The last island we lived on before returning to the mainland in 1966, Yap has maintained more traditions and culture than other islands and it's not hard to find things that have changed very little since we lived there.  Although Yap historically is not as prone to typhoons as some islands, in April 2004, Typhoon Sudal caused extensive damage that could still be seen in places when we visited in July 2005.


Colonia, the capital of Yap.  This building was the District Administration building in the Trust Territory days.

Cultural center.
Trader's Ridge Resort.  For a modern luxury hotel, this building blends in fairly well with the surroundings and doesn't dominate the area like the the high-rise hotels on Guam and Saipan.
St. Mary's Catholic School.  We used to pass by here on the way to Alau School on the road to the left.  This view looks much the same as it did 40 years ago when we lived here-the biggest difference is the paved roads.
Former Alau School:  Now the island's education department.  The near building was the main school building and library.  A second story has been added.  All the other buildings from that time are gone, including a men's house and copra drying shed that were on the grounds.
View of Chamorro Bay, showing "Rev. Kalau's Church."  As kids, we knew this as "Benjo Bay."  A benjo is basically an outhouse on stilts over the water.  Happily, they are all gone now.
"Rev. Kalau's Church"  Not the official name, but still known by the name of the man who built it.  We attended his services here in the 1960's.  After standing all these years, Typhoon Sudal destroyed the roof and a subsequent storm collapsed the front wall.  The damage to the steps from the wall collapse is evident in the above photo.  The rebuilding was well under way as we visited.  The church has been a prominent feature of Colonia for many years and it was gratifying to see it being restored to the original appearance.
The Hilltop Hotel.  It may not be fancy like Trader's Ridge across the bay, but it was comfortable and very reasonable.  Delma, the owner lives next door  You can contact her at yoruwm@hotmail.com


Sue and Gary at the Hilltop, Chamorro Bay in the background.
Rai (stone money) lines a road.  Well-known symbol of Yap, these large pieces are left in place when the ownership changes.  The men's house in the picture to the left was destroyed by Typhoon Sudal and has been rebuilt with corrugated metal sheets instead of the traditional thatch.


Yap, Part 2
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