Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last post from Palau

So today is the last day or work, last day here in Palau, fin, finish.

Last night was a very interesting story.

Firstly it was pouring and I volunteered to go to the burger truck and pick us up dinner while Brandon did laundry and mi packed. Deanna calls us and tells us we can get into this party at a hotel. We of course decided to see what this was all about. Once we get there we find that they turned the room in the hotel into a private club, filled with lights, fog, food, drinks....ALL FREE!!!!. gah, -cheapness....overload.....shutting down.....

When we walked in all the Koreans stopped and looked at us. It was a perfect awkward turtle moment. They came over to great us, and once again: MI SAVES THE DAY! She explains everything in Korean to them and they smile shake our hands and enthusiastically invite us to join them. Some guy put on a dance show while we gorged away at the food and drinks. We danced and it was just so unreal. A night like that would have costed hundreds of dollars anywhere else but we were lucky enough to get it for free.

Deanna gave us all goodbye gifts which was very very nice of her. I got a turtle bracelet. Its so nice.

I went home and PASSED out.

Today they are throwing a lunch here in at the MOE for Yixin and I. should be fun.

What an amazing summer. The experiences and people I met were unlike any I have ever had before. I will remember this summer for a long time.

I feel like a changed person, in a good way. I see things slightly different now and I feel ready to get back and face the challenges of Senior year.

See everyone back in the states!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

final week

You know how Palau says goodbye?

A week filled with rain and wind. Wind so strong you can't go out on a boat to the rock islands...:'(.

Ah well, back to my final report.

T-minus 3 days?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Last Weekend!

So this weekend was the last...

Here was the rundown:

Friday was the end of the education conference. My last session was given by an Israeli woman living in Palau who is trying to stop shark fining in the area. They explained that they were going to give presentation in the schools to spread out knowledge of shark's importance in the local ecosystem...There was a guy in a shark suit...

Then the closing ceremony was filled with Palauan dances, singing and food! Was awesome!

Shark Suit:

Palauan Dancing!:

Then Friday night we decided to throw our own CMU party in the apartment. Lots of games, sho chu, and taro wine roulette...(ask me about it when I get back). at the time of 12am we decided to go swimming at long island. It was so much fun swimming in the warm waters of Palau in the middle of the night.

Saturday was going to be our 2nd to last trip to Baebeldob (the last being to the airport). We first visited this Japanese monument that was built pre-WWII. However, this one is not taken care of. So there is moss and vines growing all over it. It was a very creepy, but cool, site to see. Sorta felt like aliens placed it there as a landing beacon...haha.

We then traveled more up north to Ngarmelagui (NAR-ME-LA-GOO-EEE). There we found an old plane crash site and an abandoned pineapple factory. Random aye? Apperntly the pineapple factory was started by the Japanese to make canned pineapple. Anyway more rusted gears and furnaces taken over by jungle.

We then headed up north to the most norther tip of the island, Ngaard (nard). We left the paved road and arrived on the lovely dirt roads of Palau. We saw these stone monoliths which have no explanation, which is what makes them so cool. they are sorta like Easter Island, no one knows why they are there, but they mean something to the ancient cultures. Then we headed even more up north to a destroyed Japanese Lighthouse. coolest thing EVER. It was all collapsed and jungly and had the most beautiful view of...well...nothing but Pacific Ocean.

Japanese Monument:


Pineapple Factory:

Stone Monoliths:

Look, I could touch them...

Pretty view!:



Eating Local Sashimi

Thus ended our lovely Saturday. We bought some bootlegs and headed home to relax.

On Sunday I still had my certificate from the open water swim that I won. Brandon and Kate and Deanna went to the Hair Salon at PPR (best resort of the island). And Mi and I frolicked on the beach/pool/hot tub. It was then time for....BRUNCH. By far the best brunch of my LIFE. All you can eat Sashimi, fish, eggs, soup, desert (which was all delicious)...ANNNDDDD All you can drink Mamosa...for only 25 dollars. Yes please.

After a looong brunch I fell asleep on a hammock and then Mi and I played in they water some more and then headed home to relax.


