Monday, May 24, 2010

A day trip to Wanyaan Village

Recently we were invited by one of Mike’s co-worker’s to go up to his village for the afternoon to see the sights and borrow his kayak. It was a 40 minute drive up North and then over to the most Eastern part of the island. We were shown around a little and spent some time talking with Mike’s co-worker on the first sandy beach we have set foot on here.

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He then took us to a stretch of beach owned by a family member, where the kayak is stored. He gave us the paddles and let us loose. It was a little windy that day, but we figured we are both experienced Scouts, we could handle it! At least we know how to hold a paddle correctly! We pushed off the white sand beach and headed out to explore the island from a different view! Luckily it was a little cloudy, allowing us to relax, hidden from the sun’s hot rays.

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The water was crystal clear, and had their been less wind and waves, we are sure it would have looked like glass!

We battled waves, wind, and incoming tides to paddle out towards the reef and bluest waters, only to stop paddling and drift for awhile, then rinse and repeat several times. It was so relaxing to get out on the water! We did get soaked, but getting soaked here almost always feels good! Here are a few more pictures we took while paddling:

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If this isn’t relaxed, I don’t know what is!

After a little over an hour we were ready to head back to shore, letting the tide do most of the work. We beached the kayak and played in the sand for awhile, taking pictures and exploring. Mike decided to go swimming a little, Miranda was content exploring the beach looking for shells and watching hermit crabs, and vowed to bring her swimsuit next time (what was she thinking?)

We are getting better at the whole taking our own picture thing!

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Miranda did get bitten by two different hermit crabs, and couldn’t help but be reminded of the mating crawdad incident many years ago at Camp Wildside! (You ladies are never far from my thoughts!)

After getting our fill of the beach, for that day at least, we packed up and headed back to Mike’s co-worker’s house. While returning the paddles he insisted we take a fish he had caught early that same morning, out by where we had just been kayaking. The type of fish is uncertain, some sort of a reef fish. We took it home, wondering what exactly we were going to do with our first whole fish. The verbal crash course Miranda’s dad gave us on cleaning and cutting a fish rattled around in our heads as we stared at this fish that looked nothing like a trout or salmon.

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After some poking and debating, we gave in and called on our friend Ryan, the chef, to come fillet it for us! Miranda then wrapped it in bacon, a sure way to get Mike to eat fish (or anything really!), and baked it.

Before leaving the village we took a few pictures. They don’t do justice to what it feels like to be in a traditional village here on Yap. There is a sense of calm, quiet, and tradition in each village we visit. This village in particular holds the second largest stone money in Yap. The largest in on Rumung Island (The Forbidden island) that few have seen. We have heard that it stands 15 feet high and 10 feet across and lays flat on the ground since it is so large.

Here is the second largest stone money:

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This one right next to it is also very large, but not quite as big:

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It is still amazing for us to think about how these used to be Yap’s currency. And now they are proudly displayed on the side of the road, leaning against houses and buildings, where they have laid for hundreds of years!

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For some, the most notable thing about Wanyaan may just be the community church. Located near the entrance to the village, it has something that is just hard to miss. A thuw wearing Jesus! Notice the traditional gifts being presented to him:

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We had a wonderful day at the beach, and we hope to do it again real soon!

EDIT: How could we have forgotten to mention one of the more exciting parts of the day? While beach combing Miranda collected several shells for our growing collection at home. She put them in a zip-loc bag and they came home with us. Once home she put the bag on a table. Awhile later we came home and Miranda heard a weird noise coming from the table, upon investigation she saw something moving in the bag! Oh no one of the shells had a hermit crab living in it! She had checked the shells before taking them, but it must have been a really good hider! Mike set the hermit crab free in the front yard, shell and all. After a few hours it had moved several feet, and by morning it was gone. But the next weekend it reappeared for a day in the lawn, but we haven't seen it since. Sorry for kidnapping you hermy, we didn't know! Next time give us a signal before we take you miles away from your home, and the ocean!

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