Musings from 1999 and earlier

These musings are solely the personal and private opinion of the author, Dana Lee Ling. 293 second load at 28.8. All material ©1999 Dana Lee Ling, all rights reserved. The odd colors of this page are a stab at making the page readable to WebTV users, I have no idea how these colors appear in NetScape. AOL users: upgrade to the most recent version of AOL. MSIE 4.0+ stylesheet tags are used by this page. I use Opera for all my web travels. Note I do not believe in multiple screens with screen sized chunks of text. Think of clicking the scroll bar as accessing the next screen sized chunk of text.

24 November 1999. Solphiso Salvador did not win in an eight way race in the lieutenant governor's race.  A run off will be held between former Governor Johnny David and former Lt. Governor Dion Neth for the governor's seat.  A run off in the Lt. Gov.'s race will be between Jack Yakana and Anna Mendiola.

The elections were interesting - the voters "threw the bums out" unseating some 13 incumbents.

As for me, I continue to work for Title III as the math science software specialist.   The grant ends 30 September 2000, I am currently applying for a faculty position here in the department.  I continue to run to stay in shape.

I had been planning to do a long run on a Saturday for some time now, and I had decided about a week ago that yesterday was a good day to fit it in. Last Thursday was supposed to be an easy, tapering run in preparation for
Saturday, but that turned out to be PR barn burner for me.  Still, Saturday dawned grey and misty, perfect for a long run.  So I headed out with PBJ sandwich cut into four pieces and packed it into my jog pack along with my
jog bottle.  Forty-five minutes later I was passing through Awak - a point at which I would no longer turn around and run back home.  I bought my first bottle of water for a dollar.  An hour later I was in Nan U eating my first
PBJ quarter.

In Saladak I bought my second bottle of the same water but this time for seventy-five cents.

I reached the Madolehnihmw border in an hour and a half, still feeling good. The long straight stretches in early Madolehnihmw are a boring and left me feeling every twinge in my tiring body.  Ahead I could see rain moving into
the mountains.

At one hour and forty five minutes I reached the bottom on the one serious hill on the root, the hill at ESDM school.  The rain went from a light mist to rain.  As one forty-five is my normal time range limit, this hill was
particularly challenging.  The slog up was tough, but the whole hill was over in fifteen minutes - a little more than a mile later.  The rain proved providential: it kept me cool on during the twelve minute climb.  Just
before the crest of the hill I hit a new store where I bought my third and last bottle of water.  I still had not touched my jog pack water supply - I was leaving that as back-up should the stores I hit lack water.

From there I knew I could reach my goal - the end of the pavement in Madolehnihnw.  I had estimated 2:36 based on my pace and distance, so I knew I only had another 36 minutes or so of running.  Ohwa slid by as I finished
my very last quarter sandwich.  I reached the end of the pavement in 2:25 and ran the short distance up to the store in Nan Pailong that was my planned termination point.   I reached the store at 2:28:39 for the longest
run I've done (about 13.4 some miles or 21 km and little bit) since my 23 kilometer run in 1985.  The store had wonderful devil's food cake cupcakes for twenty-five cents a piece, I scarfed down a couple of those.

Shrue then drove out to pick me up.  I had walked back to the far side base of ESDM hill by the time she met me, we then all went out to the Village for lunch.

I suspect this was my last long run on Pohnpei for this millenium!

I drove around the island two weekends ago.  Pictures from my trip can be seen at the following web pages (the first includes photos from Luak):

I added some pictures from around the house this weekend at:

19 November 1999  Last night my usual Tuesday - Thursday run-home partner, Carol Wilson-Duffy, and I started off on our run to town as we always do. Carol does a five miler each night, while continue on to Nett and towards my place four miles past her place. Carol has been teaching aerobics on Monday and Wednesdays nights. Wednesday night she pulled a hip muscle.

One mile into our journey, Carol said she was going to walk in - in her hip was hurting her. I convinced her to hop a ride with a College staffer who was passing by at the time.

With eight long miles stretching out, I decided to push my pace and see how long I could hold together. At each hill I leaned forward, dug in, and spent energy, hoping only that my legs would hold together. Four miles later at 47:34 I reached Carol's place on an 8:53 minute mile pace. 47:34 was slower than my PR to Carol's, that PR was a 45:39 I did on a 9.4 km run (just under six miles) to Palm Terrace a couple months ago. Still, I knew I was only two minutes off my best time to Palm Terrace, so I slogged up Rumor's hill and into town. I thought I relaxed as I went through town slugging sips off my water bottle. I would later calculate that my time from Carol's to the bridge was a PR on that three mile leg. My best previous time from Carol's to the bridge was a 25:47, last night, despite thinking I had eased off during the in-town mile, I clocked an 8:29 pace to the bridge.

Bridge to home is a mile exact, my best time was an 8:14 - a barn burning pace for me. Bear in mind that pro marathoners tick off 26 miles at roughly a 4:45 pace. I am a clydesdale of the roads, but 8:14 felt fast to me. With 1:13:00 showing on my watch at the bridge, and a previous PR home of 1:32:21, I knew I had the PR in the bag. I could walk the last mile and still PR. I downed the last of my water and pushed. I knew I didn't have an 8:14 in me, heck I had almost nothing in me. It's all mental anyway after the first seven miles. I managed to speed up to an 8:20 pace and pulled into the house with 1:21:20 on the watch. I busted my previous best time by 11:01! I paced the driveway making whooping noises in celebration. I'm really a ten minute per mile runner - breaking through the ten minute mile barrier and almost notching the nine minute mile barrier was exhilarating (I was 9:02 per mile overall).

There is, I discovered, a post race let down. Laying in my bed I realized that it would be damn hard for this forty year old body to bust that time. And too much effort. More distance next time. Each new distance carries with it new PR possibilities.

18 April 1999. During the second annual Title III technology showcase the Math Science Software Specialist demonstrated the capabilities of the new Destination computer in A204. The Destination has a surface luminosity that permits viewing with the lab lights on, a capability that no LCD projection panel was able to demonstrate. The Destination also can run all day without overheating, a limitation of the current LCD projector unit. The Destination also cost about the same as an LCD panel alone, and far less than an LCD projector. The Destination also has no learning curve, no cables to hook, no new buttons to press. The system is simply an computer with an oversized monitor. The remote mouse and keyboard means that the presenter is not tied to a laptop at the front of the room. Both can also be handed to a student to allow them to interact with the software on the screen. Despite all of these return-on-investment versus competing technologies and capability arguments, the one feature that really impressed everyone was its ability to run a DVD movie. No one on campus had seen a computer running a feature length film (The Fifth Element starring Bruce Willis).

03 April 1999 The Pohnpei Culture Quest was successfully completed. 128 people started on Saturday 27 March at Dausekele bridge in Nett. On Wednesday at noon at least 120, if not more, had made it back to the bridge. Many thanks are due to the tremendous support we enjoyed from the Nahnmwarki of Kiti and the people of Kiti, the Nahnmwarki of Madolehnihmw and the people of Madolehnihmw, the Nahnmwarki of U and the people of U, and the Nahnmwarki of Net and the people of Net. The evening stop in Enipein was made especially special by the dancing of two local dance troops and an evening of sakau with song until the dawn. Many thanks to the CAT team for the bandages and ointments.

After over 80 kilometers I finished sans blisters and without anything more serious than a sunburn and few tired muscles.

Timings and speeds: I usually walked with the tail end of the group, thus my times and speeds represent the longer times and lower speeds for the group. In most cases my times represent that for the last group to arrive.


