Thursday, September 11, 2014

Early September on Tarawa

We were tooling down the road and pulled up on a family apparently moving their home.  This is a buia (pronounced like the marines would--boo-yaw) on the back of a Nissan p/u truck.  Who says there are no Red Neck motor homes on Tarawa?

We took a little excursion out to the north end of the island (far as you can walk anyway) and at the end of where we could drive was a lovely crossing to the next island.  We rolled up our pants and waded in.  It was about 300 yards across.  Here are three intrepid waders.

Here are the rest, ready to embark or disembark as the case may be.

When we got to the other side there was a noticeable starboard list while everyone removed their port shoes.  They are sitting on a little outrigger (more modern than the hollowed-out-log kind).  It has a little trolling motor on the back.  We rode it back on the return trip because by noon the tide had come in and a walk across would have been somewhat above our waist.  Manageable but more wet than we wanted to  be.

The hardy hikers (hardly hiking) after crossing the crooked bridge.  It was a little worse for wear but easily passable.

Fun in the trees.  They dared me to climb one so I did.  Sister Waldron kept seeing visions of the cherry tree incident so the next tree I didn't climb, I just imitated.  Looks just like me, don't you think?  The branches of these trees have the most incredible stickers.  They must be related to cactus somehow.  I wouldn't risk it again except maybe on a double-dog dare.

This is one of the little villages we passed on our hike.  It was so pristine up here.  Much less population/congestion and therefore less pollution.  Still friendly, the people were gracious and smiley.  You can see a water storage tank dead center in the picture.  Further north they were still using poles and buckets to dip their water from a well.

This is a picture of the crossing looking back to the main island.  Really quite picturesque--Sister Waldron didn't hurt it either.

The other day we found a formidable homesteader in the pantry.  On the left you see a 32 oz can of  fruit cocktail--just to give you some size perspective.  Sister Waldron was surprised but not apoplectic like some of her daughters would have been.  We captured and put him out.  We don't hold with no homesteadin' sod-busters in our territory.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Late August--early September

Our neighbor, Ratuti, is showing Sis Waldron how to weave a basket from a palm frond

Here is the finished product.  They were both surprised at how good Sis Waldron was--multi-talanted missionary.

This is a little home, typical of the area and one of our neighbors.  We thought it an interesting contrast of old culture and new.  In the foreground you can see their car.  There is the Puia, Kiribati for home or hut, and if you can blow up the picture, the little light dot in the middle of the hut is a laptop monitor.

The day is overcast but you can see the institute on the right and the bishops' offices on the left and behind is all the classrooms for the West Stake Center.  Located in Teaoreireke, it is the home of two wards.  We attend the Teaoreireke second ward.

This is taken from the rear and you can see the manieba which serves as the cultural hall.  The chapel is located in the middle.  It is about 2/3 the size of one of ours, full of fans and open windows.  Very like attending church in a sauna.

Bairiki chapel from the causeway.  Utterly picturesque.  We had a "Rescue" here a couple of weeks ago.  The missionaries in the zone gathered and divided into small groups to go visit less active RMs and Priesthood holders.

 The western view of the same chapel.  It is out on this little jut of land out into the ocean side of the island.  Beautiful setting and a beautiful chapel.  Notice no grass--it doesn't grow here.  Lots of pretty flowers though.

This is the learning garden.  Established by the Church two years ago, it is a garden where the manager grows various vegetables and teaches people how to grow them at home.  This is supposed to help them provide a more nutritious diet and develop some self sufficiency.

We took a little excursion on the church's launch the other day.  It has twin 90 horse motors and moves out pretty good.  We went around the southern end of the atoll and visited a small sandbar that used to be an inhabited island.

The launch is named the Riaona (Liahona).