Palau 96940

I’m typing this at the Palau version of the Peach Pit, across the street from Palau High (Go Palau Spiders!)

For the third smallest country in the UN, Palau really has its act together. It is a smashingly beautiful place. It is clean. It is reasonably developed. They seem to realize where their bread is buttered and way out of their way to protect the reefs.

A longer summary of the former Trust Territories of the Pacific is coming, but suffice it to say I think Palau decided the other islands were an anchor, so they cut loose to be on their own.

Amy asked me a good question in light of my postcard offer: “Why does Palau use the US Postal Service?”

The answer is: they don’t.

When Palau became independent and the Trust Territories of the Pacific were dissolved, they signed the Compact of Free Association with the US. The compact let Palau be treated as a domestic destination for the purposes of postal delivery. Same as the FSM and the Marshall Islands. All three places use the US dollar as their currency and all of their postal systems rates mirror the USPS. That is why I can send postcards to people in the US at domestic rates from Palau, but you will still get a Palau stamp and postmark on it.

Tomorrow I go diving and snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake and get to eat lunch on a beach on the rock islands.