Thoughts on Ifiri Merik by Peter Black

American time began in Tobi with the surrender of the Japanese garrison in September of 1945. People talk about Navy Time, Trust Territory Time, and Constitution Time, and there are significant differences between them, but there are also certain things they all have in common. The Americans pushed electoral democracy, stressed education and health, and especially toward the end of their rule, dramatically expanded government operations and services. On Tobi, following the disruptions and dangers of war this era began as a time of reorganization and consolidation, creating a stable way of life centered on subsistence gardening and fishing, Catholicism, copra production, the field trip ship, and the school. People spent most of their time on Tobi, with occasional visits to Koror. This neo-traditional way of life gave way toward the end of this period to a lifestyle built around salaried employment and government services in which most people spent most of their time in Koror.