Dausekele 1430

Saladak   1730   11.7 km  3.9 kph
Sunday morning

Saladak   0900

Ohwa      1130    8.2 km  3.3 kph
Sunday afternoon

Ohwa      1230

PATS      1630   13.2 km  3.3 kph*

PATS      1h50m  10.4 km  5.7 kph

Wone Luak   15m   1.4 km  5.6 kph

Enipein     20m   1.6 km  4.8 kph
Tuesday morning

Enipein   0830

Sehnwahr  1130   12.5 km  4.2 kph
Tuesday afternoon

Sehnwahr  1230

COM-FSM   1645    9.9 km  2.3 kph***
Wednesday morning

COM-FSM   0830

Dausekele 1300   15.1 km  3.4 kph
Total distance:  84.0 km

* 87% (111) of the questors exceeded 4.1 kph
** Dana walked separately from the group on Monday due to the funeral
*** 2.3 kph represents the speed of a single group of three (Janet, Emelina, and a friend). This group stopped to shower in Pehleng and rested by the road near Snowland where they ate sugar cane. The group was told they had time to rest and relax. 86% of the questors (110) exceeded 2.8 kph.

Discussion: The worst case estimate was 2.3 kph. No group that remained moving actually moved at a speed less than 2.8 kph. There were, at times during the quest, two to three groups of four to seven questors moving at less that 2.3 kph. These groups invariably eventually voluntarily accepted rides in the bus or private cars.

The roughest day was Sunday due in large part to sunny, hot conditions that led to dehydration of the questors. Another factor that made Sunday feel longer than Tuesday was the structure of the day:


Morning:    8.3 km

Afternoon: 13.2 km

Total:     21.4 km

Morning:   12.5 km

Afternoon:  9.9 km

Total:     22.4 km

Longer mornings are preferabel to longer afternoons. The morning is slightly cooler than the afternoon and a longer morning puts lunch past the psychologically important half-way point in the day. Interestingly enough the point at which some questors said they could not continue to walk on Sunday came 7.9 km out of Ohwa at the Senipein River. Note that this distance is when the afternoon walk had become equal in duration to the morning walk. At the point at which the afternoon walk exceeds the morning walk in duration, exhaustion sets in.

Fortunately the questors were known to be running ahead of schedule and many opted to stop and swim in the river. This proved to be especially rejuvenating and a number of questors credited the river stop with their being able to finish the Sunday walk.

The highest speed recorded for the questor tail (4.2 kph) is likely due directly to the Alu Mour performed in Enipein and the special capacities of our host there. I've walked Wone to Kipar before and it has never been as short and quick as it was that Tuesday morning.

The final day included the longest single leg at 15.1 km. This is in large part responsible for the quest's "late" arrival at the closing ceremony. I say "late" as the quest was not due in to Dausekele until 1400. The group was late only due the ceremony starting three hours too early.

A suggestion for any future walk is that the walk should start at Spanish Wall (as I actually did) and end at Spanish Wall. Any closing festival should also be held at the wall. This would also have relieved the traffic problems our start and close created along the narrow road at Dausekele.

Details: Departed Dausekele at 1430. Last ones reached Saladak Elementary in U three hours later at 1730. The evening events were a touch too close to the edge for the group. The group was tired and wanted only to eat, drink fluids, and then go to sleep. Upon arrival at the nahs no one was offered anything to drink. In fact, at no stop were we greeted with the one thing the group really needed and desired: a drinking coconut for each and every walker. Any future journey should seek to remedy this by contracting for a number of coconuts equal to the number of walkers that will be given to each walker as they reach the evening encampment.

Saladak school as the questors tail in

Each stop should also have plenty of bananas as they replenish potassium and help prevent cramps.

Dinner was not served until 2100, way too late for a group of hikers. Some questors had dropped off to sleep without dinner that night.

Oddly enough, the group was in some ways most tired and most impatient this first night. Sleeping on the cement on the second floor of the school on a tainy and stormy night proved to be a very chilling experience. I did not sleep at all well, donning three T-shirts in an attempt to warm up.

Future quests and walks should consider carrying their own mats, pillows, and sheets. This would greatly ease the burden on the local community of housing the group and allow those who are tired to go to sleep early. With mats, pillows, and sheets on board a vehicle any large nahs could handle the group. The community would only have to help with food. Other future notes might be to look to the community for dinner only. To speed up morning departures simply haul in water coolers, a large percolator for coffee, and bags of donuts. The quest could directly purchase this. Lunch would be a sandwich and more water. This might decrease the cost of the quest which apparently exceeded original estimates.

Departure from Saladak was two hours late at 0900 due to bathing and Sunday service complications. The last ones to arrive at Ohwa High School came in by roughly 11:30. A couple of questors felt sick as they had eaten too big a breakfast. Memo to the future: eat a light breakfast and lunch. Stay away from sugary drinks especially soda, they induce nausea on a hot day. Simply drink water.

Lunch at Ohwa consisted of leftover food brought from breakfast in Saladak. This worked great as it allowed the hungry group to dig right in without having to wait for a ceremony to be completed. We went to learn and observe the culture and traditions of Pohnpei, but there was at times a tugging between the desire to eat, rest, and either move on or sleep and the need to observe protocol, pomp, and ceremony.

Departure was early due to the general restlessness of the troops. I had overestimated the desire to rest and underestimated the desire to stay on the road until the evening's rest stop was reached. Memo: have group remove shoes and dry out feet, socks, if possible. The group left Ohwa at 1230.

The tail of the group straggled out along the road in Madolehnihmw under a scorching sun. I had missed lunch at Ohwa, opting to shower up at the dorm to cool down instead. A tad hungry, I was gladdened and thankful when Liken came along in a pick-up truck loaded with tuna sandwiches. That was the best lunch of the trip and probably the way to do it in the future: simple sandwiches at a brief road stop.

Any presentation should be done while the questors eat. The questors will not pay attention prior to getting food in their growling stomachs and they either want to get right back on the road after eating or they want to go to sleep in the evening. The only exception was Monday evening when the group had an afternoon of rest in Wone. The group was up for an evening of activity as a result.

The last group of three arrived at PATS at 1630, this was well ahead of the pre-quest worst-case estimates. This meant that the actual worst case time from Saladak to PATS was 7 hours and 30 minutes. There were a very few questors who, due to injury or exhaustion, had opted to be picked up by the bus. I knew of seven questors of the 128 who had started who rode vehicles into PATS. One had a pulled her achilles tendon. As I walked along the tail during the quest I came to learn that there were tail groups that would finish by walking and tail groups that would not finish by walking.

I learned to try to walk with "the tail that will finish" which was ahead of the "tail that would not finish." The non-finishing tail appeared to be distinguishable by a pace of two kilometers per hour or less. The tail that did not finish never exceeded seven people as far as I was aware. The "moving tail" never dropped below 2.8 kph. The lone 2.3 kph number was generated by a single group that was told they could slack off and take it easy.

One problem that developed out in the tail was the extreme distances between the straggling groups. It was tough for our water trucks to wait for these stragglers, and tougher still to determine when the last ones had come along. The longer the water truck waited for the straggling tail, the longer the bulk of the group up front went without water. This was made especially problematic by the tendency of the very last students to hop into fast moving cars: they could slip past a water stop without being seen. This would happen with Marleen and Rosalinda in Kiti on Tuesday.

