Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Under the Sea Part II and more

We went snorkeling last Saturday to show the new couple missionaries how fun it is

Angel fish

I am still learning the technique of underwater photography.  The fish move away so fast its hard to be sure you focus and that you get them at the right moment. 

One of the senior elders here says to use the flash and the colors are brighter.  I will have to try that.  There were hundreds of fish all sizes.  It isn't possible to capture what you really see.  
Colorful coral
The reef is so amazing.  There are many kinds of choral.  It is big and comes in tables and shelves and tiny and intricate.  It comes in different colors.  On the reef,  there are beautiful tropical fish everywhere.  There are schools of little tiny fish swimming by, medium fish, and a few large fish.  Behind the reef the fish get larger.  Elder Barlow has seen several sharks, but they are reef sharks and not dangerous,  We have snorkeled on the back side of the reef.  There is a slanting of the backside for a little ways and then thee is a sharp drop off  (See Under the sea part I) that goes down several hundred feet

Lots of beautiful, colorful fish

Coral comes in many sizes and colors

Its hard to see them, but there are fish everywhere

The water is so warm.  Where it is shallow, it is really warm like a bathtub.  As you go a little deeper you can feel the cooler currents but it is always nice and never cold.

Look at this fish

Can you see the black fish?

The reef is very colorful
We had a great P day.  We brought our picnic and all had lunch.  Then some of us walked around the islet to see the ocean side.  The waves were beautiful as they crashed onto the reef.  We were able to walk out quite a ways because the tide was going down.
Sister Wayas
Sister Wayas, Sister Barlow, Sister Gardner, and I along with some of the senior Elders had a good time snorkeling.  Others rode in the kayaks and had fun on the beach.
A Parrot Fish
\We saw several of these parrot fish

The islet we traveled to is called Eniko.  It is way past keman islet (the 8th islet over)  I would guess that Eniko is about the 20th islet from Majuro? 

We got some new senior missionaries  Gardners and Johnsons

Sister Wayas and Sister Johnson

Sister Wayas and Sister Barlow

We walked around the islet to the ocean

Sister Barlow and me 

All the new senior missionaries and the old ones too

A cruise ship came into the lagoon and docked.  Hundreds of tourists were walking on the streets of Delap and Uliga  Ruby and I went to see the ship.  We talked to some of the tourists and many of them were Americans.  The cruise was a 70 day cruise in the Pacific and Australia 
Ruby by the dock

Friday, October 11, 2013


On Sept 28th, 2013, President and Sister Weir and I boarded a United Airlines flight to the Kwajelein Atoll.  We landed on Kwajelein Island at the Army Missile Base.  We were met by the President Parker of the Kwajelin Branch, who works there.  President and Sister Weir had their military ID and President Parker was able to get me a guest pass to go onto the army base.  It was very manicured and looked very nicely kept.  Our first stop was the food court where we picked up a Subway Sandwich.  Hmm that was so good.  We don't have any fast food restaurants here in Majuro.  While we were eating, we met some of the branch members who were there including a doctor who had previously served there but left for a year or so and now he and his wife are back.  He volunteered to go and check any of the missionaries on Ebeye that I was concerned about.  Wow, that is awesome.

A ship docked in the lagoon

The base was very well manicured and kept.  There were lots of family friendly recreational things available there such as a swimming pool, several beaches, and places to snorkel or dive. 
The WW II memorial on Kwaj

signs giving mileage to many places in the world
There is a dinning room named for Louis Zampereni who was a prisoner on Kwaj during part of World War II.  (Book: Unbroken)

Where the Kwajelin Branch meets

Military Housing

We boarded the ferry headed for Ebeye.  There were a lot of people on the ferry.  A young man from Ebeye  with special needs,  met us and helped us with our bags.  He helps the Elders and actually wears a missionary badge.  They call him Elder Robert
On our way to Ebeye looking back at Kwaj

A little islet on the way to Ebeye

  Coming into Ebeye...the end of Ebeye with a few trees and NTA

Coming into Ebeye

The dock in Ebeye

Sister Weir and I got to go with the Sister Missionaries to teach this family

They have accepted a baptismal date

Kids playing ball

The church  building in Ebeye

The church was made out of an old Bunker

Basketball court on the church grounds

As usual, the children were so cute and  friendly

We got to attend a baptism for two wonderful people

Elder Wilson did one of the baptisms

To get to the lagoon where the baptism was actually held, the whole crowd of church members had to go through a maze of little tiny houses and lean to type houses

The baptism was at sunset and it was beautiful

People watching the baptism

It was very special

I love the children.  I read that over 50% of the 15,000 people that live on Ebeye are under the age of 18.  There were children all over.  They played with anything they could find...cardboard, rocks, sticks, and even garbage.  Ebeye is one of the most densely populated places in the world.  All of these people live on a 1 mile long about 1/4 mile wide island or about 80 acres.  They live in tiny little shacks and lean-tos very close together.  There is obviously a lot of poverty. 

Cute kids in front of the hotel

I loved talking to the children and smiling at them.  It was sad to see some of them with medical issues that don't seem to be addressed.

They do have a small hospital there.  The Marshallese only have to pay $5.00 for a visit to the outpatient clinics.

Kids playing with cardboard

Kids by the ocean side of Ebeye
Kids playing in back of the hotel

The kids played with whatever they could find

Kids on the street
They seemed to be having fun
The Ebeye Hotel
An Ebeye Street
My hotel room in Ebeye
At the restaurant in the hotel
On the ocean side of Ebeye
Sisters Whitney and Mahit came to see us off at the dock
The peer as we pulled away

We have 3 branches in Ebeye.  We have 8 missionaries and are getting a missionary couple soon.  There hasn't been one there since May.  The people are friendly and kind.  Especially the members.  They were really awesome.

The Ebeye peer

Sharks right off the shore in Kwaj

We walked out on a little peer in Kwaj and there were these sharks just swimming around.  It was kind of eery even though nurse sharks are supposedly harmless. 
The Marshall Islands are a shark refuge and there are many kinds found here.  Thee is a nurse shark