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Preface Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:06 AM

After 40 years as a U.S.-administered United Nations Trust Territory, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) emerged as a sovereign nation in 1986. The U.S. Embassy in Kolonia has the unusual opportunity to not only shape the relationship between the two nations but to assist in the development of the FSM itself, a process which entails overseeing a wide variety of U.S. Government activities carried out across a broad expanse of the Pacific. The 607 islands that comprise the Federated States are among the world's most remote sites; serving in Embassy Kolonia features extraordinary challenges and opportunities in moving the FSM towards becoming a more developed and self-sufficent society.

The Host Country

Area, Geography, and Climate Last Updated: 8/3/2005 0:46 AM

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consist of four states—Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), and Kosrae, which cover 1 million square miles of the Central Pacific Ocean in the Caroline Islands chain. The FSM's jagged borders stretch from 136°E to 166°E longitude (from Kosrae to Yap) and from just north of the Equator at Kapingamarangi Island to approximately 12°N of the Equator near Guam. Palikir, the capital, is located on Pohnpei Island at latitude 6°54'N, longitude 158°14'E. The Embassy is in Kolonia, 15 minutes from Palikir. The post is 5,580 miles from Los Angeles, 3,090 miles from Honolulu, 2,850 miles from Sydney, 2,575 miles from Manila, and 1,020 miles from Guam, the closest American territory.

"Micronesia" denotes "small islands," an apt description for the geography of the FSM, which has 607 islands, 65 of them inhabited. The total land area is a modest 270.8 square miles. Geologically, the FSM varies from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls to volcanic outcroppings. Pohnpei Island, 13 miles in diameter and 129 square miles in area, includes almost half the FSM's land area. Pohnpei readily shows its volcanic origins with many hills and cliffs, as well as basalt outcroppings such as Sokeh's Rock, a striking landmark at the entrance to Kolonia Harbor. Kosrae, though smaller, is geologically similar to Pohnpei; the islands of Yap and Chuuk are much older and have been eroded to lower elevations.

Pohnpei is thickly forested, rimmed by mangrove forests, and has a few man-made sandy beaches. Pohnpei is surrounded by a large lagoon with an outer barrier reef about 2 miles from shore. Within the lagoon are more than 25 volcanic and coral islands. Pohnpei is one of the wettest spots on Earth, with an annual rainfall of about 200 inches a year in Kolonia and as much as 400 inches in the mountainous interior. Rain falls heavily throughout the year, though January through March are the least rainy months. Northeasterly trade winds blow most of the year. Damaging tropical storms originate in the region around and to the East of Pohnpei. They therefore have generally not gained much strength when passing Pohnpei and inflict more damage on Chuuk and Yap to the West. The temperature averages 81°F year round. Evenings are mild, in the low 70s, and daytime temperatures seldom exceed the upper 80s. Humidity is high, averaging 89%, resulting in rapid growth of mildew and mold in non-air-conditioned environments. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.

As a tropical post, Kolonia has the expected complement of pests: ants, termites, roaches, and centipedes. All of these can be kept under control by regular cleaning and spraying. Geckoes populate the houses and provide a natural insect control service. The island has no snakes and is malaria- and rabies- free. Wild deer live in the interior and are hunted by the local population.

Population Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:10 AM

The 2000 Federated States of Micronesia census recorded a population of 107,240. That net gain of only 1,726 over the 1994 census is evidence of a large-scale emigration to the U.S. Until the mid-1990s, the population growth rate was 3.28%, doubling every 24 years. The current rate is .2 percent, a decrease explained by the departure of an estimated 30,000 FSM citizens for the U.S. and its territories. Pohnpei State has approximately 34,500 inhabitants, with 5,800 residing in Kolonia. Half of the population is under the age of 19 with approximately 51% male and 49% female. Overall life expectancy is 68.63 years.

Although most peoples of the FSM share a Micronesian heritage, languages and cultures differ among and within the different states. There are four major languages: Yapese, Chuukese, Pohnpeian, and Kosrean—all part of the Austronesian family. Nine other languages and dialects are also spoken within the country, including two Polynesian languages. English, widely spoken and the official language, bridges the many linguistic gaps.

Years of U.S. administration brought an influx of Western culture that has eroded the indigenous cultures of the societies, although traditional leaders and cultural patterns still are influential, especially in Yap State. As a rule, the smaller "outer" islands and villages further away from the state capitals better preserve traditional ways. Land, due to its scarcity, is the ultimate denominator of social status in Micronesia. Parcels are passed down through the generations, reinforcing the importance of the family to Micronesian society. Social activity in Micronesia revolves around the family and the extended clan to a degree difficult for outsiders to appreciate.

The Micronesian islands have been fertile fields for missionary activity, with the result that almost all FSM citizens are Christian. Statistics show 50% Roman Catholic, 47% Protestant, and 3% other. Kolonia is served by Assembly of God, Baha'i, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Church of Christ variants based on 19th Century Congregationalism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormon, Salvation Army, and Seventh-day Adventist churches as well as the interdenominational organization Family Federation for World Peace and Unification. Religion is an important part of the culture, and all clergy are well respected by the inhabitants.

The outside world had little contact with the islands until the mid-19th century, when American whalers and missionaries entered the region. Spain claimed the Caroline and Mariana Islands in 1885 and held them tenuously until 1899, when Germany purchased most of the island chains in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War. Germany, in turn, lost its possession to Japan in 1914 at the beginning of World War I. The League of Nations formally extended a mandate to Japan in 1920, thus confirming the Japanese era of colonization. Significant Japanese immigration led to intensive agricultural development, and the islands became exporters of many products. Although subject to repeated air attack during WWII, Pohnpei was never invaded; the Japanese garrison surrendered to the U.S. Navy on September 11, 1945. In 1945, after World War II, control passed to the U.S. Navy and then to the Department of Interior under a Trusteeship under UN auspices which began in 1947. The FSM, together with the Marshall Islands, Palau, and Northern Mariana Islands, made up the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The FSM came into existence in 1979, and on November 3, 1986, the FSM and the United States agreed to a Compact of Free Association which established the relationship between the two nations.

The Compact, which was revised in 2003 to improve accountability and promote sustainable economic development, confirms the FSM's authority to manage its domestic affairs and to conduct foreign affairs in its own right. The U.S. retains full authority and responsibility for security and defense issues. The Compact also outlines governmental, legal, and economic relations between the countries. Of particular importance is the fact that citizens of the FSM can travel to, live, work, and study in the United States without visas. Over the period of the first Compact, the FSM received U.S. Government funding of over $2 billion. Current support under compact and from other USG programs totals $130 million per year. During the next 18 years, annual Compact assistance will be gradually reduced; the FSM will therefore need to find new revenue sources, improve its tax system, and cut spending.

Public Institutions Last Updated: 8/3/2005 0:48 AM

The Federated States of Micronesia has a democratic government with fair elections. The governmental structure is roughly modeled on the U.S. The FSM national government is headed by a President and Vice President; the President appoints Cabinet members who administer national affairs; the other two branches, Congress, and the Supreme Court, function much as the American institutions, albeit with fewer personnel. The Congress is unicameral, and legislators serve either 2- or 4-year terms. Two-year Senators are elected from districts apportioned on the basis of population. Four-year Senators are elected at large, one from each state. The President and Vice President are chosen from the ranks of the at-large Senators by a majority vote of Congress. No political parties exist.

Each of the four states is headed by a governor elected for a four-year term, balanced by a state legislature and a state supreme court. Although this structure parallels the American system, the FSM Constitution gives more power to Congress than to the Executive Branch and the states have substantially more independence and power than their American counterparts.

Arts, Science, and Education Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:12 AM

Pohnpei is home of the FSM College of Micronesia (FSM-COM), which maintains branch colleges in each of the FSM states. In collaboration with the University of Guam (UOG), a Bachelor of Arts degree is offered for elementary teachers. FSM-COM also offers a 3-year business certificate in accounting, and Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degrees. The AA degrees are offered in liberal arts/education, health career, hotel and restaurant management, media studies and Micronesian studies. The AS degrees are offered in accounting, general agriculture, business administration, computer information systems, early childhood education, marine science, and teacher education for elementary and special education. Outside of the formal educational structure, the FSM is host in any given year to several visiting researchers, particularly in the fields of anthropology, marine resources, and agriculture.

In addition to COM-FSM, public and church-sponsored private schools are available from preschool (4 year olds), primary (grades K–8) to high school (9–12). Academic scores are often below U.S. standards. One private school takes 3–5 year olds for half a day. There are no Department of Defense schools. The closest boarding school for high school students is located in Hawaii.

Cultural and artistic institutions in the Western sense do not exist in Kolonia, although woodcarving, weaving, local dancing, and choral singing are popular local forms of artistic expression. The "sakau" ceremony is tcentral to Pohnpeian culture. Sakau, (aka. Kava, Piper Methysticum) a drink made from a pepper-plant root, is a mild narcotic that is very important both culturally and socially. Originally reserved for rites performed by traditional leadership, consumption has been democratized and commercialized in recent years, and serves as a lubricant for interpersonal relations as well as the settlement of disputes. Most Pohnpeian decisions are made over the sakau stone. Funerals are a significant part of the culture; Pohnpeians face significant obligations of both time and material — pigs, sakau, and giant yams — whenever a funeral is held.

Commerce and Industry Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:13 AM

The Federated States' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for FY 2004 was estimated at $218.7 million, equivalent to a per capita GDP of $2,084. The real growth rate was -3.3%. A significant portion of the population earns a livelihood from subsistence fishing and agriculture. Of those working within the monetized economy, more than half are government-employed. Palikir, as the national capital, has the highest proportion of government employees, drawn from all four states. Micronesian technical and legal specialists are increasing in number but remain in short supply. Many professional positions are filled by American and expatriate contract employees, and most construction, skilled, and semi-skilled tasks are performed by Filipino workers.

The FSM is attempting to strengthen local production and exports. Currently, the business sector in the FSM is modest and centers on small retail establishments selling imported goods. Potential for development of agricultural products is good in the states of Kosrae and Pohnpei, which produce excellent citrus (though a citrus cancre infestation currently prevents its export) and world-renowned pepper, respectively. Initiatives to improve the airport are being considered. The untouched islands of the FSM are desirable tourist destinations, but this sector remains small in scale due to lack of support facilities, high air fares to reach the main islands, and limited and unpredictable transportation links to outer islands. The nation encompasses rich tuna fishing waters. A multilateral fisheries pact with the U.S. and several bilateral fishing treaties provide a steady flow of tuna licensing fees, though these have decreased over recent years. The U.S. provided a $20 million investment development fund under the Compact to encourage joint ventures. The FSM national government has implemented an ambitious national development plan to enhance infrastructure and expand local production and social services. However, geographical isolation, very limited capacity to ship cargo to the islands, and poorly developed infrastructure are major impediments to long-term growth. Previous development initiatives have often failed; Yap's two garment factories, staffed by Chinese workers, closed with the end of textile quotas. State owned fisheries companies have consistently lost money and pepper and button export efforts did not survive.


Local Transportation Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:14 AM

Although Kolonia has taxis, a personal vehicle is essential. Only 40 miles of road on the island are paved, and outside of town, 15 miles of roads are partially to upaved. Paving is a slow and on going project. Most vehicles on the island are Japanese, and employees with American-made vehicles import most repair parts from Guam or Honolulu. Some American parts are available at the NAPA Auto Parts. Repair service is available, but computerized diagnostic equipment and the ability to repair automatic transmissions are limited. The high humidity, salt air, and poor rural road conditions make rust-proofing, undercoating, and frequent washing advisable. Undercoating can be done locally.

Most employees drive sedans, but some have imported four-wheel drive SUVs. Pickup trucks are a popular mode of island transport and have the best resale value. If you plan to explore the island, we recommend a small four-wheel drive vehicle. Given the short distances traveled and problems with corrosion, many personnel choose used or reconditioned vehicles, either shipped in or purchased locally. Secondhand vehicles with right-hand drive arrive from Japan frequently and can be bought at reasonable prices. Departing foreigners and local car rental firms are also sources. There are no new-car dealers on the island. Vehicles may be ordered from Japan through internet dealers, with delivery in 10–12 weeks. Some locals import their own U.S. specification vehicles from Guam. No diplomatic discounts are available locally. There are no restrictions on resale.

Employees who ship vehicles should bring at least two spare tires plus spark plugs, belts, windshield wiper blades, fuses, and windshield washer fluid. Some of these items are available locally, but at higher than U.S. prices. Air-conditioning is strongly recommended. Liability insurance is required and can be purchased locally. Mobil is the sole supplier of petroleum products; unleaded gasoline sells for at least $3.25 per gallon, U.S.-specification cars should retain their catalytic converters. Diesel fuel is available.

Small boats are available. Used boats typically need repair, which can be accomplished on the island. However, outboard motors are extremely expensive and difficult to obtain; available used motors are often in poor condition.

Regional Transportation Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:14 AM

Transportation between Pohnpei and the three other states and to neighboring countries is by Continental Air Micronesia, which operates Boeing 737-800s on the "Island Hopper" route. Flights are regular (currently three times a week to Hawaii and four times a week to Guam) but very expensive. Travel to those outer islands of Pohnpei State with operable airfields is by Caroline Islands Air, Inc., which flies a Britten-Norman Islander; Pacific Missionary Aviation operates Beech Queen Airs on routes between Yap and its outer islands. Many other locations are reachable only by the "Field Trip Ship." Pohnpei state's ship, the Micro Glory, the last survivor of its class, is in poor condition, so these runs are now being handled by the FSM Voyager on a quarterly basis. Chuuk is operating a Chinese-built cargo and passenger ship for inter-island transportation, the Chief Mailo, which entered service in late 2004.


