Thursday, March 24, 2016

To Teachers, Students, and other Readers

     The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is written for students of English as a Second Language/ English as a Foreign Language (ESL/EFL), especially English Tourism classes in English for Specific Purposes.  The location is inspired by the island of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).  I have tried to make the fictional Kanifay Island as true to real life as the medium of storytelling will allow, but some errors may have crept in.  I welcome your corrections, suggestions, and other comments.
     Any photos or illustrations I may use in this story are only for illustration.  They are not intended to accurately represent real people, businesses, or institutions.  The Department of Safety is a fictional agency and is in no way intended to represent the Micronesian government.  The Hokkaido Journal of Cryptozoology is a fictional medical journal, and the article described in the journal is entirely a product of the author's imagination.
About the Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island
     Counting the title page, The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is 19,358 words long, has three major characters, and uses basic language.  Most of the vocabulary words are tourism vocabulary words.  The meaning of word exhibitionism is changed for the purpose of this story; the word foxismonite was coined by the author.  The shortest chapter is around 1,300 words long; the longest is less than 1,500.
     Various legends of fox fairies are found throughout East Asia, Europe, and among Native American tribes.  All these legends are alike in some ways, but they are different in others.  The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island is one of many ways of telling the legend.   

Main characters:
     Tony McCalla is a nineteen-year-old university sophomore who is taking a six-week summer vacation to learn scuba diving.  Cindy Pialug is an eighteen-year-old Kanifay islander who has plans to study at Ponape Island State College in the fall.  Dash Tobey is a handsome action movie hero (in his early twenties) who often stars in movies about scuba diving.  Dash Tobey is on Kanifay Island making a movie.  Off-screen, Dash Tobey owns a real, working ranch in Wyoming and flies a helicopter that he sometimes uses to look for lost people in the mountains.

     Tony McCalla goes alone to Kanifay Island to learn scuba diving for six weeks.  After a week’s stay at O’Malley’s Inn, he meets Cindy, who tells him about her neighbor who offers a home stay.  Thus, he becomes Cindy’s neighbor, and they see each other several times a week.  When Tony isn’t scuba diving or studying scuba diving, he (sometimes with Cindy) enjoys the island’s attractions and events.  They include going to an old Japanese airfield (with wrecked warplanes), watching cultural events, and kayaking.
     Unknown to Tony, and even to Cindy’s neighbors, Cindy is a fox fairy.  Each night, from sunset until dawn, Cindy becomes a fox.  The trouble is, foxes are not native to Kanifay Island.  They had been brought to the island during the 1930’s and got out of hand.  Since foxes are seen as harmful to native plants and animals, the Department of Safety has been trying to kill all the foxes on the island.
    When Cindy has an accident and a doctor discovers that she’s a fox fairy, several local people including the police chief agree that she must be kept hidden until she can be sneaked from the island.  Since Kanifay Island had once been an American territory, Kanifay islanders can move to the United States and live there as long as they wish.  A flight to Guam appears to be their only way out.  With only one flight a week going to Guam, keeping Cindy’s secret is difficult.
     The Department of Safety finds out about Cindy and sends people to catch or kill her.  Cindy and Tony have to leave the island, but how?  The Department of Safety already has its people at the airport.  As Cindy and Tony try to reach the coast, where a friend has a small boat, they are trapped at the old Japanese airfield.  The Department of Safety can do nothing to Cindy as long as she’s in her human form, but darkness will come soon.  Then they plan to move in and kill her.  How can Cindy and Tony escape?

     The final chapter gives brief glimpses of Cindy’s college life, shopping with her host family, and other events during which her secret is almost discovered.  At this writing, Cindy is in her second semester and has three more years at Congaree University.

About the Author of The Fox Fairy of Kanifay Island

     Jerry Mills is a retired teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) and has lived in Taiwan since 1992.  In addition to Conversation, Grammar, and Composition, he taught several English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses, including Tourism, Advertising and Marketing, Journalism, Business, and Literature.

Chapter 1: Planning a Diving Adventure Vacation

     At the main desk of the Joe Jackson Library reading room, Tony McCalla signed his name and wrote down other student information.  A student on duty pulled a laptop from a shelf and handed it to him.  Tony placed the laptop under his arm and headed for a study area.
     Tony was near the end of his sophomore year at Congaree University and was looking forward to summer vacation.  His parents had told him that, if he made all A’s this year, they would pay half his expenses for a summer vacation.  From the looks of things, he would reach his goal of making all A’s.  He had already succeeded in reaching another goal: He had saved enough money from part-time jobs to pay for a two- or three-week vacation.  With the money from his parents, he could probably take a four- to six-week vacation somewhere. 
     Tony knew he wanted to take scuba diving lessons somewhere, but he had not yet decided just where he would go.  Sitting alone with a laptop, he figured that this was as good a time as any to decide on the best place to take his vacation.
     There are, of course, thousands of diving sites all over the world.  Since Tony had never dived before, he needed to find a place that offered the kind of services that an inexperienced diver would need.  It also had to be a place that wasn’t too crowded or too dangerous.  It also had to be a place that offered plenty of enjoyable ways to relax when he wasn’t busy diving.  He also figured that a place with warmer water might be more comfortable for a first-time diver. All these requirements probably narrowed down Tony’s selections to fewer than a hundred places.
      After much searching of the Internet, Tony learned of a place called Kanifay Island, in a small island nation called the Caroline Islands.  Among Caroline’s many islands, there was also an island called Abba Tuda.  
     The dive sites around Kanifay offered chances to swim close to sea turtles, sea snails (both with and without shells), manta rays, and sharks.  A manta ray was a gentle giant that was wider than a bus and longer than two cars.  Sharks rarely hurt divers, and it can be exciting to swim with them—as long as you’re underwater.  If you were on the water and tried to swim with sharks, that experience might be more exciting than you’d like.

