|Andy went diving with the giant mantas this week!|
Happy New Year to everyone out there! New Year’s here is a bit different than at home in as much as there are fewer people and fewer places to go and things to do. The hotels and restaurants here in town each had something going on, but we opted to make it an early night and spend it on the boat. As Andy and I sat on the front of the boat (Jake only made it to 11:15, then he was pooped), we watched people shooting off flares as opposed to fireworks. It was pretty, but we held our breaths as each one was fired off and the wind would blow it over Savannah. “Please don’t fall on us, Please don’t fall on us,” we chanted. We were lucky enough not to catch on fire but we worried even more as we saw one being carried right over top of the fuel depot behind our boat. Lucky for the small town of Colonia, it passed on by. We were energized by that time and ended up staying up way too late calling people in the US (it was morning time there). We paid for it when Jake jumped in our bed at 7:30 with his usual “Get up! Get up!”
|Yapese fireworks...aka Flares|
A few mimosas later and we were all in the spirit of things. We had been invited back over to our friend’s house for a New Year’s barbque so I spent the day making deviled eggs and crab cakes. We were trying to think of something American to take over and with the limited selection of food here, we opted for the deviled eggs again. They were a hit in Lamotrek, so why not? Andy went over to see what time we should arrive and they gave him two mangrove crabs. So he cooked those up and I made them into crab cakes (my favorite food of all time). Both items turned out to be a first for everyone and they loved it. I’m always worried about taking food over to people’s houses because while I think I can cook, you never know what other people’s taste buds are like.
Just like last time, we had a great time with Vincent and Agatha. Jake got to play with Trevor again and it seems like we’re all old friends now. It’s really easy to talk to these guys. They’re very open and eager to share with us how their culture works (and their turtle), yet they’re still interested in us as well. I got to ask some questions that sometimes I’m not always sure I should ask. I’m also able to be myself and wear my little filter on my mouth, as opposed to that big fat one I’ve grown accustomed to putting on. I learned some little things like the outer islanders are the only ones allowed to wear lava lavas here in Yap. The main island Yapese women wear a special Yap skirt (not sure about this yet) and they are the only ones allowed to wear that. The part I never did figure out is who are all these people walking around in western clothes? Can both types of people wear those? I also learned that they talk differently to their uncles, aunts and cousins than they do to their friends and immediate family. It’s much more formal. And if it’s the wife’s family, then the husband is expected to use the same tone and words as she does with her family as a sign of respect.
|Random child running around, but he was cute. |
He got dirtier and dirtier as the day went on, covered in
sand, soda and whatever that blue stripe is on his
head. Agatha said he looked like something
I was trying to describe the atmosphere to my mother and the best way I could describe it is like being out at my granny’s house when I was little or at my Aunt Jean’s house with her 10 kids and their 100 kids (and some of their kids). Everyone is family but no one really knows who belongs to who. But it’s all very loving and welcoming and feels like home.
|Jake, sanding his sword he and his daddy carved.|
Getting ready to take it to play with Trevor.
So today, Jake is having a little play date over with Trevor since it’s his last day off of school (Trevor’s). I can see them from the boat running around with their wooden swords and stopping to chat every once in a while. It’s really nice to have someone for Jake to play with that enjoys his company and likes similar things… I know I say that every time we find a friend, but it really is important to me for him to have things to do besides hang out with us all day.
I’ll do a little year in review post later, but wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year and may this year be better than ever! Enjoy a few of Andy's photos from his dive this week...