Telephones and Telecommunications Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:15 AM

Telephones are available in the FSM. All U.S. Embassy personnel have a home phone. AT&T, MCI, Sprint and GTE Hawaii calling cards are accepted in the FSM for long-distance calls. Local phone service is $8 per month with unlimited local calling. The local Telecom connections with the U.S. are excellent and cost $1.20 per minute during the day and $.60 per minute from 1700–0700 and on weekends. Kolonia can be dialed directly from the U.S., using the sequence 011–691– (local number). The telephone number of the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia is 320–2187. The fax number is 320-2186.

Individuals with GSM unlocked tri-band cell phones can use them in the FSM by purchasing alocal SIM card for $24.00. These pre-pay cards can be charged using FSM Telecom pre-paid phone cards to add time as needed. Local cell calls are charged at $.10 per minue and calls to the U.S. are charged at $1.00 per minute between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm and $.47 per minute during other times. Cell phones can be purchased locally, but are expensive by U.S. standards. Cell phones can also be rented for $20.00 a week plus pre-paid call charges. Further information is available from FSM Telecom at .

Internet Last Updated: 7/26/2005 6:34 PM

Dial-up Internet service is available through FSM Telecom.

Basic Package: $19.95 for 10 hours per month and 1 email address

HomeSaver Package: $44.95 for 30 hours per month and 5 email addresses

Business Saver Package: $79.95 for 60 hours per month and 10 email addresses

Elite Saver Package: $149.95 for 120 hours and 15 email addresses

Visitors Package: $19.95 for 5 hours inclusive of account installation. Additional usage beyond package will be charged at the rate of $1.95 per hour.

Package Upgrades: Upgrades can be made at any time for a fee of $9.95.

Mail and Pouch Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:16 AM

Under the terms of the Compact, the U.S. Postal Service continues to provide mail delivery to the Federated States of Micronesia. The U.S. and FSM systems are closely linked, and local mail operations are similar to that of a U.S. Post Office. Each FSM state has a U.S. ZIP Code (Pohnpei's is 96941), and mail between the U.S. and Kolonia is sent at the U.S. domestic rate. However, mail sent from the U.S. to Micronesia uses U.S. stamps, while mail sent from Micronesia to the U.S. uses Micronesian stamps. Insured, certified, and registered mail may be sent and received. First-class mail delivery is erratic, taking from 1 week to several months to reach Kolonia from the U.S. mainland. Surface mail generally arrives in 2–3 months. Magazines that are not sent airmail may take 2–7 months or longer to arrive.

Personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy should use the regular Embassy address as their own:

AmEmbassy Kolonia, P.O. Box 1286, Pohnpei, FSM 96941

Alternatively, Embassy personnel can use the pouch address of:

4120 Kolonia Place Dulles VA 20189-4120

Other personnel should obtain a postal box on arrival. Some corporate computers may not accept the abbreviation "FSM" or "FM," which can cause mailing difficulties. Outgoing local mail is slightly faster than incoming and pouch.

Radio and TV Last Updated: 7/30/2005 7:36 PM

Pohnpei has two AM and four FM stations. The state-owned AM radio station broadcasts Micronesian music and announcements. A commercial FM radio station broadcasts U.S. contemporary and local music, but reception is limited to the Kolonia area, as is that of an FM repeater station transmitting BBC World Service programming. The College of Micronesia FM station is audible in the Palikir area of Pohnpei. A church-operated AM/FM station broadcasts primarily in English, offering religious programming, Christian music and VOA news for 5 minutes every hour, on the hour. In addition, special sport broadcasts, election results, and weather reports are provided on the AM stations. Shortwave radios can pick up BBC, VOA, and Radio Australia. During the evening, Japanese and Australian AM stations can be heard.

Kolonia has a cable TV company, which broadcasts its basic service for $25 a month, with premium channels available for an additional $10. Basic channels include: BBC World, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, CNN, ESPN, Star World, NHK (Japan), PREL (Hawaii), Sound Track Channel, Adventure 1, Living Asia Channel, China Central TV (English), Knowledge Channel, Star Sports, Discovery Channel, EWTN, Channel V, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp Asia Pacific Service. Star Movies, National Geographic, and The Philippine Channel are offered as premium channels. The broadcast system is NTSC, as in the U.S., so no special set is needed. TVs are available locally, but prices are higher than in the U.S.

Newspapers, Magazines, and Technical Journals Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:16 AM

The Guam Pacific Daily News is sold in one outlet; copies are received 1–3 days after publication date. Kasehleilie Press, a newspaper printed in Pohnpei, appears biweekly, as does the Kosrae-based Alliance. No bookstores are found on the island. Personnel will do well to ship reading material with HHE.

Health and Medicine

Medical Facilities Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:17 AM

Kolonia no longer has U.S. Public Health Service physicians. The regional medical officer in Manila provides coverage to post. Two private doctors, one is educated at the University of Hawaii and the other in the Philippines, run private clinics. The Peace Corps medical officer is a physician's assistant. His contract is for Peace Corps volunteers only, but in an emergency he can lend assistance to U.S. Government personnel. Any semi-serious situation requiring medical attention requires evacuation. Local hospitals are unhygienic, understaffed and in generally poor condition. Medical equipment is often inoperative or poorly maintained. Dental care is well below Western standards. Most personnel choose to go off island for anything beyond common ailments (i.e., colds, headaches). In emergency situations the closest U.S.-trained medical personnel are in Guam. Diving accidents have necessitated airlifts to Guam, though hyperbaric chambers and qualified operators are arriving in Micronesia.

Community Health Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:17 AM

Although great improvements in the quality of the water supply were made from 1992 to 1994, Embassy personnel are cautioned not to drink the tapwater. Embassy Foreign Service personnel have water distillers in their homes. Local community health standards are variable, and sanitation practices in stores and restaurants are, in general, far below U.S. standards. Public health measures are few. Tuberculosis, leprosy and venereal disease are common, but post personnel who have no intimate contact with the population have no cause for concern. There are no confirmed AIDS cases in Pohnpei. FSM National Health Services records indicate from 1989–2000 there were 8 HIV, 4 AIDS cases, and 8 HIV/AIDS deaths in the FSM. In 2001, there were 5 HIV cases confirmed in the FSM.

Preventive Measures Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

The regional medical officer advises boiling water for 10 minutes before drinking if you have no distiller. Some Americans choose to take their chances with occasional gastrointestinal distress. Bring Aqua Tabs or tablets that kill waterborne germs to soak vegetables. Local milk is unavailable, but there is a steady supply of potable ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk from California and Australia.

