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Ohwa is a village on the mid-eastern shore of the Micronesian Island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia.  Ohwa was derived by combining two Pohnpeian words, “Ohn” [meaning vine of a large local yam] and “wa” [bearing large amounts of fruit]. When combined the word Ohwa is descriptive of an ancient legend describing a place where many vines produce a lot of fruit.  Long ago the area now called Ohwa was barren with many rocks and no plants.  The male ghost Enimwahn came and decided to shift the land upside down so that the soil was on top and the rocks were below.  This movement of the earth allowed Enimwahn to plant vegetation. There grew many different types of food and plants.


Ohwa, you are the Promised Land of our fathers.
The fruit of the vine of life;
What has come of you?

Ohwa, there are memories of your Golden Years.
We relive the past as a vision of hope;
Are you the Canaan visited by Joshua?

Ohwa, your origins are of a tale of a barren land,
Brought to life with fruit abundant;
Will possession strip you of your fertility?

Ohwa, you are a gift from God.
Not to be possessed by might or deception;
By possessing you, do we not lose your plenty?

Ohwa, the legacy must be reclaimed.
Not by the few but by all of God’s people;
Will not this act reclaim the vision of the Golden Years?

By Michael Terpstra

In Memory of Dr. Chester Terpstra, who loved the people of Pohnpei.
From Margery Terpstra, Michael and MaryAnn Terpstra


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Created on ... November 29, 2006