|These are the only kids I have seen out on the ocean side swimming|
|The Marshall Islands Cockroach|
I told some of my grandchildren I would put in a few pictures of my apartment building and the inside of my apartment. Anyway, here it is
|My Apartment Building|
|My door, I am #12|
|My living Room|
|My Living Room|
|My keyboard and extra room|
Its a good apartment building. There are three buildings with three levels on two of them. I live on the ground floor and my backyard is just a cinder block fence. Some of the senior missionaries live on the second floor and they have a beautiful view of the ocean from their apartments. To look at the ocean, I have to walk over to the end of the building and climb up this little burm that was created as a block against the waves that might get big. When the tide is high they are right there by the burm.
|The bay where the kids were trying to boggie board on wood|
|My ward building|
The tides are very interesting here. They seem to be more extreme than I have ever known them to be in Hawaii. When its low tide, the tide is really out there. Like for instance when we walked over to some of the little islets at low tide. It was really easy and the water was so shallow in most places. When the tide is high, the waves really crash onto the reef and sometimes, I guess in a very high tide they have come up to the road. I guess in 1979, some very high tidal waves washed over the atoll in a few places and took out some homes. I should read more about that. I have read a lot about the Marshall Islands' history, especially during World War II. Its very fascinating. If anyone wants to come over and go diving, there are many World Ward II wrecks that you can dive to and they say there are many yet to be found under the water.
|My favorite gas station. They gas it up for you|
I also told some of my grandchildren that I would take some pictures of some of the city areas since many of my pictures I have posted in the past have been of the windward west side that doesn't have the population like the actual city does. The thing that strikes me about the city is the old buildings that are never torn down but they just remain in shambles and stay right where they are in the middle of town or in the middle of a neighborhood. I have heard that sometimes people just sleep in the rubble and you do see clotheslines with people's clothes hung in those old partially torn down buildings and homes. The homes are very humble and close together. Many of them have several families that sleep in the same house. Most houses do not have furniture, making it possible for lots of people to put down mats and sleep on the floor. Many families wash by hand and do cooking outside on fire pits. There are children everywhere. When you go down these tiny little side streets, of which there are about 10 on the whole island, there are children everywhere. And every church and neighborhood have a volleyball court and every night all the young people play volleyball or basketball and the kids play in the street.
|Matson boxes that are all over the place|
|A nice building|
|a typical building...might be a store|
|A typical city house|
The people also just have garbage everywhere. They have a lot of old broken down cars and other metal things that have rusted that are just left laying there. That's really sad for the people that they aren't interested in keeping things cleaned up. It may have something to do with their form of government, which is a republic but also involves the old Irroj system. This is where the chiefs or the Irroj are the landowners and are very wealthy and they own all the land pretty much and get elected to the positions in the government. People who live on the land can be kicked off by the Irroj. In fact, someone told me about a man who went all round the island and picked up a lot of the old metal cars and junk and was going to have a ship pick it up and haul it away and recycle some of the parts etc. Evidently he put it on some land waiting for the ship and the Irroj of that land told him it was his since it was on his land and so the man couldn't move it out and its still here. There are lots of Matson line shipping boxes everywhere. They are like big boxes that came over on ships about the size of a train box car. I guess they were unloaded and then people just kept them and use them for houses or stores or anything and they are all over the place looking really ugly. The stores are the strangest thing. You might have a store with a name like Office Mart in a trashed out old building. Some of the stores have stuff straight from China or other places like that. Most of the stores are very dark, dingy and hot. Not the grocery store though. Its better than that. Anyway, a very interesting system.
|Trash At least there is a box here. Its not like they pick it up though|
|Can you see these chickens running around by my house?|
|A City Street by a school (in the distance)|
|Kids hitching a ride on an unknowing truck|
Tonight is Halloween and I wondered if the kids would come around. Most of the senior missionaries were not here last year at the time so nobody knew for sure, except for Sister Hillborne who said the kids will come. So, I got two bags of candy and thought that would be plenty. There was only one store I saw that was carrying Halloween costumes and the people I doubt would be able to buy them anyway. Anyway, I could hear children singing around 7pm. I went to my door and there were probably 15 or more kids singing Happy Happy Halloween to the tune of London Bridges Falling Down. Most of them were not in costume and most just held their hands out. I gave away a whole bag of candy because more and more kids kept coming. Then I gave away the second bag all in like 10 minutes. Then the kids kept coming and coming and coming, singing their little song. I swear they kept coming for like 2 hours. Boy, next year I will be more prepared. I felt so bad I didn't have any more candy and I just had to lock my door and not answer it.
|These cute boys came around selling coconuts (green)|
I have had a lot of kids and adults come to my door and want me to buy their shells or handicrafts. I have bought some nice things from them. I like to help the children especially, when they come to sell their necklaces or shells. The handiwork they do here is beautiful....probably more unique than other places I have seen. There are lots of shells here..more than in Hawaii. Some are very big and beautiful.
|A Family cemetery along the ocean side in a residential area |
The Marshallese celebrate Christmas by having what is called the Biit. (Beat) I guess that all the churches on the island participate and everyone practices for months in advance. They announced last Sunday that the practices would begin for the Biit on Tuesday (yesterday) The Sister Missionaries who live in my ward usually come to dinner at my house on Tuesday evenings, so we all decided we would go to the Biit practice and then come to dinner. The missionaries can't come in to eat until 8:00 pm. So we went and there were tons of kids there waiting to practice and no adults. One of the Elders who is from the country of Nihue, down by Samoa taught all the kids a hawka type dance from Nihue. The Marshallese don't seem to have many cultural type dances and songs and aren't very musically oriented it seems. But, they do practice these line dances for Christmas and they all make dresses out of the same fabric. (I think it comes out of the ward budget) Christmas Day the whole stake will come to the Stake Center and each ward will present their songs and dances, many of which are the same. Other churches will also come over to perform. I guess it lasts all day and into the night and they serve food all day long. It will be interesting to see.The Elders are going to do the Hawka and the sisters might do Nawaka, a dance I know from my Hawaii days that is also a Maori dance at the Biit.
|Sister IeIe, Sister Tikiari, and Sister Barlow|
|Singing after the baptism|
|Elder Seru and some of the members singing|
The missionary work is moving right along. I have mentioned that we always have many baptisms...every week I always go to one of them. Last Saturday evening there was one out in Laura. I went with one of the Senior Couples and it was really neat. After the baptism, everyone gathered around the auto-play piano and we all just sang hymns for a while. It was fun. I am keeping the missionaries healthy, or at least trying to. I have to turn in a monthly report to the Medical Advisor in New Zealand and to my mission president. I counted 32 notes that I had made about missionary health problems. Some of them were on the same person, but no wonder I have been busy. Luckily our Heavenly Father has been blessing us greatly and nobody has been really seriously ill. I love my mission and the opportunity I have to serve my Heavenly Father in this way. I hope and pray you are all doing well too.
|Missionaries watching general conference|
|Missionaries watching general conference|
Bar Lo Koman (See you later)