Personnel should have up-to-date immunizations. Since Hepatitis B is endemic in the Pacific Islands, some personnel have chosen to be vaccinated against this disease at their own expense. This disease is transmitted solely by blood exchange and sexual contact; nonetheless, the possibility, however remote, of an emergency blood transfusion has prompted a few persons to seek out the vaccine. Gamma globulin shots are recommended. The island has four pharmacies. Personnel requiring any special medication should bring a 6-month supply to post. The pharmacies can have refills shipped in. Bring a good supply of over-the-counter remedies, since local stores may lack even common items, or, if available, sell them at high prices.

The island is free of malaria and rabies. Several years ago an outbreak of Dengue Fever occurred in Kosrae, and in 2000 there was a serious outbreak of cholera in Pohnpei, with 19 fatalities. Pests encountered are seldom dangerous. Exceptions are venomous centipedes, which inflict painful stings, and jellyfish, which sometimes drift through local waters.

Employment for Spouses and Dependents Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:18 AM

The situation at post is mixed. The FSM and Pohnpei state governments need trained personnel, and U.S. dependents have a good record of finding employment. In the past, American spouses have been employed as a financial planner for the national government, civil engineer, dietitian, and bookkeeper. In each case, personnel came to post with these qualifications and were able to fill a need. Employment prospects depend on individual skills, and, as a rough rule, personnel with technical or legal backgrounds will have the most success. The public sector is comparatively small, so shortages notwithstanding, there is no guarantee of employment.

Americans hired in the FSM receive lower salaries than employees recruited abroad. Salaries for local hires: secretarial salaries range from $6,390–$7,160 and attorneys range from $11,270–$13,950, free of U.S. tax. Locally employed dependents must pay 6% FSM income tax. On the other hand, attorneys hired from the U.S. can obtain a beginning salary of $25,000.

Office efficiency and amenities are not to be compared with American environments, but most dependents have been satisfied. It is difficult to arrange employment before arrival. Government offices have trouble identifying vacancies in advance and prefer to assess the candidate firsthand. Any advance promises of employment should be received in writing. U.S. ctizens do not need work permits for employment.

Volunteer work is not well established, but some Americans have assisted the Pohnpei Public Library. Other opportunities may present themselves to an enterprising volunteer.

American Embassy - Kolonia

Post City Last Updated: 7/30/2005 7:39 PM

Kolonia, Pohnpei's largest town, has approximately 5,800 inhabitants and occupies seven square miles at the northern end of Pohnpei Island. It features the State Capital, the island's only post office, and most of the island's commercial activity. Street signs were introduced in July 2005, and some consideration is being given to obtaining a traffic light.

The Post and Its Administration Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:19 AM

Although the FSM is a sovereign government, U.S.-FSM relations have a special character, due to the Compact of Free Association. The State Department contingent consists of an Ambassador, DCM (POL/ECON/CONS), a Management/Consular Officer, and a Foreign Service Office Manager and Communicator (AMB/OMS/COMSEC). Locally-Engaged AMCITS serve as IMO, and GSO. Six Foreign Service Nationals fill the Pol/Mil Asst, Econ/PD Asst, Adm/Con Asst., Procurement/Admin Asst., Receptionist, Driver, and Custodian positions. The Ambassador supervises all U.S. activities, civilian and military, throughout the Federated States. U.S. Government agencies represented in the FSM include the Department of the Interior, U.S. Forestry Service, Peace Corps, USDA Rural Development, and the USDA Soil Conservation. Because some 40 U.S. Government agencies have interests or programs in the FSM, there is a constant flow of TDY personnel.

The small size and rustic atmosphere of the post allows a good deal of informality in operations and requires a good ration of adaptability from personnel assigned here. The Embassy is located across from the Pohnpei Visitor's Bureau and informal Botanical Gardens (the pre-war Japanese Agriculture Station) in Kolonia. Upon arrival in Pohnpei, U.S. Embassy personnel are met at the airport. If for some reason you are not met upon arrival, ask the Air Micronesia representative at the airport for help in contacting Embassy personnel.

Official office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a 1-hour lunch. Hours for U.S. Government employees not assigned to the Embassy itself will be governed by their particular duty requirements.


Temporary Quarters Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:32 AM

Personnel awaiting housing are usually placed in local hotels.

Permanent Housing Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:19 AM

The Ambassador's residence is a two-story, three bedroom, two-and-one-half-bath dwelling with 2,823 net square feet of living space. The first floor has two living rooms, a dining room, kitchen, laundry, guest restroom, storage space and carport. The second floor holds three bedrooms and two baths. A terrace encircles the second floor with a smaller terrace on the first floor and a small, decorative garden. The house is fully air-conditioned and security features are installed.

The Deputy Chief of Mission's home occupies 1,453 net square feet on one floor. It has three bedrooms, two baths, a large front terrace overlooking jungle and ocean accessible from the living and dining rooms, and a carport. It is fully air-conditioned and security features are installed. The Ambassador's residence and DCM's home are adjacent and share a nahs—a Micronesian thatched meeting hut. The houses are exceptionally situated on a high cliff looking north over the Pacific.

The Ambassador's Office Manager's residence occupies 1,141 net square feet on one floor. It has three bedrooms, two baths (with showers only), a terrace connected to the living/dining room, a kitchen, carport, storage unit below the house, and a slight view of the Pohnpei Harbor. It is fully air-conditioned, and security features are installed.

The Management/Consular Officer's house is located in Palikir, a 15 minute drive from the Embassy. It has a net living space of 1,221 square feet, is fully air conditioned, and has a car port.

Housing for non-Foreign Service personnel is comparable or less satisfactory. The Peace Corps staff has smaller houses, which have air-conditioning, security features, and are of comfortable standards. The director's house has two bedrooms, one bath, and a medium living/dining area, a carport, a small lawn adjacent to the street, and security features that meet post standards. Personnel of other agencies live in homes leased from the private sector. These houses are sometimes small, ill-maintained, and lack fundamental features. Security features on the houses vary; some personnel have installed security grillwork at their own expense.

Furnishings Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Foreign Service housing is fully furnished with predominantly hardwood and occasional outdoor and indoor rattan pieces. Personnel should bring decorative items, baby furniture (if applicable), stereo equipment and radios, TV, VCR, and DVD. A portable barbecue and equipment would get good use. Houses come with basic kitchen and laundry appliances: range, microwave, refrigerator-freezer, full freezer, washer and dryer, a five-gallon water distiller, and ladders. Houses are fully air-conditioned and include ceiling fans, but caution still must be taken with mildew. It is not advisable to bring expensive or irreplaceable items, such as original artworks, oriental rugs, or heirlooms.

