Sunday, October 27, 2013

Trip to the Dentist

Sept. 18, 2013: A few of weeks ago I was flossing my teeth and I felt the crown on my back tooth lift slightly, and then I couldn’t get the floss out.  I pulled it through and for several days after that I couldn’t get the floss to go in between the teeth.  During that time, I developed a toothache that was becoming annoying.  Not bad, just annoying.  Rich went to the nurse’s room and got one of the dental tools and I was able to clean between the teeth which allowed the floss to go through after that, but the toothache continued.  I started taking some Echinacea since that is the only type of antibiotic we had. Last week a slight swelling and tenderness started under my jaw.  Rich and Elder Youngberg gave me a blessing and the swelling and tenderness subsided the very next day. By the third week, I decided to go to the local dentist which was an experience. (I wish I'd had my camera.) The dentist’s name is Sam.  He spent five years in Fiji going to dental school and has been practicing in Kiribati for five years so he may be in his mid-thirties. He was very friendly and seemed very competent and apologized for the lack of dental resources available in Kiribati.  After a very nostalgic, antique x-ray, he determined that the crown had indeed lifted causing just enough gap between the tooth and the crown to allow a leakage of bacteria to get into the tooth and root canal. He suggested we go to New Zealand to get a new crown where the services are quick and superior. Soooo….. much to our dismay our mission will once again be interrupted by a trip off the island.  When the dentist there checked my crown and took some x-rays, he said the crown was great but the tooth was infected which resulted in root canal.  Lucky me, the tooth has four roots instead of the typical two or three.  It took him an hour on Mon. and another hour and 2o minutes on Tues. to get the job done.  I must be a total boob for pain because it was intense.  He gave me a few shots trying to deaden it but it was not enough. I was so tense and just laid in the chair and cried.  He finally said I’d just have to get through the pain threshold.  It wasn’t until he drilled through the crown and was able to get some anesthetic into the roots that I was finally able to relax. We're grateful to be back in Kiribati with warm weather and hope that's an experience we never have to repeat. Besides, who's ever heard of traveling  3000 miles just to see the dentist.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Life in Kiribati

Carrying a log for a new maneaba (open meeting place)

The simple life of Tarawa never ceases to amaze me. Here are a few pictures of everyday life in Kiribati.

Saturday bath time

Best way to repair a broken mirror!

Laundry Day

Trimming the grass with scissors

Need a new house?

This little piggy won't run away.
 (All pigs are tethered
to a tree.) 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Elder Arrington and Elder Bobu

Elder Arrington, Elder Bobu
Elder Arrington, our grandson, has been called to serve in the Philippians, Urdeneta Mission.  He was in the same language class with Elder Bobu from Kiribati. 

Open Day

Wearing of the cultural tibuta (sibuta or blouse)
Friday, Aug. 30 (Yes, I'm behind in blogging.) was the last day of the second term and it is customary to have a huge celebration.  The students showed their parents around the campus and in the cultural hall students and teachers danced and performed some skits.  They also auctioned some of the items the students had made in Kiribati studies like fish nets, hammocks, and woven baskets.  After lunch each house team (Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, etc.) marched and sang for everyone.  They had sack races, coconut husking and shredding contests, tug-a-war, and wrestling contests, and of course the displaying of the local foods.  It was a fun day.  I love watching the faculty and kids have so much fun with such simple pleasures of life.

Cultural dances and singing

Auctioning a student made fish net

Sack races

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Manners Dinner - Youth Conference

Relay - Setting a table
During a Family Home Evening we met with the students from Moroni and taught them how to use a knife, fork, spoon, and napkin.  They usually just sit on the ground and each with their hands. After the teaching we had a relay between the girls and the boys to see which group could get the place setting correct the fastest.  It was a fun evening in preparation for their manners dinner a few days later and youth conference the next week.  On the evening of the dinner, the Priests and the Laurels paired up and enjoyed a nice dinner prepared by the cafeteria cooks.  After dinner they enjoyed some dancing of Cha Cha and Swing taught to them by Elder and Sister Bush.

Manners Dinner

The next week was Youth Conference.  It consisted of both stakes  held on campus. It involved about 200-250 kids from Tarawa and the outer islands. Since this last week was the off week for students between terms it was an ideal venue for a youth conference. All the young girls stayed in the dorms and the young men stayed in various class rooms. It began on Wednesday and lasted until Saturday about noonish.It started every morning at 5:00 on the basketball court just outside our flat with morning aerobics.  One morning I decided just to join them instead of doing our typical morning walk.                    

Sitting on the ground, eating with hands

We were asked again to help with table manners and how to use a knife and fork and how to set up enough school desks and chairs and place settings for 90 Priests and Laurels. Well, over 100 showed up. The kitchen staff ran out of plates and had to use tin foil for plates. Plus, they actually did run out of food. There were lots of games and activities, like coconut husking and shredding contests. It was a fun week filled with activities and classes for all.

Morning Aerobics

Morning Aerobics

Coconut husking

Coconut Shredding

DJs playing loud music outside our door ALL four days!!!!

Classrooms were turned into sleeping quarters for the boys.



Moroni Ward youth
On Friday, October 5 (Almost caught up) was the Tarawa East Stake Song Festival.  Each ward sang a hymn and a fun song.  Moroni Ward sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and a rendition of Country Roads, Take Me Home”, except that Elder and Sister Bush changed the words to “Ocean Waves, Take Me Home,” and referred to blue lagoons and all of the outer islands.   They took first place in the hymn and the Temwaiku Ward took first in the fun song.  It was a great evening. Rich ended up being one of the judges and seem to have a really good time.  I love watching these people have fun.  Their lives are so simple they find pure enjoyment out of such simple things. 
Sister Cassita, Elder Rasmussen, ???


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Welcome, President and Sister Weir

President and Sister Shaw
In July we said good-bye to President and Sister Shaw and welcomed President and Sister Weir. Thank you President and Sister Shaw.  We've only met them a few times but were inspired by love of the mission and the missionaries and diligent service to us all. It's taken me three months to post a picture of them. Being on Kiribati, we are lucky if we get to see our mission president every few months.  I took some pictures the first time they came in July but they weren't very good, and was able to take some more a couple of weeks ago.  President and Sister Weir are from Salt Lake City and have 10 children.  His career was spent in the military, and since retiring he has sold helicopters for various companies, most recently for Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in the Middle East. They have lived in Middle East for the most part of the last 10 years.  President Weir speaks at least four languages that we are aware of; English, German, French and Farsi (Iraq), In the three months he has been here, his focus is on the outer islands and the island of Neru, which is another small island country in our mission. We can already see the results as traveling zone leaders, Elder Mikelsen and Elder Hossler, have been sent to the island Maiana.  Not only are they rescuing members already there but they are busy sharing the gospel with many others, besides the fact that they have to build  grass hut to live in.  Two more elders have also been sent who will stay for a longer period of time as the traveling zone leaders will move to another location. It's been reported that last Sunday in Maiana, 50 investigators came to Sacrament meeting and twelve have set their baptismal date. President Weir has a vision of strengthening and expanding the membership and priesthood in the Marshall Islands Majuro Mission.

President and Sister Weir