Sunday, February 28, 2016

02.2016 Lunch

We had a great lunch with the men. The green boat itself is almost completely gone - used for firewood. Here are a few pictures of the living quarters as well.


Waving good - bye - not knowing when we will meet again.

The men like Shorty and asked if he could stay with them. Shorty wanders around Colonia a lot, hard to imagine him staying in one place. Sadly, their dog Hope was poisoned and died. Unfortunately the men were witness to his demise.

Last pieces of the "green boat" - the vessel on which the men were sailed to Yap by mistake.


More pictures


Published with permission from the men.
Am still in transit - will upload more pictures as soon as I access a better internet connection.

Picture - refugees

As promised, and uploaded with permission from the men. They are healthy and receive food and other items needed as well as medical care.

Over the course of the week I was granted the opportunity to meet with the men. While they are understandably disappointed in the length of time that they have been stranded in Yap, they are in as good of spirits as one might or could expect. They are managing with what little supplies they have, including making a flash light for emergencies and sewing bags for sale during the Canoe Festival. The money they made was used to buy supplies.

There is still no official word as to the disposition of the men. There are boundless rumors, of course. Some rumors include relocating the men off-island as they are illegally in FSM. It is a very complicated situation, and the UN refugee representatives are back on island to interview again for consideration of refugee status. A long process, indeed.

On my last visit yesterday, they made me roti and samosa. It was good to spend even a little time with them to let them know they are  not forgotten and many people on Yap are trying to make things as humanly comfortable for them as possible while they await their fate.

Please remember them  in your prayers.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

02.21.16 Sunday in Yap

It was a beautiful morning and the trade winds are blowing. Went to Church and saw a lot of people I know from work and  the community. It was especially nice to see Julie, the previous Chief of Public Health and Lucy, who also works at the hospital.

After church we walked down the stone path and met up with Heidi and Honora, so we went and visited with Heidi and Amos, and Tommy, and Reina, and Honora and Theo and Aunt Sis for a while. They ahd a guest - John - from the eclipse fame, who is here to arrange travel to Woleai for the eclipse in March. Tough job.

Then we went to visit the green boat me. They are not allowed visitors anymore, but I was able to see them with the policeman. They are looking well, but a bit thin. They are healthy and being fed, but mobility is severely restricted. They receive medical care when needed and they just received a donation of supplies from people in Guam. (Always thought they should have made it to Guam. More resources.) They seemed to be in reasonably good spirits, considering the situation. Was not able to meet individually or in private. But I am much relieved to report that they are healthy and fed.

I do have a nice picture of all of the men and will post as soon as the internet will allow. It just willnot allow me to upload right now.

02.20.16 Back in Yap

The travels included an overnight stay in Honolulu and we were at a very nice hotel just a block from the ocean. We had a gorgeous view of St. Augustine’s Church and the sea. I just love sea views. Walked around for a while after a breakfast on the balcony and visited the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, which is pink and charming in very sense of the word. It has a magical feeling to it and I have always enjoyed walking in the gardens then inside the foyer and halls. The architecture is detailed with cool breezes on the veranda. A great way to spend a few hours just walking along the shore. Then off to Guam and then to Yap. A long ride indeed!

Well, it is just hard for me to stay away I guess. From the very first moment I arrived in Yap, I knew it would be very special to me, and sure enough, I had the same excited feeling when I arrived this time.  Staying at the lovely Oceania Hotel, with individual traditional houses as the guest rooms. It was really nice to see Jen again and her pup Sid may be pregnant and she is only about 8 months old!

OK, you can probably guess what the first thing I did after getting settled in my room. Yes, that is right, I took my flashlight and went to find Shorty. Went to my old apartment area where Martin and Anthony were working as watchmen and they had seen Shorty a little bit earlier. They both said they feed him. So I walked a little bit along the road and whistled once. There he was – running straight to me – my dear dog Shorty. We had this game we would play – he doesn’t jump on me but we run back and forth – and he did it and his tail was wagging so hard it looked like liftoff! He was a little shy but did eat a cookie from my hand and I could just barely pet him. A little skittish but that is OK for the first encounter in a long time. We walked around the lagoon by the community center and down the road. He likes to lead, but always looks back to see if I am coming. His tail never stopped wagging. So he walked me home all the way up to the house, then ran through the vegetation back down to the road. He is looking a bit too thin, but he really looked happy to see me. Made my day!

Later, in the wee hours of the morning, while I was in the hammock, Shorty was there asking to go for a walk. He had come back on his own and was using his paw like he did before to signal walk time.  And he also gives a little whine. I came out and sat with him. First he moved about 5 feet from me, then in a matter of seconds he came up and sat right next to my feet and put his head on one. The he licked my socks, then looked up at me and gave me a ton of puppy kisses. After he walked around me and sat by my side just like the old days. So I put my arms around him and he held still there with me for a long time. Then we went for a walk! At three AM! He slept all night – or what was left of it – on the landing by my room and spent the whole next day with me. He also was given a good lunch of rice and chicken and fish. He ate that in seconds.
The internet speed is really, really, really slow. So more pictures will be posted after I get back.
Stone path. A favorite place to stroll.
Shorty on guard duty at Oceania. He sat by my room all night. He was rewarded with a breakfast and nice lunch.

Monday, February 15, 2016

02.14.16 Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It's cold outside.....

..... and inside, too!

Happy Valentine's Day.