Peace Corps housing is also furnished, and the same caveats apply.

Other agency housing: non-Foreign Service personnel will want to consult with their predecessors as much in advance as possible. Furnishings and appliances in housing provided by the host government do not approach U.S. standards, and employees often must ship basic appliances and furniture. Air-conditioning may not be provided.

Appliances can be purchased on the island, but selection is small and prices are high. Locally made wooden furniture can be purchased, but prices approach U.S. levels and quality of work is moderate. Fiber mats are occasionally seen in handicraft stores. Other especially useful items to bring are shelves, especially the metal, ready-to-assemble type, lamps, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and any special furniture for infants and children.

Utilities and Equipment Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:20 AM

Power supply is 110 volts, 60 cycles, but actual line voltage and frequency vary. Power surges are frequent, and all personnel should bring quality surge protectors for stereos, TVs, and PCs. Hardware stores sell good multi-outlet protectors with built-in circuit breakers. U.S. Embassy and Peace Corps personnel have backup electrical generators, which ensure 24-hour power. Other personnel may wish to buy a generator after their arrival at post.

Food Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:21 AM

A basic selection of food, including many U.S. brands, is available at post, but high prices, very limited choices and "past due" expiration dates make it advisable for personnel to import consumables, if possible. There are frequent shortages of food items; during the last year, flour, sugar, and rice have been unavailable for periods of several weeks. Gourmet or specialty goods are not available.

Several moderately sized supermarkets operate in Kolonia, along with a few small general stores. Food stocks vary with each cargo shipment. The selection approximates that of a small Mom and Pop store in an urban environment, i.e., basic canned goods, pastas, bottled sauces, cleaning supplies, condiments, some dairy products, frozen vegetables, and frozen meat, fish, and poultry. Locally baked bread is adequate. Bringing a bread machine would be useful. Steak, hamburger, pork, and chicken are imported from the U.S., and while of a lower quality than found in a normal U.S. supermarket, are fully acceptable if the purchaser checks for freezer burn or thawing/refreezing. Fresh tuna and small "reef fish" are for sale in the public market, and mangrove crab is frequently offered.

A limited selection of canned and bottled baby foods are available. The high humidity wilts crackers and cereals, but chips purchased in metal tins keep well. Dairy supplies are improving. Imported butter and margarine are in good supply, while a modest selection of cheeses are in stock. Ice cream is very popular on Pohnpei, and although the stores are careful to keep this in stock, selection and quality is basic. No fresh milk is to be found, but there is an ample supply of California and Australian ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk. Having a large picnic cooler is very useful for bringing frozen items from the Guam Commissaries when one transits that island on TDYs.

Kolonia has only a meager selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. Although Pohnpei is lush, cultivation of these crops is rare. Local agriculture revolves around yam, taro, banana, and breadfruit. Sweet potatoes, plantains, pineapples, green onions, and tangerines can occasionally be found, but the only fresh fruits and vegetables normally available in stores are oranges, apples, cucumber, green cabbage, green bell peppers, brown and red potatoes, ginger, yellow onions, and eggplant. Freight ships bring "fresh" vegetables about twice a month from the U.S. Personnel supplement its diet with frozen and canned vegetables or through home gardens. Arrangements can also be made with local farmers to buy fresh vegetables regularly on a small scale. The DCM has a vegetable garden, in which corn, tomatoes, papaya, noni, avocados, and various Thai herbs are being grown.

Fruit drinks and carbonated drinks are plentiful, though they often are generic or little-known brands. Beer from Australian, Japanese, and U.S. breweries is available. Wine is scarce, expensive, and stored under inhospitable conditions. Oenophiles should include cases in their shipment if agency regulations permit.

The FSM permits import of fresh produce. Agriculture inspectors tend to admit without problem foods brought from the U.S. mainland in the original, unopened packages, e.g., shrink-wrapped, plastic-packaged vegetables and meats. The traveler's assurance that the items originated in the U.S. usually suffices. Loose vegetables and fruits are usually confiscated. Meat and poultry may be imported from the U.S. mainland, Hawaii, and Guam.

Direct-hire U.S. Government personnel are authorized use of commissaries and PXs at Orote Naval Station and Anderson Air Force Base on Guam.

Clothing Last Updated: 8/3/2005 3:51 AM

Although the FSM is quite hot and humid, the Embassy in Kolonia is air-conditioned, which allows for some clothing flexibility. The style of dress, both during and after work, is casual.

No dry cleaning or professional laundry services are available on the island. Office attire for men is slacks, with a pullover sport shirt or short-sleeve buttoned shirt. Office attire for women includes lightweight blouses and skirts or sundresses. Wearing jackets and hosiery are optional. Footwear is also very casual, with sandals, lightweight fabric, woven leather, and, for after hours, plastic "zoris" are the norm. Good, inexpensive, zoris can be purchased here.

Micronesians consider exposure of women's thighs to be indecent, so short skirts and shorts and tight-fitting slacks should not be worn as everyday attire. For both men and women, Bermuda, knee length or longer, baggy shorts are totally acceptable for casual wear.

Ceremonial and social style is also quite casual in Kolonia, and a man may not have occasion to wear a tie and jacket in an entire year. Men should bring one dark lightweight suit, a lightweight blazer, and a tie or two in the event of national celebrations, presentations of credentials, inaugurations, funerals of heads of state, or military ceremonies in Guam. Women should have correspondingly "dressy" but cool attire. Men should bring one or two pairs of leather shoes; women may wish to bring leather shoes, but fabric shoes will be acceptable on these more formal occasions.

Personnel sometimes travel on leave or temporary duty to neighboring Asian capitals, and appropriate dress for such trips should be included. Formal dress is never worn in Kolonia.

Since there is little seasonal variation, the same type of attire may be worn year round. Clothing supply in Kolonia is minimal and generally in smaller sizes. Personnel should bring a full tropical wardrobe with them, plan on making purchases en route in Honolulu or Manila, or have items made locally. The Guam PXs have a basic selection of clothing.

Personnel can take advantage of trips to Manila to purchase good, inexpensive lightweight clothing. There are also colorful, locally embroidered skirts and a small but attractive selection of dresses from Bali sold in local stores, which means smaller women will have better luck in local purchases than men. Most employees use catalogues and the Internet.

Children's clothing can be bought locally, but prices are high and selection is poor. Families should bring a good basic wardrobe for children and plan to supplement this with purchases in Guam, Honolulu, or through catalog orders.

Supplies and Services

Supplies Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:22 AM

Stocks vary from month to month with the arrival of each cargo ship. Store managers are not always consistent in their orders and are not inclined to maintain large inventories. In general, the basics can be found. It is recommended, however, that personnel bring a supply of any household items they anticipate using during their tour. Local stores sell sundries, cleaning supplies, and other household items, but the selection is small and supply unpredictable. Prices for these items may be two to three times the U.S. price.

