Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Finding Pohnpei

Last Friday afternoon, Iris Tan suddenly popped a weird question to me from her cubicle. "Christine, do you know where this country called Pohnpei is?" "Huh? Say it again?" She repeated, "Pohnpei." "What? Never heard such name. Are you sure such country does exist?" "Yes! I'm looking at their website now... Actually it is just a federal state but I don't know where it is."

Then I came over to her place and took a look at the website.

Iris was working on her public sector conference and in the past few weeks, she has been vigorously browsing governmental websites from any possible countries to be invited to the forum. Once I saw the website, I quickly went back to my computer and googled: Pohnpei. Apparently it does exist. Then, I loudly read my findings to Iris and Rej that apparently Pohnpei is one of the federal states in Micronesia. Iris asked "Micronesia? What's that? Never heard it before..." "It's a country. An archipelago like Indonesia. They have lots of small islands." Then I pointed to them the Micronesian map from Wikipedia.

Micronesia Map

Micronesia in the map is a country with lots of little green dots i.e. mini islands in its territory. Pohnpei is just one of the green dots within Micronesian proximity. I've heard about Guam before. Rej has heard about Palau before. Although we both never knew that these two names are actually also under Micronesia. But again, three of us never heard about Pohnpei at all until 16th of April 2010.  Obviously, Pohnpei was not part of the Geography curriculum during our schooling days.

Detailed Map of Pohnpei

Pohnpei is indeed a tiny island, barely spotted and often overlooked by normal people in the map. According to Wikipedia, the island is only inhabited by approximately 34,000 people. It is also the home of some indigenous people, whose physical attributes look alike those of Filipinos and Indonesians.

My next question to Iris was, "How would you fly your speaker from there? It's very far. Even further than New Guinea and Fiji. I knew you've flown someone from Fiji before... But Pohnpei, I am not sure whether it's accessible." Suddenly we were so excited with our interesting geography findings. Something that we never thought we would find out in our adult years.

After some further research, apparently Pohnpei is indeed accessible from the other parts of the world as it has an international airport, although it looks quite modest from the photo in the internet.

All of sudden, we just had this craze over Pohnpei and its people. Few minutes later, a photo of a local person from Pohnpei was sent to my mailbox. Apparently Iris has sent Rej and me some photos of the state officials in Pohnpei's website. The question accompanying these photos was: What do you think about Pohnpei people?

After looking at the photos, my first comment on them was that they look nice. Rej was stunned abit. However after some in-depth analysis both of them agreed that they really look nice people. In the end, Iris remarked that they are the contented looking people. I can't agree more. I mean look at how the people there smile. Their smiles are all warm, sweet, friendly and so welcoming. See how they dress in the floral shirts and not to forget the head wreath they wear, even for the government officials. They sure look like come from a very nice and friendly community, living a pretty laid-back life which many may envy.

I wonder how life in Pohnpei feels like. But first, I need to know how to get there!


  1. there's only one flight coming to my island and that's Continental. If you want to visit book at continental airlines. cheers

  2. I see. Thanks for the info. I'll spread this info to my two colleagues! :)

  3. I casually found the info on Continental Airline's website. Total travelling hours from SG to Pohnpei is 26 hours 23 minutes! Longer than going to US, I think. From Singapore, change plane to Tokyo then change plane to Guam then from Guam take plane to Pohnpei. Wow! Interesting.

  4. A present, summer 2010, there are a couple from Singapore on Pohnpei, although one will be leaving with the end of summer. RS just finished teaching a drama class which included student written and directed productions. I teach at the two year college here on Pohnpei and blog from here as well. For a look at Pohnpei, see my blog.

  5. Oh thank you for sharing the info. Thanks for letting me know your blog too. Nice to know the life in the other part of the world there. :)


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