2011 BentProp Progress Report # 17

P-MAN XIII Update #17 - Interviewing an elder; shopping for spear guns

21 March

It is interesting and a little different having the three Marines here. We all woke up this morning early but at our own time and all went on runs but different route at slightly different times. I need to ensure I start bringing my camera every time I go on a run because I haven’t the last two times, and each time I saw something that I wanted a picture of. Last time when I was on my way back, running on the sea wall, there as a moray eel swimming at the surface along the wall. Missed my chance. This morning there was van sitting on its side on the side of the road. Apparently someone had driven in the ditch last night and tipped their van onto its side and just left it sitting there. It was recovered by this afternoon.

On the way back from my run, Joe passed me in his car on the way to NECO, so I stopped in to touch base with him before continuing on to the hotel. We talked about some of the people we were looking to talk to today and through the discussion he remembered an elder, Ulitech, who was living in town that BentProp had not talked to yet. Joe said he was going to make an attempt to track him down today to see if he would be willing to talk to us. As things turned out, he was willing to talk to us in the afternoon.

This year's trusty BentProp steed, again courtesy of Mason Whipps. Driving in Palau
is an exciting experience for U.S. drivers: cars in Palau have steering on the right,
(like in Japan and the U.K.) but they drive on the right side of the road (like in the U.S.).

One of the main goals for us to accomplish today was getting our wireless internet to work in our room. After some communication with guys back in the U.S. and us three Marines staring at it for a couple of days, it still wasn’t working. We broke down and went to the local computer shop and set up an appointment for them to come look at it. After a 15-minute visit in the afternoon, they had it up and running.

After stopping at a local governor's house, we made it to the home of Ulitech, who was a teenager during the war. He lives in Koror now, but was on the Northern end of the big island during the war years. We found him at work in his shop when we arrived, where he was working on a new spear gun. He makes spear guns for fishermen. Through our interview he explained that because he was so far north during the war he did not see airplanes shot down and no foreigners except for the Japanese. He told us how the Japanese were very harsh in their control of the country then and he was scared of them as a boy. At the end we thanked him for his time and asked him to contact us if he recalls anything more. We also inquired how much it would cost to get one of his spear guns. I’m looking into the customs laws now about how to get one back to the US.

Warren, Derek, and Joe interview Ulitech in his shop

Ulitech makes spear guns.

We're excited for a water day tomorrow!

- Derek

Return to Progress Reports Index