The inefficiency of the water distribution hit hard in the morning when the tail climbed the hill starting at ESDM only to reach the top to find no water. I found a dozen students scattered between the store and the bus shelter that had sat down to await the arrival of water. The sun was merciless and there was no cloud cover. I jogged on in towards PATS to flag Salter down and send him with water back to ESDM. Meanwhile I remained by the roadside with a large water jug to rehydrate the people he would be passing on his way back to the hill top.

This procedure of dropping off a single unmanned cooler along the roadside with a single plastic glass would be used in Kiti and Sokehs quite successfully.

Another problem was that occasionally a single student would be alone on the road. On Sunday we had a single female walking alone and out of sight of all other tail groups. I remained concerned about her safety. Single students are harder for cars to see on blind corners. If the single student is female then she may be at greater personal risk, especially if she is out on the road as darkness falls.

I felt throughout the walk that if the group were told to stay together and started together then the group could have been less strung out. I was consistently overruled on this and no attempt was made to see if we could walk together. Oddly enough only mehnwai said the group could not walk together. Mehn Micronesia all felt that the group would basically stay together if so ordered. There were points out there under the sun that I understood the need to get all of the mehnwai out of Micronesia.

Mosquitoes were a sleep-loss inducing problem at PATS. I awoke in the morning with over fifty mosquito bites. PATS would be the only place I would be concious of mosquitoes and notice any mosquito bites. I was not bitten in U, Enipein, nor at COM-FSM.

I woke up Monday morning to learn of the passing of Ohng en Wone, Mayerico Salvador. I decided to do as must have been done in the old days and trek to the funeral upon receipt of the news. I let the leadership know that I was departing ahead of the group and hit the hills of Lohd alone. I pushed a hard pace through a the hellishly hot world of Lohd, crossing up and down the never-ending lines of razorbacks. I reached the Madolehnihmw/Kiti border in one hour and seventeen minutes. I reached the Sounkoroun river in one hour and fifty minutes and reached Wone Luak in two hours and five minutes. I would later learn that some of the fastest questors in the group would reach the Sounkoroun in a little over two hours.

The group may have been slightly delayed by a shortage of tape and ointment for dealing with blisters. I'm not sure coconut oil would work for preventing the blistering of the soles that I saw. In zoris the oil just causes one foot to slip and slide, causing one to do a lot of extra work when walking. Oil would likely work for those zoris with a heel strap. Lubrication of the feet beats powdering and anti-perspirant techniques by my experience.

Although I started to get a blister in the pad behind by left big toe, liberal use of oil and a loosening of the toe laces of my left shoe caused the blister to vanish.

Enipein was fantastic. We were treated royally and it was an experience none will ever forget. Breakfast was perfect: a cup of coffee and quick starch foods (donuts, buns, etc.). Light, fast; simply perfect.

Dancers in the nahs of the Nahnmwarki en Kiti

Departure from Enipein was around 0830 in the morning. Although no departure was ever near the planned 0700 start, the group moved faster than the worst case assumption and no one ever wound up on the road at dusk. The stragglers reached Sehnwahr School by 1115 - 1130. The group was impatient and eventually pulled out without lunch at 1230. There was simply no holding the group. The group did not really want long midday rests. Just a chance to check in, get a quick snack, and push on.

I eventually pulled into the College just ahead of the tail after 7 hours and 30 minutes on the road. About eighteen people were behind me at that time, stretched out on forty-five plus minutes of road. Over 100 questors were already in the temporary gym.

In the tail coming out of Sehnwahr were Rosalinda and Marleen. Just ahead of them Janet, Emelina, and another young women were walking together. Other straggling groups were ahead of them. I walked back to bath in the river, and then walked back up the road to find the tail. I found Janet and her group near Snowland. They had not seen Marleen and Rosalinda since lunchtime. Janet would be the last group in at roughly 8 hours and 15 minutes of total time since departure in Enipein. I began to walk towards Pehlung while Fermi scouted the road with the van. After twenty minutes the light was fading and neither I nor the van had turned the two stragglers up.

We would later find Rosalinda and Marleen at the College - they had hopped onto the bus and tucked themselves in amidst the luggage. There needs to be a mechanism for tracking the tail in the future. I had told them they were the tail. I had failed to tell them to tell the bus driver that they were the tail. The tail, once informed it is the tail, knows whether it is still the true tail as they would have to pass another group in order to lose the distinction of being the tail.

In the future a special token or tag should be devised and given by the tail support walker (what I did) to the tailmost group. If that group gets in a vehicle then they must give the token to the first group the vehicle meets - the new tail. That way we would have some way of knowing when the true tail was in. Or we could walk as a group.

I was eight hours and forty-one minutes on the road on Tuesday. The College was a very comfortable stop with a good solid dinner and a comfortable plywood stage floor in the gym to sleep on. A breeze kept the gym downright cold throughout the night - wonderful sleeping conditions for sunburned questors.

The tail support walker is most useful as a carrier of water. I carried a waist-pack for runners with a plastic bottle of water. This proved extremely useful time and again at rehydrating an exhausted tail group. They are slow but they are putting in more hours of exertion and hence actually wind up more tired and dehydrated than those that go faster.

The last leg into the bridge was certainly the easiest, but the group did take the full three hours after a disorganized 0830 takeoff. Some straggled in at closer to four hours. The PICS event was started too early. And the group really just wanted to collapse and go home at that point. They appeared to have little patience for pomp and circumstance at that moment. The victory was in many ways an individual victory in the final analysis. I asked one questor if they would be coming to the medal ceremony. She responded, "No, I don't want a medal. I know what I did."

I am especially happy to have had the chance to walk with and talk with the tail walkers. So many names will slip from my mind, but never the faces of determination and joy I saw on the road. Degakwihda, Tanya, Petra, Sunitra, Maylani, Selma, Pelma, Dancileeanne, Alsyner, Aioreen, and so many others. This journey will stay with each walker for the rest of each of our lives. Those who had the chance to join and did not, they missed a memory. As I watched the questors leave the PICS field ceremony I saw people who would never be the same. They had pushed themselves and done something they had not known whether they could do. Now they knew. They were changed by the experience. I think some will one day find the quest to be a source of inner strength. They will always know now that if they push they will not fail, they will instead succeed.

Equipment that works: WrightSock double layer anti-blister running socks, coconut oil on the feet, ASICS Gel MC Plus 98 shoes (ASICS model TN 830, bought one size large at size 11 for my size 10 feet) laced loose in the toes and laced with a heel lock at the upper end. SOF Gel Pad heel overlay under the regular ASICS insoles. Ultimate torso pack with water bottle and side compartment. Side compartment was packed with small bottle of coconut oil, a bar of soap, sunblock, and spare pair of socks. All foot gear obtained from:

Techniques that work: Stretching three times a day, oiling one's feet three to five times a day with coconut oil, letting one's feet and socks dry out at each lunch stop.

01 April 1999 I am deeply saddened to relay the news of the death of Ohng en Wone, Mayerico Salvador. He passed away on 28 March 1999. I walked in to the funeral in Wone from PATS. Pohnpei has lost a bright light in the preservation of true traditional ways. I will never forget the komadihp where he declared that there would be no foreign items brought or used. No soda, no paper plates, no styrofoam cups, nothing that was bought in a store. Only that which you grew yourself could be presented. With this decision he lifted the young local men of Wone into their rightful position above the politicians and businessmen of Wone who often "buy" their prestige at komadihp time.

