Up Pohnpei: A quest to reclaim the soul of football by leading the world’s ultimate underdogs to glory by Paul Watson

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After one too many late night discussions, football journalist Paul Watson and his mate Matthew Conrad decide to find the world’s worst national team, become naturalised citizens of that country and play for them – achieving their joint boyhood dream of playing international football and winning a ‘cap’. They are thrilled when Wikipedia leads them to Pohnpei, a tiny, remote island in the Pacific whose long-defunct football team is described as ‘the weakest in the world’. They contact Pohnpei’s Football Association and discover what it needs most urgently is leadership. So Paul and Matt travel thousands of miles, leaving behind jobs, families and girlfriends to train a rag-tag bunch of novice footballers who barely understand the rules of the game. Up Pohnpei tells the story of their quest to coach the team and eventually, organise an international fixture – Pohnpei’s first since a 16-1 defeat many years ago. With no funding, a population whose obesity rate is 90 percent and toad-infested facilities in one of the world’s wettest climates, their journey is beset by obstacles from the outset. Part travelogue, part quest, Up Pohnpei shows how the passion and determination of two young men can change the face of football – and the lives of total strangers – on the other side of the world.

Up Pohnpei: A quest to reclaim the soul of football by leading the world’s ultimate underdogs to glory

Where The Hell Is Tuvalu?: How I Became The Law Man Of The World’s Fourth Smallest Country by Philip Ells

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Everyone dreams of ditching the rat-race, jumping off the treadmill, turning their life on its head and doing something worthwhile, but Philip Ells turned that fantasy into a reality. Imagining turquoise seas, sandy beaches and lush tropical trees, Ells flies off to the Pacific island state of Tuvalu armed only with his Voluntary Service Overseas briefing and his hopes of finding paradise. Nothing, however, could quite prepare him for the reality of life on Tuvalu. In this hilarious, dramatic and insightful book, Philip Ells describes with self-deprecating wit the collision between himself and the Pacific Islanders’ sometimes extraordinary behaviour.

The Sex Lives Of Cannibals: Adrift In The Equatorial Pacific by J. Maarten Troost

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At the age of twenty-six, Maarten Troost—who had been pushing the snooze button on the alarm clock of life by racking up useless graduate degrees and muddling through a series of temp jobs—decided to pack up his flip-flops and move to Tarawa, a remote South Pacific island in the Republic of Kiribati. He was restless and lacked direction, and the idea of dropping everything and moving to the ends of the earth was irresistibly romantic. He should have known better.
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