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One of the students’ notes I found while grading finals- cutest thing ever!

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Halloween: Kosraean Style!

I’m not sure who the first “Ossit” (white foreigner) was to introduce the Halloween tradition to Kosrae, but two things are very clear from the Kosraean version of the holiday: 1.The priority is clearly the free candy, NOT the costume and 2. Kosraean kids will do virtually anything for a handful of candy…

How to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve- KOSRAEAN styleeee:

Step 1: Find an Ossit Dwelling place (Finnapes, Bully’s or Tradewinds will work justttt fine)

Step 2: Locate nearest mud hole. Rub mud on face haphazardly. If possible, add a leaf or two to the forehead or cheek for a particularly creative, distinguished costume.

Step 3: Knock on Ossit’s door, demand candy. Be sure to stop and enjoy the confusion you’ve caused your current Ossit victim.

Step 4: Leave and add more leaves to your “costume”, return to the same Ossit dwelling, knock on door and demand more candy. When the sucker claims they recognize you DENY, DENY, DENY…

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Wishing my students luck as they take their SAT’s today!


Hiroshi Point, the best diving site I’ve been to yet- clear, blue water for miles and an amazing view of the island’s coastline!

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“The poorest people have the biggest hearts. Never buy a ticket to leave a city before you’ve seen it. Splurge on good shoes. Splurge on a night out. Eat street food. Embrace bad weather. Appreciate everyone. Pack light; leave behind your superficiality. Take notes. Keep a list of all the interesting people you meet. Stay in the cheapest places and have the best time. Bring your own towel. Break your phone and miss some trains. Couch surf. Drink a lot of cheap alcohol. Flirt a lot. Visit the next city with strangers from the last. Take pictures, but not too many. Live in the moment, day to day. Life has no ultimate destination, so don’t work like it does. Fall in love four times in six weeks. Be fickle. Be positive and laugh as much as possible; leave no room for negativity. Skinny dip. Forget laundry. Talk to absolutely everyone— on trains, in hostels, in pubs and on benches. Listen to their stories. Remember them. Visit some cities you don’t like and visit some cities you do. It always works out in the end. Miracles happen. Trust more than you probably should. There’s no such thing as getting lost. Lower your guard. Buy a watch. Appreciate free water and free ketchup. Make as many friends as you can. Don’t lose sight of how lucky you are. Move slowly, give it time. Make memories. Leave only when you run out of money.”


Truckbed full of breadfruit, coconuts and sugarcane to be passed out at the Lelu church building last weekend.

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Found out a full 24 hours after the fact that there was a Tsunami warning issued for Kosrae after the earthquake in the Philippines. Good thing no Tsunami was generated, at the time it would have hit I was biking down the coastline in the dark…ohhh Kosrae…

QuestionHey, Diana! It's Michael from Table Maestro. I found your page when Jeff left it up on his screen. I didn't know you had a Tumblr! I feel like I understand a bit more about Micronesia, which I'd never really heard much about, if at all, before. Your travels sounds really interesting, and Kosrae sounds amazing. Godd luck, Godspeed, and try not to worry too much about things! I'm sure you'll do really well! Answer

MICHAEL! It’s awesome to hear from you, thanks for the message! Yeah, I only set up this tumblr when I found out I was leaving for Micronesia to keep everyone updated, I’m still sorta new to the whole tumblr thing so I hope I’m following proper tumblr etiquette with this whole “question/answer” thing. Kosrae IS amazing- I will try my hardest to update the blog more but lesson planning is taking over MY LIFE! Thank you so much for the encouragement though, it means a lot! I hope everything is well at TM/ reg. life!

I’m finally here on Kosrae, Micronesia- a sliver of a very remote, disconnected island. There is a sense here that if the world were to end, Kosrae would be halfway into oblivion before any fair warning stumbled its way. Take a five minute stroll down the single, palm-tree shaded road circling the island and you’ll find that Kosrae’s existence seems to function just barely past the past the point of daily life. It’s a very sluggish, very island existence; an existence that makes even the most lethargic U.S. hippie surfer look like a frantic, uptight New York businessman.

I’m finally here in Kosrae and have been for a full month- 30 days filled with host family bonding, stumbling through half coherent Kosraean greetings, avoiding parasitic worms, lesson planning, bike riding, witnessing pig massacres, Blue Hole snorkeling and “Ossit” shenanigan-ing. For 30 days I’ve been absorbing Kosraean culture. I’ve managed to correctly time and distinguish my “Lwen Wo” (Good afternoon) from my “Eke Wo” (Good evening). I’ve also mastered the art of making my gigantic mountain of rice look sufficiently attacked before pushing the plate away with a polite “Nga Kilpe, nga mongo tari- Kulo!” (I’m full and done eating but thanks!)- the single most useful phrase for any Ossit (foreigner) in Kosrae.

For thirty days I’ve been enjoying my semi-vacation here on Kosrae. It’s been relatively easy to settle into life on this island without a care in the world- to do as the locals do and not take too much too seriously. The first three weeks of orientation was a real but perhaps a much too gentle reminder of my real purpose here- an easily ignored tug on the sleeve meant to direct my attention to the 130+ students I will stand in front of next week. But orientation is over now and this particular Ossit has exactly 7 days to formulate a unit plan from scrap that simultaneously interests, motivates, and educates my students all the while preparing a small handful for college in the States.

…Sooo, what exactly is a unit plan again??

For the first time since my arrival in Kosrae, there is a real sense of being utterly unqualified; there’s a panicked, small voice in my head that rudely reminds me, Hey, stupid- you barely know what a 5 step lesson plan is, how are YOU supposed to be responsible for even ONE kid’s education??

Even after 3 weeks of lectures, practice teaching sessions and local teacher observations, the possibility of failure has been a constant companion for the past couple of days, slowly eating away at any reservoir of confidence I had in myself as a teacher. But it’s not simply the threat of failing myself that consumes me, it’s failing my students- allowing students to fall through the cracks of my inexperienced fingers, leaving my classroom unchanged, unmotivated or, even worse, ill equipped for college.

Maybe it’s a valid concern; maybe it’s simply a case of jitters- either way, for now I’ll assume that this is a healthy fear- the healthy, responsible alternative to indifference. I’ll assume the threat of failure will be a steady and deep-seated push to navigate myself out of these Hey, stupid- quit pretending you know what you’re doing waters. Whatever the case, the first day of school is Aug. 13th and it’s hurtling towards me without any regard for my mental state. So in 7 days I guess we’ll see if this particular Ossit sinks or swims…

…wish my students good luck ;)