Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 21, 2014, There Are No Longer Elders in Jenrok

Greetings from a 30-mile-long strip of land in the north pacific,
Brrrsky, I am cold.  We got caught in the rain on the way to NTA (national telecommunications authority) and so we stopped at the "kiribati family's" house to dry off.  The rain started coming down in buckets so we changed into guam dresses and helped keep the water out of their house.  I guess it's more like an entry way to their's hard to explain.  They only have the nice, clean part of the roof connected to the pontoon to get water, but another part of the drain spout was open so we put a bucket under to collect the water, and dumped it about every 10 seconds after it got full.  We also swept the water away and put sand to keep the water from coming in.  And then we did laundry in the rain, so we were soaking wet.  It was so fun to play in the rain.  Then we ate lunch and when the rain stopped we walked over to NTA in rita.  NTA is supposed to open at 1 pm but the workers hadn't yet arrived at 1:45 so we decided to just come to the NTA in Delap.  It's more expensive (I don't know why they would have different rates) but at least we have a time to email today.  We're not allowed to email at CMI (College of the Marshall Islands) anymore because the elders were being loud and obnoxious in the library.  Imagine that.
Supposedly the "microsports" are happening in Pohnpei right now.  It's like the Olympics for Micronesia....I have no idea what events they compete in or how good anyone is at sports.  As far as I've seen, no one here really knows how to play sports.  The guys seem to be pretty good at basketball, but that's probably because that's all they do everyday. 
Some exciting things are happening tomorrow:  First off, we get to move into the elders' old apartment because there are no longer elders in Jenrok.  Their apartment is supposedly way nicer than ours.  Their water isn't ever turned off and their bathroom is bigger than a closet.  Also, Sister Tafili came back from Ebeye last week and we're doing an exchange tomorrow in Jenrok!  I'm so excited to work with her again, even if it's only for one day.  I've been kind of stressed recently while working with Sister Boutu.  I basically have to do everything because she's so new and doesn't know marshallese very well yet.  She really seems to understand the grammar, but she doesn't want to speak much.  It's been hard because I can't just give her the things I don't know how to do or explain.  To help with this we just take members to all the lessons...but then sometimes I don't understand anything either and we just sit there and the member teaches the whole lesson.  It's kind of sad because I've been out a year, but I think it's more than people could speak up or more clearly and then I'd understand.  Anyway, I'm really excited to work with Tafili for a day and to get some help from her in my area.
This last week the elders introduced us to all of their investigators they're giving us, so we worked with them a lot.  It was good but a bit overwhelming.  We had a "kajemlok" or a going away dinner/ party with the kiribati family for the elders on friday night.  We had fried fish and chicken, sashimi, and rice, and then the elders made a pizza and we made a double recipe pumpkin pie in a 9x13 dish.  It was an odd mixture of food, but really good.
It was really windy and rained on Sunday during church.  After church the Bishop's family went home to find part of their roof missing.  We went over and helped sweep water out of the house and place buckets to try to collect some water as the men worked on nailing a couple more sheets of "tin"...just that corrugated sheet metal everyone uses for roofs here.  It's always really loud in houses when it rains on the tin roof!  I guess we've swept a lot of water out of houses this week.
Supposedly a few of the elders went out to Laura this morning to try to run from Laura to Rita, or one end of the island to the other.  It's about 30 miles long, so I think they're crazy.  I kind of want to get a few people together and bike it one p day.  I think that sounds a bit more reasonable that running 30 miles. 

P day ends in just a few hours so I'm not sure how much longer I'll be online.  I'm excited to move tomorrow! 
I hope you're all doing well.  Tootles,

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