Although available, paper products (facial tissues, paper towels, toilet tissue, disposable diapers, napkins), aluminum foil, and plastic wrap seem to be especially high priced. A good supply of light bulbs should be sent, including the yellow "bug lights" for outdoor use.

Liquor variety is modest and expensive, so personnel should pack a supply of their favorite brands, agency regulations permitting, or plan to purchase items at the Guam PX. Entertaining is infrequent and informal, so no unusual preparation is needed.

A few pounds of boric acid and/or ant and roach-control products are highly recommended. Pohnpei cockroaches have no immunity to insecticides, and any commercial spray and "Combat" ant and roach traps will be effective. Mosquitoes are an occasional problem in Kolonia and can be rectified with mosquito coils and netting. For outlying island trips, 15–20 yards of netting for two persons could be useful. If considering gardening, bringing insecticides to deal with white flies is recommended.

Although there are no bookstores, a few children's books can be purchased at local grocery stores; otherwise, the College of Micronesia Library, Micronesian Seminar and the Pohnpei Public Library have books for loan.

A few stores sell a very limited selection of toys and games. All holiday and party supplies and cards should be shipped, but there are basic paper plates, cups, and utensils available locally. Ornaments and artificial trees should also be shipped. The local hardware stores have a small selection and expensive artificial trees. Sparse, live trees are sporadically offered at high prices.

Basic Services Last Updated: 7/26/2005 7:40 PM

Kolonia offers several modestly priced seamstresses that provide simple tailoring services for that personalized fit and make curtains to order quickly. A small selection of cotton and tropical print fabrics and sewing patterns and notions are available. Local laundromats are available, but not a dry cleaning service. A few beauty shops are in operation. Electronics repair is meager, so malfunctioning equipment must often be mailed or carried to Honolulu or Guam. At least one entrepreneur repairs washing machines and other large appliances. Automobile repair is available, although parts availability may be a problem. Good boat repair is available.

Domestic Help Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Domestic and child-care services are readily available, but the employer may have to go through a few employees before finding suitable talent. Pohnpeian domestics are paid $2 per hour, and, as a rule, do not cook and clean to U.S. standards. Micronesian child-care can be attentive and adequate, and live-ins can be hired, but care must be taken to find a suitable employee. Housing size, more than any other factor, will determine the feasibility of having live-in help.

Religious Activities Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Catholic and Protestant services are held in English and Micronesian languages. U.S. citizens normally attend either the Saturday evening English Mass at the Catholic Mission or Sunday morning English nondenominational Protestant service. Other denominations represented include Assembly of God, Baha'i, Baptist, Buddhist, Church of Christ, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormon, Salvation Army, Seventh-day Adventist and United Church of Christ churches, as well as the interdenominational organization, Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.


Dependent Education Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Statistics for 2000 show the FSM schools enrolled 5,300 in first grade, while 1,500 students graduated from high school, resulting in 28% receiving their high school diploma. Student retention rates in Pohnpei schools indicate that out of 100 that enter elementary school, 100 first graders go on to second grade, 71 complete the 8th grade while 44 enter the 9th grade and 28 graduate from 12th grade. Approximately 5% of the FSM population have college degrees.

At Post Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:22 AM Most personnel with children send them either to the Seventh-day Adventist, Catholic, or Baptist schools. Seventh-day Adventist offers K–12 instruction in English and has well-kept facilities with U.S. textbooks and U.S. volunteer missionary instructors. Education is best in grades 1 to 6; above that level, the school falls short of the facilities and faculty required to give students an American-equivalent education. Host country and foreign children alike attend. Extracurricular activities, including sports, are a part of the program. Since places in the schools are limited, it is advisable to contact the schools in advance of the assignment to reserve a spot. The Catholic Mission and the Baptist Church operate schools, and standards are adequate. Public schools do not meet U.S. standards. A Jesuit boarding high school, Xavier College, is located at Weno, Chuuk State, about 500 miles from Pohnpei.

Away From Post Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:23 AM Guam (1,020 miles away) and Honolulu (3,090 miles) are the closest locations for off-island education. A previous Embassy employee recommended the Mid-Pacific Institute in Hawaii, which is a college prep school (grades 6–12) that offers honors courses where credits can be applied toward college.

Higher Education Opportunities Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Although Kolonia hosts the College of Micronesia-FSM, its facilities are moderate, and most classes are likely to be insufficiently rigorous for American personnel and dependents. However, a former dependent was pleased with the computer course he took. The college also offers courses in Pohnpeian and Japanese. Programs for the handicapped and learning disabled are not available.

Recreation and Social Life

Sports Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:23 AM

With a wide variety of coral and marine life, including a variety of sharks, colorful reef fish, and mantas, the FSM offers outstanding opportunities for divers and snorkelers. The marine life is unspoiled. On the island of Pohnpei, diving is mostly around the barrier reef. Outer islands, such as Ant and Pakin atolls, offer sandy white beaches and excellent scuba opportunities. Pakin Atoll boasts some of the best gorgonian fans in the world. The Chuuk Lagoon is world famous for its diving. More than 100 sunken planes, ships, and submarines are at the bottom of the lagoon and accessible to divers as a result of U.S. Navy bombing raids in World War II. Yap and Kosrae also boast great diving.

A recognized scuba certification card is required for all equipment rentals and scuba trips. The local dive shops, few as they are, offer air refills. Equipment rental is becoming more and more difficult, with unpredictable quality and availability. We recommend divers bring their own regulators, BCDs, gauges, and as much gear as possible with them. There are no official diving schools; however, one location offers PADI certification training and sporadic advanced diving. Prospective divers should try to become certified before arrival.

Fishing and ocean trolling tours are available. Tuna is abundant in waters off Kolonia, and game fish, such as marlin and mahi-mahi, are also found. Anglers should bring ocean rigs or handlines. Due to unpredictable, often slack winds, only a few sailboats are on the island. The most common boats used are 19-foot skiffs, great for reef and trolling, ranging from $1,000 (used) to $4,800–$6,300 (new).

Swimming in the warm, clear water is popular, but the absence of local beaches on Pohnpei means that one must take a boat out to the nearby islands or reef. Boat-taxi prices are very reasonable. Women are discouraged from wearing skimpy bathing suits to avoid difficulties with the local people.

For joggers and walkers, Kolonia offers interesting terrain for early mornings and evenings. The heat and humidity makes midday exertion difficult. Stray dogs can also be an aggravation. The causeway between the airport and the main island offers beautiful water and island scenery, pavement and grass, clean air, and is not highly trafficked.

Baseball is an island-wide passion, and volleyball is also very popular. There are two public tennis facilities on the island, two courts at the Mayor's Office and four at a sports facility near the Embassy but they are not in the best of condition. A local physician also strings tennis racquets and sells tennis supplies. Table tennis, softball, basketball, weight lifting, track and field and wrestling are also available. All of the above sports have annual leagues.

