Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Random photos in January

We took some fun photos in the last couple of weeks but not enough of any subject to make a real focused blog.  So here are a few just so you can savor the things we are seeing/experiencing.
Sis Waldron got a few pictures of these pretty birds, called Kiakias.  They are pure white with blue beaks, smooth as silk and seem to fly in pairs.  

They seem kind of like doves but a tad smaller.

Especially tricky to catch on the wing.  Good job Sis Waldron

This is the best I can do.

Driving home the other night we caught some spectacular sunset scenes.  This one had a lot of fun colors.

This one showed the sun setting through the palms and framed by foliage.

First rainbow we'd seen here.  Rainy season, so you'd think we would see a lot.  Maybe we will see more.

This is a rainbow over the parliament building.  This is where their legislature meets..

Happened to catch this one from the causeway.

Sis Waldron is making a file of pictures of peoples' efforts at landscaping.  "Do what you can with what you have," I always say.

Don't throw away those old lawn chairs.  Great for gardening.

These are the folks from the Humanitarian Dental program, here for three weeks and just doing teeth for anyone who walks in (tons).  L to R Jared, his wife, and her friend.  All dental assistants with the Chisolm Clinic.

R to L Dr. Shields and his wife and in the far back, Dr. Chisolm.  This is a favorite restaurant because it has a covered patio out over the ocean.  Terrific place to have lunch.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quick trip to North Tarawa

Occasionally we get invited on a little outing on the mission's launch.  Today we are on our way out to the north end of Tarawa for "transfer day" to exchange a couple of missionaries.  It is only a 45 minute commute but the sea and the weather were perfect.  It was a lovely, refreshing ride.
Elder and Sister Bogh are the VTEC missionaries.  Like us, they came along for the ride and a break from the usual.  They are kind of on break anyway because school is out until February and they are  in charge of helping the Vocational program here at the high school.  He works with the wood and small engine shops and she works with Home Economics--cooking, sewing, etc.  They are lots of fun and we love them.

These are Elders Maisey and Smith, the Zone Leaders making the companionship changes.  Left of Elder Maisey's shoulder on the horizon, you can see Nanikai.  Left of that, on the left border, you can see Teaoraereke where we live.

I don't know if he was down in the hold for a reason but this is Elder Vaia, on his way to serve on North Tarawa.  A large Samoan, he would make two of me, but sweet and humble.  

We were at wake-less speed approaching the beach because of the shallow water.  The run out from the beach is so gradual that at low tide you have to walk in for a quarter mile but at high tide, you still have to be careful not to ground the launch.  As it was we still had to walk in.  There is a small bungalow just left of center on the beach.  The foliage is quite heavy here and most of the people live off the copra industry.

Here we are walking in (about 30 yards) with the supplies and luggage for the elder.  It was knee high all the way.

Just about to the beach, I gave Sis Waldron the camera to snap one of me coming in with Elder Maisey.  They wouldn't let us carry anything.  Wouldn't do to have one of the old fogies flounder with any goods.

The branch attends church here in a mwaneaba, which is actually the most comfortable way to go.  It is shady and there is lots of airflow to keep it cool.

With a portable pulpit and Sacrament table you have all you need for an LDS service.

Stacked neatly at the rear are ten pews for use in Sacrament Meeting.  A typical one room chapel.  The architecture is pretty simple; rafters are at eight feet and pearlings are at four.  Corregated tin to top it off and masonite for the floor.

This is the buia next door and is characteristic of the a family home on the island.  This one has the hull of an old canoe as its wall for some privacy, I suppose.  It is not structural.  

There were a couple of young girls listening to their radio in their "bedroom" and allowed me to take a picture of them.  Quite tidy!  I wish my kids could have kept their rooms so nice.

This is the view of the little bungalow mentioned several frames above.  Must be the mother-in-law apartment.  Nice, one room on the beach--I'd take it.

These little "boys" were waiving at us as we left and I got around to taking this with the telephoto lens from about 100 yards out.  The boat was rocking and moving so much it took me half a dozen shots to get one worth keeping.  Bare necked kids are the order of the day.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Food Initiative

Between Christmas and New Years we volunteered to help some folks from The Food Initiative.  Their project was to measure pregnant or nursing mothers and all children under six years old to uncover any signs of malnutrition and then support, where indicated, with food supplements.  We spent two days in seven areas of the two stakes on Tarawa.  The measurements were basically BMI and age so we measured height and weight of all who came and compared that with age standards in world wide assessments.  The following show various scenes of measuring, coddling and recording during the program.
Above is Courtney Polock, from Australia, measuring s few of the older children.  They stepped right up for measurements.  Some of the smaller ones were less inclined. 
Bob Rees here soothing a child who was less inclined. 
Sara Walker is shown passing out some of the treats given.  These soothed a lot of intimidated souls. 
At this same table, the measurements were recorded on Sara's laptop for later number crunching and results.  These were provided to the Stake Presidents for use in their respective wards. 
At the registration tables names were taken as well as ages, wards and the cards provided for recording the measurement results. 
Here is Courtney's Mom, Liz, measuring the height of a nearly full term sister. 
Tricky to stand up straight next to a post when you are sooo round.   
Liz and Courtney are seen here measuring an infant.  These were easier done horizontally and used this measuring pad with head and foot stops. 
Occasionally, after a particularly traumatic measurement, some children just needed a Grampa's shoulder.  Bob had the magic touch.  Though not enamored of measuring table, they generally succumbed to his loving embrace. 
Carol Armstrong, from the Island Rescue Project, weighs in this young fellow.  The electronic scale was very beneficial in giving a split second measurement of weight.  Sometimes that's all you got.  She is assisted by our Mission Nurse, Sis Aldredge. 
Some parents showed up with several children under six.  Some were even accompanied by grandparents. 
Sara, again at the data entry table, with help from Tekirabwareta, a young college student home on his Christmas break.  His help was appreciated not only for the extra body but for translation purposes as well.  He is a native Kiribati.
In the two days we evaluated nearly three hundred children and mothers.  The results were only partially indicative because the survey was only among members of the church.  There were no non-members involved.  Still, it gave a good general idea of the breadth and depth of malnutrition on the island.  We are always glad for the generosity and dedication of these volunteer groups who come to help their brothers and sisters.