Greetings from 5,465 miles away from Micronesia in the city of Federal Way, and in the beautiful state of Washington, home of Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks and Costco as well as the NFL’s toughest team, the Seattle SeaHawks.
Good morning ladies and gentleman. It’s Fall here in the states, time when tree leaves turn into all sorts of Orangy colors. Beautiful I must say but with all that comes the feeling that the days ahead are going to be gray, dark and cold. And the nights are very long too. It’s a rainy season for us Seattleites. And for all Americans, the flu season is upon us.
Not everything looks gloomy when summer ends. In addition to the beautiful tree colors, everyone is prepping for what businesses called the 4th Quarter. In football, it’s now or never! For kids, it’s PRESENTS. And for Christians, the King is going to be born.
As for me, I am looking ahead to July 2019, when I will be on my way to my favorite fishing spot, Chelsea Rose, Newport, Oregon. It takes 5 hours drive, but the fishing is always good. You step on the dock and within a few steps, you find yourself alongside Chelsea Rose and her crew busying throwing away the best parts of tuna. It’s there where I hook them tunas and head straight for some meaty tuna sashimi breakfast.
In order for me and most Americans to deal with all changes in life, we must have plans in place. Today, I will be heading to my doctor to get my annual flu shot. Yesterday, I took my car to the shop for oil change, tire check, battery check and more importantly to change out the wiper blades cuz here in Seattle, you know it’s going to rain. And for all the stores out there, the shelves are filled with Halloween Decors and the Thanksgiving and Christmas orders are already in. In addition to all that, this is the time that businesses are hiring seasonal workers.
So why am I telling you all of these? Well, I have learned through facebook of all places that the only thing differentiate us humans from animals is that we know there’s a tomorrow. And because of that reason, we plan for it. PLANNING is what I am trying to convey here. We must be prepared for what’s ahead of us.
As I am sitting here, munching on a bowl of 1 Minute Oatmeal while drowning in a Venti size cup of French Roasted dark coffee and literally 5,465 miles from Micronesia, I wonder what happened to the Ms. MicroSpirit.
In me, its spirit lives on. In thousands of her former crews and passengers, the spirit lives on. But I ponder what happened. I beg your pardon, I must try to figure it all out.
For those of you Ifagalz followers that have no clue what Ms. MicroSpirit is, let me try to explain it a little further. It’s a cargo/passenger ship servicing the Yap Outer Islands of Ngulu, Ulithi, Fais, Sorol, Yaurupig, Weleya, Ifelug, Feshailap, Faiyew, Welmeraw, Elato, Lamocheg, and Sattewal. The Ms. MicroSpirit served these islands for over 20 years, way past her expected life of service. It’s the very ship that took me from Ifelug to Yap proper the last time I visited back in 1994 and the very ship that took me to boarding school on Weleya and Ulithi back in the 80’s.
It’s a ship with a true ISLAND SPIRIT! And there’s nothing like it out there today. It’s a shame our leaders left her to die without a PLAN in place. Wait, there’s maybe one or two but both were missing the Spirit.
Last I heard, there was this ship called Hapilmogol that no one wants to insure. I guess the name is cool though. That’s exactly what’s expected of her. To hide deep in the trenches of Hapilmogol. And there’s the brand new CIA, a two engine plane that cannot land on Yaurupig or Feshailap, let alone Lamocheg or Sattewal.
I feel sad to say our leaders have failed our Outer Islands and have left the spirit on the side of Lunguch in pieces. Our leaders have shattered the last pieces of the SPIRIT. But why? Poor PLANNING maybe?
For our congress delegation or candidates, what does the FSM plan to do with the transportation problem between Yap and its outer islands? Can the FSM provides a more consistent service between these islands or can the states do better? Why the FSM decided to have its own fleet of cargo/passenger ships? Are they consolidating these services because they are better in managing it than the state does?
What you all think? Can the FSM do a better job than each state in running services like this?
We all know, Ulithi, Fais, and Woleai have airstrips so that’s a plus but can these planes carry drums of gasoline/kerosene? Are planes better alternatives?
Ifelug and Yaurupig are benefitting from the airstrip on Woleai so I am tempted to ask both Congressman Joe Urusemal and Senator Jerry Fagolimul of their plans in upgrading this service to ensure a more safer and better commute by the people of these islands.
I believe there is no better time than today to reflect on what works and what didn’t work. We know canoes can travel these islands, as long as there’s wind and decent weather. We also know gasoline/kerosene are getting very expensive and also are the greater polluters of our planet.
For Yaurupig and Ifelug as well as Feshaulap, we need a very good communication as well as navigational system in place for safer traveling. I am talking expanding cellphone services between these three islands. In addition to the cellphone services, there must be some kind of beacons or lighthouses powered by solar to help direct canoes to their destinations. And hopefully the government can provide each island with Emergency Position Indicating Radiobeacon (EPIRB) to be carried in case of emergencies by all traveling groups between these islands.
I am not implying you are not Super Navigators back home, but just like humans do, plan for the unforeseen circumstances. Plan for that moment in time you’re going to need it.
It’s the failure of planning that led us to this day where our folks are stuck in Pohnpei, on Yap, or in the outer islands having no idea when is the Hapilmogol going to appear out of that deep deep ocean. Or when will the FSM decides it’s time to give the state of Yap it’s own ship so it can run it on its own.
What Can I do
Continue working hard and paying my share of the tax money that will eventually make its way to Micronesia and down to the state of Yap with the hope that it can use it to find a better way of transporting people and cargo between them islands.
How much you give
Last year, my wife and I paid well over $13,000 in taxes and fees. If 100 of us Yapese living in America each paid that much, our contribution to the US Treasury would be 1 MILLION 300 THOUSAND dollars.
Have you Register to Vote
If you say NO, then I have nothing to say but for you to go to Sam Ilesugam on Guam and ask him to help you fill out a form. I think I see him posting about meeting him in Barrigada across from Untalan Middle School on October the 14th. Go check him out.