We had a cold snap here - Arctic freeze and it was -10 degrees F in the morning with a wind chill of -32 degrees F. That is cold. On the bad news side of things, we had no heat in the house as the furnace went out - the oil line froze. But the car did start so not all bad news. Again the next morning the furnace stopped working again. This happens every time when we have bitter cold weather so I have  a space heater to keep us warm until the oil line if thawed. We are only in a bit of a freeze inside when we have no power, so out comes the sleeping bag.

The pups did go outside - the first time was very quick, later in the day when it warmed up to 10 degrees F, they ran and played per usual. They jump into the fluffy snow and stick their faces in the small stacks. But they were out for only a short time then I called them back inside. I was ready for them with a warm towel and warm bowl of water and a treat and a cuddle and they warmed up quickly.

Curled up in their sweaters, blankets and towels to keep warm while I worked from home.

Need to shovel the porch, but the pups like the snow and sit on warmer days watching the birds at the feeders.

Warming up while the furnace is being fixed. Two princes on pillows!


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Shorty's blog

There were a few requests for the address for Shorty's blog. This is a blog narrated by Shorty, my dog in Yap, and he comments on text messages and emails he gets from Fionnegan and Gunnarr, my dogs in Boston. Appropriate for children of all ages!

Is that your dog?

Here is one of my favorite pictures of Shorty as she finds his reflection in a glass door. He rarely strayed from my side. Such a beautiful dog, I do miss him and often wonder if I really should have brought him home with me. He is an island dog, with more freedom than I could ever offer him here. But he would never be more loved if he were here.

02.06.16 Snow

It was a beautiful snow fall - big fluffy flakes falling fast. A bit heavy and a challenge to shovel, it made for a beautiful and peaceful scene. By the time I came home from work, we had 8 inches and it was still falling hard. A tree branch broke and came crashing down in my driveway - scaring the neighbor and most likely scaring my dogs, too. She came running over as she thought maybe I was in the car, but fortunately both the car and me were gone very early in the morning. However, the tree had one mode chance and another branch fell, this time striking the driver's side of the car but only breaking the mirror attachment to the car. Tree 1: Car 1. But I did have to saw the branches and carry them over the hill. Most of them anyway, some were so heavy that I could barely drag them 100 feet. Once the heavy snow melts from the boughs, or if I cut the branches into smaller pieces, I'll dispose of them properly.

I do love the snow. Just after a storm it is so peaceful and quiet - the only sound I usually hear is the shovel against the pavement. Then the next day the skies are a bright and beautiful blue and it feels warm and is just lovely.

My pups Fionnegan and Gunnarr had a great time  in the heavy snow, although while I was brushing the snow from the branches of the hemlock trees and shrubs they were running and playing and jumping in the deep snow. The bent branches served as tunnels for them to run and hide. When we were all done, they looked like snow dogs - caked in big chunks of snow. So out comes all of the towels again and the hair dryer and we dried off in the kitchen with bowls of warm water and a cup of tea! And a treat, of course!

Here are a few pictures of my snow dogs and trees.

We cannot forget the birds and the feeders. As soon as food was placed inside and sprinkled on the snow a cardinal and junko appeared. It is also a beautiful to watch the birds at the feeder and they perch on the branched on the shrubs next to the house. We have a flock of mourning doves that stay by the feeder just to the side - we always seem to wake them up in the morning! Beautiful birds.

This is the tree from which the branch fell and hit the driveway. Fortunately the car was not there, this time. The second branch that fell did hit the car with minimal damage.



Gunnarr (left) and Fionnegan (right). They are a challenge to tell apart. Usually when I see one quickly, I just ask "Where is your brother?".

Hide and seek under the willow shrub.

And the news said that we will be getting more snow the beginning of the week! Good thing I shoveled the porches and driveway. Getting ready for the next storm.

Friday, February 5, 2016


...............and the E Street Band.

Well, it has been a while since I last posted. Mostly because I have been heartbroken over the loss of my beloved New England Patriots in the AFC championship game and we are not going to the Super Bowl. That and I have been really, really busy at work and with the house and my boys Fionnegan and Gunnarr. The boys will write again soon to Shorty ( to keep Shorty appraised of their fun and adventures. Sadly, I have heard that Shorty may not be doing well. I will need to check on him, too, very soon.

But last night I had the opportunity to see Bruce Springsteen in concert for my fourth time. It was fantastic. I do believe he is getting better with time! For almost 3.5 hours it was all music. No gimmicks, no fireworks or staged production to enhance the experience, just pure music. Clarence's nephew Jake was fantastic and a very talented musician, just like his uncle. Bruce is an American poet, one of the best, who has set his poetry to music and tells the story of life - good and bad - happy and sad - that resonate with many people. I was amazed at the number of teens and 20 year olds in the audience who sang along with all of the songs!

He narrates some of his songs before he starts and it is very interesting to learn about the background and his ideas as he composed the lyrics. And he engages with the audiences very well. My fourth concert and I'd go again tomorrow if I could!

Perhaps the best show of his humanity was when he went into the audience singing Hungry Heart and saw a sign that asked for a hug. Well, he picked up the little girl (maybe 7 years old) and she wrapped her arms around him and they sang the chorus together! Just a very tender moment. And her Dad was beaming. Later he also danced with a young girl on stage - and her Mom was beaming. Such a nice touch.

If you ever have a chance to attend a concert, well worth it.

 Bruce Springsteen at TD Garden, Boston, February 4, 2016. Photo from Boston Globe. He still looks good!