     During a famous World War II battle, more than sixty ships sank in the waters near Abba Tuda Island.  For that reason, Abba Tuda Island offers some of the best wreck diving in the world.

     Tony had already researched what kinds of diving skills were needed for different kinds of diving.  He figured that his first dive should probably be a simple dive with smaller sea creatures.  As he gained experience, he would ask to dive in the manta ray feeding grounds.   If the dive master would let him, he would try cave diving.  Finally, (he hoped) he would fly to Abba Tuda Island and join some wreck divers in exploring sunken ships.
     It’s a fact of Internet life that, when you search for certain things, you usually find certain other things.  Sometimes, you unexpectedly find things that hold your interest.
     While researching Kanifay and Abba Tuda Islands, Tony learned that the Hollywood actor Dash Tobey would be making a movie on Kanifay and other islands in the area.  Dash Tobey was the handsome, twenty-something star of such underwater action movies as Killer Octopus and Chuck Bridges and the Sea Monsters.  As you might imagine, Dash Tobey’s movies caused very many teenagers to dream of becoming scuba divers.
     Now Dash Tobey was making a movie that would be called Chuck Bridges and the Treasure of Tiburon.  Dash’s female co-star would be Connie Fox. 
     Wow! Tony thought.  That should be a great movie.  And Connie Fox really is a fox!  Tony smiled at the expression he had just thought.  A fox and a dog are very similar, but the words are opposites when we use them to describe people.  When we call a woman a fox, we mean that she’s very desirable; but it would be an insult to call her a dogIn Spanish, it would be even worse to call a woman a fox than it would be to call her a dog.  Tony laughed to himself, then looked around to make sure that no one had heard him laughing.
      Tony wasn’t sure if he would ever meet Dash Tobey or Connie Fox, but he could always hope.  At that moment, Tony decided that he would take his vacation on Kanifay Island and possibly Abba Tuda Island as well.  Having decided on his vacation destination, he began researching other things he might enjoy during his vacation.  
     For scuba divers, the best hotel on the Kanifay Island was the Chamorro Bay Resort, but it was also the most expensive on the island.  Tony decided that, at first, he would stay at O’Malley’s Inn, which was next door to the Chamorro Bay Resort.  He hope that, a few days after he arrived on the island, he would be able to arrange for a home stay not far from the Chamorro Bay Resort.
     The Harbor Restaurant was a reasonable place to eat, and it was just across the street from O’Malley’s Inn.  Tony could eat most of his meals there.  Once in a while, just for the thrill of it, he may eat a meal at the Pirate Ship Restaurant.  The Pirate Ship Restaurant was a nineteenth-century sailing ship that had been turned into a restaurant for the Chamorro Bay Resort.  It belonged to the Chamorro Bay Resort and it sat in the bay nearby.  Of course, if Tony succeeded in finding a private home for a home stay, he could find out how the local foods tasted.
     From the end of World War II until 1986, the Carolines were under American control.  Although the Carolinians had their own language, most of them spoke English very well.  What’s more, Carolinians continued to use American money.  Most visitors to the Carolines were allowed to stay no more than thirty days.  Americans, however, could stay as long as they wished. 
     There were, however, some dos and don’ts Tony would have to remember during his stay on Kanifay and Abba Tuda Islands.
     For one thing, most places on the islands are privately owned, so Tony could not go anywhere he felt like going.  It would be wise to learn about a place before going there on his own.  To be sure that he wasn’t walking on private property, it was usually wise to go with a tour group.
     Tony also learned about how he should dress—or rather how he should not dress.  Rule number one was to keep the upper part of his legs covered.  If he wore short pants, they should not be “too short.”  Tony wasn’t sure just how short “too short” was.  To be on the safe side, he figured that his pants should reach to his knees.  That’s how long a woman’s shorts had to be.  It was okay to wear a bathing suit at a swimming pool or on a dive boat but not on a beach or anywhere else.
     The web site said that the people of Kanifay and Abba Tuda were “friendly but shy.”  It’s one thing to take pictures of people at a tourist area.  Before taking pictures of other people, though, he should ask permission.  The web site also noted that the islands’ old stone paths were made uneven so that people walking them would have to carefully watch the stones at their feet.  By carefully watching their step as they walked, people would not look around at people’s homes.
     The web site offered two other warnings.  Although Kanifay and Abba Tuda Islands were very safe, it may be unwise to walk around on your own at night, unless you’re holding a light.  People might think you’re planning to do something you shouldn’t do.  Even during the daytime, if you’re entering a village, it’s a good idea to be holding something such as a leaf, to show that you mean no harm.
     The other warning was about foxes.  If you see a fox, especially at night, you must not try to go near it.  Instead, you should tell someone where you saw the fox, and give other information about it.   
     To Tony, this information seemed odd, so he looked up web sites about foxes.  Red foxes may be found in most of Europe and Asia; and red foxes had been brought into Australia.  According to web sites, though, there were no foxes of any kind in the Pacific islands. 
     From the information on the Internet, Kanifay Island seemed a tropical paradise.  Tony looked forward to six weeks of diving and other recreation in the Caroline Islands.  

