This Saturday the Palau and Chuk PCTs leave Pohnpei for PST2. Saturday morning a couple of us met up and went to "The Doldrums" for swimming. Not much as far as beaches go, but it's a popular place with the PCTs regardless. The main attraction is an old barge that seems to have been there forever. The barge protects the area from the current, and also provides us with a nice place from which to jump in. The drop is about 4 meters- plenty of height to get the adrenaline going.
After we got back to The Village, I had the awesome opportunity to Facetime (video chat) some friends and family. Usually the time difference makes phone calls/video chats difficult, but I was already up late and wanted to take advantage of the free wifi. It was my first time "calling" home and it felt great to see everyone and hear their voices.
Sunday morning we all had brunch, and waved a tearful goodbye to hot showers, private beaches, and wifi as we drove off in our taxi back to our host families.
-During our time at Model School, we would have debriefing meetings every day with all of the Trainees and our co-teachers. One day I walked in and sat down. My eyes idly wandered around the room as I waited for the session to begin. Across the room, I spy Dionopolous (sp?), Melody's co-teacher, wearing a GRESHAM, OREGON t-shirt. Gresham. Oregon. What!? I immediately approach him, failing to contain my excitement. "Haveyoubeentogreshambeforeordoyouhavefamilythere?!!" He tells me that a lot of people from his village on Pohnpei have moved to Gresham. "OhmygoshthatsawesomeIworkedthereacoupleofsummersatcampcollins!!!" He was friendly, but I was obviously more excited about the shirt than him.
-One night I accompanied my host parents to a local sakau bar. One of the men sitting near my host dad wore a shirt with OREGON printed across the front. He made polite conversation, asking about my job as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Being a family friend, and not a co-teacher at Model School, I felt a little bit more shy about bringing Oregon up. Eventually he asked, "What is your state?" "Oregon, actually" as I pointed to his shirt. His eyes lit up, "Go Ducks!" My face was instantly covered with a giant grin.
-Saturday night when we were on our way to Flamingo, our taxi driver asked if we were Peace Corps. (Sidenote: Peace Corps is very often used as a title. For example, "Heather is a Peace Corps"/ "Meet my Peace Corps Heather"/ etc.) On such a small island, our presence is obvious. Where there are more than 3 young Americans gathered in one place, it's a pretty safe guess that they're somehow involved with Peace Corps.
I happened to be sitting shotgun, and told him about going to Kosrae and teaching English. "Where are you all from?"
"Well, I'm from Oregon, but-"
He quickly interrupted me,"Oh! Oregon!!"
Since most people are familiar, I asked if he had any family in Oregon.
"No family, but I went to University of Oregon for a term"
"YOU'RE KIDDING ME."
"Yes, in 1999. I party too much though, so then I went to Lane."
At this point he knows way too much for it to be a joke, and I get giddy with Oregon pride. "You seriously lived in Eugene, this isn't real."
I think he was confused by my reaction, but kept going, "Eugene is a nice place, I enjoyed it very much. I left before graduating to come here and study multimedia."
Before long, we arrive at our destination.
"It was so nice chatting!" I say, "I'm Heather."
He smiles, sticks out his hand, "Eugene. I'm Eugene from Eugene."
PS- As I was typing this up, my Nohno came in with a pint of Haagen dazs ice cream. Best ever.
PPS- The Goonies is on tv right now. It doesn't get any better than this.