Mayerico "Ohng Wone" Salvador, Elaine Takumi George

26 March 1999 The Department is now sporting a Gateway Destination XTV computer in the A204 Computer laboratory. The box from the 36" 100 pound monitor has made a new home for our three-year old. Although the faculty is excited at having the Destination, Sepe is even more excited about her new home. dest50.jpg (4947 bytes)

desthom1.jpg (4688 bytes) desthom2.jpg (8057 bytes) desthom3.jpg (7147 bytes)

On 20 March 1999 I joggled my way to a 28:51 time and a free T-shirt in the PATs 5K fundraising run.

The Spanish Legacy Exhibition has opened at the College:

Announcing the Grand Opening of the Spanish Legacy Exhibition
4:00 P.M. Friday 19 March 1999
Learning Resources Center (Library)
College of Micronesia-FSM Palikir Campus

The College of Micronesia-FSM invites the public to attend the grand opening reception of the Spanish Legacy Exhibition this Friday the nineteenth of March at 4:00 P.M. in the afternoon at the College Library in Palikir. This exhibition features photographs, maps, documents, and other exhibits that depict the Spanish presence in Micronesia and the Marianas. One hundred years ago the formal presence of Spain in Micronesia ended. At the threshold of a new century, this exhibition is part of a strengthening in the mutually beneficial relations between the Federated States of Micronesia and Spain.

carolina.gif (30811 bytes)
Grand Opening Concert Friday Evening at 7:00 at the PMA television studio

The grand opening will be followed by a concert by the Spanish Chamber Orchestra of Empordà at PMA studios in Ninseitamw, Kolonia, at 7:00 P.M. Friday evening.

emporda.jpg (17077 bytes)

Spanish Legacy Exhibition

The Spanish Legacy Exhibition will remain on display in the AV section of the College Learning Resource Center at least through the end of this month, March 1999. The exhibition will be open from 8:30 to 6:00 Monday to Friday. The Exhibition will be closed on state, national, and official College holidays.

Schools Welcome

Schools are encouraged to bring their students to tour the exhibition. Please contact the College at 320-2480 in regards scheduling group tours.


This exhibition and orchestral performance have been made possible in part through the generosity of the Spanish Ministry of Education and Culture, the Dirección General de Cooperación y Comunicación Cultural, Iberia Airlines, Lladró fine porcelain figurines, and MARC at the University of Guam as part of the Noventay Ocho commemoration. Local support is being provided by CTSI, Pacific Missionary Aviation, the College of Micronesia-FSM, Micronesian Seminar, and the Bank of Guam. Accommodations are being provided by The Village Hotel. Thanks are due to FSM Archives and Preservation, Pohnpei Historic Preservation, and the wonderful personnel at Continental Airlines who have gone above and beyond in providing service to the many travellers. For further information please contact 320-2480.

micrones.gif (1400 bytes) iberia.gif (1441 bytes) lladro.gif (931 bytes) spain1.gif (1716 bytes)

Ministerio De Educación y Cultura
Dirección General de Cooperación y Comunicación Cultural

The first ocean voyaging canoe to come to Pohnpei in over a 100 years came in last week, the Makali'i. The Makali'i has sailed from Hawaii to Majuro, Kosrae, and Pohnpei using traditional navigational techniques. This fascinating and culturally important event is well covered at:

Makali'i arrives in Pohnpei Harbor

08 March 1999 This morning dawned rainy, blustery, and Pohnpei cold. When I reached campus at 7:15 the sun had just peeked up over the ridge Twemwetwemensekir and was streaking out along the bottom of the clouds. Rain fell on campus from above while sun came pouring across at a right angle. A student walking along the covered walkway cast a sharp shadow on the wall while the rain came down. The rain shaft passed and headed out to sea. With the sun horizontal an intensely bright rainbow formed on the horizon. Pwisehn Malek remained in the shadow of a peak on the mountain. The world was stormy and new. Pwisehn Malek mountain and rainbow from COM-FSM

Alexandra Henry in now attending Otago University in new Zealand along with Eugenia Hainrick. Alexandra notes:

"I've been here in Dunedin for 8 weeks now, its a pretty place with lots of old buildings. They even have a castle here, Larnochs castle, but I haven't been up there. I still have trouble with crossing the streets because they drive on the opposite side as they do back there. Dunedin was said to have been settled by a Scottish group, so they're pretty big on the Scottish culture. They have bagpipe bands during Festival week, wearing those plaid skirts, and Otago's rugby team is called the Highlanders."

15 January 1999 Registration has not been heavy, our Spring numbers at the College look low. This term sees the kick-off of the University of Guam fourth year in education at COM-FSM. I view the program as a harbinger of our best hope for the future: movement towards a four year institution.

A young woman using WebTV in the states, J.T., contacted me recently asking about Pohnpei. Although she was born and raised in the states and has never been to Pohnpei, she wanted to get in touch with the place that is home for one of her parents. She especially requested that I contact a couple of known relatives here. I did get in contact with the nephew of one of the relatives, but I am unable to contact the young woman has her email address results in a "505 user not found." None of the people J.T. wants to contact has email. So J.T., if you do stumble across this page and can read it on WebTV (there are color saturation problems on WebTV) then the only information I have for you is a snail mail address for S.F.'s nephew Dusty: P.O. Box 283 Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941. Remember that postage is now 33¢.

14 January 1999 Registration is underway for the Spring semester 1999. During the Fall of 1998 this author's energy was poured into setting up the SC 250 Botany web pages.

Shrue and I spent the Christmas vacation visiting my mother in Chicago (21 December 1998 to 10 January 1999). We were buried by a doozy of a winter storm. I shoveled the walk every three hours to stay ahead of the accumulation. Shrue got a real taste of winter on this vacation. She spent much of the vacation hiding under a comforter in thermal long underwear. Shrue did enjoy sledding with the kids. Running while in Chicago was an adventure.

Pad pad pad went my feet along the trail winding through the park alongside the iced over canal. My three tennis balls sailed up into a grey sky and back down in rhythm with my running footfalls. The trail made a sudden left turn inside a stand of spruces. I tossed the tennis balls into leftward arcs as I had done so many times before in Pohnpei, letting the balls pull me around the turn. My balls sailed left and my body skittered straight ahead on the icy surface.

I extricated myself from a spruce bough and looked around to see if anyone had seen my pratt fall. I then scrounged up my balls from under the other spruce boughs. I continued up the trail at a more humble pace. This was the second time in as many days that I had taken a fall.

Two days earlier I had been running at pace along a cow trail in southwestern Wisconsin. The trail ran along on the East side of a barb wire fence. To the West of the fence was a clear field of golden hay stubble. Snow had not yet graced this corner of Wisconsin. The hay field extended across and along the top of a glacial ridge, The fence was on the side slope of the ridgeline and the path ducked into and out of stands of shagbark hickory trees. The path headed southeasterly. The weather was cold; the cow pies were frozen solid and posed more of a tripping hazard than a bottom of the shoe hazard.

I had just passed into a stand of trees when my right foot did not come up from the ground. My upper body continued forward in full flight towards a leafless bramble of raspberry stems. I closed my eyes and crashed to theground.

The bramble stems had grabbed my hat and pants, and I bruised my shin on tree root. The root was not the cause of the fall. I looked back to see my right foot caught on a rusty piece of wire, caught exactly midway between two barbwire prongs. A strand of the wire had gone loose and had laid me low.

I was too lightly clad to walk back home given the distance, temperature, and wind. I popped to my feet and proceeded at a more leisurely pace, being sure to lift my feet a little higher. To my pleasant surprise nothing was too badly damaged.