Chapter 2: Arrival on Kanifay Island

     There were no direct flights to Kanifay Island.  Tony had a choice between a flight to Hawaii and Guam before waiting for the next flight—a twin-engine Boeing 737—to Kanifay; and flying to the Philippines and turning eastward to Kanifay.  Either route offered only one flight a week.  Tony would by way of the Philippines and arrive late Wednesday afternoon.
     From the air, the Kanifay International Airport looked like a spot of ground in the middle of a jungle.  The 737 made a safe landing, and the tourists grabbed their carry-on items and walked toward the airport terminal.  As the tourists passed through the gate of the terminal, Kanifay Island women in traditional costumes welcomed them by placing strings of large Kanifay Island flowers around their necks. 
     The colorful “grass skirts” they wore weren’t really made of grass.  They were made from strips of flowering plants.  The upper skirts, which made the women’s hips look wider—a sign of beauty in their culture—were made from strips of banana leaves.  The skirts were very wide.  The belts on the skirts were skillfully made from natural plant fibers, and they were decorated with small seashells.  The skirts were dyed with natural plant dyes.  Around their necks, the women wore coconut leaves and strings of large Kanifay Island flowers.
     In the welcoming area, a young man held a sign that read, “O’Malley’s Inn shuttle bus.”  Tony and a few other tourists gathered around him.  After a moment, the young man counted the tourists around him and said, “That’s thirty passengers.  Your bags should be here in a few minutes.  Then we can get on the bus and go to the Inn.”
     From the outside, O’Malley’s Inn looked very much like a traditional American home with a small fence, painted white, along the front.   A small pathway, with flowers along both sides, led from the front gate to the front door.  In less than an hour, Tony and the others had found their rooms, put away their luggage, and bathed.  Some of the tourists, including Tony, remembered to look at the hotel clock and set their watches to local time.
     Tony looked over the brochures he had collected from the concierge.  One of the brochures told of a “must” for his first morning in Kanifay: the Kanifay Living History Museum.   At 8:00 AM, the tourists would receive their formal welcome to the island.
     The Living History Museum was open only two days a week—Tuesday and Thursday—from 8:00 AM until 4:00 PM.  From his Internet research, he had learned a great deal about Kanifay culture and wanted to see it for himself.  He checked the map on the brochure.  The museum was less than 200 yards from O’Malley's Inn, and from most other hotels and inns on the island as well.
     He looked at his watch again.  With luck, he’d be able to make a dive trip Tuesday afternoon—unless dive trips were made only in the mornings.  In that case, he’d have to wait until Wednesday at the earliest.  Before he ate supper, he would ask at the Chamorro Bay Resort.
     At the Chamorro Bay Resort, Tony learned that dive trips always started during the mornings.  He made a reservation for a dive trip for Wednesday. 
     At the Harbor Restaurant, Tony ordered an American-style supper.  On his first day off the plane, he thought he should play it safe.  In a six-week-long vacation, he would have many other times to eat local foods.
     During his meal, the waitress asked him if he were staying at the Chamorro Bay Resort.  “No, ma’am,” Tony politely said.  “I’m staying next door at O’Malley’s.”

    “Just wondering,” she smiled.  “Dash Tobey is staying at the Chamorro Bay.  I was just wondering if you had seen him.”
     “Not yet, but I hope to.”
     That evening, Tony stayed in his room, resting up from his long trip.  Just before ten o’clock that night, he opened his second-floor room window and breathed the clean tropical air.  The sky was clear, and the stars seemed so close that they looked like little diamonds within arm’s reach. 
     He looked toward the back yard of the Chamorro Bay Resort and wondered if Dash Tobey ever took a walk in the yard.  Then he saw something move at the edge of the yard.  He looked more closely.
     There, at the far end of the yard, among wild plants, Tony saw something that looked like a small dog.  After a moment, he realized it wasn’t a dog.  It was a red fox.  The fox stopped, sat down, and faced the Chamorro Bay Resort.  For several minutes, as Tony watched the fox, the fox watched the Chamorro Bay Resort.
     After a few minutes, the fox looked around, then suddenly looked at Tony.  It seemed to look straight into Tony’s eyes.  In a moment, the fox turned and walked among the plants and disappeared into the night.
     Tony remembered the warning he had read on the Internet—that, if he saw a fox, he should report it to someone.  Whom should he call?  He would have felt silly calling the police.  It wouldn’t hurt to mention it to the concierge. 
     Downstairs, the concierge saw Tony walking toward the front desk.  Drawing out his words, the concierge said, “Ye-es?  How may I help you?” 
     “Before coming here,” Tony began, “I read that, if I saw a fox on the island, I should report it to someone.”
     “You would like to report a fox.”
     “Yes, sir, that’s right.  From my room window, I saw one in the back yard next door.  How should I report it?”
     The concierge grew serious, lowered his voice, and said, “I suggest that you not tell anyone.  It will be more trouble than it’s worth.”
     “How’s that again?”
     “Unless a fox is caught or killed at the moment it is seen, I don’t think there’s anything that anyone could do about it.”
     “Then why are people advised to report it if they see a fox on the island?”
     “Because it makes some people think that something is being done about the problem.”
     “Why do they think that foxes are a problem?”
     “Foxes are not natural to this island, and they damage the environment.  During the 1830's, foxes were first brought to Australia for fox hunters.  Since then, the number of foxes has grown to more than six million, and they’re a major problem.  Around 1940, a Japanese businessman brought thirty-six foxes to the Carolines, hoping to raise them and to get rich Japanese people interested in fox hunting.”
     “Why not do that in Japan?”
     “They already have plenty of red foxes in Japan.  Like most good businessmen, this one wanted to create new opportunities for himself.  From the 1920's until the end of 1942, the Japanese army took over most of the Western Pacific.  They won every battle and had every reason to believe that the Pacific islands would be theirs to keep.  Rich Japanese living here—he thought—might want to do what rich people in England and Australia often do: hunt foxes.  After the Japanese were forced from the area, the foxes stayed here.  The government has killed most of them, but there are still a few left alive.  They’ve offered a hundred-dollar reward for each dead fox, and they won’t stop until every fox on the island has been killed.”
     “It was a beautiful animal,” Tony said.
     The concierge relaxed and smiled, “Yes, they are beautiful.  I suggest that you go back to your room and go to bed.  Is there something else I can do for you?”
     “No, thank you.  I enjoyed our conversation.”
     “Any time.”
     Tony returned to his room and dressed for bed.  After brushing his teeth, he turned out the room light, walked to his room window, and looked toward the yard.  All was quiet and still.  He lay on his bed, thinking about the day—thinking about the red fox he had seen—watching the overhead paddle fan turning around and around.  With each turn of the fan, Tony passed deeper into sleep.

