A while back, one reader from Spain left a comment asking that I send him a letter with some Micronesian stamps. He’s collected them from all around the world and wrote a blog about it. I checked it out, and was impressed at how many stamps he’s received from all across the globe.
If you’re interested, here’s a link to his blog: “Letters On My Mailbox”.
After I sent him a letter (which hasn’t yet arrived or has yet to be posted), it got me thinking that Micronesia has some pretty unique stamps.
Just for reference, to mail a letter from here to the U.S. costs as much as it would to send a letter domestically within the U.S. That’s because even though Micronesia has its own stamps, we’re still serviced by the U.S. Postal system (we’re in U.S. Postal Zone 8 – hence the name for this blog!).
Back in the States, I wouldn’t care at all about the stamp I’d affix to whatever credit card payment was due that month. Later in life, when stamps became stickers, I’d care about them even less. I’d hardly look at the little picture of the Liberty Bell or Bald Eagle or thin Elvis Presley or whatever. No one writes letters anymore anyway. Email, texting, Facebook, and all the other mediums of a modern, tech-savvy society are far more convenient for simple communication than that quaintly archaic relic of a bygone age: the postal system.
Since people actually still send letters here, over the past two years I’ve amassed a decent collection of stamps as a colorful reminder of Micronesia. I’m no professional philatelist by any stretch of the imagination, but whenever someone gives me one, or an interesting looking stamp comes across my mailbox, I’ll often cut it out and keep it.
As you’d expect, many of the stamps showcase the unique flora and fauna in Micronesia, like more varieties of banana than you’d think even existed.
And there’s stamps about fish:
Miranda and I once ate a fish that looked suspiciously like the one pictured above.
And there’s stamps about birds:
The constant screeching and chirping reminds me all the time that many species of fowl call the jungles of Yap home.
While I’m certain the majestic antics of the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher or the Purple Sunbird provide hours of entertainment for the avid bird watcher, I’ve never seen one. However, I am quite familiar with the Gallus Gallus or Red Junglefowl, also known as the “island chicken”.
I photographed this fine specimen one afternoon when a water company pickup truck parked in front of my house on a service call in the neighborhood. As workers snaked out a particularly clogged pipe, this rooster clucked away in the back, ominously tied to what looked like a barbeque grill.
But I digress.
Other stamps advertise Micronesia as a hip, adventurous tourist destination. It should be noted that I have never, ever been surfing in Micronesia. I have heard rumors that it is done on the island of Pohnpei though.
This is one commemorates Petrus Tun, the first Vice President of the newly formed Federated States of Micronesia.
He was elected to the Congress of Micronesia, and served as Governor of Yap. He was also appointed as Yap State’s representative during the negotiations on the Amended Compact of Free Association between the U.S. and FSM, which established diplomatic and financial ties between the two countries.
This series of stamps commemorates the “20th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between the Federated States of Micronesia and the People’s Republic of China”. Strangely enough, I’ve yet to come across a stamp celebrating the Amended Compact. I will keep looking.
Well that’s about it for this action-packed blog post about the wonderful world of Micronesian stamps. Hopefully at least one reader enjoyed it!
Here’s a few more, just for fun.