Saturday brought my final day in Yap and I planned to take full advantage. On the docket were a sunrise shoot, traditional dancing, and maybe even a sunset shoot before heading out the airport at 1:15 am (that’s not a typo) to catch my flight to Pohnpei.
Late Friday night, I asked the front desk for directions on how to get to the north end of the island to shoot the sunrise, His response? “NO.” “You cannot go alone as you will get lost.” What I didn’t expect was his next statement, “I will find you someone to go with you.” I was once again reminded of life in Yap. No blue dot. No GPS. No road sign. And ever helpful Yapese.
Sure enough, at 6 am I was met in the lobby by James, who had a huge smile but spoke almost no English. Despite that, he ably managed to get me to the viewpoint by 6:30 am, riding in the back seat, just in time for sunrise.
Did we make it? Yes, we did.
Then a roadside stop and a fascinating conversation with this fellow. He's training young men to make the traditional hand carved canoes. But upon further discussion, he attended college at Pepperdine, then chose to return home.
Returning back to the big city of Colonia, I stopped and visited with a group of young men building an outrigger canoe. After several hesitant attempts at conversation, the man who was leading the efforts shyly shared that he knew California. In fact, he’d received his degree in social science from the University of San Francisco but then decided to return to Yap to teach younger generations the traditional crafts. Oh, and by the way, he got his master’s degree in political science in England. Who would have guessed?
Mid day I stopped by a local market searching for a Diet Coke. Didn’t find one (nor did I the entire trip) but in the category of random stuff you run across when you travel, I chanced upon a gallon jug of cupcake sprinkles. Keep in mind things are quite cheap in Yap. Dinner is about $6, $10 if you get something fancy, and a glass of wine is $5-6. Check out the price of sprinkles!