After a long meal


Was an awesome weekend again, and I think its now: 5 days till I start the voyage home...I am not looking forward to it, but it will be nice to head home. More on this later.

Have a nice week!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Education Conference, small steps

Yes, there was a total solar eclipse here.
Yes, I missed it.

So this week is the education conference. We are currently half way through it.

The opening ceremony was a lot of fun. As always it started off with lots of food. All the teachers, principals, secretaries, and computer people swarmed the coffee and doughnuts and fruit. Then it was time to begin to conference. They started off with the national anthem. and let me tell you, the Palau anthem is how national anthems should be. Pretty, built in harmonies, and matches the country's feel perfectly (its very very long...they have all the time in the world to sing it...haha).

Then there were chants (yes chants) and speeches given by certain chiefs and directors of the MOE. They then gave reports on various areas of the MOE. My favorite part was the school breakdown, and whenever they announced each school all the teachers from the school would stand up and cheer and be like "WE'RE AWESOME! Y'ALL SUCK!" haha. not really. But I bet you that's what they were thinking. Some schools had like 3 teachers...and that was it. For an entire 1-8th grade school. While the main school had about 40 people. They then gave out teacher of the year. She cried, and won 2500 dollars and they decorated her in flowers. I think its a very special thing here to get a reef of flowers cause everyone said "wooooooooow" when she got her flowers.

After some more...reports. opening ceremony was over. I went home to work on my presentation some more.

This morning I woke up at a lovely 6:00am and got my things together.

My presentation was a simple how to use MS word and excel. The room was PACKED. It made me so happy. I made them laugh with my LOVELY American charm and wit...hahaha. Not that much, but they seemed to have fun as I joked about things. Was I saving the world? no, but if you can teach the teachers MS word, they can teach their students, and in the job market here in Palau, knowing how to use Microsoft is the KEY to getting a good paying job.

Saving the world? no, but making small steps.


Its much scarier on an island in the middle of the pacific.

Thank god I packed flashlights. It was so dark and dogs were barking, the wind was howling. But I had my laptop and my flashlight so it was all good.

I am currently planing for my presentation tomorrow at the education conference.

Um, t-minus 9 days?


Sunday, July 19, 2009


So reader's digest version of my weekend:

Saturday => ouch, hangover. Rain rain rain. re-did my resume!! ^_^...zzzz...

Sunday => Scuba with Mi!!!

Blue corner again! Better than first time. Saw a school of barracuda fish!!! F-ton of sharks. Turtles! Napoleon Wrasses! Tuna that was so big we thought was a shark at first...And more schools of tuna.

New-Drop off. Coral, coral, coral, sharks, coral, fish school, coral, sharks, I <3 scuba.

Snorkeling at Clam City. => Tried diving without gear, got to 10m. Dangerous but if you breath out on the way up you're lungs won't over expand.

Got back home. Went souvenir shopping. Haggled with local business, got great deals! jooooooo.

boot leg movies...zzzz....

Work week, sun, tan.


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Coolest run ever

So yesterday after a relatively uneventful day at work I went for my usual run to Malakal Hill. I was running on the bridge that goes right by long island park and was looking out at the water. Then I heard a loud splash in the water, and saw a fin in the water. I was certain it was a shark and went to have a closer look. Then what I saw took my breath away. In the water were 4 sting rays circling right along the rocky shore. The fin was actually the tip of the wing of one. Three of them were about 3 feet across, brown with white spots. The last one was HUGE, maybe about 1.5 meters across and was white with brown spots. They looked like were flying in the water, it was the coolest thing ever. I stopped my run and just stared at them for 5 minutes. I saw that they were circling around and I decided to SPRINT back to my apartment and get my camera, because rays are generally rare to see. Especially a group of 4. I sprinted back and forth and return to the same spot and was amazed to see that they were still circling in the water.

I took a few pictures and then they turned away from the shore and glided out to the water. I then ran to the point at long island park. And to my surprise they gave me one last show as the glided by in deeper water. It was like they were saying goodbye (probably not, but it felt like it).

So yesterday was kinda a down day at work, the skies were cloudy and was a pretty lame day. But it just goes to show how unexpectedly you can see something beautiful that can make your day...(gah, im such a cheese ball)