Sunday, September 8, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013 Coconut Crab and Sashimi!


This week went by quickly.  I bought some salt and pepper shakers last week, which has improved life greatly.  Sadly the grocery store didn't have any cottage cheese, and of course there isn't any yogurt, so I ate a lot of plain applesauce this week.

I broke two mission rules this week:  eating sashimi and coconut crab.  The sashimi here is weird.  It's good because the pieces of fish are big, but they put it in a weird sauce.  The sauce has lemon juice, shoyu, and coconut oil.  It's pretty tasty and the acidity of the lemon juice kind of cooks the outside of the fish (like ceviche).  Some of the sashimi I had this week was really good, but some of it was hard to chew and the family gave me a whole lot of it...and it hadn't been marinating in the sauce as long as the first stuff, so it was pretty fishy.  It was good though.  I also ate coconut crab this week. Oh, crab is so delicious.  We ate the sashimi and crab at the Jolet's house.  They've been members since the early 80s and they're the pioneers out here in Laura.  They feed us almost every night.  I feel bad taking all of their food, but they love to give it.  We saw Bubu Jolet and Carolynn (her 30-something yr old daughter...I sent a picture of her last week) gathering coconut crabs the other day off the road in kind of a swampy area.  Arije (she's one of our investigators, 27 yrs old, and related to them somehow) was in charge of holding the plastic bag closed to keep the crabs inside.  Anyway, the crab was really tasty.  We're not supposed to eat eat because one elder once ate it and got really sick.  I haven't gotten sick yet and I can tell that the Jolet family prepares food well, so I'm not worrying about it. 
Coconuts fall off the trees all of the time, and I'm learning to always look up before I sit somewhere so I'm not under a tree.  Supposedly they can kill people, so I'm staying away from those.  You can normally hear when the coconut is starting to break off though, so you have enough time to move out of the way.

Our bikes are heavy, purple, huffy bikes with those blasted brakes on the pedals.  Ugh, they're so annoying because you can't spin the pedals around backward when you get on the bike to get the pedals at the right place.  They pedal brakes are helpful though because we can hold more while we bike.  I'm learning to bike by the dogs really slowly so they don't run after me, and when they start barking and growling I'm supposed to say "shhhhhh!" and they usually stop.  One day last week all of the dogs in Laura were anxious or something, and a lot of them chased us.

The grocery store has a "red label" section where all of the expired food is on discount.  We usually find the elders there.  There are always a lot of cans of clam chowder they're trying to sell for 49 cents.  Supposedly the soup comes out in the shape of the can.  One elder bought a whole lot of them maybe a month ago, and then he got shipped out to Ebeye, so the elders in his old apartment have a huge stash of the soup and they aren't sure what to do with it.

One of our investigators, Bubu Waleliki, has a garden and she gave us some fresh corn on the cob!  It was so good.  We also met a woman from kiribati and she has a good sized garden and she gave us some bok choy.  I had a can of black beans so I cooked some of those with some bok choy for lunch one day, which was pretty good.  

There was a baptism in the iar (lagoon) on Saturday.  The weather was really nice.  I'll upload a photo from it. 
There are bugs everywhere.  I always have little bugs and ants crawling on me.  We try to keep most everything in the fridge to keep the bugs out, but even then, it doesn't always work.  For example:
Me:  "Sister Ieie, there are bugs in our sugar!!"
Ieie:  "No, there aren't bugs.  Those are ants."
Me:  "Fine, then there are ants in the sugar!"
Ieie:  "It's okay, they're dead"
Me:  "..."

There are even ants in the unopened bags of sugar.  I've gotten over it.  I just don't like the cockroaches.  We have some insect spray we're supposed to dilute and spray in the house, but it doesn't seem to work all that well.  The last sisters to live in the house are all from Kiribati, so they don't really care about the bugs.  The biting ants are also fun and there are flies everywhere.

The big pacific forum started in Majuro on Saturday.  All of the big cheeses from the pacific islands came out so everyone's been cleaning up the island.  It looks pretty good right now.  The people in Laura really care about keeping their yards clean.  They mow the grass/weeds and burn their trash.  We take our trash to a ditch that has some huge coconut branches/fronds covering it, and then someone burns the trash once a week or so.  Sister Ieie and I went out Saturday morning to do service and we worked raking yards and weeding.  I got a bunch of blisters from weeding and I'm trying to not let them pop so they don't get infected.

Sister Weir came out to Laura one afternoon this last week and went teaching with us.  It was a really good day.  Almost all of our investigators were there, which never happens, and they actually seem interested and asked questions.  It was crazy.  Sister Weir says she grew up near rock canyon elementary and she says she knows Mark and Anita.  Her first name is Shelia and she said her maiden name is Hubbard...or something like that.  She's turning 60 this week, if that helps.

Last P day we played basketball with the elders in our district at the Ajeltake church building.  I think there were about 6 elders and then me and sister Ieie.  It was nice to get to know some of the elders and hang out there.  I want to play basketball again today, but we have the sisters' P day activity, so that's probably not going to happen.

Progress is:
A toilet seat and a clean toilet (sorry, no pictures!  I'm sure you're happy about that)
a bottle of drano and bathroom sinks that drain
What do you do when there's a cockroach in the oven?  Turn it on to 400.  Although I have heard that someone once microwaved a cockroach on power level high and after 5 minutes the blasted thing walked out as if nothing had happened.  Hopefully he didn't end up in the cookies I was baking.  I made cocoa cookies for Bubu Jolet and some of our investigators, and they all liked them.

Okay, I think that's all for this week!  I love you,

Sister Butler

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