     The next thing he knew, the morning light was entering the room.

Chapter 3: Kanifay Living History Museum

     The next morning, Tony left the hotel shortly after 7:30.  The event wouldn’t begin until 8:00, but he wanted to make sure he got a seat close to the front of the seating area.
     Not long after Tony had reached the Living History Museum, more than a hundred other tourists left their rooms in six hotels and inns within a half mile of the museum.  Guests at the Chamorro Bay Resort and O’Malley’s Inn followed the main road southward.  South of the bay, guests from Harbor View Hotel, Pacific Hotel, and Hathaway’s Hotel followed the road east and northward.  Guests from Kanifay Divers Hotel were already a stone’s throw from the museum.  By 8:00 AM, around 150 tourists were seated on three sides of a grassy area in front of a traditional house. 
     Twelve Kanifay women in traditional grass skirts were led into the grassy area.  There the women lined up facing the audience.  Some of them looked at the others to make sure that they were standing in a perfect line.  Each woman, except the woman on the far left, held out her left arm to make sure that her skirt wasn’t too close to the skirts next to her.  They were each an arm’s length apart from one another.  Following the lead of the woman on their far left, they bowed low to the audience. 
     A moment later, the leader called out something in the Kanifay language.  Then all of them began a sing-song chant and slowly moved their hands, feet, and bodies in a standing dance. 
     Long ago, the women’s standing dance was their traditional way of welcoming important visitors.  They still use the standing dance—sometimes to welcome tourists, and sometimes in their own communities.
     At the end of the first dance, they straightened their costumes and danced again.  This second time, the dance was a little louder, and the dancers moved more.  The third and last time, the women were loudest and most exciting—or at least as exciting as dancers could be lined up and standing in one spot could be.
     At the end of the third dance, they straightened up their costumes again, some looking at the lead dancer.  Once again, they made a deep bow and, still in a line, walked away from the audience. 
     After the standing dancers had left, someone told the tourists that the movie actor Dash Tobey had been in the audience watching the dance.  He would have to leave for work in a few minutes, but he wanted to stay long enough to pose for pictures with his fans and sign autographs. 
    That was the sort of thing that Dash often did: working the crowds like this whenever he was going to be in one place for a while.  It helped to make him more popular with his fans.  By giving his fans what they wanted of him at times such as this, the fans rarely bothered him when he was trying to work.  He spent more than twenty minutes with tourists and locals who wanted to pose with him and get his autograph.    
      Tony noticed an exceptionally pretty local girl of about eighteen years old trying to get close to Dash Tobey.  The girl was wearing a traditional handmade wraparound skirt, a tee shirt, and flip-flop sandals.  As she came nearer to Dash, her dark eyes shined, and her wide smile was as bright as the sun.  Dash looked closely at her and asked, “You were one of the dancers, weren’t you?”
     Her face brightened even more, overjoyed that he had noticed her among eleven other women.  “Yes, I was,” she said, handing him a slip of paper to sign.  “I didn’t know if you would recognize me without my costume.”
     “I would recognize that smile of yours anywhere,” he said with the smile he had made famous in his movies.  “What’s your name?”
     “Cindy Pialug.  That’s P-I-A-L-U-G.  Oh, and when you sign it, will you write both your name and the name Chuck Bridges?”  Chuck Bridges was the name of the person Dash Tobey played in the movies.
     “Of course.”  On Cindy’s paper, he wrote, “To the girl with the brightest smile I’ve ever seen.  Best wishes, Dash Tobey (Chuck Bridges).”  Cindy and Dash then posed for a picture together.  When Dash turned his attention to the next fan, Cindy held the autographed paper to her chest as if she were hugging it. 
     Tony also asked for Dash Tobey’s autograph and posed photo, he tried to act more grown up as he asked him.
     The Living History Museum was five buildings made in the same style as traditional men’s meeting houses.  The base (below the floor) of each building was made of uncut stones.  The buildings had no walls; they were open on all sides.  There were no nails to hold the buildings together; the parts were tied together with ropes made from plant fibers.  Finally, the roofs were made of palm tree leaves that had been weaved together like cloth.  Even in a heavy rain, water would not come through the roofs.
     By tradition, and even now, men’s meeting houses were where men got together to talk about whatever they thought was important at the time.  Women were not allowed in men’s meeting houses, but these buildings weren’t used for meetings.
     All around the buildings of the museum, Tony saw large stones that looked like wheels of some kind.  In fact, more than 4,000 of these stones could be seen all over Kanifay Island.  Some were small enough to hold in your hand; some were almost twice as tall as a man.  Strange as it seems, these stones were stone money that had been made on an island called Palau over a hundred years ago, and carried to Kanifay Island.  These stones are still used to buy expensive things such as houses.
     In one building of the museum, some women made threads for cloth while other women weaved the threads into traditional Kanifay skirts.  Every girl in Kanifay was expected to learn how to weave her own skirt.  Being able to weave a skirt caused people to have more respect for them.
     In another building, groups of men made traditional Kanifay sailboats.  In one corner of the building, an older man moved little rocks placed in a circle on the floor.  He was teaching them how to look at the stars to tell how to sail their boat from one place to another.  Making boats and learning to sail by the stars were two ways that boys and men gained respect from other people.
     In other places, men showed how to make ropes from plant fibers, how to break open coconuts, and other traditional skills.  Women showed how to use palm leaves to make baskets or to do other traditional skills.
     Around 11:00 AM, tourists once again gathered to watch the men’s standing dance.  Long ago, the men’s dance had been a way to scare unfriendly people.  As it was with the women’s standing dance, the men’s dance had three parts.  Each time, the men acted more and more dangerous.  At the end of the dance, the men bowed to the audience and walked away.
     After lunch, tourists returned to the seating area to watch the women’s sitting dance.  Hundreds of years ago, the sitting dance was a way for women to entertain themselves and others while they were making long trips by boat.  As it was with the women’s and men’s standing dances, the sitting dance had three parts.  Each part had more beautiful movements than the parts before it.  At the end of the third dance, still sitting, they bowed to the audience.  Then they stood up and left.
     Tony rented a bicycle and rode along the small roads near the shore.  Here and there, he saw the island’s famous stone money.  Everywhere, he enjoyed the scenery of Kanifay Island, one of the most beautiful and traditional islands of the Western Pacific Ocean.

