the middle, wrapping its arms around the mother).










Really cool (& really old) war canoe.


















This is a modern version of the traditional Palauan Bai (sounds like bye) which serves as a meeting house for the community.





































Jason, Kelly & Chris (Kelly's nephew) taking a traditional cobblestone road to the site of another Bai.





















Jason ... trying out the "football fruit" ... it was not very good, but entertained Chris.
















This is a beautiful traditional Bai. The roof is thatched and there are many cultural symbals & stories painted on the outside.























































These two adorable girls entertained us for a while.





















Sadly, that night, when we called the boat captain to re-confirm for our departure time on Monday, we found out that the trip to Kayangel had been canceled! Our boat would be returning to Angaur in the morning instead. Boo!
On Monday morning, we were able to have our first donuts in over 6 months - oh how delicious! I think we ate them too fast to get a photo of! Then, we called to re-confirm our boat departure and were told the boat would be leaving on Tuesday instead. So, we traipsed to Kelly's work for a surprise visit and to ask if we could stay with here for another night. She was of course very gracious and had no problem with us staying another evening. Yay! So, we spent the rest of the day poking around in Koror. This was the longest we'd been in Koror since we arrived.
All of these photos are from the cultural center in Koror.






























































Perhaps my favorite road sign yet!


















We ended the day at the Palau Pacific Resort and played on the beach in the sunset while Kelly used their gym to work-out. It was incredibly beautiful.














































A parting shot.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Palauan Style

Whenever we do something similar to how a Palauan would do it, our friends here will comment proudly, "ahh...you do it Palauan style." Usually, these comments come in relation to eating food ... with our hands, from someone elses plate or picking up a whole fish and just putting it in your mouth. Mostly ... eating how we would never think of eating in the States.

Last Sunday, we were given a few bananas on our way home from church and came home and had our very own "Palauan style" breakfast. This is my style :)




Monday, March 16, 2009

What's wrong with this picture?

Due to our lack of rain and quickly dwindling supply of water in our water tank at the house, Jason decided to make a trip to Angaur's power plant where they have a water tank that is used as back-up drinking water for the community whenever anyone runs out. When he arrived home with the water from the power plant, we were both amazed at how clear the water was!

Yes - the water jug on the left is the water from our water tank (it's already been filtered twice!) and the jug on the right is the water from the power plant. Wow - this clear water is even drinkable without flavoring it with Crystal Light! We're realizing that perhaps our low water situation has turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we'll now make the 1.5 mile trip there and carry back our drinking water in jugs.




MSG anyone?

I was helping one of our Palauan friends in her kitchen a few months ago and noticed her dumping large quantities of something similar to salt into the huge pot of soup she was making.

When she set the bag down, I quickly noticed the words "99%+ Monosodium Glutamate" on the bag.

I could not believe that Jason wasn't with me to see this incredible sight! I've never seen anybody intentially adding this substance to their food and didn't even know it could be easily purchased.

Sure enough, while we were in Koror last time, I found that it can be bought by the pound for a mere $1.49. Who knew??



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Critters

For some time now I've been wanting to post pictures of some of the different animals, bugs & sea life we encounter on a daily basis here. Our connection today has allowed me to post quite a few pictures. So here you are.

These monitor lizards are all over the island - the range anywhere from 10 inches to over 4 feet and climb trees really well. We spend a lot of time watching them stalk bugs and other food.