Friday, August 31, 2012

Lepen Gets Married

Top of the morn' to ya.

Ups and downs.  My Micronesian life is full of them.  It's sometimes hard to put emotions into words, but imagine a feeling of disappointment, happiness, tiredness, sickness, diarrhea, fright, excitement, and more diarrhea.  Add a week of school and a pinch of eating salty food and you have my last week.

Last weekend one of the Peace Corps girls wanted to come see my awesome set up in Salapwuk.  Micronesians have very interesting views on how non-related men and women hang out.  They assume that if you spend time with a girl that you're married with her.  This is what happened to me and my fellow Peace Corps girl.  I made sure that my family understood that we're not married, but nonetheless, my family still couldn't help to poke fun (while partially being serious) about men wai and their weird hang out habits.  So breakfast time comes, and the man who gave me my title asks me in simple Pohnpeian if my wife was not hungry anymore.  It caught me off guard, and I had to explain to him that no, we're not married.  Nonetheless, my family thinks I'm partially married now, partially...

This weekend we've all been hanging out in town enjoying hot showers and air-conditioning.  It's been good to compare notes on the experience, and it seems like everyone is enjoying their time at their sites.  Wireless internet has been good, and speaking English has never been better.

My students this past week have been a hassle. The concept of asking to leave the room is foreign; students scream out answers to questions they don't understand; students speak Pohnpeian in front of my face even though I ask them to solely speak in English while in class.  It's like I'm in the Wild West trying to break a wild stallion that I don't know how to break.  I'm hoping to start seeing some slow progress over the next few weeks in behavior and English, but that's probably ambitious.  Seeing progress over 1 year seems absurb, but I'm trying to maintain a mental picture of my students now so that I can compare in 1 and 2 years from now.

Boulder is getting into more fights.  I came home on Tuesday to find him with a hole in his ear and one in his chest.  I tried to clean him up with some salt water and anti-bacterial cream, but there's not much I can do.  Being a dog owner here is a struggle between caring for my pup while at the same time being culturally appropriate (keeping dogs on a lever way lower than people).  I'm still trying to find the balance.

Family back home: I want you all to know that I love you and miss you all.  I might not be able to call all the time and I might not be able to get in touch, but you all mean the world to me.

Have a good week.


  1. Love you to the moon and back Nickaboo! :)

  2. I am proud of you and love you. Way to go Lepen. I tried to call Friday but alas it did not work. Will try again Friday? Roger, Dave and I will be on the road Friday to elk hunting camp. It is the one bright spot in my fall schedule. I don't really have anything else. Scooter and Bear are at e playful pooch this weekend and it is incredibly quiet here.

    I love and miss you