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To Paliw Mau Piailug

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I THINK back of the years you would sail to Saipan  which brings precious memories for our Carolinian community who prepared for a feast to celebrate your arrival.

I still hold onto my canoe you carved at my house in Yap back in 1979.  Never will I forget the comment you shared with me before taking the Micro Spirit back to Satawal.  “Emi, I will be going back to Satawal to see the families and should be back in a month to wait for my airline ticket to Hawaii to sail the Hukeleia. Is there anything you would like from Satawal and don’t think there’s Joeten there.” We both laughed so hard.

I told you I would love for you to carve me my own canoe and some glass balls and shells.

Upon the return of the Micro Spirit Ferry from dropping you off in Satawal, the Captain came knocking on my door and to my surprise, I got a pickup load of glass balls and shells. 

First I was thinking… maybe 5 or 10 of these glass balls were for me.  “Can I choose from the glass balls? How many do I get?”  I asked. The Captain chuckled then asked me if someone was home to help us unload the whole load. I gasped with joy, got really excited and told the Captain not to worry, just back up.

I called Nang on Saipan to bake those delicious local bread, rosko, dinner rolls and cakes — those that didn’t need to be in the refrigerator for weeks, and to put them on the next flight out of Saipan to Yap. I  gave a box to the Captain and asked him to take the rest to you.

A month later, you returned to Yap. I met you and begged you to stay at my house while you waited for you airline ticket from Hawaii. Your son Henry was traveling with you.

I really admired how you carved my canoe using a four-foot log from a breadfruit tree. You used a small chisel and a pen knife. I talked you into leaving the tools with me to be part of my canoe and in return, I bought you a brand new, stainless steel chisel and pen knife.  I still have your tools and will forever treasure them.

As for Henry or Hank — watching him  shredding/tearing pieces off  coconut fibers from the husk, taking a few strings at a time,  rolling them back and forth on his thigh while he kept adding fibers until, voila! He had made coconut fiber rope. I still have the leftover bundle of the rope Hank rolled for me. Olomwaay reemw Hank.

I still love sharing with family members and friends how you carved my canoe using only all natural materials except for the chisel and pen knife. Asaina, your nails you used and the little sticks you shaved and shaped! I was giggling and told you we could make money if we partnered and produce massive local toothpicks.

Ghillisow ngalugh Mau reel olongal mill kkewe ughal aytii ngaliir olongeer. Thank You Honorable Paliw Mau for all your teachings.

We will miss and you will be remembered as our Dear Master Navigator.

Ngang,

 

EMI LISIFANGLAA PETER-PALICAN

Saipan, CNMI

 

 

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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