The first week in July was travel time for Nathan Fitch, former PCV on Kosrae, and me as we visited three cities to finish the interviews needed for a new video on Micronesian migrants. Nathan, always quick with the camera, recorded the shots in this short photo essay on our travels. That’s him in this reflection photo, with his traveling companion off to the upper left. Continue reading →
At first she wanted to be a police officer, although she had the natural talent to become a lawyer if she chose. But she really wanted to bust lawbreakers, not defend them in court–as she would have had to do as a lawyer.
As it turned out, she became a police officer on Saipan and served there for ten years. But when her father became seriously ill with kidney disease brought on by diabetes, she felt obliged to follow him to Hawaii. Continue reading →
When I was in Milan, Minnesota, visiting the Chuukese community there a couple of months ago, I heard one single complaint repeated again and again by the Americans looking out for their guests. Many of the young Chuukese would often skip school. Not just the older ones who might have had more interesting things to do, but the small kids as well.
Why won’t the children go to school? When I asked the question of the parents, I would simply get a shrug or shake of the head. If I pursued the point, they might admit that the kids felt uncomfortable in class. Why is that? Maybe because their kids couldn’t answer the questions the way other students could and they just felt stupid. Sometimes their kids couldn’t even understand the question. Continue reading →
If you don’t know these two men, you soon will. They’ll be making island headlines in the near future. The photo, by the way, was taken in the dining room of the Jesuit residence at Canisius College in Buffalo. Continue reading →
Milan… a three hour drive west from Minneapolis across the prairie… mile after mile of flat farmland with a train station and population center every now and then. Milan is a town of 300 people that runs perhaps four blocks in each direction. The current Chuukese population is 140, nearly all of them from the single island of Romanum. Continue reading →
As a fellow of East-West Center, I was given the opportunity to give talks–and do so much more–for two weeks in Honolulu and on the Big Island in mid-March. It all began with five presentations to classes in Ethnic Studies and Pacific Island Studies at the University of Hawaii. Why the ethic bias against Micronesians in Hawaii these days? How were Japanese migrants to Micronesia treated before the war? Continue reading →
Milan is a small town of just 300 people in rural Minnesota, but nearly half of them are from Romanum in Chuuk. At the end of March I expect to be visiting Milan, after a couple of weeks in Hawaii, to help create bridges between the Chuukese and their new neighbors from the Midwest. Not that the Chuukese don’t have friends there already. At the head of the list are Eric Thompson, a former PCV who spent two years in Chuuk, and Bob Ryan, a businessman who has become a father to the islanders. Continue reading →
I enjoyed a rare treat today, an opportunity to talk to a group of 30 Fordham students about the islands. The students were graduate students in Henry Schwalbenberg’s IPED program. The acronym stands for International Political Economy and Development. The students are largely people who have stars in their eyes (in the best sense) and have hopes of changing the world. One of them is shown in the photo above–Gabe Rossi, a former Jesuit Volunteer who just finished two years at Xavier High School (he’s the one on the left). The program director, Henry Schwalbenberg, might be unrecognizable to those of you who knew him when he worked with MicSem in Chuuk 30 years ago doing political education at the time that the island nations were still pondering their political future. He’s put on a few pounds since then, as you can see from the photo (he’s the bearded man in the center). Continue reading →
As the youngest of Fran Hezel’s four brothers, I am taking the owed prerogative of commandeering Fran’s blogsite for this occasion. Yes, he owes it to me, because all these years it’s he who has won all the attention.
Today, January 29, 2014, is Fran’s 75th birthday, and I want to capture for all of us and from all of us a sense of our deepest appreciation Continue reading →
The island team was in Washington the week of January 13th to do a presentation at the Department of Interior on the performance of the Micronesian economies over the past ten years (2003-2013). This marks the half-way point of the new Compact funding period, so it was a chance to find out how well the island nations are doing. Continue reading →