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Palau Community College (PCC) was visited by an old acquaintance on August 07, 2013. Teruko Gakiya Yamada, a 90-year-old Japanese woman, visited the college after years of being away. Ms. Yamada had been a nurse during the period of Japanese occupation in Palau. During that time, the building that is now the PCC Administration was being used as a byouin (hospital or medical facility).
Ms. Yamada had lived in Palau since she was eight years old. She obtained a formal Japanese education from a school on the island. She worked as a nurse until she was 22 years old. After leaving the island, she returned to Japan and continued working in the medical field until her retirement.
During her time as a nurse in Palau, Ms. Yamada formed a friendship with a Palauan nurse named Adelina “Nina” Polloi Rechesengel. She remembered Ms. Rechesengel and her brother, Franz Polloi, who worked as a pharmacist at the hospital. Unfortunately, Ms. Rechesengel and her brother are both deceased and Ms. Yamada was unable to reunite with her old friends.
She was fortunate, however, to meet Ms. Rechesengel’s youngest daughter, Ann Lund. Ms. Lund offered to arrange a meeting between Ms. Yamada and the children of Mr. Franz Polloi before she returned to Japan.
More than sixty years have passed since Ms. Yamada was in Palau working as a nurse. Since then, the island has development into a different place. Ms. Yamada visited the PCC Campus. Though she could not find the tennis court that had been one of her favorite places, she was able to visit the old operation room that is now the Student Services Office. Ms. Yamada holds a fondness for Palau and was happy to see again the place that had been her second home.
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