Friday, July 31, 2015

07.31.15 Visiting Yacht

There is a yacht in the lagoon that is taller than the land anywhere near it. Yesterday morning this yacht appeared and anchored just off Tomil and O'Keefe Island. It has all the bells and whistles - helicopter, launch, jet skis. You name it. It is beautiful and rumor has it it belongs to a Russian billionaire. Do not know for sure. But about ten young men and women took the launch from the yacht into Colonia and were at the Mnuw and O'Keefe's Bar and Grill. The helicopter was flying yesterday and today, it must be a nice aerial view of Yap. And of course jet skis and power boats were out as well. It dramatically changes the view of the lagoon and ocean.
The FSM police boat is tied up at the retaining wall just outside of my apartment and a US Coast Guard ship was at the dock yesterday morning. What a busy little place we have here. And next week some Chinese doctors will  be in town. Hard to contain the excitiement!

A little dragonfly. There are quite a few at our park. I have a lot in my gardens at home, so it was really nice to watch them with the same behavior as at home - landing on the top of old stems or branches.


07.31.15 A blue moon swim

What a lovely evening. Shorty and I went for a swim just after sunset. The moon was rising just over the horizon and there was a lot of color in the sky from the setting sun. The water was warm and calm and it was just lovely. Shorty pretty much sat on the side and watched, but I thoroughly enjoyed the water. There was even a bit of a chill as I came out - the water was that warm tonight. The moon did not look blue from here although some reports suggest that because of the particles in the air from the wildfires in California that they might actually see a moon with a blue tint.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

07.29.15 Wednesday Books arrive

We are having a very busy week.

The very good news is that books from the USA have arrived for the men to read.. A very heartfelt thank you to Mrs. Paula Gibson who sent a nice collection. I walked them over to the dock just before a long and heavy monsoon type rain started. The men were very appreciative. Heidi also dropped off some food for them to the apartment and my little friend Alleric helped carry everything in the early evening. The police officer at the post said - why do you carry heavy packages? Why don't you drive? Yes, indeed. Just ask the Peace Corps why they forbid us from driving and they will say it is a national security issue. So I walk. It is good exercise.

Shorty is doing well, a couple nights of stomach upset - he eats anything he can find outside. So I suspect he eats some bad things as well. He passed up supper twice - not like him at all - and went straight to bed. He still does not like the kennel, but did reach in to grab on of his toys. Will give it time.

Everything is going well. Back to the office for a couple of last minute things to do tonight.

No other news on the technicality of the refugees. We all just wait.

Monday, July 27, 2015

07.27.15 Start of a busy week

The Yap Games concluded on Sunday. That was a fun event for both the kids and participating adults and the audience. It was entertaining and I am glad to see the kids work hard to achieve success.

There is a lot of work to be done and a very helpful assistant in medical records, Julie Ann, is helping me get everything done. She can have records pulled so fast for me that there will be no excuse to not finish this current project. We are reviewing about 1000 records of the hemoglobin levels of the pregnant women and the infants. Almost 200 more to go!

I am not certain if Shorty will come  home with me, but I feel a lot better making plans for him. So I bought him a crate, which he does not like. He would ignore it completely except I put his food in there. He has actually gotten his two front paws inside and extended his neck as far as it goes to eat. But there is sign right now that he will get inside. Lots of training ahead for both of us!

This was taken yesterday during one of our walks.

Shorty venturing into his kennel. Even though he sleeps under cars, he is very reluctant to get inside. He grabbed his favorite toy from the very front of the kennel.  I slowly move his feeding bowl inside with each feeding but he is a smart dog. He is taking this slow! He is wearing a lovely nunu. He kept it on for a few hours.


07.27.15 Update health care green boat men

Yesterday the men told me that since IOM did not pay the medical bill, health care would not be provided. That was misinformation given to the men by someone, I am not sure by whom, but that is immaterial. There are always a lot of rumors and the best thing is to confirm them first.

