Wednesday, September 30, 2015

09.30.15 Update on green boat men

Received a note from colleagues in Yap. There have been no changes to the status of the men from the green boat. They are working on their appeal for refugee status. They have food and health care and there are no problems. Some of my friends are visiting them, bringing them movies as well as food and essentials.
Will update this report as new information develops.

Monday, September 28, 2015

09.28.15 writing from my country house

It has  been a week since I arrived back in Boston. I do miss Yap, my friends and colleagues, and my Shorty. I was in Church Saturday and had to laugh. It was not unusual for Shorty and me to arrive late after initially arriving one hour early. That was due to me not keeping track of time but just coming and going. This Saturday, we arrived at Mass one hour early, so I took the dogs for a walk nearby and ended up arriving 15 minutes late. Some things do not change! As the choir here was singing, I was remembering the local choir  in Yap, and how one morning I was standing outside the church listening to the choir, taking in the tropical air, and the flowers, and looking at the mission style church and just feeling that this is the way it should be. That was a very special moment, and as I relived it now, thinking of the blessings given to Shorty and me after Mass, the tears were unavoidable. It was a memorable experience.

Heidi sent me a lovely picture of the kids. I miss them very much and look forward to seeing them as soon as possible. The kids are simply adorable and I love them dearly. Hugs and kisses to all of them!

And Shorty has been spotted by Betsey. She is keeping a good eye out for him. He was at the store near the hospital - a good place for him as Daniel lives right above the shop. As much as we wanted Betsey to take in Shorty, he had other ideas. She said he would not follow her down the road. I miss that dog! He does have a mind of his own I must say, but  love him dearly!

Fionn and Gunnarr have settled in to their home, I am keeping them busy and they appear exhausted as they are sleeping at my feet. They are real cuties, too.

A quote I found at "Life is Good" store says it all for me: Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. My life is far from perfect, but many times it is wonderful with all of the blessings I have had.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

09.24.15 Getting resettled

Finding it hard to unpack - where is everything I packed before I left and do I really need all of those things? Check engine light on the car just before I left and still on now. Three days later it is fixed and passed inspection. Jury duty today - no cases went to trial, 9 were pending, so we just waited for  plea bargaining. Judge was very nice and tried to make us feel that this was a good use of our time. Am good for three years before I get called again.

Fionn and Gunnarr are settling in nicely. They can still do "sit" and Fionn remembers "give me your paw". Gunnarr was never very good at that. After jury duty and car inspection I came home and we stayed outside for a while. It was beautiful - perfect blue sky and temperature. Fionn and Gunnarr ran around the yard chasing each other and who knows what! They seem like they recognize everything and are being pretty good at listening. However, boot camp started today. They are about 5 to 8 pounds overweight, so I will be sure they exercise and eat a little less. They seem not to have much interest in food today, so maybe they were overfed before I picked them up. Both have been weighed and will keep an eye on their progress. They will run faster and harder with a little less package - just like people!

And, yes I caved. They were in the bathroom for a few hours as the location of their sleeping quarters, but I woke up in the middle of the night and the rest is history. They not only joined me, but took over the bed. Tonight is a new night. They are fast asleep on the  kitchen floor. Maybe I will leave them here although the bathroom is cozier and warmer and easier to clean if there is an accident. Tomorrow I will look for a student to petsit during the day when I go back to work. Laura was the sitter last year and they loved her and she them. Maybe we will be lucky enough to find someone like her.

The amount of yard work and house work to do is almost overwhelming. I am trying to stay calm and tackle one thing at a time - not an easy approach. Plan for tomorrow is to go to the postoffice and sort through mail, yard work, unpack some things in the house, and run with the boys. Will keep me busy!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

09.23.15 Back in Boston and off to Maine

It was a long but really uneventful trip back to the USA. What is the one thing I must do? Get my boys Fionnegan and Gunnarr who are staying in Maine. It was a long day, even without jet lag, one major wrong turn - in memory of Yogi Bera - when you see a fork in the road take it. Well I did and it was the wrong one. But found the pups, my how they have grown.

Moose in Maine. Fortunately not a real one. Don't want to run into one on the road.

A very special thank you to Jackie and Larry, godparents of Fionnegan and Gunnarr. It was as hard for them to say goodbye as it was for me to leave them there last year. OK, not really as hard, but close. They did a fantastic job of taking care of my dogs, which allowed me to have this incredible experience with the Peace Corps. Thank you Jackie and Larry. Thank you so very much.

Fionn recognized me first and gave me a ton of puppy kisses. Gunnarr would just smile at me and wanted me to pick him up. Gunnarr gives one kiss at a time. Fionn covers your whole face and more! Fionn was leaning over and licking my face even while Larry was holding him! If you blow on Fionn's right ear he will turn and give one kiss. I tried it on the way home and it still works.

