51. Trip to Pohnpei

pohnpei-motel51.  Trip to Pohnpei

Our second try to Truk took us island-hopping westward across the Pacific.  We touched down at Johnston and Kwajalein military base islands; and at Majuro in the Marshall Islands.

Our first stop was Pohnpei, a beautiful high island where we stayed in a thatched roof hut motel high on a hill with a fantastic view over the lagoon.  Each motel unit was a wood floor with 1/2 walls, no windows, and thatched roof.

To shower, one stepped from the wood floor of the hut outside unto stones cemented in the ground.  At the top of a pipe from the ground was a shower head with a string attached.  Pulling the string produced a shower of cold water.  Remember, this is the tropics, and cold water was refreshing.

We met with a local minister supported by the Women’s Mission Board in Honolulu, so we had something to report to the Woman’s Board.

wall-hanging-pohnapeOne of the other guests had a car, and asked if Betty would like to ride to the Kapingamarangi village craft shop to look for a souvenir.  Kapingamarangi is an small isolated atoll in the tropic zone, and the villagers who had migrated to Pohnpeii had set up a craft shop to help make their living.

Betty took the offer, and was disappointed that a UN delegation had just about wiped out the store of anything nice.  A little girl saw Betty’s disappointment and disappeared, to return shortly with a large round rosette of native materials and shells that her grandma had just finished.  “You like?”  The rosette now adorns our living room wall, and is a treasure.

One day we took a walk up a steep road to have lunch at a local restaurant.  The special that day was coconut crab; named because it is big enough to climb palm trees and feed on coconuts.  Feeling adventurous, Betty ordered one.  It was served on a huge turkey-sized platter.  The crab shell was hard, and Betty murmured, “How do you get in this thing?”

The waitress overheard, and came to the rescue.  After a “May I help you,” the waitress grabbed a butter knife by the blade and attacked the crab vigorously with the handle, cracking the shell.  Betty tore it apart, and the meat was delicious.

Next, come with us on a wild trip to one of the wonders of the ancient world!