There’s nothing soft about hard times – Bill’s update #15
Folks, I am not complaining at all. Despite all the setbacks and challenges, I consider myself a lucky man.
In late November 2021, Patricia and I underwent surgery for her to receive one of my kidneys and we are still in the Philippines. She is doing really well and we are hoping to be approved for travel soon. Being able to travel again will be a relief, but the question is: “where to go”?
It starts to sound like a broken record, but the President’s Emergency Health Declaration was extended again, this time ’til May 31, 2022. The repatriation flights for FSM citizens and residents have been put on hold until further notice, so going back to Yap right now isn’t even an option.
Going to the US might be the best plan. I would be able to visit my mom, my brother and his family as well as our sons Nathan and OP. With a little bit of planning, we could attend the Long Beach SCUBA Show as well. Lots of things to figure out before we can decide. In view of Patricia’s health, it might be best to stay in the Philippines until she has strengthened her immune system. We’ll keep you posted.
Challenges always create opportunities, and the COVID-19 crisis gave OP the opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream to join the US Navy. He went into boot camp in late November and after boot camp, he graduated 3rd in his class at A school. He is training to be an aviation mechanic. Unfortunately, we couldn’t attend his boot camp graduation ceremony, but we were able to follow it via a live stream. Patricia was quite upset though that the cameraman didn’t zoom in on “her son Airman Acker”. Nevertheless, he graduated and it was a great event to watch. We are both very proud of him just as we are very proud of his three siblings.
Even though we don’t know when we’re going to open for international guest arrivals, there is some positive development as the traffic between the four States seems to be increasing. We recently had the honor of hosting several dignitaries. Numie and her team enjoyed having guests at the resort for the first time since March 2020. It was a real pleasure to have the President of the Federated States of Micronesia along with the first lady, the Ambassador of Australia and the Deputy Chief of the United States Embassy as our guests for a full week.
We cherish the feedback from all our guests. After being closed for so long, we were especially happy to find out we still have the right stuff. We were complimented by the president on our resort, operations, and staff. President Panuelo told us: “Regardless of what you come to Yap for, the Manta Ray Bay Resort has everything you could possibly expect from a first-class dive resort.”
I have been posting about our upgrading activities on the S/V Mnuw. Detlef, Boogie, Larry and Jude are making real progress, and we can’t wait to show you the results when we open again. Here are some teasers for you:
Folks, as you know, I’ve always tried to convince divers that if they have the time, combining Yap, Palau, and/or Chuuk makes for a better dive trip than doing one island only. These western Pacific Micronesia destinations offer three totally different dive and cultural experiences, languages and topography. As we speak, we’re strengthening ties with our partners on Palau and Chuuk, which will make it easier to combine Yap with one or two other islands. Besides our combination packages, Pacific Mission Aviation is going to provide regular service between Yap and Palau, and they will offer charter flights between our beautiful island and Chuuk. Please reach out to me if you would like to have more information on this, and I will be happy to provide you with a tailor-made quotation.
No, my friends, there’s nothing soft about hard times, but I ain’t complaining!
For all those married, were married, wish you were married, or wish you weren’t married, this is something to smile about the next time you see a bottle of wine!
Recently, I was driving back to the Gold Coast from Port Douglas in Northern Queensland when I saw an elderly Aboriginal man walking on the side of the road.
As the trip was a long and quiet one, I stopped the car and asked the Aboriginal man if he would like a ride.
With a silent nod of thanks, the old man got into the car.
Resuming the journey, the old man just sat silently, looking intently at everything he saw, studying every little detail, until he noticed a brown paper bag on the back seat.
“What’s in the paper bag boss”, the old bloke said.
Without looking at the bag I said, … “It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my wife.”
The old Aboriginal man was silent for another moment or two.
Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, he said: “Good trade”