Fresno Christian High School
60° Fresno, CA
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

  • 43rd Annual Commencement Ceremony - May 23, 7 pm, People's Auditorium
  • 5/7 - FCS townhall with Jeremy Brown, 6:30 pm, JJ room
  • 5/9 - Tennis Valley Championship, 2pm vs. Roosevelt
  • Countdown to SUMMER Rally, May 7
  • CSF banquet 7 pm, May 13th
  • Finals week, May 13-17
  • The Feather honored with Silver CSPA digital news Crown Award
  • Download the new Feather app - search Student News Source in App store
The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

Letter to the Editor
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

A view from the outside – Pohnpei, Micronesia

It was my first night in Pohnpei. After flying 15 hours over the Pacific Ocean and landing on a tiny tropical island, I was thrust into a new life and culture I knew virtually nothing about. Even a hopping movement along the side of my jet-lagged, sleep-deprived body couldn’t wake me. New culture or not, I needed sleep.

Yet the hopping and movement continued and now was on the bedside table between my sleeping roommate, Erin, and I. At that point, at the ungodly hour of 2 a.m., I had two options: ignore whatever it was and try to get a few more hours of sleep, or wake up my roommate because something was moving towards Erin.

I softly tapped Erin on the shoulder and she awoke with a bewildered look on her face.

“”I think there is a frog,”” I whispered. “”It may be coming onto your side.”” Erin jumped up and flicked on the lights. We looked on the table and under the beds, but didn’t see anything.

All of a sudden there was a slight movement, and we both jumped back.

“”Oh my goodness,”” Erin screamed, “”it has a tail!”” It was then that we saw a rat scurry out of the window.

Yes, that was my welcome to Pohnpei! I had just flown thousands of miles away from my family for an entire year to be greeted face-to-face with a rat. What was I getting myself into?

After that encounter I knew that I was up for an experience and new life, nothing like the one I once lived in Fresno. No more Starbucks or Taco Bell for this girl.

Instead, I could look forward to using instant coffee and making my own tortillas, if I could find flour on the island. Nine months later, I still am teaching 25 energetic and adorable first graders (and only a few encounters with rats).

While I still ask myself every morning if I am crazy for volunteering for a year, I know this experience has been a blessing.

Pohnpei is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, located just north of the equator in between Hawaii and the Philippines. To picture my island, imagine the Garden of Eden–beautiful waterfalls, green vegetation, and brilliant sunrises and sunsets.

However, instead of the fated apple trees, we have coconut, bananas and mango trees, but no serpents. If that is not enough, we have an ocean full of 50-pound tunas.

During my high school years at Fresno Christian, I took part in three week- long mission trips, traveling to Mexico and Nicaragua. From the experiences I had on those trips, I gained the desire to take part in longer missions experiences.

After graduating from Fresno Christian (’00), I attended Walla Walla College and got involved in the student missionary program. There I explored the options of places in need and the Lord placed me in the true beauty of His creation, in Pohnpei! This has truly been the best and most life-changing adventure I’ve ever experienced.

This journey has not been without its share of troubles. I have had to learn how to deal with many different people, which is not easy.

Adapting to a different culture includes learning useful phrases in the native language, forcing oneself to enjoy eating local food–rice all the time–and going without the comforts of home–rats in my room.

In crazier days in the classroom, my energy level has been stretched, having to fill the role of teacher, mom, nurse, and friend to my kids.

Even though I have encountered troubles, God has always given me the strength to carry out my mission – His mission – each and every day. Any difficult day is always made better by a hug and, “”I love you, Teacher.

Now as the end of my service on Pohnpei is drawing near, many thoughts run through my head. I think of my first night here, with the rat by my side and how all things are now rapidly drawing to a close. Just a couple weeks ago my roommate and I finally caught a rat in our trap.

I recall the first day of school and now see how my kids have grown since then in so many ways. The relationships I have made and the memories made from them are priceless.

Now instead of remembering all the struggles I faced and how hard they seemed, all I now see is my kids’ smiles and know they are filled with the love of Jesus.

With my homecoming only one month away, I envision the reunion long waited for with my family and friends. However, even more so I envision one day soon seeing my heavenly father with his loving eyes and hands reaching to me saying, “”Well done, Kara, well done.””

For those who would like to contact Kiesz, she can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Feather

Comments (0)

All The Feather Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *