Greetings from Pohnpei!
Pohnpei is one of 4 states in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). Kosrae, Chuuk, Yap and Pohnpei are independently-run states, but together form a country (like the US). Unfortunately because of the distance between, we won’t be getting to all 4, but it seems like we got the best one. Here and Kosrae are known for being in the tropical rainforest zone, meaning that they have land with higher elevation than most islands in the pacific, lots of rain, and lush forest to show for it. This week’s card won’t have lots of extra pictures because with all the rain, there simply hasn’t been much opportunity for exploring. But, I’ve gotten all the details on a 6 rainfall hike, a hike to Sokehs Rock (pictured), and a visit to Nan Madol, where there are ruins of the prior civilization.
When I say lots of rain, we’re talking over 300 inches per year. I’d believe you if you told me that’s how much rain fell here yesterday though. It’s a beautiful, warm rain, though. So other than making things a bit messy, it’s not bad to be out and about it.
I’m struck by how friendly Pohnpei is. There is a fair mix of islanders and ex-pats here, and the cultures blend well. In a small gesture that shows it, each person I have asked for directions has stood up, if they were seated, and walked with me to a place that they could adequately describe and show what they meant. It’s a small move, but not unnoticed.
On the second day here, I met their congressman, Ferny (if I keep meeting all the politicians of the FSM, I might have to join the legislature here or something – and I have a new friend there too!). He’s lived here his whole life and works hard for the people. Recently they’ve impeached their governor, so there’s a special election coming up with a bit of to-do about it. Beck, of the legislature, worries most about what he’s drafting related to education standards. The people who are here care, and it shows.
The internet is good here too! Which means that yesterday morning I spent sketching out the route for the next 16 countries, following the return to Fiji on the boat. Sounds simple, but cross-referencing all the different airlines’ sites, each in a different currency and with varying levels of functionality. I’ll be on the yacht still until almost the end of August, with one more stop before Fiji – Nauru, the least-visited country in the world. Then off to SE Asia. But first! Explore Pohnpei, if the rain ever ebbs.