The past few weeks have been a blur. In one sense, time has been moving incredibly fast, and in another sense, the monotony of my routine has smeared the entire month of April into one big day. Gone are the days when I find each moment a novelty to be marveled at. This isn’t to say that I’m unhappy with this place, but that I think I’ve finally gotten used to it – I feel comfortable calling it my home. Of course, with my departure date counting down from 7 weeks, I could have had better timing.
I still routinely do all of the things that I love doing – spearfishing, hiking (okay, maybe not as much as I would like), and sightseeing, but these activities have all acquired a “been there done that” feel. Despite Pohnpei’s relative size and geographic diversity, there is only so much to see on an island of 130 square miles. With that said, there are many sights I still long to see – including many reef spots, waterfalls, mountains, Nan Madol from the perspective of a kayak, outer atolls, and WWII remnants. Unfortunately, many of these endeavors are not easy to accomplish for a person of my financial and time restrictions, and I have accepted the fact that I may not experience them all. I still have seven weeks though, so don’t give up hope for me yet. I guess I’m just trying to say that I’m almost okay with leaving this place behind and heading towards future ventures.
Although sometimes it feels like the school days drag on and I’m not having as big an impact as I want to have, I feel proud about what I have accomplished with my classes. I don’t have the official statistics for my individual classes, but the majority of the seniors at our high school performed well enough on the COMET (college entrance test) to be guaranteed a spot at one of the two college campuses on island. Since taking the test, they’ve gone on to master some pretty advanced Pre-Calculus applications and in my opinion, could stand their ground in most American math classrooms. We do all of the same problems, except we do it without a graphing calculator to help create our graphs, internet to provide interactive examples, or even enough textbooks to properly study – everything is painstaking and meticulous. Most remarkable is that signs of “senioritis” have barely become evident, inflicting only a small handful of students who never really seemed to care that much in the first place – unavoidable and universal casualties. So, while school is often the source of my frustration, dismay, and time-slowing doldrums, it has also become a source of pride for me during these last few weeks. As graduation nears, nostalgia ensues and I look back over this very long spring semester and realize just how rewarding it has been all along.
This past weekend, Gabrielle, Emily, and I decided to “escape” from the island and visit a local hotel with affordable rates. The Village Hotel boasts some of the most luxurious accommodations in Pohnpei and I decided to include some pictures for your viewing pleasure. At only $60 for the three of us, all future tropical resorts will be compared to this retreat.
|Gabrielle sitting down on one of the inexplicable waterbeds in our bungalow.|
|The beautiful view I woke up to.|
|Nestled in the jungle but easily accessible by well-groomed paths, individual hotel rooms provide the essential tropical getaway feeling|
|Allegedly the largest thatched roof structure in Pohnpei, the restaurant is not only affordable and unique, but delicious as well.|
|A great place for drinks.|
|View from the restaurant. Lenger Island (in the distance to the left) is where I was SCUBA certified.|
|Sokeh's Rock in the distance - the trademark icon of the island.|