A blog about my adventures, wherever I may be.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Walking around the island

I had the opportunity to walk around the island with two M78s, Ben and Nick, over a three-day weekend in October.  Nothing like 50 miles to motivate a person, huh?  Pohnpei has one main road that encircles the entire island – beforehand I calculated plausible walking distances based on places where we could spend the night.

First leg (approximately 14 miles) – Nett, Sokehs, and Kitti

The boys and I started off strong with a hearty breakfast and enthusiasm to get over many, many hills.  I had the bright idea of doing this walk Pohnpeian style (in a skirt and using flip-flops), which I quickly realized was a HUGE mistake.  We ended up not walking the entire way – I very much overestimated the distance – so we got a free ride via flatbed to our destination for the night.
The beginning
Welcome welcome!
Pit stop at Mia's host family
Return to my training school
Second leg (approximately 14 miles as well) – Kitti and Madolenihmw

We successfully completed this leg, I am proud to say.  I felt very comfortable in my own neck of the woods and served as tour guide for the guys.  My host family provided us with a very filling lunch that gave us the fuel to make it to our night’s destination.  I also switched to socks and gym shoes that allowed me to continue walking, but the flip-flops had already done their damage – my blisters were HUGE!

Much gratitude to JVI Sam and her awesome host family for letting us spend the night
Welcome from the other side of Madolenihmw
I know my host family already thinks I’m crazy, but they still indulge me

Mormon church
Danger danger!
Last leg (approximately 2 miles) – Madolenihmw and U

Setting out after a leisurely breakfast, I was mentally ready to walk the final distance but my feet were definitely not cooperating.  After crossing municipality lines (just so I could say that I have walked to each of the five municipalities) the boys and I got a taxi back to our point of origin, the Peace Corps office.  Even though we only walked 60% of the island I felt quite accomplished and satisfied with what we did do.

Check out my expression – no amount of hospitality (thank you Joyce and host family) could relieve the pain of my blisters.
I spent the next week or two making sure my self-inflicted wounds did not get infected and waddling around like a duck – which amused my students, of course.  Lesson learned!


  1. Janelle...you are the consummate tour guide- very authentic...blisters and all. Guiding the next batch of PCV's..the legacy lives on.

  2. This is great! I taught at the SDA highschool, It was a joy to run across your blog today!