We've been doing more and more language training along with other sessions dedicated to stuff that D.C. requires every Peace Corps Post to conduct. I'm learning more and more Pohnpeian every day, and I'm actually now decently comfortable in making small talk and asking/responding to basic questions. All of the other trainees are picking up the language pretty fast too, and hopefully we'll all just be speaking to each other in Pohnpeian by Christmas time.
Yesterday, I got to meet my new host Nohno (mother) along with the principal of my elementary school. I'm going to be working in Salapwuk, a small local community on the highest mountain here in Pohnpei. The people in Salapwuk love to joke around and have a good time, and I partly think that was why I was assigned there. My Nohno seems very kind and willing to make sure I'm fed and happy here. Nohno and I are going to be co-teaching at the elementary school together, and I can't wait to start my new job of teaching 5th-8th grade. Fun fact: They say that you can see your own breath in Salapwuk in the morning (aka it actually gets cold up there!)
So I was hanging out at the sakau bar (the local watering hole) when my neighbor John asked me if I'd accept one of his month-old puppies. I had to think about this for a bit. Dogs are seen differently here in Micronesia (more as property rather than pets in some communities), but I think that raising a puppy could be a very rewarding experience. Of course, I won't be able to take him home once I finish my service, but I can raise him to be a good dog for my new family. I asked my Salapwuk Nohno to make sure that bringing a dog would be okay. She said yes and that her family has plenty of dogs and would love another. (Cultural note: Sometimes 'yes' means 'no' in Micronesia). To make sure that she wasn't just saying 'yes' to say 'yes', I really made sure she knew that she had to be 100% sure that it was okay and that I didn't want to put an unnecessary burden on my new family. She said yes again. (Cultural note: Sometimes 'yes' means 'yes'.) So having received approval for my Nohno and weighed the pros and cons, I've decided to raise the puppy until I leave in August 2014. I'm naming him Boulder, and he's probably the cutest puppy on the face of the earth.
2 more weeks of training and then I'll be a Peace Corps Volunteer. I'm ready for the hardest job I'll ever love. I hope everyone is doing well back in the states, and I'm sorry/disgusted to hear about the Aurora shooting. I'll be sure to call everyone this Sunday (Saturday afternoon in the States) to check up on you all. Pwong mwahu, and I'll be sure to update my blog again before heading to Salapwuk on August 15th.