In winter the underbrush is gone from a Wisconsin deciduous forest, except for a few bramble stems. With no snow cover, running was cold but joyous. I spooked only a cotton tail rabbit, otherwise the woods seemed to be deserted. I could run in any direction through the woods, unconstrained by trails or underbrush.

Back in November I was hauling my weight-enhanced posterior up Tchemwen-Tchemwen mountain with my botany students. Slogging through the verdant growth was hard enough on the trail, let alone off trail. Every surface was supporting some form of green growing substance, most surfaces were supporting a multitude of life forms. Rocks sported a half dozen different mosses and miniature ferns. Tree trunks had cyanobacteria slime coatings interspersed with more mosses and epiphytic bird's nest ferns.

The air hung thick and humid, a continuous mist pervades the mountain slopes of Pohnpei. We climbed upslope, and then traversed the slope at a sakau patch. We reached a stream that was tumbling down the steep terrain. As the class made their way across the stream, a student slipped on a green slime coated rock and landed in small side swirl pool. "Spending too much time in Kolonia watching cable and playing Nintendo, aren't you?" I suggested to the student as they clambered back to their feet.

Some of my students go to farm regularly and are sure-footed on the wet trails, others spend too much time in front of televisions in town. The botany hike sorted out the two groups. I brought up the tail of the group with a Chuukese student and young female student, Nenovy, who had previously hiked no further than from her front door to her Honda Accord. After crossing the stream we headed straight up the side of a razorback. Leading the group, ahead of the local guide, was a young woman, Brigeen, with more stamina and strength than the embarrassed and winded young men behind her, young men who were desperately trying to keep up with her. The local guide and a local botanist moved with the middle of the pack.

A short way up the razorback Nenovy gasped that she was dying and slumped down onto a rock outcrop just below a tree fern. The Chuukese student, Tharma, plowed ahead, driving slowly but surely up the side of the razorback. Tharma had no significant hills on her home island, she could at least argue that she was unaccustomed to the terrain. But Nenovy had been born and raised on Pohnpei. Born and raised a tad pampered daughter to a successful local entrepreneur and political leader. "Rest for a few minutes, I'm going to go up and check on the group ahead." I said.

I then began to trot up the steep slope, occasionally losing my footing and sliding out onto my belly as I pumped my feet up the slope. Falling uphill was easy due to the extreme grade. I did have to watch out for fern stems, however, as they are extremely sharp and sometimes hard to see as you are falling. Although we had been clambering on the mountain for over an hour, I did not become unduly winded in my upslope jog. The evening runs on local roads and hills was paying me my dividends.

At the top I found the group resting and enjoying passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) and ripe bananas (Musa spp.) they'd found at the ridge crest. I asked a couple of the young men who had kept up with Brigeen to come back down the mountain and lend a hand with helping Nenovy up the ridge line. We descended the slope to Nenovy and then pulled and towed her to the top of the razorback. At the top of the razorback Nenovy declared that this had been her first and last trip into the mountains.

From the razorback it was an easy downhill grade along an old Japanese road that ran down the ridgeline. Everyone who started up the mountain two and half hours earlier made it back off the mountain in roughly the same shape and with all the same limbs as with they had started. Most had slipped or fallen at one point or another, except Brigeen.

From the verdant green rain forests of Pohnpei to a snowy white Christmas vacation in Chicago, this has been a season of contrasts for me. Only the falling down has stayed the same. Shrue, I am happy to say, is remaining more constantly on her feet, both in Pohnpei and while in Chicago. I hope that you have good 1999 that sees you remaining on your feet!

In December 1998 Rhonda Salvador graduated from the College of Micronesia-FSM. Congratulations!

rhonda02.jpg (13566 bytes) rhonda01.jpg (12975 bytes)

During the Fall term I did joggle the annual endowment 10K, this year in an hour and seventeen minutes. I went ahead despite a ongoing rehabilitation program for my plantar's fasciitis in my right foot. Plantar's fasciitis are small tears in the fascia running along the bottom of the foot, in my case the tears are the likely result of not including stretching in my running program.

05 May 1998 Chairman of Social Science Melchior Henry passed away on 04 May 1998. Melchior was born on 06 December 1946 and is survived by his wife Carlina, daughters Alexandra and Beverly, and his son Graham. Melchior has worked at the College since 14 June 1972 and was the most senior member of faculty in years of service. Mel is one of the College's founding fathers. Alexandra is to graduate from COM-FSM this year, Graham is to graduate high school this year, and Beverly will be graduating from eighth grade. Mel was not ill, he collapsed suddenly at his home on Sunday evening. Mel had been working at the College earlier in the day preparing his final examinations. Without an autopsy the cause of death will remain unknown, but a pulmonary aneurysm is speculated as the most likely cause of death at this time.

Mel's passing has come as an unexpected shock, leaving veteran instructors at the College deeply grieved. Exactly nine months ago another pillar of the College, Hers Tesei, passed away.

Alexandra Henry is a PreProfessional/HCOP student at the College, a program at the College for those wishing to tackle an academically more challenging program. Throughout the day PreProfessional students Josephine Saimon and Jocelynn Anson remained with Alexandra.

Contributions to the family can be sent to: Carlina Henry, P.O. Box 1691 Kolonia, Pohnpei FM 96941.

Chuukese students sing at the funeralAt the graveside

The rain has returned with some regularity along with 24 hour water in Kolonia.

On Saturday I struggled to trot around Nett Point at high noon. The heat and sunny days of El Niño is not completely gone yet. I left 4-TY store and was at Pohn Dow in 28 minutes. At the 45 minute mark I was rounding the far end of Nett Point. I stopped for a coke at the Last Stop store on Paliais side. After a ten minute break I headed home, passing the El Niño market on the way. After one hour and twenty minutes I was back at 4-TY making a memo to myself not to drink so much sakau the night before a longer run. Or, in this case, trot. May 9 is the PATS fundraising 5k. Friday evening the Department will hold a farewell dinner for Chair Steven Blair at PCR.

Last night I sat the El Niño sakau market with Rich reminiscing about Mel. Across the water at PCR was a gala for Iinternational Olympic Committee President Juan Antonio Samaranch. President Samaranch was on island for an eight hour visit marking the entry of the FSM into the International Olympic Committee and movement. The FSM hopes to attend the Sydney 2000 games. From the El Niño one can see into the open air PCR restaurant. We could hear the clickety-clack of the Awak dance troop's hand sticks wafting across the water. Visions of the performers danced in my head - I had seen them during Rahn en Tiahk.

01 May 1998 Technical assistants in the areas Technology Tools for Teaching at the National campus, Student Services program development at the Pohnpei campus, Career Counseling Development at the Pohnpei campus, and Vocational Education Curriculum Development at the Yap campus will be arriving via the University of Oregon technical assistance program. The National and Pohnpei campus interns will arrive in June, the Yap intern in September.

Ms. Fusae Toriyama will be replacing Keiko Fuketa as the Japanese language instructor at the National campus. Keiko has been both a good friend and a very active participant in the College's academic and social life. Keiko ran the 200m dash for the red team at Founding day, the only member of faculty who had the courage to run with the students. Keiko will be deeply missed upon her departure from the College later this year. The Pohnpei campus will also be receiving a JOCV this round, with Ms. Rieko Hirai coming on board to assist the Hotel and Restaurant Management Program.

The College will be receiving $35,000 over the next three years from the United Nations Population Fund South Pacific Office to establish a program in Peer Education and Counseling in reproductive health issues.

