Tuesday, December 25, 2012

World War II B-24 Bomber

The islets by the wreckage
A few Saturdays ago, the Senior missionaries headed out for a P Day activity to find a World War II B-24 Bomber that had crash landed in the lagoon in 1943.  There were 10 or 11 crew members that all got out safely but were later executed by the Japanese or killed in bombing attacks by the Americans.  The crew didn't realize that there were very few Japanese soldiers on the island but they demanded that the Marshallese people get the crew from the wrecked plane.  When one Marshallese man refused to do so, he was taken captive along with the Americans and died along with them.
The crashed airplane is sitting in 6 feet of water off of a small islet in the Majuro Atoll lagoon
Part of the wing of the airplane

Sister Barlow down by one of the propellers
Lots of sea creatures and coral growing among the wreckage
Another view from above.  The wings, propellers, are about all that is still left.  Other pieces of the plane have been washed away

Part of the wreckage

Me snorkeling by in the distance

After we snorkeled we went to this little island that is by the wreckage.  Nobody lives there.

We had two Marshellese teens (or maybe they were 20 ir si) take  us out on their boat to the wreckage.  We all got out and snorkeled around the wreckage.  Then we went to the little nearby islet that nobody lives on.  One of the guys taking us climbed the coconut tree and got us some green coconuts to eat.  It's interesting that the people here do not eat the regular coconut that we like.  They mostlly just eat and drink the green coconut juice and eat the very soft coconut.  The big thing over here though is copra which they use to make many things including coconut oil which has become a big product.  People on the outer islands and some places here make money by gathering regular dry coconuts, husking them and  out the coconut and putting it in bags to sell to copra boats that come and pick it up and take it to a processing plant..  I think you get about $20.00 a bag for it and its a lot of work.  For some people that is their only job
Boating on the lagoon
Sister Hillbourne and Sister Wayas
Sister Barlow, me, Sister Hillbourne
At the island, we landed on a beautiful sandy beach.  As we went around, however, the beautiful sandy beach turned to coral, which is what many of the beaches are. We hiked through the middle of the island and found a camp operated by a church group.  It was just the buildings:  an amphitheater, an eating area and some cabins.  We actually were trying to get to the other side of the island and ended up getting lost for a few minutes, but eventually we found our way out to the beach again.  We collected some sea shells and ferns to plant.  On the way home, the lagoon became very choppy and it was hard to get to where we wanted to go even though it was a motor boat.  The boys took us to their dock and then drove one of the senior elders back to the beach we had taken off from to get the cars. It was really a fun trip.  I ended up getting just a little tiny bit sunburned. 

Elder Barlow, Sister Barlow, Sister Wayas, Sister Woods and me

There were coconut trees everywhere

Wreckage of an old boat stuck on the reef right off the islet

landing on the island
Sister Barlow and Sister Wayas.  You can see some of the other islets in the background
This is what some of the island looked like
The camp on the islet

Pushing off to head back to the main part island
 The Senior Sisters and our boat driver
Sister Barlow and me
          We had a great day.  I have had many more wonderful adventures since then that I will write about in my next entry.  We have been very busy getting ready for 11 new missionaries that arrived on Dec 20th.  The mission is preparing for a wonderful Christmas.  We have had many baptisms and the work is going forward here in the Marshall Islands.  I have had a few sick missionaries ,  Colds are going around and there have been a few more back problems and GI problems.  I stay very busy but I love it.                                                    

No comments: