I am going to apologize ahead of time for how long this post will be but a lot has happened since my last post and I will put in a lot of pictures. I do leave Pohnpei tomorrow, heading back through Guam and Hawaii (which is scheduled to have a hurricane hit right about the time my flight is supposed to leave) and finally back to SFO. While I’ll be happy to go home (especially since my stomach has not agreed with the food here and I’ve had mild stomach problems pretty much the past two months) I will also be sad to leave Pohnpei and the friends I have made here. Shortly after my last post I spent a week with the Conservation Society of Pohnpei’s dive team and Master’s students from the University of Guam conducting fish and coral studies on multiple sites throughout the island of Pohnpei, I made a training class for the Community Conservation Officers of Pohnpei as well as municipal police and Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) officers which I presented last Thursday, and I met with the new Chief of the DFW to hear about the issues they have and what he is doing to overcome them. Continue reading
The main reason why I am out in Pohnpei is to work with the Community Conservation Officers and Department of Fish and Wildlife to come up with a training program and recommendations for improvements to different conservation enforcement programs, in particular the rangers of Ant Atoll, OneReefs main focus so far in Pohnpei. Prior to my decision to come to MIIS, I was a police officer at the California State University Monterey Bay and prior to that I had done numerous support jobs such as records and evidence and being a Community Service Officer, in total I spent almost four years working for a police department, hence my being sent to basically do law enforcement consulting in Pohnpei. Continue reading
Greetings from Pohnpei!
My first few days on the island have been an adventure, I arrived on Thursday after over 30 hours of travel and met briefly with my OneReef contact Wayne Andrew (yes his last name being my first name has become a bit of a joke). Wayne, who is from Palau, is visiting Pohnpei and staying at the same hotel as me. He stopped by for a brief hello and told me to get some rest. The next day we met up and went to meet the Director of the Conservation Society of Pohpei, Eugene Joseph, we agreed to set up a meeting with everyone on Monday to go over the best way to use my skills. Continue reading
In about twenty-four hours I will be landing in Honolulu for a 9 hour layover before taking another 10 hour flight through the Marshall Islands to Kolonia, Pohnpei, Micronesia where I will be living for the next two months. As I sit on my bed and look up at the dive flag hanging over my headboard and the two dive photos hanging over the foot of my bed, I cant help but look forward to diving in some of the beautiful reefs of Ant Atoll, a small atoll off the coast of Pohnpei with a population of 10, mostly conservation officers who I’ll be living and working with for a few weeks during my time in Micronesia. Packing has been a challenge, pretty sure my carry-on is over the weight limit but dive gear was included on my packing list and there is no way I am going to Micronesia and not bringing my dive camera rig, still looking for my dive computer though but I’ll find that tomorrow before I leave. I will probably try to do quite a few posts throughout the summer and look forward to posting again after a few days in Pohnpei!