Thursday, May 30, 2013

Husband and Wife Retreat

Elder and Sister Rasmussen teaching
     Every two years, each church school in the South Pacific sponsors a husband/wife retreat for all of the school employees and their spouses.  Moroni High School held their's on May 16-17.  Elder Rasmussen and I were asked to present on Keeping our Marriage Covenants.  Elder Rasmussen is very versed in the Proclamation on the Family so we used it as our guide along with some other talks on marriage we found from the general authorities.  We had about 80 in attendance including Bruce Yerman, the Director of the South Pacific Schools, from New Zealand, and Michael Carthew, from Australia.  I’m not sure what his position is but he trains the teachers on Power School, the computer program they use for their attendance and grading.  We met in the cultural hall which is not air conditioned.  Elder Rasmussen and I only had to speak for about 45 minutes and thankfully we were first on the agenda.  The speakers were all good but it proved to be a long, hot day.

Teachers and Spouses

Sister Rasmussen and Mary Taitai, School Counselor
When we ended around 3:30 we came home and quickly packed for an overnight camping trip with the same group.  It was quite the experience. We were able to load our gear on this 12 foot boat plus 11 people and head out, slowly, for the island of Biketawa.  Because it was late in the evening  we arrived at Biketawa about an hour before sundown. That gave us time to pitch our tent between 2 palm trees, have a nice dinner provided by the school staff and funded by the seminaries and institute. One thing is for sure; when it comes time to eat----they eat! This island is not very big. You can walk around it in 20 minutes. It is owned by the government but managed by Otintai hotel. The school had made reservations thru the hotel at the cost of 4 dollars per person.  It is a well taken care of island. Several Buia’s (local sleeping houses, and a nice Maneaba.  Well used, but nice. We had to draw water from the well to flush the toilets but rain water was available for showers. Again from a bucket.

Unloading the boat

Elder Rasmussen in the 2 man tent

Preparing for breakfast

Preparing lunch in the Bouia

Fresh Coconut Juice
Add fresh Red Snapper to the menu

Playing games
The locals love to sing and laugh. So, it was quite nice to close the day with them singing and laughing and then  be awakened with the same gentle sounds of singing, hymns this time, and laughter.  During the rest of our Friday we played some couples games and ate and played some more games and ate.

Getting water to flush the toliet

Weaving hats to pass the time

Loading up to come home.  Don't forget the chicken!!!

Front of boat
 Coming back across the lagoon was scary a ride. We used what is called a WAH. It’s about 30 ft long boat with a deep hull (picture above), and it has an outrigger on the left (port) side. We had the hull completely full and 68 people standing and sitting on the top. Truly, from stem to stern was a mass of people.  The waves were choppy but the skipper was not in any race to get back to south Tarawa. He only had a 40 horse power motor.  When we were close to our destination we went aground. So, a few would abandon the boat and we could go a little farther towards shore until we decided to offload everything from the large boat to another smaller boat belonging to brother Tune. By the time we got back home on Fri. night we were exhausted, and grateful for a shower and an air conditioned apartment.

Back of boat


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