Chapter 4: Diving Class and Historic Hiking

     There’s much more to scuba diving than just putting on scuba gear and jumping into the water.  Tony had known that before he arrived on Kanifay Island.  He also knew that the Chamorro Bay Resort offered excellent diving courses as well as excellent diving facilities.
     Tony had watched diving videos on the Internet, and he looked up other information on the Internet.  From these web sites, he learned that the “rules” of scuba diving safety are likely to change from time to time.  For example, the rules used to let divers go deeper earlier in the dive but not later in the dive.  Over time, the rule allowed divers to go deeper later in the dive but not earlier.
     Since he hoped to get his C-card for open water diving—that is, the wallet-sized card that would let him rent scuba diving gear without a diving instructor renting it for him—Tony figured that he should take a scuba diving course from the same trainers that would give him his C-card.  He wouldn’t have to “unlearn” any rule that might have changed.
     Even before the summer had arrived, Tony had already taken a fifteen-hour DVD course at home.  To be on the safe side, he took the DVDs with him to the Carolines in case he needed to study them all over again.  He also checked the date on the Chamorro Bay Resort’s scuba diving DVD’s in case they were more recent than the ones Tony had studied.  The Resort scuba trainer would give him a written test on what he had studied.

    The owner of Chamorro Dives was a white-haired Texan with a big mustache like someone from a cowboy movie.  In his youth, he had been a Peace Corps Volunteer on Kanifay Island.  He liked scuba diving so much that he decided to spend the rest of his life on the island.  When Kanifay Island opened for tourism during the 1980’s, he started a small hotel and diving shop.  Since then, Chamorro Bay Resort became Kanifay Island’s best-known hotel, dive shop, and restaurant.
     The Texas-born dive master would not be Tony’s trainer; Tony’s trainer would be a local Kanifay man.  Because the Texan had already made over 12,000 dives—many with hotel guests—Tony looked forward to diving with the world-famous dive master.
     On Tony’s first day of the training, which was a Saturday, he took the written test.  His instructor discussed his wrong answers with him, and he had done well enough to pass the test.  For the next step in the course, Tony and other students would take lessons in one of the hotel’s swimming pools. 
     Because Tony was in good shape, he had no trouble swimming the required 200 yards without stopping.  He did, however, need a lesson in how to keep his head above water for more than ten minutes at a time.
     Once the students passed that part of the test, it was time for hands-on experience with diving gear and diving.  The instructor led them to the dive shop and handed each of them their diving gear.  It was time for them to learn basic diving skills.
     First they learned how to fill their air tanks.  Once they were at the pool, they learned such skills as how to put on their gear, take off their masks and put them on again while underwater, doing underwater hand signals, and buddy breathing.  Buddy breathing, which is two divers sharing the same air tank, is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it unless you really have to do it.  If a diver’s air tank fails buddy breathing may be needed.
     Not counting the swimming test and keeping your head above water, the pool work took about two hours.  Between the written and real-life tests, Tony and his fellow students had had enough for one day.  The instructor told them to return on Monday morning for their first open-water dive.
     They would have to make five successful dives; and, on each dive, they would have to show what they had learned in the pool and classroom.  Then, if they did well, the Chamorro Bay Resort diving facilities would give them their C-card from PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors).
     It was just before noon when Tony’s lessons ended.  Rather than head for Harbor Restaurant, he decided to eat lunch at the Pirate Ship. 
     At the Pirate Ship, the restaurant staff made their own beer.  Tony was never in the habit of drinking alcohol in the middle of the day.  He might have a glass of it if he ever ate supper at the Pirate Ship.
     Tony ordered a light lunch of “fish ‘n’ chips” and ice tea.  Most Americans understand “fish ‘n’ chips” (a British expression) to mean fish and potato chips.  Since potato chips were invented in America, the confusion is understandable.  To make it clear to American tourists, the menu explained that the dish was “beer-battered fish fillets with French fries.”  The meal cost Tony $11.50.
