Tomorrow marks my third month of living here in Palau, and I have to say it: life is perfect. The decision to move to here was somewhat on-a-whim, but it was the best decision I could have possibly made. Every day is an adventure and every encounter is an opportunity. I am a tremendously blessed individual and and so very grateful for every moment.
Three months in and I am gainfully employed, living on my own (thanks to the awesome folks at PIDC!) and surrounded with some of the most amazing people I have ever known. I can’t even begin to comprehend why someone would want off of this tropical paradise!
But, of course, living here still means I’m living in an entirely new country and STILL learning entirely new bits of information that most people have known for most of their lives…
I’m still constantly getting confused about where things are and getting lost. This cannot be helped– as far as I’ve learned, only two streets have names: Main Road and Lebuu Street! )I am now, officially, confident of my ability to find prominent buildings in these areas!)
Let’s not forget that I still can’t differentiate and identify fruit trees, so half the directions I receive are hardly helpful… â€œWhen you get to Ngerbodel, turn at the mango tree. But not the Palauan mango, the Indian mango.â€
INDIAN MANGO? I’m still not sure which one is a mango tree, much less the ethnic differences between them.
But that’s not the full extent of my Lost-in-Belau syndrome. I can’t get neighborhoods right to save my life. I still don’t know how to differentiate Ngerbodel from Ngerchemai, and I don’t know where Iyebukel is in relation to either. This is a little sad, as I have spent ample time in all of these places and they are RIGHT THERE near me in Meketii.
(And speaking of Meketii: I only just learned last week that Btelulachang and Lachang are the same place. It seems silly now that I think on it– but it just didn’t occur to me before.)
Recently, I started exploring Ngerbeched. (Which I didn’t realize was the same thing as PECHED, but it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I did NOT know that…) I seem to have a lot of relatives who live there, but I’m never sure how to find their homes. Normally, I just have another relative drive me there– it’s confusing. When people start mentioning places like Ked or Frontline and Deleb– I only get more confused.
So here I am, the Native Ex-Pat come home– and I need a map. Preferably, a detailed map of Koror with the name of every neighborhood and â€œhangâ€ clearly labeled.
I want to know the back roads to use when traffic is ridiculous and how to get to my cousin’s homes without taking the long way. I dream of a day when I don’t have to follow every place name with â€œWhere’s that?â€ and â€œHow do I get there?â€
I love living here and aspire to know my place of residence as well as the rest of the residents here, but a little help would be much appreciated.