Archive for ‘Gaafar J. Uherbelau’

November 15, 2013

Worth er ngii

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Browsing online yesterday I came across a Lonely Planet article titled “Best beaches and small islands for travel in 2014”. Surprisingly I saw Palau first on the list which includes other places such as Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean, Sao Tome & Principe in Africa, Cook Islands, and Papua New Guinea to name a few. I say surprisingly because despite the fact that we’re consistently ranked among the best destinations in terms of diving, not much has been written about how Palau ranks overall as a tourism destination.

read more »

Advertisements
November 9, 2013

Leng uaisei?

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

A couple of nights ago while waiting to use the ATM at one of the banks in Koror a couple of students we assumed were between 7-10 years old walked past. It was already past 8pm and they were still in their KES uniforms, walking around without an adult with them. One of them stopped near a guy who was waiting in line and asked, “Me tara change. Lak maisei e brad, kau tial el oltobed a udoud.” The man refused to give them money.

read more »

November 1, 2013

Siasing er kid

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

So the past couple of weeks I’ve been critical about our nation, trying to shed light on issues that I believe need our attention. But I also think we need to take time to acknowledge some interesting facts about our nation as well as our achievements over the years since our beginnings as a republic.

read more »

October 17, 2013

Keng keng

By Gaafar U. Uherbelau —-

One step forward, two steps back. This is exactly how I see things beginning to look in our nation. Whenever it seems that we’re making progress, climbing up a level, somehow we trip and fall back down and sometimes we even land farther than we were when we started climbing. And the irony of it all is that we are the ones tripping ourselves.

read more »

October 14, 2013

Diousekool

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

How many times has someone said ak di ousekool and the next thing you know, they’ve made it a habit? Like chewing betel nut with tobacco. It usually starts off with chewing from a friend’s tet (something I realize I have done more often than I should) and then you end up having a tet of your own. And then you’re hooked and you cannot seem to stop. Then you start announcing how you should quit and how it’s become an expense and yet you cannot.

read more »

October 3, 2013

Feedback

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —- 

First and foremost this week I wish to thank all of those people who have approached me in person with kind words regarding the column over the past couple of months. Thank you all for your positive and encouraging comments.

read more »

September 26, 2013

DUI

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

There was a thread on facebook recently talking about how we could limit the number of injuries and deaths caused by alcohol use in Palau. Some respondents went so far as to suggest that we completely ban the importation of alcohol products. Others wanted to intensify fines and sentences of alcohol related offences to deter further use of alcohol. Although these are great ideas, I think it would be impossible for them to be effective unless we put enough research and resources behind them.

read more »

September 19, 2013

“BH”

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

A couple of days ago I had a really interesting conversation with some colleagues as they interviewed me about my thoughts on the stigmas associated with mental health issues.  As part of their class work they were noting ideas on how we can minimize these stigmas that are common in Palau.

read more »

September 12, 2013

Feelingeled

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Sometimes I wonder what life was like in pre-colonial Palau when traditional laws and social structures were unadulterated and life was supposedly less stressful.  I wonder how each klobak effectively addressed problems and issues within their respective communities.

read more »

September 8, 2013

Mererekos

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

I’m sure you’ve heard over and over about the 3 Ms (melaok, merkos, mecherocher) and how they’re bad for you in the long run. And although many of us are physically active or try to “exercise”, we tend to neglect to watch what and how much we are eating.

read more »

August 28, 2013

Ngeltengat

Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Spirituality has always been an influential aspect of the Palauan culture. Whether it’s the belief in a certain religion or simply having faith in a higher power and the anticipation of a perfect place beyond the present, klaumerang has always been a powerful source of assurance and absolution in our everyday lives.

read more »

August 20, 2013

Kora ngodech

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

So a couple of weeks ago, during lunch hour, we were driving down the main road when we saw like five or six people dancing their tails off on the verandah at the new coffee joint in Koror. I immediately turned to my other half and asked with a frown, “Tirke te cheltelaol?” And she replied, “Ng diak. Te tourist. You don’t have to be drunk to dance.”

read more »

August 10, 2013

Singist…

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

As most of you know Palau’s culture, traditional practices, dances and chants have always been passed on through generations by word of mouth and visual demonstration. Written records and hieroglyphics are extremely rare as they may have never existed before the colonial times.

read more »

August 6, 2013

Dimdung

By Gaafar J, Uherbelau —-

So a week or so ago you probably saw some people alongside the Police holding up signs in front of PCC. If you noticed the message it was very clear: STOP THE VIOLENCE. The gathering was a silent protest against the alarming increase of violent incidents that have rocked our nation in recent months.

read more »

July 26, 2013

Men of Steal

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Many people, whose true identities shall remain anonymous, have approached me since the inception of the column, asking me to shed light on “political” topics that range from nepotism and discrimination to unlawful and unjustified actions taken by government officials and others. Now, I did make somewhat of a promise not to write about anything political, however, these issues to me are beyond political and are indeed social injustices.

read more »

July 19, 2013

“PEEB”

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

When I hear the term “road rage” I instantly think of a highway somewhere in the US where lines of cars are gridlocked with their drivers frowning and giving each other the single finger universal sign of aggression. It’s a term that I keep thinking I’ll never experience because we don’t have interstate freeways in Palau and I probably won’t have to drive somewhere far for hours. Road rage is a psychological phenomenon that affects motorists in big cities right?

read more »

July 13, 2013

Hear-choid

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

“Ak kora orrenges el kmo ng kel redil a kmung milekerang me a uchul me ngkel tara rechad a milekesakl e elechang ea bechil ng kel chad a mla ikang. OMG! Ng merang?” How common is it nowadays to hear such talk everywhere we go? We hear it in waiting rooms at the hospital, at the weekend mechesang, on Palau 2012 and even at the diangel. Men supposedly don’t gossip right?

read more »

July 6, 2013

Berrous era r’ngebard

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-

Over the last decade, I would guess that more Palauans have out-migrated from the islands than the total number of births in Palau. Therefore, it would not be surprising to see a considerable decrease in the population of Palauans in the next census.

read more »

July 2, 2013

“Armarik”

By Gaafar Uherbelau —-

There are some English words that just shouldn’t be said with a Palauan accent. EVER. Now, you may say that I’m “melenguuling” but sometimes when I hear someone say something with the heaviest of accent; it makes my skin crawl with goose bumps. And don’t try thinking this is weird because even if you’re not from the southern islands of Palau, you know what I mean because you’ve felt it.

read more »

June 28, 2013

It’s a sign…

By Gaafar J. Uherbelau —-  

Have you ever parked in front of an office or the hospital and then a car pulls up next to you in the designated handicap parking and the driver gets out and walks perfectly normal? Has that driver ever been you?

read more »