Day 6

Today instead of the morning swim I slept (till 7am yay, take that jetlag!). We met early to go over last night’s changes to the presentation and then headed to the Belau National Museum to present to the United Artists of Palau. Not only was the museum a very interesting place to see, the presentation was again a hit! The critique this time helped with further refinement, comments like specifying that the shell we were looking for was not so much a conch shell, but a trumpet / Triton shell, which is the same shell that Andy Leeka used our first full day in Palau in our trip last year (and still one of my all-time favorite photos). It turns out that the blowing of the shell is a call to gather, it brings people home and together…. We found our shell! I’m not a very religious person, but from the beginning, this project in Palau has felt blessed. Every time we have been presented with an obstacle a solution has presented itself to us. Every time we have had a challenge our change has been better than our original intention; the Triton shell is no different.

The group at the museum was again as warm and friendly as everyone else we have met in Palau and we posed for a group picture outside one of the traditional Bai’s at the end of the meeting before dispersing for our first half day of unscripted fun.

Matt and I left the students for the first time since we’ve arrived in Palau to meet up with our old friend Soline at the Flamingo. After a hearty lunch we headed out for a slightly less traveled tour of Palau. With Soline at the wheel we traveled through Korror and to the neighboring state Irad. Along the way, we saw an old Japanese war station, a rock quarry, an old traditional war canoe, the US embassy a traditional Bai, a modern Bai and ended up taking a bathroom break at one of the fanciest hotels in all of Palau… Not bad for a afternoon’s touring. However, the best part was just talking and hanging out with Soline in Palau. If you followed along last time we were in Palau, you know, there’s something almost magical about Palau. Somewhere, where the beauty of the country meets the beauty of the people there is a peace and a happiness that you just can’t find anywhere else.

Internet has been down at the dorms and the internet café was closed this morning (it’s Saturday here) so blogs might come more slowly the next couple days… Oh, ya I’m actually coming to you from a shell gas station right now…

Today is our Rock Island tour, the visual highlight of the trip; I can’t wait to see the students’ reaction to it all!

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