They ate my dog.

The moment I stepped from the car, my soul filled with nerves and excitement to meet my host family for the first time, this moment that I dreamed to be a happy engagement was instantly interrupted by a viscous dog. … Continue reading

The Clam Farm

Today, the Kosrae Peace Corps. team took a field trip to the one and only Clam Farm in Kosrae.

Two full-time clam farmers Tulin and Arnold greeted the three of us at the farm located in Lelu. Both men have worked at Clam farm for more the 10 years. They are experienced in scuba diving to locate the claims, breeding and caring for the creatures. They encouraged the three of us to take a self-guided tour of the farm. Throughout the farm are rows of shallow, rectangular open cement tanks scattered with multiple varieties of clams. Water from the ocean continuously pumps through the tanks to keep the claims in comfortable habitat.

 

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Photo By Jasmin Taylor, Peace Corps M81

The colors of the claims varied in each tank. Some had florescent blue and purple flesh while others were brown and tan. These clams looked way too beautiful to eat but Tulin did admit that he enjoys these creatures as a tasty snack. I personally don’t think I would be able to stomach such a magnificent animal, which takes five years to grow four inches in diameter, a decent eatable size.

After looking at the different tanks of clams, we asked Tulin about the breading process of the clams. He described his trips scuba diving in Pohnpei to find mating candidates, and told us about the spawning processes of two clams.

I enjoyed how enthusiastic the men where to answer our questions about clam spawning. He also mentioned that just this week the team shipped of a batch of healthy clams to Europe to be sold in aquariums. I asked how much these clams were sold  for but the men didn’t know. But, I would image that the plane ticket for a 50 or more clams from the tiny island of Kosrae to Europe make these beauties worth a pretty penny.

I would recommend the site to visitors, entrance is free and walk-ins are welcome. I look forward to visiting the clam farm again.

 

Status Update 2: My home in Kosrae, Micronesia

Hello! I’ve been living at my permanent site in the state of Kosrae for a little more than one month now. Kosrae is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, in the Northern Pacific Ocean. The state is about 2,476 miles from Hawaii. Its island is 8 by 10 miles, a little bigger than the place I left my heart, San Francisco. There are about 8,000 people that currently call the island home.

DSC00472Along with myself, there are three other Peace Corps. Volunteers and two Peace Corps. Response Volunteers that reside in Kosrae. I live in the second most outer village called Utwe; it’s about 30-mintues driving from the next volunteer and 40-mintues from town. Utwe is very secluded from the rest of the villages. The asphalt road that leads to town ends halfway through my village. When I am in town it’s  common for people to seem surprised to see me and ask how I got to town that day, Utwe seems extremely far when you live on a small island.

The elementary school where I teach is a close walking distance from my home-stay. I have been helping teach third grade oral communication and reading, as well as fifth grade writing. The English language is introduced in the classroom in third grade. One challenge that I have faced is the variety of English skill levels my students have. Some of the students come from families who have connection in the states especially Hawaii; these students have English levels that exceed the Department of Educations expectations while many others are far behind. I have had a lot of fun teaching so far. My students have become my best friends. (Most of the 20 something’s in my village, and Kosrae are married with children.) So, when I go for a walk to the beach or store, I’m bound to be accompanied by one of my fellow students, they always help me practice my Kosraean language on the way.

I look forward to posting more updates now that I have stable internet connection, however, photos uploaded to my Flickr page will take longer, sislouh kolu (sorry).

Until next time or kuht faht osun (Goodbye)!