     With a full stomach and the afternoon ahead of him, Tony decided to hike to the old Japanese airfield and take a look around.  First, he had to return to his hotel room, change clothes, and get his camera.
     The Japanese had held Kanifay Island from 1914 until 1944 and had built two airfields during that time.  The one near the southern end of the island became the Kanifay International Airport.  The one near the northern end of the island was left just the way it was after the battle that had been fought from late August until early September 1944.  Grasses, trees, and other plant life grew over much of the airfield.  About twenty Japanese airplanes and a few anti-aircraft guns were left to rust and fall apart.
     It took forty-five minutes for Tony to walk from O’Malley’s Inn to the old airfield.  To Tony, the place was like a field of ghosts.

     He could still see much of the airfield where the planes had taken off and landed.  Maybe it could still be used, but he really didn’t think so.  Part of the airfield was still fairly smooth, but much of it was covered with grass.  In a few places, he could see holes in the ground, where American B-24 planes had dropped bombs on the airfield.
     From where Tony stood, he could see a few planes—Zeroes, as they were called—parked by the airfield.  All the other Zeroes were hidden by banana trees and other plants.
     All the planes Tony saw were full of holes where American fighter planes had shot the Zeroes as that sat by the airfield.  The Zeroes’ wings and motors were broken apart, mostly by the bombs that planes had dropped near them. 
     Tony also noticed that the planes were kind of a reddish color.  He figured that someone had painted them with a kind red paint that kept them from getting rusty.  He had heard that parts were taken from some of the planes so they could be re-used in other planes somewhere else.
       He walked over to a broken anti-aircraft gun and looked at it.  It had become much rusted.  Someone, not bothering to clean off the rust, only painted over it with the red paint. 

     As Tony started to walk away from the old Japanese airfield, he turned around for another look.  Many Americans and Japanese had fought there and never returned home.  Looking at the airfield with its grass-covered airfield and warplanes that were falling apart was like looking at a sad history—a ghostly reminder of man’s inhumanity to man.

Chapter 5: The Next Few Days

     During the six weeks that Tony stayed on Kanifay Island, he went on more dive trips than I should describe in this story; and he enjoyed more attractions, events, and activities than I have space to describe.  For that reason, it should be enough to tell of only a few dives, attractions, events, and other activities.
     This might be a good place in the story to tell the difference between an attraction, an event, and an activity—at least as far as vacation planners call them.
     An attraction is something that does about the same thing every time it is seen.  It’s either so carefully planned that there can be no unexpected changes, or it’s the kind of thing that can’t ever change.  The old Japanese airfield Tony visited was an attraction.  Everyone who goes there sees exactly the same thing.  A movie is also an attraction.
     An event should be well planned, but unplanned things may happen.  A basket weaving contest is an event because no one knows who will win.  A movie about a dance is an attraction; but, a live dance in front of you is an event because, even for the dancers, something unexpected can happen.
     An activity is an event in which you, the tourist, are doing something to make it happen.  Summing it up, a movie about a dance is an attraction; a dance may be an attraction or an event; learning to dance is an activity.
     Tony’s next activity came Sunday morning when he went to St. Andrews Church.  The church was a simple building with a painting on its front face.  In the painting, Kanifay people in traditional clothing were giving things to Jesus.  One was giving some handmade cloth; two others were giving stone money; another was giving a painting; the others were giving other things.
     The inside of the church was just as simple as the outside.  It had no ceiling, just strong boards that held up the roof.  The way the wood was cut and fitted into the roof, it made Tony think of a large boat.  The roof over the church looked as if someone had taken a very large boat, turned it over, and built a church under it.  The church seats were long and simple as in small churches in the United States. 