The Army Civic Action Team is providing medical support to the dispensary on Monday afternoons with the visits of Dr. Cannon.

The Math/Science computer laboratory NT file and server network now has four computers sharing files and two computers capable of printing.

The PATS 5k fun run is coming up on 9th May. Finals are next week!

26 April 1998. After a Friday evening at the El Niño, Saturday afternoon I joggled around Sokehs Island on the recently completed circumferential road. Leaving Kolonia school at 4:10 I was at the Sokeh's municipal office 16 minutes later. At the Mwalok church the road was filled with church goers and children. Another 16 minutes and I left the pavement at the far end of Danpei. As I hit the coral I switched from joggling to jogging. I passed the tip end of Paipalap and moved out into strand-like terrain at 40 minutes. The end of Sokeh's is strongly reminiscent of the flat lands of Lenger Island and Urak motu in Mwokilloa. I turned inland and soon was behind a mangrove curtain. I passed children swimming in a mangrove channel and reached the quarry just after 50 minutes. There is a quarried face of prismatic basalt that towers 10 meters above the road. I began juggling again. I reached the new pavement at about 60 minutes, just past the church. I past Tom Panholzer's new place along the road. At 66 minutes I stopped at a store on a rising 180° turn. I downed a new Pepsi, rested for five minutes, and made friends with the local dogs. I pushed myself back onto my feet and slogged on, increasingly less aware of my surroundings. At 1:20 I was approaching the Sokeh's bridge junction. It was then I remembered I still had to climb the hill to the old Nan Madol hill and the FSM junction, while still juggling and jogging. I pushed, too near to completion to give up. At the top of the hill three cars sailed towards me and I misstepped on uneven pavement, sending a ball to the ground and down the hill. The chap in the lead car stopped and waved me after my errant ball. I retrieved it before I had to do the hill twice. Re-energized I ran to Palm Terrace, bought a Gatorade and jogged home with my balls and the Gatorade. At 1:40 I reached Yamaguchi store.

21 April 1998. Thought I would share the Weather Service Office rain data from November 1997 to March 26 1998 for some main islands out here. The P30 numbers are the 30 year monthly average rainfall. All measurements are in inches. March is incomplete. Missing data was not available to me.

         Chuuk    Kosrae   Pohnpei  P30     Yap    Pingelap

Nov 97   2.53     6.41     10.86    15.74   6.24   3.82

Dec 97   2.68     8.60      3.38    15.22   5.93   9.25

Jan 98   1.29     1.26      0.64    12.07   4.44   0.47

Feb 98   1.74     1.67      1.98    10.80   1.34   1.15

Mar 98                      2.83    13.54          0.44
Pohnpei percent of 30 year average monthly rainfall:

Nov 97   69%

Dec 97   22%

Jan 98    5%

Feb 98   18%

Mar 98   21%

January set a record low rainfall for Pohnpei since the 1950's. Pohnpei is expected to experience 50% of average monthly rainfall through August according to ENSO data available on the Internet. April has brought more rain than March, we should be heading back towards that 50% number. Pictures (warning: huge JPEGs!) of a green Pohnpei shot on 14 March 98 can be found at:

On Good Friday, 10 April 98, I set off to try to walk around the island. The following is a log of my attempt.
0700 Departed Kolonia headed for U.
0820 The Village
0830 Awak
0900 Nan U
0930 Ten minute rest and water break at a roadside store.
1020 Elementary school in Madolenihmw. Second ten minute water break. There is a desolate stretch of sun baked straight asphalt down which people parade dressed in only a towel and carrying bars of soap. At one end of the stretch is a dying stream, at the other a collection of village homes. By the time the bathers have hiked back to the village after their bath sweat is pouring off of them. The whole scene is surreal. There is no shade. No clouds. El Niño rules.
1056 Ohwa
1108 GP Family Store. Coke II. Water stop. Rest. The day is cloudless and screaming hot.
1210 Fire tower.
1317 Antelisa's Gas Station. I stumble into hot shade and rest. My calves are cramping and a blister is developing on the ball of my left foot. I rest for twenty minutes.
1400 PATS turn off! Near on seven hours of walking.
1402 Am offered a ride, I decide to toss in the towel and take the ride.
1410 At a turn-off past the CAT team camp I am dropped off. I continue walking.
1428 A second brief ride. I notice that I my arms are very sun burned.
1435 Back on my feet on an increasingly desolate stretch of hot and dusty road. El Nino has killed the roadside vegetation, there is no roadside shade.
1445 Soder Anson picks me up, he is inbound Wone. I ride with him to Rohi. In Rohi I hop out to at least walk the final leg into Wone. I overnight in Wone.
11 April 1998. I am still sunburned and the day has dawned cloudless and sunny. I have a fluidic blister on the bottom of my left foot and my calf muscles are stiff and very sore. The fun is out of the walk. I bail into a Lucky 7 taxi and head home. There is always next year. I need better shoes and I need to train more specifically for endurance walking. I now estimate that the PATS to Wone leg is roughly 3 hours of walking. I've walked Wone to Kepar, just shy of the Lehn Mesi, in two hours. I also know it is one hour Pehlung to COM-FSM and just under two hours COM-FSM to Kolonia. So an island circumnavigation should be 16 to 20 hours.

09 April 1998. A going away lunch was held on 08 April for Jackson Yang, the acquisitions librarian. Leaving later this month will be our Director of Research and Planning Marie Abram and the Systems Network Specialist Bill Rathburn. John Gann has been elected by the Department of Mathematics and Natural Sciences as the new chair for school year 98-99.

06 April 1998. Founding day was celebrated with track and field events at PICS field on 03 April 1998. The Pohnpei State Campus Purples took first place overall, with the Chuuk State Whites capturing "most spirited team" honors. The day was a drought-times hot and sunny day, with only a single heat induced sprinkle of rain. Dana Lee Ling, a member of the Yap State Red team, came in tenth and last place in the 80 m faculty run.

For current FSM news see the Island Tribune's new web site!

The College has unofficially adopted ICQ as its rendezvous messengering software. ICQ is in use by an increasing number of users at the College. Users of ICQ can search the ICQ database for people they wish to add to their contact list. AOL Instant Messenger is also used by a few members of the College community. The FSM also sports a NetMeeting server at Dana Lee Ling can be found at ICQ: 7964980 and AOL Instant Messenger: dLeeLing

Condensed from the President's report of 01 April 98: The WASC accreditation evaluation team communicated the primary preliminary, unofficial findings of the team in a general assembly held on 25 March 1998. The team leader acknowledged the unique national role of the College. The team found the student attitudes to be remarkably positive, commended the College for its values, diversity, new campus, and endowment fundraising drive. The team noted strong community support for the College. The team recommended that quality planning occur well ahead of the time to take action, policies and procedures be published and widely disseminated, and that efforts continue to improve communication. The team further recommended that improvement be made in student life and that a full array of activities be made available to our students. The team recommended that further research be undertaken into information about the College. All of these recommendations are unofficial until approval by WASC. The recommendations are all in areas that the College has been working on improving and reaffirm for us that we are working in the areas in which we need to be working.

16 Mar 1998. Chair Math/Science Steve Blair took first in the 14 March 98 10K Fitness Run at 41 minutes. Also finishing in the top ten was Comptroller Robert Epstein. Dana Lee Ling finished joggling at 1:06:27. Seen on the course were many too many to mention en toto, however College President Susan Moses was out there, as was First Lady Nena, College Vice President Spensin James, Penina Ilon, Harry Nanpei, and so many more. Jazmin Gonzales and Michelle provided logistic support, as did the PreProfessional Program students who manned the water stops. Fun was had by all. The t-shirts handed out have the FSM Olympic logo on them! These are the first shirts to sport this logo. The event was also covered by the Island Tribune.

