June 15, 2012 1 Comment
Today was our first and only entirely free day of the trip and it was quite lovely! Some of us met for a late breakfast at the Rock Island Cafe, a true luxury as I think it was almost 9am by the time we ate. After breakfast, people shopped, picked up last minute gifts and relaxed a bit.
What would be the most fitting way to tie up our trip? A midday swim / potluck at Long Island! We were worried about the weather, as it again stormed (again knocking out the power) this morning; however, the weather held and in fact, all the storming kept the day at a very comfortable temperature. As we swam and ate, many of our new friends came by to say hi and goodbye. We lounged, laughed and felt somewhat Palaun ourselves, as it we now have our very own family here in Palau.
When I got back to the dorms I did something I’ve been waiting this whole trip to do; I went for a run!! Not more than 100 yards from my room is a beautiful track, that I’ve been staring at and wanting to try out; yet, I’ve either always been too tired or it’s been too hot, but as Goldie Locks would say, “today was just right!” Ahh it felt so good to stretch my legs, pump my arms and sweat from something other than just standing in the hot humid air. It was also fun to run with the Palauans, some of them running barefoot with their coach rooting on from the stands, pushing both them and me to keep going and run harder.
After a glorious cold shower, it was time to head to the Flamingo for some tunes and some food….and some bat… All the students had been well briefed on the bat at the Flamingo, from last year’s photos and campus buzz. However, when we first went to the Flamingo they were out of bat and then the buzz around the bat died out. Tonight, being the last night to try it, a couple students took the plunge and batted up! Guess what, they liked it!
From the Flamingo it was to the SLC for dancing and a fantastic view of the lightening in the distance and now it’s now… It’s 12:45am tomorrow (if you’re reading this from the states), we leave at 4:20 am and will be home by 9:40am LA time. I’m trying to stay awake and reflect on these past two weeks at the same time, perhaps it’s sleep deprivation, but my words fail me. My words and pictures cannot do Palau justice. You have to experience Palau, feel it, breathe it… Maybe that’s why much of Palaun tradition isn’t written down, so much of the character is in the story telling, in the heart of the people. When we walk around town, people honk at us just to say hello, strangers on the street stop to wish us a good morning. For us Americans it is hard to compare Palau to anything back at home; it’s just differently wonderful.
I’m excited to go home, for warm showers, my soft bed, stable electricity, clean clothes, to see the people I left behind, but I will greatly miss Palau. Sitting in the same room I resided in last year, I have a feeling I will be back again, so it is with a grateful (not heavy) heart I head “off Island”…