Touring and Outdoor Activities Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:24 AM

Although tourism is slack, Pohnpei is an ecotourist's delight, containing 20 officially recognized sites. Highlights include the coral reef that surrounds the island, lagoons, the birds, bats, and crabs of the mangrove forests, and the upland rainforest with stunning waterfalls—home to several bird and plant species which are not found anywhere else in the world.

A must-see, and the most noteworthy archeological site on Pohnpei, is the ruins of Nan Madol, built by the ancient chiefs and first organized government of Pohnpei during the Saudeleur Dynasty that ruled from 500 to 1450 A.D. The palatial stone compounds and basalt ruins are built on manmade islands in the lagoon by Temwen Island, off the east coast of Pohnpei. These impressive ruins are partially under water, amid a maze of manmade channels overhung with tropical foliage, which explains why Nan Madol is best accessed by boat during high tide. However, during low tide the site can be reached by automobile followed by hiking a distance through mud and mangroves. Many of the sites have not been excavated and are completely overgrown. Legend has it the palace was built by "magicians" with occult skills and unusual amounts of enlightenment who caused the stones to fly into place. It is an ideal location for those interested in archeology and snorkeling.

Exploring on your own is complicated by the lack of signage indicating locations of interest. However, there are numerous adventures for hikers within the interior where you will find 42 rivers and streams, water falls, rugged mountains with deep valleys covered with dense rain forest, and a moss-carpeted forest floor.

Driving around the island on 40 miles of paved and 15 miles of unpaved roads takes about 3½ hours in a four-wheel drive in good weather. Seven waterfalls throughout the island offer hiking, swimming, and picnic areas. Three can be accessed without a guide and are moderately difficult to reach; four can be accessed with a guide and are considered difficult to reach. Nearest to Kolonia is Liduduhniap Falls (twin waterfalls), a 10-minute drive, located about a 15-minute easy walk from the parking area. Near Nan Madol is Kepirohi Falls, flowing 70 feet from basalt cliffs, with beautiful, dramatic cascades and a freshwater pool at the base for swimming.

A moderately difficult hike up Sokeh's Mountain offers breathtaking views of Sokehs Rock and Kolonia Harbor, tropical vegetation, and birds, as well as two Japanese flak batteries, a six-inch naval gun, large bomb craters, and a searchlight platform.

Other sites of interest include: Enipein Marine Park; Manta Road; FSM Capital Complex at Palikir that houses the national government offices with an interesting mixture of traditional and modern architecture, and the FSM College campus near Palikir. Historic sites include the Spanish wall, dating from1887; the rustic18-acre Pohnpei State Botanical Garden; remnants of the Catholic mission erected in 1909–14, abandoned Japanese tanks, Pohnpaip Petroglyphs of a woman with a baby—the birthing stone, and an old German cemetery. The Kapangamarangi village features woodworking and weaving handicraft stores.

Four nearby, privately owned islands and atoll are noteworthy. A favorite activity is spending a rustic weekend on Black Coral Island. This tiny island just off Pohnpei's coast will provide, for a small fee, padded mats, a kerosene lamp, and use of a covered, wooden cottage. Cooking is by campfire, and visitors must bring food, beverages, and cookware, as there are no stores. Although less popular, the same applies to Langer Island, which features the ruins of a Japanese seaplane base. Ant Atoll is 8 miles beyond the reef and is accurately described by a local writer as "the tropic isle of romantic novels," a palm-shaded island with white sandy beaches. Ant is popular for picnicking and camping. All supplies must be brought with you, as stores and cottages are not available. Last but not least, Hegs Island (formerly known as Joy Island) is available, off and on, for picnicking only. Prior permission from the landowners is a must.

For safety and comfort's sake, due to the lack of stores and facilities, bring food, water, toiletries, a medical kit, sunscreen, waterproof gear, a radio, and everything you will need for your adventures.

Embassy personnel travel frequently to the other states of the FSM and to Guam. Sydney is the designated R&R post. Bargain fares to Guam can be obtained on limited off-peak flights.

Entertainment Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Kolonia has one three-screen movie theater but no play houses or concert halls. Video rentals are a main form of entertainment, and a few well-stocked DVD and video rental stores are located in Kolonia. All movie videos are in VHS format. DVD copies are often of poor quality. A DVD player and VCR are recommended.

Social Activities Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Kolonia's social life exists largely within the foreign community and consists of casual home dinners, meals at local restaurants, and shared boating and atoll expeditions. For host-country nationals, socializing is primarily a family and clan event, and invitations to Americans are very rare. But a personable American will find that opportunities arise to become more familiar with the people and partake of warm, generous Micronesian hospitality.

Official Functions

Nature of Functions Last Updated: 7/27/2005 1:53 AM

Receptions and dinners in Kolonia reflect the casual nature of the society. FSM-hosted events are held in local restaurants. American personnel entertain in a similar fashion and through casual home events. Dress for men is slacks and opened-neck shirts. On rare occasions jacket and tie are worn; business suits are worn only for presentations of credentials. Women wear a cocktail dress or skirt and blouse.

Standards of Social Conduct Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:25 AM

Due to the government's small size and the absence of a large diplomatic community, social events are infrequent by standards of other posts and are characterized by a lack of formality. The U.S. Ambassador and Deputy are expected to attend all social functions. Spouses generally have the option whether or not to attend events. Other agency personnel have no representational responsibilities.

Calling cards are not in use, but business cards are needed. Cards can be locally printed, but print quality does not equal U.S. standards. A small supply of invitations and informals should be brought to post.

Special Information Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Security Situation. Violent crime against U.S. Government employees is rare, and political upheaval is nonexistent in this democratic nation. Break-ins are a persistent problem on the island; however, items stolen are usually minor: liquor, food, sport shoes, videocassettes, etc. The Foreign Service housing has appropriate building security measures and a guard. The security measures for other agency personnel depend on the assigned house.

Non-Department of State Personnel should contact Kolonia employees of their agency for detailed information on living conditions, since housing and furnishings are spartan and vary from family to family. The U.S. Embassy will assist in forwarding inquiries to the appropriate person.

Post Orientation Program

At this small and informal post, orientation is accomplished as newcomers make the social rounds with other personnel and get to know the friendly Micronesians and long-term foreigners.

Notes For Travelers

Getting to the Post Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:25 AM

Continental Air Micronesia operates the sole international air route to Kolonia. Westbound flights depart Honolulu every other day. These flights cross the international dateline and so land in Pohnpei on the following calendar day. Personnel normally take the "island-hopper" from Honolulu to Pohnpei, which departs Honolulu on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday via Majuro,Kwajalein, and Kosrae islands and arrives on Pohnpei on the afternoon of the following day. It is also possible to come via Honolulu, Guam, and Chuuk. Eastbound flights from Guam depart Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday via Chuuk to Pohnpei, arriving on the same day. Westbound flights from mainland U.S. to Pohnpei mandate a night in Honolulu.