The Director of the Department of Health Services confirmed today that health care would be provided to the men. They will continue to have access to  all services provided by the hospital.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

07.24.15 Julie's farewll

Julie Yurow is the Chief of Public Health and opted to resign at the end of this  month. She said that she has a lot of family obligations and other business obligations. We had a surprise party for her - a potluck  lunch of some really good food. I will miss her. She is very kind to me and is very  helpful. Her granddaughter is nicked named "AA" and is a doll. She takes care of her a lot and most likely was a big part of her decision to step down from the post.

Here are some pictures of the party. It was a touching event, with a lot of very nice comments made about Julie and her leadership. She also had a nice talk that she prepared. It is a tough job being the Chief of the PH division.


Deborah and Director Martina having fun in front of the camera.

Marcia, Angie, Deborah.

A table full of very delicious food.

Paula (Mimi) puts a nu-nu on Julie's head.

Julie and Naty - program coordinator of Family Planning.

Aileen, coordinator of NCD.

Martina now known as "Flash" program coordinator of Immunization. All coordinators said a few words. Tears were not allowed, but many had them in their eyes anyway.

Janet, who runs the special children needs program.

Angie, works with the NCD program.

Ivan, coordinator of TB/Leprosy program.

Jonathan is the Behavioral Health and Wellbeing coordinator.

Paula is the STI coordinator.

Doreen, a lovely nurse.

Litia is a PH nurse who came ot Yap from Fiji. She is working on bringning the PH nurses into the community.


Director Martina says a few words.

We have reached that age where we all need glasses to read our notes! Julie gave a lovely talk.  I did record it. It was heartfelt and several staff had tears in their eyes.

Denita, program coordinator for MCH. A good soul with good advice and she has helped me navigate the system her. Denita, Naty and Janet are my "senior" advisors when I  need help.

No knife to cut the cake, no problem, use the handle  of a spoon.


Marcia and Naty.

And no, Shorty wasn't there. I gave him a big lunch and sent him on his way so he didn't bother anyone. He later got two chicken bones.

07.26.15 Update on Green Boat Men

They now have food for one week. IOM has exceeded its budget (by third hand report) and now the Migration Office is feeding the men, in addition to private donations. Their spirits are much better today than they were last week. Samuel sang songs for us today - he has an excellent voice and we all said a prayer. At  Mass yesterday evening Fathre John spoke of the men and being hungry so I hope that the local people also contribute. It is a difficult situation all around. The National government is responsible for calling the shots on this and many of us have the impression that they are far removed from the day to day activities here. Regardless of our faith or beliefs, let us all say a prayer that the outcome for the men with be one of safety and security. And that it will be soon.
We still need some action from some Human Rights organizations here. We cannot keep men on the island and not have food or health care provided to them. Was told this morning that a man cannot be taken to the outpatient department because IOM has not payed the bill. While I personally do believe the part about the bild not being pais, I do not believe that the hospital would refuse care. So I will discuss this with the Director tomorrow. She is a kind and generous woman and I don't believe she would refuse care to anyone. So we need to be patient while I check on that one tomorrow morning.
We also  have had no word from the UN HRC - refugee agency.
There must be someone out there in the human rights field that can help the men. Father John has called the US Embassy - this is out of their jurisdiction. But we need someone with some clout who can help make a difference on the bigger picture. My friends and I will continue to do what we can on the local level. Doctors without Borders help refugees, maybe they can help here? Can ask. Worse outcome is that they tell me no.

Friday, July 24, 2015

07.24.15 Yap Games continue

These are really fun and I wish I had more time to attend.
Here are a couplemore videos.

Basketball. Outer Islands vs. Weloy.


Today was the canoe races men and women. I didn't have enough time to be on a team. But "paddling" is really fun and good exercise. Something I really enjoyed. We did not take pictures on this walk as this was a "purse free" stroll around the lagoon. I have published many pictures of the outrigger canoes in November, same boats. No sail boats this time, only paddling. 

It was incredibly hot and humid today. We walked, then stopped in a shady spot to watch, then walked some more just to keep moving. We could hear the announcements all around the lagoon, so we didn't miss anything. We finished our walk as they finished the races. Then it poured down rain.

For those of you who do enjoy canine updates, Shorty has his own BlogSpot called "Is that your dog?" and the web address is  For those of you who are not dog fans,  you may find it a welcome relief to not see so many dog pictures! Be prepared for more cute baby pictures, though, those little ones are hard for me to resist.

07.24.15 Yap Games videos

Here are a few clips of the sporting events. There is a fantastic sports complex in Gagil with everything you could want for sports. In addition to basketball and volleyball and baseball, they also have tennis courts. Something frojust about everyone. There is talk of building an Olympic size swimming pool for the Micronesian games which will  be held here in a couple of years.

Men's volleyball. Outer Islands in white. Gagil in red. Gagil won both games.

Notice that all of the players for Gagil have shoes. Only one man playing for OI has shoes.

Girls basketball. OI (white) vs Weloy (blue). OI won

Track 100 meter. Gagil wins.


07.24.15 Yap Games

This week and next is Yap Games, sporting events frothe high school aged kids  and adults. It is competitive with each municipality and the outer islands sponsoring teams in track and field, soccer, volleyball, basketball and baseball. It is really fun to watch - the kids  are full of enthusiasm and are really good sports. Take a careful look at some of the pictures. Do you think the kids at home would be happy?

Men's volleyball. Gagil (red) vs. Outer Islands (white)

Our health team.

Girls basketball. Weloy - my Muni.

Navy Seabeeshelping out for track nad field events.

He has popcorn. They have a microwave in the store selling food. Very few have a microwave. I don't either.

Did you notice? Only one player on the OI volleyball team had shoes. And some of the track runners don't have shoes  and this one has no starting block. And there were no complaints. An official tried to give him some encouragement and he said no problem, he knew  how to start without a block. Good for him. And he did run like the wind.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

07.21.15 Update green boat men

Very little to report. IOM did deliver some food. (Operative word on "some".) More food delivered by a couple of good Samaritans. Also dropped off some food today, too.  Was told third hand that IOM "Overspent" their budget, hence the food shortage. This situation is not improving as it should.
No word from UNHRC.
Nothing else to add except the men are OK. Don't really like how this is all handled. Public needs to be more vocal. One woman with a social conscience has, after all of this time, finally become engaged and contacted the Lt. Governor. The local population needs to become more involved but many are afraid if the men are heped more refugees will come to Yap. Am not convinced that is a realistic argument not to help these men. On the other hand, the outer islands are sparsely populated.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

07.19.15 Yap Sports

Yap Sports competition strted Friday evening. I went to deliver the mobile van, but did not stay for opening ceremonies or the first games. I was supposed to be at the medical site for  the water sports today, but didn't see anyone anywhere and no competitions. Shorty and I walked there twice then left. I did, however, get a lot of work done on my data analysis. Most likely will go to the games tomorrow night after work. It is about a 20 minute drive from the hospital, so too far to walk, that means I am there for the duration if I go with  the hospital van.

Shorty slept most of the day, hence I was free to work undisturbed. He would get up if he heard me rattle something that he thought might be edible, and when it wasn't he would go back to sleep.

He also wore a leash - without trying to eat it. And he walked a while with it, although he kept trying to walk faster and faster and leave me behind. I think he made a lot of progress. We are getting ready for Boston!


Saturday, July 18, 2015

07.18.15 Back to square one? Green boat men

Went to visit them today. No word from UNHRC. No visit from IOM as promised for Friday and they are down to some rice and a little flour.
Have contacted a representative from IOM to get them food and delivered a box of food to them today.
If you can send books for them as requested last week.

Friday, July 17, 2015

07.18.15 Writing from my seaside villa

 OK, my lagoon facing apartment. But a girl can dream!

More reports on this week. Had been asked if I was interested in teaching at Yap Catholic this year - but sadly cannot do the Fall session. They have an absolutely beautiful campus an d the new chapel is almost completed. Both the campus were designed by Don Evans, who is an American but has been in Yap since the early 1970's. He owns the O'Keefe Waterfront Inn.

Tuesday was also cute baby day, so I took the opportunity to snap a couple of pictures of  some of these little ones.

He said he was bored. Best excuse ever.

Sitting on the bow of the Mnuw.


Camera shy.

If she isn't as cute as a button I don't know whois.

Another little sweetheart.

Peeking from the door.

It is not Halloween. Everyone has a cold.

One more beautiful chuld.

Yap Catholic High School campus.

Shorty and his best friend Buddy.