Greetings from Jenrok,
Happy father's day to Leanbu and happy birthday to Linus on Wednesday!
I think Jenrok is hotter than Ebeye. I'm not sure. I don't know if I want to admit it though to the ri-majuro (people of Majuro) because they all think Ebeye is hotter. There are a lot more dogs too. But I think I'm starting to like it more. We've gotten to know a lot more people this week. The members are great, just like the members in Ebeye. I think we actually get fed more often here. Kate, you asked about how often we get fed. I do think it's a bit crazy to have the ward feed the missionaries every night. We don't do the calendar sign up thing but if we show up at members' houses at night we usually get fed. I sometimes feel bad how often we get fed, but they love to do it. I heard someone explain the culture here the other day, and i like how they explained it. They said, "You're expected to give everything you have and accept everything you're given." Kids are always asking us for stuff and we usually give it because it's the culture (except I tell them I can't give them my watch or my nametag...), especially if we're carrying food. If someone asks you for the food you're carrying you always have to give it. Then when we're at their houses they feed us and give us things (guam dresses, bags, etc) and we just have to accept it all.
Can we eat turkey necks when I get back? They're so yummy. I didn't know how to eat them very well when I first got here, but I soon learned that you eat as much meat off one and then snap it into pieces to get more of the meat off.
Did I tell you that the ri-majol here wear American clothes? The culture is so different from Ebeye. the girls wear shorts and pants a lot. and on Sundays most of them don't wear Marshallese dresses. It's weird.
There are quite a few Kiribati in Uliga and Jenrok. there's a really great Kiribati family that are all members and we go over there a lot for dinner. The mom knows Kiribati and Marshallese but she only speaks in Kiribati to her daughters, and they in return speak Marshallese to her. It's so funny to see them interact. The younger daughter is married to a Marshallese guy and they have a few kids, and the older daughter is married to a Indian guy from Fiji and they have two of the cutest Kiribati/German/Indian kids I have ever seen. They met at BYU Hawaii where they were both studying Biochemistry. The wife is fluent in Marshallese and she's teaching her husband. I think the kids are learning Marshallese and English. They're one of my favorite families here and whenever we're with them we always have real conversations. It's so nice. I've missed that a lot.
I've been learning a little bit of Kiribati from Sister Boutu. I didn't realize how similar it is to Marshallese! Holy cow. It has a lot of the same words but the pronunciation is much easier. Most of the APs that have to learn both languages say that Kiribati is easier to learn. When I was in Lae I asked the Pohnpeian elder there to speak in Pohnpeian and I was also surprised how similar it was. I now want to learn both Kiribati and Pohnpeian!
Part of Jenrok is called demon town because there are a lot of graves there. Yep.
K, I love and miss you all. I hope you're all doing well. Tootles.
Sister Ellen Butler