The grandaughter came to get me this afternoon and told me the grandmother was finished with the hibiscus, rainbow-colored ong (grass skirt). I was sitting in front of my computer and not appropriately dressed (it's usually really hot and I sit around in short boxers and a tank top sometimes). So I told her I would get dressed and come down. I went down and the grandmother tied it around me and it fit! She added four sections so it would fit my waist. Perfect. I tried to ask her if it was really for someone else, but she said no. Her sister's daughter made it. The 6 yr old grandauther was bouncing around saying how beautiful it is. Then she really wanted me to go to the milay' (garden) to clean with them. I said I would go. I couldn't really understand exactly what was going on because the grandmother didn't seem like she was going to the garden at that very minute and was mentioning something about tutu. So the grandmother left to go inside to see tutu, but the grandaughter told me to wait. So I did, we were talking, and I said I would have to go up and get my basket. So I went and came back. We waited for the grandmother, who came back, and then we went into the bush to clean. The grandmother had a machete, which I wish I also had at that point. She wasn't wearing any zories (flip-flops) and was eyeing my shoes and telling me to be careful. She asked if I would stay on the road, wondering if I was going to go trapsing through the bush with her, which of course I was absolutely going to go with her, not wait on the road! So we went trailblazing a bit, with her in the lead with her sipow (machete). We came to a clearing where she had already started clearing some. She wants to plant lang taro l'iy or tapioka thiogang in that spot. She sat down, motioning for me to sit. The 6 yr old sat next to me. She smoked a cigarette. I chewed. The 6 yr old and I had language class, again with the broken English and Yapese. We learned the words for:
coconut tree n'iw
glass bottle maelor
dragon fly 'asangol
...and others that I have forgotten already. I have a bad memory and had to look most of these up in the Yapese Dictionary anyway.
Later, in the evening, I talked with the parents about the ong. They thought it was fine and told me I could wear it the next time there is a dance. Cool!