Thursday, December 27, 2012

Saigo (11/11/12)

Over the last couple of weeks I have been doing my best to soak up every moment and appreciate all the island things that I will probably never do again. It is quite likely that I will make my way back to Chuuk someday in the future, but nonetheless it is also probable that I will never experience the kinds of things that I encounter around here again. The word saigo roughly translates as “last” or “last time”, and I have been counting down all my saigos and ticking them off my list. Some of these things are special memories that will last forever and others are island obscurities that will best be forgotten. So I thought I would jot down a list of some uniquely Chuukese things that I have done for the saigo time, I will alternate listing the good (G) and the bad (B) memories:

  • (G) Spearfishing at night on a glowing reef
  • (B) Flailing in panic as a shark zooms by my face
  • (G) Eating fresh sashimi from a fish that was caught less than one minute before
  • (B) Eating half-rotten salt fish that has been sitting unrefrigerated since last week
  • (G) Climbing a towering pencil-like coconut tree
  • (B) Climbing a towering pencil-like coconut tree
  • (G) Using a machete to hack my way through dense jungle
  • (B) Using extra strength Neosporin as my best friend
  • (G) Swimming in the clear turquoise waters off my dock
  • (B) Slinking my way through fields of stinging jellyfish
  • (G) Pounding breadfruit with a stone mallet
  • (B) Smelling moldy slimy breadfruit
  • (G) Eating banana prepared a dozen different ways
  • (B) Scrubbing the mud off my feet every night
  • (G) Watching pink and orange sunsets on the horizon
  • (B) Sweating 3 gallons of sweat each day
  • (G) Eating fresh fish for half of my meals
  • (B) Eating canned meat for half of my meals
  • (G) Floating serenely in a foot of warm water
  • (B) Trudging through the muddy mess of Weno roads
  • (G) Teaching elementary school kids
  • (B) Teaching elementary school kids
  • (G) Slurping down a fresh coconut
  • (B) Sleeping on concrete floor every night
  • (G) Listening to the sounds of the jungle
  • (B) Taking cold bucket showers twice a day
  • (G) Pulling a giant tuna in with my bare hands
  • (B) Being consistently covered in mosquito bites
  • (G) Sitting for hours with nothing to do but think
  • (B) Sitting for hours with nothing to do but think
  • (G) Waking up to the light pitter patter of rain
  • (B) Waking up to the light pitter patter of a 4 inch spider on my chest
  • (G) Slicing through a giant banana tree in a single stroke
  • (B) Chopping my finger with a machete
  • (G) Exploring the mysterious depths of sunken WWII warships
  • (B) Scraping my foot on a rusty shard of discarded WWII scrap metal
  • (G) Being constantly surrounded by throngs of excited kids

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