Customs, Duties, and Passage

Customs and Duties Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

By law, baggage of employees traveling with diplomatic passports is not inspected. No duties are assessed on household goods or vehicles of personnel from the American Embassy. Other agency personnel assigned to the FSM are covered by a separate bilateral agreement, which waives all customs duty on imports, but baggage may be inspected. No standards for import of vehicles exist.

Passage Last Updated: 9/30/2002 6:00 PM

Personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy will be met on arrival and processed for diplomatic entry permits after arrival. Although Federal employees assigned to the FSM may enter simply by presenting travel orders and U.S. Government identification cards, we recommend that employees and their family members obtain passports. No visa or entry permit is needed.

Pets Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:26 AM

The importation of dogs or cats into the FSM requires presentation of an international animal health certificate, attesting that:

* Animals were examined within 48 hours of shipment, found to be in good health and showed no sign of any infectious disease;

* Dogs have been effectively vaccinated against distemper, hepatitis and canine parvovirus at least one month and not more than three months before shipment or cats have been effectively vaccinated against Feline Panleucopaenia at least one month and not more than twelve months before shipment, and Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis/Calici virus at least one month and not more than three months before shipment;

* Animals have been effectively treated against echinococcosis-hydatidosis, round, hook and whipworms within three days of shipment;

* Animals have been effectively treated against and found on examination to be visibly free of all ectoparasites within three days of shipment;

* Animals showed no clinical sign of rabies on the day of shipment, and were kept from birth for six months prior to shipment in the exporting country, or a part of the territory of the exporting country where no case of rabies was officially reported during the two years immediately preceding the importation of the animals concerned;

* Animals have been vaccinated with an inactivated rabies virus more than thirty days prior to entry into the FSM; and

* For animals originating from a country or a part of a country where rabies occurs or is reported to occur or where rabies vaccination is routinely practiced such animals must undergo a period of not less than 120 days in an approved quarantine facility in a rabies free area prior to entry to the FSM, or

* Meet the entry requirements of the State of Hawaii or the Territory of Guam.

Upon arrival in the FSM, imported dogs or cats shall immediately be taken under the control of an Inspector to the quarantine premises previously approved by the Administrator, whereat the animals shall remain until an Inspector releases them.

If transiting Honolulu, the pet will have to be in quarantine for the stopover. Pet owners should avoid Guam, which also quarantines pets, but has no facilities or procedures for caring for them. Other animals may enter only upon issuance of a quarantine permit. We recommend that any personnel planning to bring pets consult in advance with the Mission in case of changes in regulations.

There are no vets permanently stationed on Pohnpei Island, but a vet will regularly fly to Pohnpei from Guam to perform services. Owners should bring flea collars, worm medicine, vaccine if needed, and any other desired accessories.

Firearms and Ammunition Last Updated: 7/30/2005 7:59 PM

Only .22-caliber rifles and shotguns of less than .410 gauge, 18 inches or larger, are permitted to private citizens within the FSM. Employees wishing to import a firearm must first obtain Mission approval.

Currency, Banking, and Weights and Measures Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:26 AM

The national currency is the U.S. dollar. Kolonia has branches of the Bank of Guam and the Bank of FSM, the former with an ATM that accepts most major cards. Both are FDIC insured. Safe deposit boxes are available for rent, starting at $30 per year. Weights and measures follow the U.S. system.

Taxes, Exchange, and Sale of Property Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:26 AM

Personnel assigned to the U.S. Embassy have full diplomatic tax exemptions. Other Federal personnel, with the exception of Peace Corps, are exempt from the income and import/export taxes. Peace Corps tax provisions are detailed in a separate agreement. Peace Corps Kolonia can advise arriving personnel of details. No restrictions are placed on the sale of personal property.

Recommended Reading Last Updated: 8/11/2005 11:28 AM

These titles are provided as a general indication of the material published on this country. The Department of State does not endorse unofficial publications.

Ashby, Gene. A Guide to Ponape. Rainy Day Press: Kolonia, Pohnpei, 1983. Comprehensive look at all aspects of life on Pohnpei.

Ashby, Gene (ed.). Micronesian Customs and Beliefs. Rainy Day Press: Kolonia, Pohnpei, 1983. Folktales and traditions compiled by students of the Community College of Micronesia.

Hanlon, David. Upon a Stone Altar: A History of the Island of Pohnpei to 1890, won the 1989 Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Prize for ethnohistory. University of Hawaii Press. Author is associate professor of history at the University of Hawaii.

Hezel, Francis X, Strangers in Their Own Land, University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, 1995. The definitive study of Micornesia's colonial period, by the head of Micronesia Seminar, the region's only think tank.

Kluge, Paul. The Edge of Paradise. University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu, 1991. Well-written reminiscences of a former Peace Corp volunteer.

Levy, Neil M. Micronesia Handbook. Avalon Travel Publishing 2000. Colorcraft Ltd. Comprehensive, well-written guidebook for FSM.

McHenry, Donald. Micronesia: Trust Betrayed. Carnegie Endowment: Washington, D.C., 1975. Discussion and critique of U.S. policy.

Nevin, David. The American Touch in Micronesia. Norton: New York, 1977. Critique of the American presence, with perceptive observations on Micronesian society.

"New Pacific Nations." National Geographic Magazine. October 1986. Beautifully photographed survey of the contemporary FSM, Marshall Islands, and Palau.

Oceania, A Regional Study. Foreign Area Studies series, The American University. U.S. Government: Washington, D.C., 1984. Basic facts on all of the Pacific Islands.

Pacific Islands Yearbook. Pacific Publications: Sydney/New York. An annual survey of the islands. Comprehensive survey, plus good maps and economic data.

Peattie Mark. Nanyo: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885–1945. University of Hawaii Press: Honolulu, 1988. A different perspective.

Local Holidays Last Updated: 7/27/2005 1:48 AM

In addition to U.S. observances, the Mission will close on the following FSM holidays in 2001: New Year's Day January*** Martin Luther King's Birthday January* President's Day February* Pohnpei Cultural Day March** Good Friday March/April** Constitution Day May** Memorial Day May*

Independence Day July* Labor Day September* Pohnpei Liberation Day September** Columbus Day October* Uninted Nations Day October** Independence Day November** Veteran's Day November*** Thanksgiving November* Christmas Day December***

* U.S **FSM ***U.S./FSM

Adapted from material published by the U.S. Department of State. While some of the information is specific to U.S. missions abroad, the post report provides a good overview of general living conditions in the host country for diplomats from all nations.
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