They got into the grove immediately in the car. Gunnarr always sits on the right side in the dog car seat, Fionn always on the floor on the left on a pillow. A few miles into the trip Gunnarr was car sick and threw up. Not unusual. We had a great ride home, Fionn sneaking up in between the front seats to watch with me. Gunnarr kept smiling at me. We stopped a few times so they could walk. As soon as we got in the drive they knew they were home and were really excited. We walked in the back then they ran around the house checking everything out. We will have to go shopping for new dog beds and toys as they apparently wore out everything. I can see how - they have a lot of energy. But they are going to sleep together and tonight I left them in the bathroom. I can hear them calling but I think this is best. We'll see how long this plan lasts! It is nice to have them back with me.

Gunnarr is sitting up, Fionn is lying down, per usual.

Fionnegan. He is such a sweet dog.

Gunnarr. Poor little one gets car sick often. Did not bring him any meds but will keep that in mind for our future road trips. He is really sweet, too. Such good dogs.

Look - there is room for Shorty in the middle! That will happen some day! I think the three of them will get along just fine.


09.2015 A week of farewells and ........................

...................... visits to favorite places.

When I returned from PNG I  had a week planned to finish up a few outstanding projects - plus pack. As it turned out there was very little time to finish the work and it travels with me to complete.

We had a great week and it turns out Shorty is somewhat of a celebrity in Colonia. One day we were walking in town and I said hello to a man I had met a few times. He said do you remember me and I said yes. Then he said - I'm not talking to you I am asking Shorty! Apparently he fed Shorty while I was in PNG. One evening Shorty and I were to meet a friend Betsy for dinner at the Marina, but she could not make it, so Shorty and I  went alone. I like the restaurant - they have good food, prices are just a little high, but they allow Shorty to come inside or I can take a table outside. The waitress greeted Shorty - she remembered his name but not mine!

We visited a few places where we could sip ice tea and water. I especially like Goma Bar - part of the Marina - have my favorite seat in the corner right by the lagoon. The other favorite is the Waterfront Inn, where we have a drink on Saturday nights and watch the stars and the sea.

Had a wonderful dinner with Heidi and Amos and the kids. I am going to miss them terribly. I love the kids and Heidi. They made the year in Yap go fast. Also had a very special lunch with Agnes, who made chicken and pumpkin and brought a picnic basket to the apartment. Dinner with Jennifer of Oceania Hotel was also very special. She is part owner of this lovely hotel (formerly The Pathways) and her cook is excellent. Once the restaurant is open I suspect she will always be very busy. The place also has a great view of the lagoon and the private rooms look like local village houses. And she now has a white puppy named Sid to keep her company. I will also miss her and wish we had more time to become friends. The new PCRV also met with me for drinks and dinner at Trader's Ridge (now called Yap Divers Resort). So a lot of eating before I left. And I will always remember that very special dinner made by the men from the green boat. People are supposed to keep me posted of their progress. We raised a bit of money that will be used for food as well as essential items. Betsy, a PCRV working with the Department of Education, was particulary kind. She kept me company in the evening as I waited for a 1 AM pick-up by Alex (Seabee) to go to the airport for a 3:30 flight. My question to United - really? The flights have to be at 3:30 AM? Really????

It was a great year and I do look forward to my continued work with the hospital and PH in Yap. And I will return - Shorty did not make the trip back home with me. So I will have to return!

Here are a few pictures of friends and the scenery.

Honora and Shorty. Tommy, Reina, and Honara were given a bag of treats for Shorty to feed him after I leave.

The Collins family.

Sipping a Coke at the Waterfront Inn with a view of the Mnuw.

Shorty likes it there at the Waterfront, too. Ever since we threw him in the pool he has been very careful around water. Did I mention that? He was filthy one day - caked with mud and he stunk. He had followed the drainage pipe by the community center into the lagoon where I do believe he almost got stuck. He refused to allow me to wash him with bottles of water, he refused to wash in the lagoon, so as a last resort he was thrown into a pool. He did not enjoy that, shall we say.

Entrance to O'Keefe Waterfront Inn, a really lovely place.

 New dock being built.

Pictures around Colonia.

Pictures from the dinner with the men from the green boat. Their application to be classified as refugees was denied by the UN. They have one month to file an appeal. Are there any good lawyers out there that can help them? How about just one good lawyer?


The meal was delicious. Heidi made two cakes, the rest of the food was prepared by the men.

The lagoon and park behind the hospital. Our favorite place for Shorty and me to visit.

Swim and napping - pastimes at the park!

Shorty loves playing in puddles.

Pictures taken from my favorite corner at Goma Bar facing the Marina and lagoon.

Aleric walking on the stone path with me.

My apartment is the upstairs corner unit.

Evita and Shorty having fun.

Jennifer and Sid from Oceana Hotel. We all need a puppy to keep us company. And love them we do!

Completion of the stairs at the hospital. US Navy Seabees.

Shorty in my office. He is waiting for breakfast.

I mentioned Shorty is a celebrity.

Aleric, Evita, Shorty.

The library getting a makeover by the Seabees.

Shorty at the Oceana Hotel.


Now it is time to say goodbye!