Similar to Nan Madol in Pohnpei, Kosrae has a couple different ruins sites. The particular site we investigated was the Menke ruins site. Menke is within short walking distance of Alyssa’s house, and a couple of the boys in her family were willing to take us. Liz and I stayed the night Friday, and we set off with our 3 teenage guides into the jungle Saturday morning.
Every once in a while, we’d offer a (thinly disguised) water break to the guys. They would oblige, for our sake more than theirs. This gave way to some insightful discussion..
Funny, look at us. This is so representative of American culture. We’ve loaded up a backpack with sunblock, bug spray, bandanas, cameras, water, and snacks. Meanwhile our counterparts are hiking barefoot with one thing: a machete. We’ve done everything to “gear up” to spend the day enjoying nature.
That isn’t to say that they the things we’d packed were trivial, or that they were critical. It was just kind of an interesting observation.
Nan Madol had a lot to look at in one central area. Menke, in contrast, was much more spread out. The hike took only a couple of hours, and provided some much needed-exercise. On our way back, Alyssa’s brother, Robert, decided to go ahead of the group. The plan was for him to cut down bananas, so I figured that’s where he was headed.
[Background info: Alyssa had gone on this hike before with a couple of American scientists. At a certain point, they noticed some wild pig tracks and had to change their route.]
Throughout our hike, we’d been joking about stumbling upon wild pigs. The order of the line was Robert somewhere far ahead, Jacob, me, Liz, Alyssa, and then Jones. At some point behind me I hear Alyssa gasp, and notice that her and Liz have both frozen in their tracks. They heard some rustling in the leaves, and then snorting. One of them let out a surprised scream as Jacob jumped out from the brush. I hadn’t been the intended target, so I got a good laugh out of it along with the boys.