Mirror Reflections – Federal States of Micronesia & Russia


Life in the Federal States of Micronesia

A single footpath connects the homes, sometimes cutting right through someone’s front or back yard. There’s the usual one or two room concrete house with tin roof but also a traditional bamboo and palm thatch hut, with sand floor for the cooking fire and a wood platform for folks to rest on.

Drinking water is rain that rolls down the tin roof, into a split plastic pipe and through a piece of cheesecloth filter into a huge metal barrel. The Salik family then puts it into a large thermos … with ice. I never did figure out where the ice came from.

We went for a walk and saw that most folks were cooking dinner in their “uhm.”  You find these ground ovens all over the Pacific.  A shallow pit is lined with rocks, then covered with coconut husks which burn and heat the rocks. You remove the husks and wrap the food artfully in banana and palm leaves, lay it on top, cover with more leaves and leave it all to steam.

Every single family either invited me in for dinner or gave me coconuts, bananas or papayas to carry home………..

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Life in the Far Eat of Russia

NORTH OF KANCHALAN, Russia — The knife plunged, and the young bull reindeer, tugging lamely against the strength of one man, shuddered, then dropped to the crisp cover of snow.

 A woman hustled from a nearby tent and poked her finger into the reindeer’s eye. The reindeer blinked. The woman waited as its breathing faded, then poked again. The eye stayed open.

Three other women quickly set upon the reindeer, slicing and pulling fur from muscle, muscle from bone, working as an island of energy in the frozen, forgotten tundra of the Russian far north. Beyond the horizon obscured by a white cloak of snow and sky, coastal mountains rose, then sloped to the ice-locked shores of the Bering Strait, 300 miles east.

Until roughly 12,000 years ago, land bridged the strait, offering a passage for ancestors of some Native Americans to move from Asia into North America. After the ice age thaw, Chukchis, Inupiat, and other indigenous peoples crossed the strait freely in skin boats in summer

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4 thoughts on “Mirror Reflections – Federal States of Micronesia & Russia

  1. Oh my God! I NEVER thought I’d see FSM in something so global! Good Lord – it is amazing. I just would never have seen the possibility of comparing anything in Micronesia to anything in Russia. I honor you, sir! You found a reflection where none seemed possible. When you speak of “uhm” – you had to be on Pohnpei.- we spent 8 years there. And a couple on Chuuk. Passed through Yap and Kosrae. Two years on Palau (which is NOT in FSM, wanted to be independent). In any case Micronesia was our old stomping ground. I’m in shock and you have made my day! Thank you !!!

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