    The people were simply dressed, most of them wearing tee shirts or other short-sleeve shirts.  The men wore long pants or wraparound cloths but not short pants.  Most of the women wore store-bought skirts, although some wore traditional, handmade skirts that covered their knees.
     The next day was Monday, and it was Tony’s first day of diving in the sea.  Under the instructor’s watchful eye, Tony and the others checked out their diving gear, filled their tanks, and carried the gear to the dive boat.  By 9:00 AM, the dive boat had left Chamorro Bay and headed for a nearby dive site.  
     Once at the dive site, Tony and the other divers put on their wetsuits, dive boots, flippers, and such gear as special wristwatches, weight belts, computers, and a machine that would tell them the water pressure.  They also put on something called a buoyancy control device, or BCD.      
     A BCD, besides being the first four letters of the alphabet, is something to make sure that a diver isn’t heavy enough to sink or light enough to float upwards.  The diver is supposed to feel as though he doesn’t weigh anything, so he doesn’t have to try to keep from sinking or rising.
     When it was time to make the dive, the divers wet their face masks so the masks wouldn’t let water in; then they put the face masks on.  Some of the more experienced divers sat on the side of the boat and fell over backwards into the water.  The beginners jumped in.  All the divers, of course, held their hands over their masks as they entered the water.
     No matter how many dives a diver has made, diving in the sea is always like being in a completely different world, like exploring the kind of far-off world that you see only in science fiction movies.  The difference is, it’s really happening.
     Tony was surprised to learn that many undersea plants look like animals; many undersea animals look like plants; many undersea plants and animals look like rocks.  Some of the animals that looked like plants seemed to be waving in a wind.  Corals are tiny animals that grow together to look and feel like rocks.
     Colors of plants and seemed brighter under the sea than they did on land.  Hard corals and soft corals came in many bright colors.
     On the land, snails you find in a garden are usually dark, ugly things; and their shells don’t look like anything special.  In the sea, there are many different kinds of snails.  Their shells come in different shapes and colors; and many snail shells have two or more colors and interesting designs.  Some sea snails have no shells, and the snails are very colorful.
One kind of sea snail is shaped like an ice cream cone; and, for that reason, it’s called a cone snail.  There are over 500 kinds of cone snail.  Each cone snail has from 50 to 100 kinds of chemicals they use to attack other animals for food, and each type of cone snail has different chemicals.  Doctors sometimes find out how to make those chemicals, and they use them for medicine.  For the 500 kinds of cone snails, that’s a total of 250,000 to 500,000 different chemicals.  That would be a lot of medicines even if the chemicals can’t all be used for medicines.
     The animal that looks like a waving plant uses another kind of chemical to attack fish and eat them.  For some reason, clown fish—the kind of fish in the Disney movie Finding Nemo—can swim all over it, and the chemical doesn’t hurt them.
     Soon, Tony saw a small pair of eyes watching him.  It was a sea snake hiding behind a rock.  Sea snakes usually hide themselves and jump out at fish to eat them.  They won’t try to eat divers because divers are too big for them to eat.  The sea snake had a many very sharp teeth, though, and Tony had already been told not to get his hand too close to one.
     Tony’s diving instructor signaled him and pointed toward a sea turtle.  The sea turtle swam past them and headed away from them, not interested in being touched.  There aren’t very many sea turtles in the world, so it was unusual for Tony and the other divers to get close to this one.  They were able to take a few pictures before the turtle swam away.
     A few minutes later, the diving instructor signaled again.  A shark was swimming nearby. 
   We all know that sharks sometimes hurt and even kill swimmers who are not scuba divers.  That’s usually because the sharks hear the splashing sounds that swimmers make; and, to sharks, it sounds like a small sea animal in trouble.  To a shark, a small animal in trouble is easier to take as food than other animals.  That’s usually why sharks hurt swimmers.
     Scuba divers, on the other hand, swim along quietly underwater.  The shark doesn’t think that scuba divers are small animals in trouble, so they rarely hurt scuba divers.  Just the same, Tony knew it would be a good idea not to get too close to the shark.
     The diving instructor soon gave a hand sign to the other divers to say that their first dive was finished.  They would go back to the boat.
     After lunch and a rest, they made a second dive.  Tony felt he had learned very much on his first dive and he became surer of himself.  During the second dive, he learned more and became surer still.
     He looked forward to future dives.  He also looked forward to seeing and enjoying more of Kanifay Island.