Dana Lee Ling then climbed Nett Point to Pohn Leha to have a better look at the fire damage. The field across from the hospital is indeed a huge burn area. However, the Etscheit fields appear to be intact. A little over half of the top of Nett Point has burned, but some grass remains. We are still basically green when seen from on high.

11 March 1998. Ground breaking occurred for the new Force 10 building at the Pohnpei Campus in Kolonia town.

The College will be welcoming accreditation team members from Citrus College, CSU-Los Angeles, Ventura College, Honolulu Community College, Foothill-DeAnza CCD, University of Hawaii Community Colleges system, and Kapiolani Community College.

The drought continues. The island has seen only a couple paltry light rains in March. The grass lands on top of Nett Point burned spectacularly last week. The grass lands across from the hospital also burned last week, threatening both Coast to Coast hardware and Three star. Two grassy hills on either side of the campus burned earlier, as did a mountain seawards of the national capital. Pwisehn Malek burned very early on in the drought. The air is often filled with smoke and ash. Both Bill Raynor and Harvey Segal have expressed concern as to whether the Pohnpei owl, which is dependent on grass lands for cover, will survive this event. Dr. Don Buden, however, feels that the owl can survive this event as they survived the 1983 event. The owl was already endangered, this author has seen one only once since he came in the summer of 1992 and that was in 1993.

04 Mar 1998 The accreditation team will be visiting the campus from 23 March to 26 March 1998. Access to the Chuuk campus is delaying obligation of funds for new buildings for the campus. Kosrae campus construction of a Force 10 campus building began on 02 March 98. Pohnpei state campus construction will begin shortly. Yap awaits completion of fit-out bids. Mr. Victor J. Hobson of the Department of Interior is visiting and reviewing U.S. Federal Programs at the College. The Fitness Fun walk/run is scheduled for 14 March, the San Francisco Opera for 10 March. April first is Founding day and April Fools day! Wilson Kalio is the new CCM/COM-FSM Alumni Association President.

Mary Rose Nakayama is now in Applied Science at Southern Cross University in Lismore NSW Australia. She wrote, "Yesterday, we went to Byron Bay again. Only this time we went up to the lighthouse and looked out into the ocean. There we saw a few dolphins and my other international friends were really flashing their cameras and oohs and aahs. We also saw a shark and a big manta ray just swimming around. And I almost sat in goat manure. Other than that,everything is quite all right. I'm planning to change my major from Social Science to either Nursing or Applied Science or maybe even both." With the assistance of Dana Russo at the Australian embassy on Pohnpei Mary Rose is now in Applied Science.

Former HCOP Asinech Hellan wrote, "I am looking into graduating in May 98, you know if COM-FSM might have any available job in the next school year...i am looking into graduating in May 98,... and i would love to just go back to COM..." Sounds like another satisfied customer! Ms. Hellan, if memory serves me, will graduate in Biology. The natural sciences see Micronesian graduates less often than the social sciences, hence the social science department is 60% Micronesian faculty and the natural science faculty is 0% Micronesian faculty. The department was excited to hear of a student who completed in a science field.

In more good news, former HCOP Andy George graduated last December in Biology from the University of Hawaii. He said he wants to try to go on in medicine.

24 Feb 1998 The College was privileged to be visited today by Assistant Professor of Marketing and Economy Toshihiko Gima of Tokai University. Dr. Toshihiko Gima is travelling with ten members of the faculty and staff from Tokai University along with 79 students from the school on an academic research cruise. The University's vessel, the Bosei Maru, is in port here in Pohnpei until the 25th of February. Their 46 day cruise will include stops in Vanuatu, New Zealand, and New Caledonia among other places. This is the 29th voyage for Tokai University. I look forward to working with Tokai University on the occasion of the historic 30th anniversary voyage next year. I hope next year will afford the opportunity for the students to also visit the campus. During his visit, Dr. Toshihiko Gima met with the Vice President for Instructional and Academic Affairs Spensin James, Chair Business Administration and Accounting Cynthia Farrell, and business instructor Dave Reiss.

Dr.Toshihiko Gima and Vice President Spensin James Dr. Toshihiko Gima, Chair Business Cindy Farrell, Business Instructor Dave Reiss

20 Feb 1998 The Accreditation visit will occur 23 March 98. Howard Rice, hospitality instructor Pohnpei State campus, has set up a Pohnpei Emergency Rescue Team. The PERT is a volunteer group comprised of Tour Guide alumni. Alton Higashi has joined the faculty of the Chuuk Campus. Alton Higashi gave birth to the Educational Planning and Dissemination Network at a conference held at the Chuuk Star hotel in June 1997. The EPDN lives on as email group in Dana Lee Ling's address book.

The San Francisco Opera will sing at the new PMA television studio on 10 March. The Opera is a benefit event for the Endowment Fund. Midterms are a week and a half away! The Spring Fitness Walk/Run is slated for 14 March. If you will be on island and want to participate, see Penina Ilon the campus nurse. The registration fee is $5.00, proceeds to go to the Endowment Fund

Doris and Foster Cummings donated an additional $1000.00 to the College endowment fund. last year they gave $2000.00. The drive for 20 million in 20 years is underway. Invest in the minds of Micronesia, please donate to the College endowment fund. Send any contributions to President Susan Moses at the College address seen on comsci.htm. Inquiries can be sent to

11 Feb 1998 A surprise birthday party for President Susan Moses was held in the AV room on Wednesday 11 Feb 1998. President Moses was presented with a special t-shirt and urohs en Pohnpei with all the colors of the 01 April Founding Day teams. On 01 April the College celebrates Founding Day with team competitions. Each team is characterized by a color - White, green, red, blue, and black. President Moses wears colors signifying she is member of all teams. Food and fun were had by all at the party.

Sue is surprised! Bday cards and the urohs (on the table) A Micronesian spread.

06 Feb 1998 Two grass fires on two different occasions have scorched the field across the entrance road from the College. The second fire is in its third day of smoldering. Light rain last night did not put out whatever is burning. Maybe the ground. See tourist.htm for pictures of the burned areas.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Spensin James showed the new Vice President for Student Support and Services Ringlen Ringlen around the campus today.

The President of the College has declared 06 Feb 98 to be grass cutting and cleaning emergency day. Classes are meeting, between classes we are to cut grass.

26 Jan 1998 The drought continues. A light rain blessed parts of Palikir early this morning. We are now a month without any significant rain, the smaller streams are giving out. Kolonia is on water hours, I gather this is true for the whole island at this point. All grass on the island is now brown, all vegetation on rock faces has died back. The island is still basically green in color, but it is shifting to a deep green-brown color with the passing of the days. Although the sakau is dying back, it is getting incredibly strong as it goes. The flavor is also superb - sohte katik.

LRC assistant and former HCOP Jennifer Hainrick is on maternity leave this week. (She subsequently returned after a successful delivery!)

The faculty staff Christmas party was well attended and the spread of food was impressive. The party was held at the new site of PCR. PCR reopened along the waterfront in Nett at Nantelik's. The open air restaurant sits just above the water level and below the elevated second floor of the hotel. The setting is unique and incredibly picturesque. When the moon plays off the water the place is absolutely magical. Until it opened, no restaurant here reminded me of the waterfront restaurant scene in Christiansted, Saint Croix.

