Micronesia 21 May: Sokeh's Causeway

The MAD mums of Pohnpei

Today was a day of very different activities compared to what we have done so far!

The day started as early as 5:30am still in the dark. We had a meeting with “MAD moms” at the top-class local stadium, which is a place where many locals do their work out. They had brought out an amazing banner to support our event and the Peace Run, which was kindly arranged by Sylvia.

“MAD” means a “Mile a Day”. This is a group of working women who accepted the lifetime challenge and a commitment to doing at least a mile a day. There is no formal structure to it, they just post their achievements, announcements and support for each other on Facebook and the motivational sparkle spreads around!

Mayce is the leader in the number of consecutive days during which she walked/ran at least a mile – impressive 295 days in a row!

All ladies turned up with their smartphones and apps to measure the distance.

The MAD Mums post their progress on Social Media so there were lots of photos happening.

We were so inspired by this group of cheerful and enthusiastic bunch of mums whose motto is to encourage everyone around to run/walk at least one mile a day for as many consecutive days as possible.

They support each other in this challenge and are also fun to be around. They admitted that their health, both physical and mental has improved since they joined the programme.

They even arranged a Police Escort for us on our 5km (3-mile) route!

You don’t have to be a mum to join! Some of them came with their kids: we were also happy to see the only boy participant who remembered us from the visit to his school the day before.

Back at the track ...

... before our relay we were offered some refreshments ...

We finished the event with a relay running around the stadium a couple of times with the Peace Torch being handed over among all participants.

Each participant ran with the Peace Torch 100 metres.

In total 1 mile was run.

Sophia first came to the Welcome Ceremony when we arrived and was inspired to arrange this event for us. Thank you Sophia!

Some of the women who helped start MAD Mums. Left to right are Liman, Melynda and Joyce.

Final touches on ...

... the beautiful banner!

Straight from the stadium we drove to a nearby small island where Dana (the juggling runner from 3 days ago) and Liz led the team through a 10km running track in a beautiful natural setting.

We have to admit that it was really, really hot but we still enjoyed it very much.

Dana (originally from US) is a walking encyclopaedia for all of the island’s history and plants around and we thank him for all the fascinating and educational stories… (I am sure all his students at the college must just love him!)

Liz is our Kiwi friend from the Red Cross.

We finished our morning’s workout by a steep hike up to the island’s view point led by Eliza, a diplomat from Australia.

The views were simply remarkable.

We are not going to hide that we were all hot and sweaty and in the end Eliza kindly offered to take us swimming to the best place only locals know of. You can imagine how we enjoyed dipping into cool ocean waters!!

We spent most of the afternoon preparing for the next day when we are in Kiribati and where a really busy and packed 24-hour period is ahead of us, therefore, we need to be ready for every detail. We also “worked” on our supply of coconuts we received during previous days which kept us nicely rehydrated.

Serpina came to farewell us, with another flower garland which was again stunning.

The owner of the hotel we stayed in, Ann from the Ocean View Hotel, generously invited us to her apartment for chilled coconuts and a wonderful dinner at sunset and her friends made beautiful garlands for us.

We can’t thank enough all those kind-hearted people we met on Pohnpei Island in Micronesia. Every single person contributed to the mission we are on enormously and made our stay here so memorable.