The other night my nohno and pahpa came back from drinking sakau around 7pm. I couldn't completely understand what was being said (since they were talking in Pohnpeian) but my pahpa kept repeating the phrase "Kitti- Man's best friend"... "Kitti- Man's best friend" to my nohno. My nohno crosses the room and approaches me, "Heather, I have 2 plates of food. This plate is fried chicken if you want. This plate.. I don't think you can eat."
Confusion covered my face, but I didn't want to eat anything that I wasn't supposed to, "Oh.. okay?"
She sensed my confusion and decided to elaborate, "It's dog."
"Nope." I quickly agreed, and that was that.
In retrospect, I could have utilized my super sharp inference skills, and guessed that Kitti meant "dog" in Pohnpeian, but well... shoulda coulda woulda.
Reprise: The following night I come home to meat on the table. Taking the knowledge from the night before, and knowing not to assume, I leaned outside and consulted my nohno. "The meat on the table... it's chicken right?" She laughed, "Yes, yes." Here on out, I'll probably be asking... just in case.
Stray animals are a sad but common sight here in Pohnpei. It's typical of Pohnpeians to hit dogs away with sticks or umbrellas if they get too close. At night you can hear them fighting, and they wander aimlessly around town, knowing better than to get in the way of the cars. In some parts of town, like Sokeh's Rock where Donna and Vince were staying, the dogs can be pretty mean and you have to shoo them away when they approach you. I don't know how all the dogs got on the same page, but if you shout "Shhhh" or "Shy!" at any of the dogs they leave you alone fairly quickly. If that doesn't work, usually bending down and pretending to pick up a rock scares them away. Some dogs are owned, but seen as potential food rather than pets. My family has a dog, and a couple weeks ago I asked my brother what her name is. "That one is Nala. Simba is dead." Haha, ok, good to know.