Although the party was a smashing success, I felt rather inelegant that night and retired to a stone in the parking lot. There Richard Womack, Benster Jano, Ioana Nanpei, and an assistant named Theresa squatted amid squalor and enjoyed drinking pounded wood.

The math science computer laboratory is seeing very heavy usage this term, we have had to turn away people on a couple occasions when the lab was full.

The laboratory has the only student Internet access point. This term a new course, CA 106 Internet, is being run in the business laboratory using Internet simulation software on a CD-ROM. For homework the students come up to the A204 math science laboratory and cybersurf the Internet.

Number one site among COM-FSM women: Danielle Steel's official site.
Number one site among COM-FSM men: National Basketball Association official site.

06 Jan 98 The faculty/staff Christmas party is scheduled for 24 January 98. The new Vice President for Student Services Ringlen Ringlen will be formally welcomed to the College community at that time.

On 05 December 97 I juggled while jogging to complete the Endowment fundraising 10.7 km Walk-A-Thon in one hour and twelve minutes. The overall winner was Steve Blair of the math/science department at 46 minutes. The first male student across the line was Rudy Taisurgam, the first female was Lorianne Anson. Endowment Fund 10.7 km joggle 1hour 12min

$9,143.61 was pledged for the Walk-A-Thon, about $5,000 had been collected as of 23 Dec 97.

The first mid-year graduation was held 19 Dec 98 in the AV room. Linda Xavier gave the valedictory message. 48 students graduated: 6 accounting, 6 business, 2 education, 30 liberal arts, 1 liberal arts/nursing, 1 pre-nursing, 2 third year. 21 students were from Pohnpei, 14 from Chuuk, 9 from Yap, 2 from Kosrae, one from the Philippines, and one from the USA.

Registration is 06 to 08 January 1998. We had 295 students the morning of the first day of registration.

08 Nov 97 The Endowment Fund fundraising walk is on for 05 December 1997. The College will be walking from the Palikir campus to Spanish Wall in Kolonia, a little over 10 kilometers. If you are on island, please join us. Contact Joe Habuchmai for information on participating. I hope to joggle the 10K, a strong possibility as I have joggled the route before (running and juggling). Endowment fund fundraising will hereforth be a permanent part of the College.

Typhoon Keith bypassed us with only a few banana trees lost.

Rain continues as the InterTropical Convergence Zone slides across us, an El Nino induced drought is still predicted for next Spring.

College Work Study Lithy Speeder finished her eight week stint as computer laboratory monitor at midterm. Danceylee Anne Daniel has most ably filled the slot. This term the lab has been twice blessed with capable work study support staff.


The College continues to acquire cutting edge technologies to keep our students at the information age forefront, as seen in the photo above. The above image is not actually an indication of the acquisition of an F-22 Advanced Tactical Fighter, they are not presently for sale, but rather a demonstration of what one can do with a Sony DSC-F1 Digital Camera, Adobe Photoshop 4.0, and FrontPage 97. Also acquired was a Hewlett Packard 4cse 24 bit color scanner and Corel Draw 7.0. These will be used to acquire science images for Botany, Zoology, Environmental Science, and Ecology. This image is also used to help our students realize that just because it is on the web does not mean it is so. Our students know we have no such aircraft as the above.

9/24/97 The College has been awarded an NSF grant to assist in Internet connectivity.

On Friday 9/19/97 the College community participated in Clean Up the World day. President Moses was seen in the pouring rain scrubbing down the parking lot. Students, staff, and faculty pitched in despite the inclement weather to make our campus a more beautiful place.

9/20/97 The school term has been extraordinarily busy and hence the news page has been rarely updated. MS 050 Remedial Math has been renumbered and renamed MS 095 PreAlgebra to make room for MS 090 Developmental Math. MS 090 is a math class for students who passed the TOEFL entrance test with 470 or higher in all three areas tested but who had math scores below the 30 out of 70 required. Within the department this course is referred to as math for Sasha. Sasha is the pseudonym for a student who inspired the change in policy to admit 470+/30- students. This change led directly to the creation of MS 090. Chair Stephen Blair is leading the design and teaching of MS 090.

Iosef Dema returns this weekend from Canada, Teny Topalian joins the Pohnpei State Dept of Education for a week to help develop marine science oriented curricula. Jazmin Gonzales is in the Philippines for a week. September 29 the big South Pacific Regional Environmental Program conference occurs on Pohnpei.

Dana Lee Ling is involved in a joint project with Pohnpei Islands Central School (the public high school here) and COM-FSM. The project, born out of the Chuuk Star conference June 1996, is called College and University Success Project. Dana will be working with Casiano Soram at PICS.

08/13/97 Orientation is underway at the College of Micronesia-FSM. It is a busy time. The math/science department is still seeking to fill a position that will likely handle pre-collegiate level math and the SC 098 Survey of Science course. The IEP programs are also recruiting ESL qualified instructors. The faculty participated in an advising training session. The landscaping is slated to move into bulldozing activities this Fall. Work over the past six months has focused on terracing the slope in front of the LRC and putting in place cement flower beds along the terraces. Instructor Mariana Ben is on sabbatical working on her Master's degree at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Former PreProfessional student Brandon Tara is in Hilo attending school. Chair Math/Science Stephen Blair is on the west coast of the United States enjoying a little rest, relaxation, and bicycling. John Gann is the acting chair during Steve's absence. PreProfessional coordinator Jazmin Gonzales is in Japan visiting Dr. Ishibashi and sightseeing.

08/06/97 Vice President for Student Services Hers N. Tesei passed away on the evening of 04 August 97 here on Pohnpei. Although the cause of death has not been officially determined, Vice President Tesei had been battling Hepatitus B at the time of his death. Vice President Tesei is pre-deceased by his wife. His children are with his family in Palau and the family buried him in his homeland of Palau. The College covered the costs of a casket and of flying the body back to Palau. Accompanying the casket were President Susan Moses and Director of Support and Student Services Lore Nena. Hers N. Tesei was laid to his eternal rest on Monday, 11 August 97.

On the evening of 05 August 97 the College gathered at the Tesei home here on Pohnpei. Sakau was pounded by the Pohnpeian relatives of the Vice President's wife.

Vice President Hers Tesei has been with the College for twenty years; the sense of shock, loss, and grief is great. Hers was deeply dedicated the College and the students of the College. His dedication was above and beyond the normal call of duty. Although ill, he continued to come to work. On the day of his death he attempted to come in to work. From his hospital bed he wanted to call in and apologize for not making it in to work. His dedication helps us keep going, we know he is with us in spirit.

His oldest daughter Hazel was at the College this past year, Mariko is in high school and Lincoln is in elementary school. Hazel bore Hers his first grandchild over on Palau on 01 August 97 just two days before Hers passed away.

Former HCOP and COM-FSM alumni Rosalinda Walter recently gave a talk at the Micronesian Seminar on the impact of pig offal on the local ecosystems. Miss Walter is on Pohnpei for a summer internship and will be returning to the University of Hawaii this Fall to continue work on her Bachelor's degree.

Former HCOP and COM-FSM alumni Alvina Berry of Chuuk state is headed to Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work on her Bachelor's degree. Another Chuukese HCOP alumni, Alexia Sillem, is teaching mathematics at a private school on Chuuk.

For news of Pohnpei and the FSM see the Island Tribune. The Island Tribune, the "Did you see...?" paper for the FSM.

Lee Ling Pohnpei page
Lee Ling Home Page
Page comments to Dana Lee Ling