en route to Yap

During this month of May, I’ll turn this blog over to observations on our trip to Yap.  Yup, Yap.  One small island among others within the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  I’ll be there for 3 weeks, part of a class from Queens University (Charlotte, North Carolina). I’m accompanying my grad-school friend Reed Perkins, an environmental science faculty member. And his colleague Greg Pillar, and their 12 undergraduate students.  Reed takes a group of students *every* May term to Yap; this is his 11th trip.  They do a range of different environmentally-oriented projects, often focusing on watershed dynamics and sustainable agriculture. This year in particular they’re beginning a GIS-based project that aims to mitigate issues of sea-level rise affecting the outer Yapese islands.

My part in all of this? Being another “adult” on the trip, contributing GIS expertise, learning to scuba dive, and some weeks of off-work time.

To travel from Ithaca (NY) to Colonia (Yap, FSM) required me first to pass through EWR to CLT on day one.  Then about 27 hrs ago we left CLT for IAH, then HNL (where I’d never been before, but an hour in the airport doesn’t count for crossing the state off my list), and now Guam (GUM).

licenseplateguam

Guam, enough part of the US to still have my cell phone plan work, but still 15 hrs of combined flight time from Texas.  The touristy part of “downtown” of Guam City (?) looks like one gigantic Duty Free shop. All neon, all luxury stores. Cartier, Tiffany, Rolex, Louis Vuitton. Not where the Guamese hang out. But with our 5-hr layover, close enough to find a sushi restaurant for dinner (breakfast, EDT).  Dee-licious.

Almost time for the short flight over to Yap.  We found a wall of free wifi leaking through from the United Club. Fifteen people, thirsty for their internet stream after a dry day of travel.  wifiguam

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