Thursday, February 13, 2014

Jana and Joe

The beach in Ajeltake  at low tide
Day 1 Lunch at Tide Table, Island tour, and out with missionaries.  Meeting Elders and Sisters, Seniors
Jana and Joe arrived here on Jan 8th.  It was so fun to have them here.  I was really excited to be able to share this experience with some of my family if only for a short time. We started out with lunch at Tide Table and I invited all the senior missionaries to come and meet Jana and Joe.  Next we went on a tour of the island starting with Rita and went all the way to Laura, stopping at a few places to take in the beauty.

I was so excited to see their plan land

Right by the airport

Its hard to see but there are lots of islets that make up the atoll

WWII Japanese Bunker
It is right in the middle of someone's living area
Majuro had a few Japanese bunkers but the majority of the Japanese soldiers, ships, etc were located on other atolls.  The American's chose to take Majuro and make it a major harbor due to the deep lagoon.  Many of the causeways were built by the Americans. 

Drinking Ni for Breakfast (young coconut juice)

We had the opportunity to go out with the missionaries to some of their lessons.  Jana and I went with Sister Huni and Sister Crane and Joe went with Elder Adam and Elder Langrine.  We had a wonderful and inspirational time.  Its always so wonderful to be able to bear testimony of this wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ.  Joe met Sam and we went to visit him later and take him some things he needed.

Day 2 Hospital visit, plate lunch, hike to Ejit and beyond
Jana had her stake make and donate baby and newborn clothes to the nursery.  They were thrilled with the donation
Me and Sam, a man in my ward  He lives in a tent because it's easier to roll around

A Marshallese Hut

Plate lunch at the BarBQ shack

Walking to Ejit and beyond.  We went to the 6th islet over from Rita

Hike to 6th islet over

Ruby came with us on the hike

 jiiki  is a police man for Ejit.  Here Joe is with Jiiki and Sue

Ejit is a little islet in the Majuro Atoll.  It has a school, police station, and a little hospital. 
Me and Ruby by the Ejit Hospital

Sue and Jiiki by their house in Ejit

Jiiki and me by a Pandana tree

Ejit is the third islet over from the main island in Majuro.  It is settled primarily by people from Bikini Atoll. 

Jiki makes beautiful Marshallese Handicrafts.  He and Sue take care of the Mission President's back yard and walk over on the reef when they come over.  They often bring handicrafts.  Jiki made some cut little Marshallese hut and gave me one of them.  Sue is from Kiribati.
I think this is jikii's mother's grave on Ejit

Our favorite swimming hole (between islet 4 and 5)

The Graves are often above ground or just below in a tomb like this.  Many of them are right in the yard of the family

Underwater fun

Low tide between some of the islets
On our way to Arno
Day 3 Trip to Arno Atoll, Fish for dinner
We rented Carry and his boat and he took us to Arno.  It was really fun, but the waves and current were very rough the day we went over.  We bounced around a lot on the way over.  We fished along the way.  We caught a mahi mahi on the way over.  Elder and Sister Wayas and Elder and Sister Gardner went with us.  Elder and Sister Barlow were stuck on Ebon so were unble to come.

We are about ready to go under the Majuro Bridge

The Majuro Bridge is the highest point on the Majuro Atoll.  It connects Long Island with Delap. 

Joe and Elder Gardner

On the ocean side of the bridge
Majuro from the ocean side
Off the coast of Majuro

Carry is a fisherman and so he had his line out all the time we were going to Arno..  On the way over we caught one fish and on the way back we caught like 8 tuna.  It was really fun to see how they catch the big fish.  Some of them were 50 and 60 pounders.

Carry and Elder Wayas.  One reels in and the other pulls the line.  The fishing poles stay connected the whole time
Its coming in

They club the fish in the head

Sister Wayas drove the boat while the action was going on.  I did too on the way back

The Mahi Mahi we caught

The Shores of Ar no Atoll
Arno Atoll has a population  2069
The land area is approximately 5 square miles

Jana and I on the boat to Arno
On the white sandy beach of the lagoon at Arno Arno
Joe's attempt to climb a coconut tree
The road that goes from Arno, Arno to Ine

Jana standing by the Lagoon
  My camera is still on the Underwater with flash setting so these photos right here are just a little too bright.  It wasn't really this dry looking.  The lagoon was beautiful and a turquoise color,  The sand on both the lagoon side and the ocean side were beautiful white.  There were hardly any people around.  We enjoyed walking on the beach and then we went snorkeling

The lagoon on Arno.  Actually there are three lagoons on Arno

Snorkeling in the ocean
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I saw a shark swim by.  It was swimming really fast and didn't even notice me.

Beautiful fish and coral 

I love the colorful coral

We caught 7 Tuna on the way home

Here is a good sized tuna

Day 4    Ride on Marshallese Canoes
             Watching the Sunset at Laura Beach

Jana by the Marshallese Canoe we rode in.  You have to wear a life jacket

Our Marshallese Canoe

We had the ride of our lives.  The three of us were just sitting on top and holding on for dear life as the waves splashed us in the face and we were drenched.  It was so fun.  The water was choppy and the ride was fast.  Those canoes are unbelievable.  The Marshallese used to travel by these canoes to different atolls, using the patterns of the currents and waves.  There are large canoes for traveling the open sea  and smaller ones for navigating inside the lagoon.  Most families had at least a small canoe for fishing.
Here is where my camera battery died

Sunset at Laura Beach

Day 5    Primary Party at Marshall Island Resort
             Medical visit  in Laura so more time spent at Laura Beach
             Attended a Baptism

Laura Beach

Baptism at the Rita Ward

Day 6  Church at Long Island Ward
           Trip to Eneko and overnight stay

Long Island Ward

Jana was able to come and visit the Primary in her ward.  She told the children about the primary  in her ward and brought each of them a letter from one of the Primary children in her ward.  In turn, the children from the Long Island Ward wrote or drew pictures for the children in Jana's primaryhe children sang many of the songs from last year's program for her.  (I lead the singing in the LI ward and also play piano when we need to have it accompanied.  Jana is the Primary President in her ward in Las Vegas

On the way to Eniko Island in the Majuro lagoon

One of the little islets that you pass on the way to Eneko Island
We stayed at a house with several rooms  on Eneko Island
Sunday, we got there and put things in our rooms.  There was a nice outdoor screened kitchen area and
Bar B Q  Grill.  For supper we ate tin foil dinners and roasted marshmellows.  We also walked around the island and looked for WWII shells and real sea shells.  The rooms were comfortable and we were the only ones on the island (except for the caretaker)

Day 7 Snorkeling and Kayaking at Eneko Island
           Shopping and Museum
           Saying goodbye for 2 more months

After a nice breakfast, we all went snorkeling and kayaking  We returned to Majuro, showered, went shopping and to the museum.  Then it was time to go to the airport and say good-bye.  That was hard, but two more months to go and I will be home again.
                                                                     Bar Lo Komira