Monday, June 28, 2010

As great as the South Pacific is, it's all about the people...

The Liveighs provided all the food for the 3 1/2 day Young Single Adult Conference. I was able to be there for some of the conference when the night before Laurie and Gary invited me to teach a class on Healthy Living - bless them for giving me the opportunity to get to know these Marshallese YSA's! They are terrific!
A gingerly beginning to an increasingly daring water balloon toss out at Mile 17 Park on the last day of the YSA conference.

On the beach at Mile 17 Park, Jojo and I spy a challenge and an adventure...!


Me. In all fairness, she caught me coming back in, minus a shoe that was lost on the take-off.
Here's some local children showing us how it is really done.

Most of the Young Single Adults out at Mile 17, the last day of the YSA Conference. Great young men and women! That's Laurie and Gary bookending the first row in case you can't tell that they are the older ones.

Back at my apartment, Elder Gilbert trying on his suit before the departure date to see if it fits now that he has been on an outer island where the weight loss is inevitable. Notice the nametag on his sleeve, Sister Lytle. Back at the office, Elder Lasky trying to find the best place to store the orange cooler now that there is no P-day sports activity - I don't think it is under my desk, even if you try to match the orange by placing the sunscreen on my computer...

Wednesday June 23 we had a fun goodbye party for Rosa who is leaving for the summer for Guam - while we sisters watched a movie at the Pattersons, Gary made us cookies!

June 25 was the Stake Relief Society Fashion and Talent Show. There were traditional Marshall Island dances...

A mother-daughter cooking demonstration for coconut jam - Yummmmm...

Handicraft and jewelry-making displays...And at the end they invited all the Sisters to come onto the floor and dance the last dance...

Jojo caught me dancing with a young girl who came out on the floor to dance with me.

That last dance was so fun and joyous - sisters loving life and being together!

On Saturday June 26, the tide was low at 10:30, so the Davidsons invited me on an adventure on our P-day - a walk from Rita past the first two islets over to the third islet, Ejit, where we would visit some members of the church. The beaten path to the first islet is the straight line right above Elder Davidson's head. There are no rocks - only coral.

Sister Davidson and I are trying to adjust our red flame tree flowers in our hair for the picture - we both have capris under our skirts in the event that we don't get back before the tide comes back in. There are some pictures I've seen of Elders up to their waists in water where we are standing.
The Davidsons walk on the Lagoon side around the uninhabited islet #2.
With the tide out it was a pretty easy walk past the two small islets over to Ejit. We only had to walk through water a few times. When we stepped up onto Ejit, one of the first people we encountered was this little boy who had a prize from the morning fishing - an octopus tentacle.

Here's our great guide whom we met as we entered his peaceful islet and his Protestant Church on the lagoon side - he volunteered to take us to our members homes because he knew where all our church members lived.

The Davidsons meeting Ejit children who are wondering who these Ri-belle people are who have wandered out to their islet, their aelon aibuijuij (their island beautiful). The peaceful sounds of water and gently stirring air and no roads with cars were like music - even the people were quiet. When we returned to Rita a few hours later, just barely beating the tide, Rita sounded cacophonous. Thanks, Davidsons. Let's do it again - we met some great people.

Monday, June 21, 2010

There is poetry in Majuro

I never thought I would wax poetic about food, but after I sanitize the fresh produce in a clorox solution, rinse it and let it dry, it is a thing of beauty...especially when we have gone without for a few weeks.
A gentle moonrise as the sunset colors paint the clouds, framed in island palms...sigh...

The height of twilight beauty - moonlight dancing on the softly undulating lagoon.

All senses need expression here - fragrant meria to bring the island enchantment indoors...

Four red flowers on a morning run - just for me - Father, let Conrad be with our children today.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 9th had us coming and going...

June 9th and Air Marshall brought a leaner and stronger Elder Gilbert back from the outer island of Ebon - he's in culture shock - running water back at the mission office!
Three strong missionaries preparing to leave the mission - Sister Santos, Elder Jaksina, Elder Ahlstrom.
Elder Ahlstrom brought in a wut (flower wreath) from a family in Laura for me - it was an honor to wear it.

A picture says a thousand words at the Majuro Airport - we will miss them - we'll all move forward.
A friend telling Elder Ahlstrom good-bye...

Elder Jaksina saying his last goodbyes to Stake members who came to see their missionaries.

Sister Santos saying her last goodbyes...Elder Jaksina knowing it is about time.

On the drive home from the airport, it was back to normal as I passed by someone's food storage. I wonder what culture shock we will all experience when it's our time to go home.