January 20, 2018
This is our last day on the incredibly beautiful island of Pohnpei. We had big plans for snorkeling. Unfortunately we awoke to pouring tropical rain that continued throughout the day. Although the temperature was still in the 80’s, runoff from the mountains made it undesirable to go in the water. The guy in the photo below was kept busy cleaning and bailing out his boat.
We hired a taxi and ended up with a wonderfully informative driver, Paul Sandoval. Paul is the son of one of the chiefs, in the Kingdom of Kitti. Mysteries were cleared up: for instance the city of Kolonia is neutral ground, with a Mayor even though it’s located in the Kingdom of Net. We had been wondering how Net ended up with the economic boon of the only island city, and the international airport. Also we found out the citizens must stay in the Kingdom in which they are born, except they can and do move to Kolonia. Paul is one of 8 children, but wouldn’t be in line to be chief, because lineage follows the Matriarch. I must say that the people of Pohnpei are very friendly, they introduce themselves and work hard to make guests feel comfortable and welcome.
We had a laugh one day at the bar about going to the US Embassy should we misplace our Passports in Pohnpei. We never dreamed that there actually is a US Embassy on such a small, far flung island, but Paul drove us past the gates. We had a quick drive by of the Nihco Marine Park, just in case we ever get back to snorkel.
This has been a long day, with weather limiting our ability to explore. We spent more time than usual in our neighboring bar, eating and drinking, whiling away the time until our 2 am flight out to Port Moresby, New Guinea, a 3 hour 20 minute flight. We will basically be flying all night to reach Cairns, Australia.