Chapter 6: Kanifay Traditional Village

     Over the next few days, Tony went on several more dives and earned his C-card for open-sea diving.   Having earned his C-card, he studied and took practical lessons for higher levels of diving skills.
     That Saturday, he decided to stay on land and relax.  Early that morning, he joined a tour group headed for Kanifay Island Traditional Village.  The shuttle bus picked up the tourists in front of the Chamorro Bay Resort and drove them to a parking lot at the western side of the island.  At that point, a guide wearing a traditional grass skirt met them and led them to a stone path that had been built hundreds of years earlier.
     Everywhere the tourists looked on both sides of the path, they saw beautiful trees, flowers, and other plants.  From time to time, the guide stopped to show the tourists a plant and tell them something about it.  Some plants were useful for natural medicines, others were used to make clothing or pretty things to wear, or to build things.  One flower, shaped like a flower vase, was called a pitcher plant.  The pitcher pant trapped and ate insects.
     After a half hour along the stone path, they came to the village.  Kanifay Island Traditional Village was not an actual village where people lived.  It was built to show how people lived before the Japanese had taken over the island in 1914.  All the natives in the village wore traditional clothing and did things the traditional way.
     Tony did, however, see some things that weren’t traditional.  Some of the natives wore wristwatches.  Some of the women wore small earrings, other items of jewelry, and Western-style makeup.  There were a few other non-traditional items that you’d notice only if you were looking for them.
     The pathways were set a little lower than the rest of the land in the village.  Tony figured that this was probably to control flooding.  When it rained, water would run along the pathways without coming near the buildings.
     Running along one side of the village was an area called a stone money bank.  Tony counted nineteen stone money “coins” placed side-by-side and facing the village.  Some were only knee high; a few so tall that a full-grown man had to stand on tiptoes to touch the tops of them.
     The stone money bank area was also the stick dance performance area.  The performance area was about half as long, and a little less than one fourth as wide, as a football field.
     Women and girls as young as five, wearing colorful skirts, walked to a traditional building and asked for palm tree leaves or island flowers or other items for making things.  They took the leaves and other items to a stone-covered area, sat in a row, and started making things from the palm leaves. 
     Some made the kind of baskets that both the men and the women of Kanifay Island carry as handbags.  Others used smaller leaves to make balls the size of your hand.  These balls were useful for juggling, decorations, or just playing.  Still others made strings of island flowers for people to wear on their heads or around their necks.
     Tony recognized one of the native girls as someone he had seen asking for the actor Dash Tobey’s autograph.  Tony remembered her because her smile was bright enough to light up a room.  He said, “You were asking Dash Tobey for his autograph about a week or two ago, weren’t you?”
     She looked up from the ball she was making and excitedly smiled, “Yes, you saw me there!  I believe I remember seeing you.  Dash Tobey wrote a really sweet note on my autograph.  It’s nice to know that he’s just as nice in real life as he is in the movies.” 
     “I think he is,” said Tony.  “Did you know that he has a working cattle ranch in Wyoming?”
     “No, I didn’t know that!”  She usually spoke with exclamation points.  Continuing to make the ball, she added, “I’ve always pictured him as living by the sea.”
     “People in that part of Wyoming usually don’t like for rich outsiders to buy up their land and change their traditional ways of life; but Dash Tobey did everything he could to fit in.  After buying the ranch, he kept it as a working ranch; and he lives just the way his neighbors do.”
     “Hey, I really like that!  I think I know how those Wyoming neighbors of his feel.  A lot of outsiders say that we—the people of Kanifay Island—should change our traditional ways and become more like people in the West.  We do accept some Western ways, but we also like our traditions.  We like being able to do things for ourselves instead of having to buy everything from stores.  And we like being able to help our neighbors instead of having them ask the government to take care of them.”
     “And you’re not the ones who are polluting the earth,” Tony said, repeating words that Kanifay natives have sometimes said.
     “Oh, you’ve heard that,” she said softly.  She grew excited again and said, “Does Dash Tobey ride horses and herd cattle and all that?”
     “Well, cowboys have had to accept certain modern ways, even as they hold on to their traditions.  Dash rides a horse, but he also uses a helicopter.  Sometimes he uses the helicopter to look for people who are lost in the mountains.  A few times, he even found people and brought them to safety.”
     “So, he’s an action hero in real life!  I’m not surprised to hear that.”  Actually, she seemed very surprised to hear that, because she said it with an exclamation point.
     Tony turned the conversation to something else that had been on his mind.  He held out his hand and said, “I’m Tony McCalla.”
     “Cindy Pialug,” she said shaking his hand.  “I’m pleased to meet you.”
     “Cindy, I’ll be here a few more weeks, and I’d like to fit in.  Do you know of a local person who might rent me a room for a few weeks—a homestay?”
     “Yes, I have a neighbor who does that.  I’ll ask him if you like.  Could I give you a call?”
     Tony pulled an O’Malley’s Inn brochure from his pocket and handed it to her.  Cindy reached into her traditional, handmade palm leaf handbag and pulled out a somewhat less traditional smart phone.  She quickly keyed in the resort’s telephone number, pressed the save button, and returned the smart phone to her handbag.  “I’ll call you when I find out something,” she said.  “Excuse me.  I have to get ready for the stick dance.”  She handed him one of the leaf balls she had made.  “This is for you,” she smiled brightly.
     A few minutes later, a man lead a group of more than thirty men, women, boys, and girls along the money bank path into the dance area.  They were lined up two-by-two, each holding bamboo sticks.  After the leader, a pair of girls around seven years old followed.  From youngest to oldest, the dancers entered the dance area.
     Once they were all in the dance area, two rows of dancers faced each other.  An elderly native woman named Agnes sat on a raised spot and began calling out the chant that she would continue calling for all three sets of dances that would follow.  The dancers bent their knees, ready to dance.  Then each dancer touched his or her bamboo stick against the stick of the dancer in front of him, looking as though they were stick fighting.

     As the women hit their sticks together, they shook their hips.  As the men hit theirs together, they jumped into the air.  The dance was both graceful and exciting as the dancers moved around in the dance area.  Several times, the dancers at each end of the dance area turned and danced toward the opposite end, hitting their bamboo sticks together as they did so.  With each set of movements like these, the dancers kept changing their places in the dance area.
     The second dance set was a little more exciting than the first.  The third and last was the most exciting of all.  By then, several of the dancers were shouting and making excited noises.  Cindy was the loudest, most excited, and most active of all the dancers—even more than the men.  Some of her shouting reminded Tony of the way movie cowboys shouted during exciting scenes in movies.
     At the end of the dance, the dancers chanted as they were led from the dance area.  All the dancers, especially Cindy, were covered with sweat because stick dancing could be tiring.
     A few minutes later, Cindy hurriedly walked over to Tony and said, “I have to go change.  “I’ll call you tomorrow after lunch.”