Family Photos August 2007


Sunday 8/12/2007 5:06 PM

Last night Sharisey and Shanalin assisted with the production of pot stickers for the first time. Pot stickers is a family favorite, and usually involves only me and lots of flour all over the table, myself, and the floor. Now it is a family affair. Fortunately Shrue did not get back from evening church service until after we'd cleaned up the kitchen.

Knowing how hard it is to be outside the "conversation" the first day back to school, I took Marlin along with Sharisey to a two and half hour long GM cars and trucks commercial yesterday. I was laughing my tail off, mostly at myself for having paid to watch a two and half hour long commercial. Nothing made any sense to me, but Marlin was patient and explained that the good transformers had blue eyes and could only turn into vehicles. GM vehicles it seems. There was a special emotional emphasis on the new Camaro, with a real intentional pull on the forty-somethings by starting with a late 70s or early 80s Camaro and then transforming it into the 2007 model. Clearly the movie aims to sells transformer toys to boys and the new Camaro to the fathers who took their boys to the movie. Marlin recognized each transformer, though he himself does not own any. Parents only believe they raise children, in reality children playing with other children raise children.

Corn row

Auntie Srinoat worked on this for over an hour...

corn row


Liduhduhniap monumentWhile Shrue and Elterina were busied by Kosraen observations of Gospel Day this Sunday, daddy day care hauled whatever children he found laying around the house up to Liduhduhniap waterfall. All visits to Liduhduhniap start at a memorial to the three Palauan members of the Palau micro-games team who lost their lives in a flash flood on 04 August 2002. The memorial also commemorates the loss of a local father in a flash flood on 27 January 1999. Needless to say, the river is prone to flash flooding.

One might wonder, what with the river's track record, why one would venture down for a swim. The river does not flood without warning - rain always precedes the rising water.

The father was trying to cross the river at flood stage just above the water falls after an evening of sakau en Pohnpei. He lost footing in the dark and was swept over the waterfall. Three years later, with heavy rain falling, locals told the Palauans to come up from the waterfall basin.

The Palauans, allegedly not sober, remained in the basin. What happened that fateful day remains unclear. Having watched a river flash flood in Madolehnihmw a decade ago the danger is not a wall of water per se, but attempting to cross the river to get to the other side where the trail continues on. On that trip a decade ago Don, Brian, and I wisely opted to hole up in a cave until the next day rather than ford the river.


I suspect the Palauans were on the far side of the river when the water rose rapidly. Instead of clambering up the west side, I have to imagine that they tried to cross the river. The west side has no trail and they may have feared being trapped on the west side. Underestimating the power of a Pohnpeian river in flood stage and able to see boulders above the water, they may have thought they could cross the river.

The west side of Liduhduhniap basin

The kids clambered around on the boulders and played in the shallows. Marlin kept mistaking mist blowing off the base of the fall for rain, panicking each time and clambering up on a boulder. While Shanalin explored aggressively both sides of the basin along with Sharisey, Marlin remained near me up on boulders worrying about floods, deep water, and eels. He seems to have inherited genes from my paternal grandmother who was known in the family for her worrying. Seems to be genetic.


The water was cold and all four fell asleep on the way home in the car. With Shrue and Elterina still at church into the late evening, I treated the gang to cheeseburgers at the local burger joint.


When I was a boy, my father's closet was jam packed with gray suits. To my eye they all looked rather the same and I was puzzled by why one would need more than one or two virtually identical suits. Although I am unsure, my recollection is that his shirts were dry cleaned when I was small, coming back all folded and packed in plastic bags.


I was looking in my closet this morning when I remembered my father's closet. My closet is definitely not my father's closet. Nary a suit to be seen nor a plain white or blue dress shirt. I do have a taste for the custom - almost every shirt was hand tailored and hand sewn. No dry cleaners on Pohnpei, they are all wash and wear.

Eclipse Moon

Once in a great while Pohnpei is exactly the right place to be. The lunar eclipse began just after 7:00 with the first signs of the penumbra and continued until the deepest colors appeared around 9:30, allowing the whole family to watch the event. I dragged out the Celestron I was given years ago and despite its lack of proper collimation the telescope provided a good clear image of the rounded shadow of the terrestrial umbra as the moon moved into the shadow of the Earth. The moon was still really bright and I lacked a tripod with which to take a proper picture of the moon watchers at 8:14 in the evening.

eclipse moon

Shanalin missed these early phases. Shrue went to the store and given a choice between seeing food and seeing a rare astronomical event, Shanalin made the obvious choice for her of seeing food.

Later in the evening we took a drive down to the causeway and watched the moon over the waters of the lagoon.

Marlin did not last long, falling asleep on Shrue in the back seat of the car after watching the moon. Shanalin wanted to know why we were hanging around the causeway. When showed the red moon she simply said, "OK, now go home." We ignored her. Across a short stretch of water a kid came out onto his water-facing porch. "Yin! Kulang! Maram weitahta!" he shouted back into the rambling shack. "Eh, katairong," she responded. Children are born scientists.

Sharisey got out and posed for a number of shots next to the moon at 9:10. She was patient in the darkness as I fiddled with various settings on the camera and tried different ways to brace the camera, surely the ghost of Uncle Don moving in me.

eclipse moon

Now the moon is moving out of the umbra. We have been lucky to have a fairly clear night and having gotten to see all the phases. Back at the house Sharisey tumbled into bed, but Shanalin hung in there. Srinoat was baking cake and it had not finished, Shanalin was holding out in case cake might be a late night feeding option. So she and I were outside the house watching the umbra leave the moon, the curve of the earth clearly visible.

There will be many spectacular images of this semi-global event. Somewhere in the Philippines or East Asia a blood red moon rose out of the waters of the western Pacific ocean. Photographers there flocked the shores looking for that one shot of the red moon dancing on the water. Somewhere on the planet a blood red moon sank into a horizon in the early morning hours. All I have is a digital camera and no tripod. So we had fun watching the moon turn orange and then red. A thousand sunsets lit the moon, the one place no one had a camera.

At 10:03 and 10:09 respectively:

eclipse moon eclipse moon

An artistic combination of two authentic images above:

By magnifying the moon and compositing the image with that of my daughter, a much more emotive image results.

Months end odd ends

The newest in Pohnpeian skirt styles.

082869style (49K)

The latest family acquisition. No, not real - a plywood mockup at best.

083159marlin_billiards (43K) 083160shrue_billiards (38K)